The French Revolution

  • Storming of the Bastille

    Storming of the Bastille
    The Bastille was a prison in Paris, France. When the prison was stormed there were only seven inmates at the time, but the destruction of this prison marked the official beginning of the French Revolution and is an important icon. During the reign of Louis XVI France plummeted into a severe economic crisis. The people of France viewed the Bastille as a representation of the control that King Louis possessed. A mob stormed Bastille on July 14th and literally tore down the prison brick by brick.
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    The French Revolution

  • The Great Fear

    The Great Fear
    There had been a lot of chaos in France during the start of the revolution, and with continued food shortages peasants became uneasy. Local grain supplies were heavily guarded by militias, and fear began to spread among the peasants. Peasants took up arms, and began to attack the homes of the rich. Rumors spread across the countryside of different revolts, and fueled more revolts around the country.
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

    Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
    This document was very adopted by the National Assembly and was the first step towards created a constitution for France. The original document was written by the Marquis de Lafayette, and later a second document was adopted in 1793. The document defines the individual and collective rights of all the people and was heavily influenced by the idea of natural rights seen in the American Declaration of Independence.
  • The Women's March on Versailles

    The Women's March on Versailles
    Many women had become fed up with the lack of food in France for their families. A group of Parisian woman began to march in the streets demonstrating for lower bread prices. The women continued their march to Versailles and demanded to see the Queen and King to solve the food crisis. Queen Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were taken by the woman to Paris, and would never return to Versailles. This event showed the power that the urban working class possessed.
  • Feudalism

    Feudalism had been a long tradition in France dating back hundreds of years. Feudalism was a social hierarchy in which the peasants owed certain duties to the more wealthy members in society. It was an unjust system and there was hope to abolish it during the French Revolution. On March 5th during the revolution the Feudal Committee reported to the National Assembly that feudalism should remain, causing tension to build among the peasants.
  • Attempted escape of the royal family

    Attempted escape of the royal family
    King Louis and his immediate family attempted to escape France disguised as servants to a Russian baroness. They were attempting to at least make it to the northeastern part of France which was style largely loyal to the crown. The king hoped to go there and establish a counter-revolution. The royal family only made it to Varennes before they were recognized and brought back into custody.
  • The Legislative Assembly

    The Legislative Assembly
    The Legislative Assembly acted as the legislature of France during most of the French Revolution. There were two opposing groups who made up of the assembly. The first group was the moderates who wanted a constitutional monarchy and believed the revolution had reached its goal. The second group believed the king could no longer be trusted and wanted a new more radical system. On October 1st they had their first of many meetings.
  • The Guillotine

    The Guillotine
    The guillotine was used thousands of times in the French Revolution, and is the reason why the revolution was known to be so bloody. The guillotine is a device used for executions and is meant to be a humane way to execute someone. The only devices used prior to the French revolution were hangings or an ax to the neck. All these devices actually cause suffering, and the person would usually die in pain. The guillotine was adopted because it was fast, humane, and was a popular event to watch.
  • Execution of Louis XVI

    Execution of Louis XVI
    King Louis XVI was arrested on August 13th, 1792, and the National Assembly declared France to be a Republic. December 11th, the King was put on trial and accused of high treason and crimes against the state. There was overwhelming evidence showing Louis supporting different invasions on France. The Convention voted and found him guilty. Monday January 21st 1793 Louis was sent the guillotine and beheaded. It is said that he had bravely met his fate.
  • Formation of the Committee on Public Safety

    Formation of the Committee on Public Safety
    The National Convention formed the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, which was a stage of the French Revolution. The Committee was formed to protect the new republic from attacks. Maximilien Robespierre was the central overseer, and was responsible for thousands of executions in the name of safety. Most executions occurred by the guillotine and one was found guilty if there was belief that they still supported the monarchy.
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    The Reign of Terror

  • The Sans-Culottes

    The Sans-Culottes
    The sans-culottes was a term used by the French to describe the poorest members of society because they wore full length trousers rather than the more wealthy and fashionable style of the knee-length pant. The sans-culottes were organized by their social class and held a few demonstrations and riots. However, they were always seen as the little man and did not gain a significant amount of power. The sans-culottes did represent the continued presence of the lower class.
  • Execution of Marie Antoinette

    Execution of Marie Antoinette
    After the execution of her husband King Louis XVI, Marie had been put in prison but then was put on trial. She was accused of several infamous charges, and was not really allowed to defend herself. The trial was really just a show for the public, and she was sentenced to death by means of the guillotine. Her hair was cut off and she was driven through Paris in an open cart. She was 37 when she was executed and her body was thrown into an unmarked grave.
  • Execution of Olympe de Gouges

    Execution of Olympe de Gouges
    Olympe de Gouges was a female writer, who refused to accept that women were excluded from politics. She wrote an official declaration to the National Assembly declaring rights for woman and the female citizen. As the revolution continued she wrote more radically demanding women’s rights. She was arrested for a radical poster she created and put on trial. She was interrogated, and was able to write too more texts while in custody. She was executed by guillotine on November 3, 1793.
  • The execution of Robespierre

    The execution of Robespierre
    Robespierre had attempted to create a safer republic with the Reign of Terror, but instead helped gained patriotism in small communities who opposed the endless bloodshed. Many of the other members of the Committee on Public Safety began to fear that Robespierre would kill them at any moment too. Robespierre was put on trial by those who feared him and was executed on the guillotine, the same device he had used to kill thousands. His death marked the end of the Reign of Terror.
  • The Directory

    The Directory
    The French Directory was made of a body of five directors who held the executive power of the government. The previous governing system had been the called the Convention. There was hope that the French had finally found a stable governing system, but this would not be their last attempt.
  • Marriage of Napoleon and Josephine

    Marriage of Napoleon and Josephine
    Napoleon Bonaparte married Josephine de Beauhamais in 1796, he was 26 and she was 32 and a widow. Josephine was known to have had many affairs as well as Napoleon. While Napoleon’s mistress had several heirs, Josephine was never able to produce one and he divorced her so that he could remarry. He married Marie Louise, archduchess of Austria and great niece of Marie Antoinette.
  • The Battle of Lodi

    The Battle of Lodi
    The Battle of Lodi was fought between the French and the Austrian with Napoleon leading the French. Lodi was a city in Italy and was defeated by Napoleon. However, the Austrian army was able to escape so there was no clear winner. This battle was important because Napoleon used it as propaganda to show his military capabilities and that he was a superior general.
  • Treaty of Campo Formio

    Treaty of Campo Formio
    The Treaty of Campo Formio also known as the Treaty of Campoformido was signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Ludwig von Cobenzl as representatives of France and Austria. It marked the end of the First Coalition and victory for Napoleon. This also marked the end of the first phase of the French Revolutionary Wars.
  • Battle of the Pyramids

    Battle of the Pyramids
    This battle was fought between the French army in Egypt led by Napoleon Bonaparte. The battle occurred during France’s Egyptian Campaign and was the battle where Napoleon showed his great military tactics. The Egyptian campaign was France’s attempt to find and control more colonies to expand their wealth and influence as well as establish great trading routes.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte's Coup d' Etate

    Napoleon Bonaparte's Coup d' Etate
    Napoleon Bonaparte was a great French leader and saw the opportunity to overthrow the old French order and establish a new French Empire. This event overthrew the French Directory replacing it with the French Consulate and marked the end of the French Revolution and moves now into the time of Napoleon Bonaparte as leader of the French Empire.