The Great Fear (French: la Grande Peur) occurred in July and August 1789 in France at the start of the French Revolution. Rumors spread among the peasantry that nobles had hired brigands to march on villages and destroy the peasants' new harvest. In response, peasants sacked the castles of the nobles and burned documentation recording feudal obligations. Most of France was eventually affected. This event led to the abolition of serfdom and feudal obligations, and brought up the need for a new class structure.