The Revolution of 1739 was a time of social unrest and terror in Grandelumiere. It is hard to pin-point the main causes of the revolution for the whole affair was rather complex and never officially declared as a revolution until after the events which started in late December of 1738 to late February of 1739.
The illness of Louis XI in late December of 1738 caused much grief and thus loomed a depression upon the people. The people were not impressed with the new officials, houses and even his Regent Sophie Antoinette.
After the coronation of Regent Sophie, the people were not ready for such sudden change. The reign of Louis XI was one of the most prosperous and glorious reigns the Empire had ever seen, and after the coronation, a small riot broke out in the market square. News of this was suppressed by the Grand Chancellor. The Duchesse de Vosges was not happy at all, claiming that the new reign was not valid for it traditionally would have gone to the predecessors eldest child. Louis XI's eldest surviving child was Mariette Florie, but she left Paris, and many rumours spread that the Regent and Empress banished her so she could become Regent . These rumours were false and were spread in the court. The Duchesse de Vosges spread stories of the Regent spending her brother's money and lavishly living the high life. The Duchess also spread rather lewd and dangerous stories, stating that the Church was taking money out of the working man's pocket to build houses for nobles.
This rumour spreads from the court to the streets. Stories of the Crown Princess spread stating that she is reckless and frivolous. Many grew to see their superiors like the Cardinal Joseph Baptiste as manipulative and unfair. One story was that the Cardinal's youngest sister, the Comtesse de Landau, had worked her way through various court men to reach the position as Lady-in-Waiting and that she used her position and her brother to make money to build large chateau's and lavish gardens. These stories were, however, false.
But no rumors caused as much damage as was about to happen. The Duchesse de Vosges attacked the Co- regent by impaling him with a dinner knife. He survived but the Duchesse was executed after a short trial where she pleaded guilty. Her death did not mark the end of the damage she caused, a small group of working men praised the Duchesse for spreading what they believed was the truth. They state that she was "...the word of God and the saviour and stirrer of the working man".
In January of 1761, the people of Dijon began indoctrinating each other. The stories which spread from court become more twisted and disgusting. A group called "Travailler la parole de l'homme" post pamphlets and lewd illustrations of the supposed goings on at court and in the court bedchambers. The head of this group Francois Dubois was a former Imperial Guard but was dismissed under "suspicious circumstances" most likely an affair with a high noble. Dubois gives stirring speeches at the steps of churches and in the market places. He gains attention very quickly and Francois even encourages the people to spread the news far and wide "The world must learn of the House of Wh*res and the Palace of Pleasure!".
Word does spread to the provinces outside Dijon and then further. Reaching out to Haut-Rhine, Ulm in Tubingen, Landau, La Sarre and even up to the Duchy of Anvers. Reforms were brought up by Her Highness' Ministers. One of these reforms was the lowering of the prices of bread and even the idea that bread would be distributed to the masses at church on Sundays. There was a reform which quite terrified the court and made the court distrust the Imperials. The idea that for the first time ever that the nobles would have to pay taxes. Many saw these as ideas of a new enlightened age and the people for a short time began to gain trust. However, Cardinal Joseph spearheaded the campaign against these taxations on nobles, which eventually caused the Empress to abandon the reforms.
On February the 14th an angry mob began rioting outside the gates of the palace. The riot had been brought about by Francois Dubois. The rioters were dispersed by the guards and the small fires which they started were quickly put out.
Days later, gathered in the grand saloon were many of the Imperials and their nobles when another mob appeared at the gates of the palace. The rioters managed to break a window in that saloon, sending the women into hysterical screams and the men hastily shielding them. The mobs attention and hate towards the Imperials and their nobles grew in the days to come. But after weeks of unrest more serious offences came into action. The Revolution had now an official head and team of "Ministers". Everything the revolution did became more formalised. A rather sudden action took place when the Cardinal Joseph Baptiste and is family were placed under house arrest. The revolutionaries nailed a document signed by the revolutionary leader which claimed that the Cardinal had betrayed the people and God by stealing church money and making the people's life more oppressed. This was quickly solved when the Regent called for them to be escorted to the Palace. They were never to set foot in their home again.
Things became more tense at the Palace when many attempts to storm the palace were made. But on February 23rd news was brought to the Regent that a mass of people from over the country were marching on the Palace.
The March on the Imperial Palace.
When news reached the Regent that a mass of people heading to the palace she wasted no time in dismissing her courtiers and ministers. It was her idea to save her loyal courtiers before all hell broke loose, for she knew the mobs would show no mercy when these two rivals would meet face to face. Although many fled a few courtiers and ministers stayed loyal. These included Comte Frederick Turbigen, Cardinal Marquis Joseph Baptiste de Vendome, Cardinal Anton de Nimes, Marie Claudine Comtesse de Landau, Louis Auguste Prince de Bourgogne, Crown Princess Elisabeth Adeline and Crown Prince Jean-Claude d'Anvers (And other notables). The two ladies huddled as night drew and the crowds became more violent. The Imperial Guards were failing so the Noble men and the Co-regent took it upon themselves to defend the Regent and the palace. But the mob was bloodthirsty and would stop at nothing to capture the Regent.