This Day in History: French Revolutionaries Storm the Bastille July 14, 1789 The siege of the royal fortress is considered the beginning of the French Revolution. With revolution in the air, a crowd of Parisian surrounded the fortress, armed with muskets and makeshift weapons. The military governor of the Bastille and his men initially held the crowd back. As the mob began to increase, the governor surrendered the fort. He was arrested and later murdered by the mob. The incident provided the momentum the revolutionaries needed to eventually abolish the monarchy. Ten years of revolution would follow, in which King Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and tens of thousands were executed.