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  1. a barrier constructed across a road, especially as a military defence
  2. an obstacle, barrier or bulwark

A barricade is any object or structure that creates a barrier or obstacle to control, block passage or force the flow of traffic in the desired direction. The very first barricades in the streets of Paris, a feature of the French Revolution and urban rebellions ever since, went up on the Day of the Barricades, 12 May 1588, when an organized rebellion of Parisians forced Henri III from Paris, leaving it in the hands of the Catholic League. Wagons, timbers and hogsheads (barriques) were chained together to impede the movements of Swiss Guards and other forces loyal to the king.

Adopted as a military term, a barricade denotes any improvised field fortification, most notably on the city streets during urban warfare. Barricades featured heavily in the various European revolutions of the late 18th to early 20th centuries; Les Misérables famously describes the building and defending of a barricade during the Parisian insurrection of June 1832. Barricades were also used at the end of the Paris Commune of 1871 and in May 1968 in France. A major aim of Haussmann's renovation of Paris under Napoléon III was to eliminate the potential of citizens to build barricades by widening streets into avenues too wide for barricades to block. Such terms as "go to the barricades" or "standing at the barricades" are used in various languages, especially in rousing songs of various radical movements, as metaphors for starting and participating in a revolution or civil war, even when no physical barricades are used.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Barricade" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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