At the end of the Old Regime, the fear of famine became a pervasive terror for the lower layers of the third stand. Wild rumors about a conspiracy theory claimed that food, especially cereals, was deliberately hidden from the poor for the sake of the privileged (the Famine Pact). Stories of a plot to destroy wheat crops to starve the population provoked what is known as the Great Fear in the summer of 1789. The rest of the National Constituent Assembly followed the king in two weeks to new quarters in Paris, with the exception of 56 pro-monarchical deputies. Thus, the march effectively deprived the monarchist group of the important representation in the Assembly, with most of these deputies withdrawing from the political scene. On the other hand, the passionate defence of the Robespierres march has greatly increased its public profile. Although Lafayette was celebrated at first, he realized that he was too connected to the king. When the revolution progressed, he was exiled by radical leaders. Maillard returned to Paris, where he was permanent as a local matador. For the women of Paris, the march became the source of the apotheosis in revolutionary hagiography.
The “mothers of the nation” were acclaimed upon their return and were praised and courted by successive governments in Paris for years. On the morning of October 5, a young woman struck a walking drum on the edge of a group of market women who were angry at the chronic lack and high price of bread. From their starting point in the markets of the eastern part of Paris, angry women forced a nearby church to ring its bells. Other women from other nearby markets joined us, many carrying kitchen blades and other makeshift weapons. When more women and men arrived, the crowd in front of the town hall reached between 6,000 and 7,0000, and perhaps as many as 10,000. One of the men was Stanislas-Marie Maillard, a prominent conqueror of the Bastille, who obtained a leadership role by unofficial acclaim. Father Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes was a critical figure in the Assembly and ultimately for the French Revolution, which managed for a time to bridge the differences between those who wanted a constitutional monarchy and those who wanted to move in more democratic (or even republican) directions. In January 1789 Sieys wrote a pamphlet what Is the Third Estate?, a response to Finance Minister Jacques Necker`s invitation to writers to explain how they thought the stands should be organized.