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Barricade

(3 syl.) To block up. The term rose in France in 1588, when Henri de Guise returned to Paris in defiance of the king's order. The king sent for his Swiss Guards, and the Parisians tore up the pavement, threw chains across the streets, and piled up barrels filled with earth and stones, behind which they shot down the Swiss as they passed through the streets. The French for barrel is barrique, and to barricade is to stop up the streets with these barrels.

The day of the Barricades:

(1) May 12th, 1588, when the people forced Henri III to flee from Paris.

(2) August 5th, 1648, the beginning of the Fronde War.

(3) July 27th, 1830, the first day of le grand semain which drove Charles X, from the throne.

(4) February 24th, 1848, which drove Louis Philippe to abdicate and flee to England.

(5) June 23rd, 1848, when Affre, Archbishop of Paris, was shot in his attempt to quell the insurrection.

(6) December 2nd, 1851, the day of the coup d'état, when Louis Napoleon made his appeal to the people for reelection to the Presidency for ten years.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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