France is defeated by Great Britain, and loses almost all of the possessions in North America by agreeing to the Treaty of Paris. The war signals the start of France's future crises.
Queen Marie Antoinette
Marie, an archduchess from Austria, becomes Queen of France when Louis XVI is crowned. Although initially liked for her beauty, her extravagant spending and promiscous attitude angers many French citizens.
Voltaire, a French philosophe, is an influential figure in the Revolution, because he published works that contributed to the third estates' ideas on human rights and equality.
American Revolution Ends
Although the Americans, France's allies, won the war, the French people were extremely angry with the French involvement in the war. It deepened the financial crisis for France.
Women's March on Versailles
After years of poor economy and widespread hunger. a crowd of 30,000 Parisian men and women march to the royal family's palace at Versailles. The next day, they force King Louis XVI to return with them to Paris, symbolizing the end of the monarchy's power.
Legislative Assembly Takes Power
On this date, the National Assembly passes a new Constitution, creating a Legislative Assembly. However, the new government was weak, and faced threats from other Europen countries as well as new politcal demonstrations in Paris.
The Paris Commune
The Paris Commune, a group of radicals in Paris, siezes power from the Legislative Assembly on this date. Led by Georges Danton, the Commune later establishes a National Convention, who meets to discuss the fate of the king.
National Convention Factions
Although the newly formed National Convention established a French Republic, it split into two. The Mountain represented the radicals in the city of Paris. The Girondins represented provinces, who wanted to keep the king alive.
Execution and Reaction
The Mountain succeeded, getting their wish by executing King Louis XVI on the guillotine. However, other European nations and Girondins were worried about the spread of France's new government. To combat these threats, the Convention created the Committee of Public Safety.
The Reign of Terror
After leading the Committee of Public Safety during an era of death and destruction for a year or so, Maximilion Robespierre is executed on this date by deputies in the National Convention. A new, weaker government is put into place, leaving opportunites for new leaders to emerge.
General Napoleon Bonaparte leads a coupd'e'tat, and siezes power of France. Although he attempts to preserve the ideas of the French Revolution, Napoleon ultimately becomes an emperor, and is soon under threat from the rest of Europe in the Napoleonic Wars.