French Revolution

  • Louis XVI

    Louis XVI, age nineteen, ascends to the throne as the state nears bankruptcy.
  • Period: to

    Ascension of Louis XVI amid Financial Crisis

  • Begining of the Poor Grain Harvest (PGH)

  • Resistance efforts stopped

    Louis dismisses his minister Maupeou who tried to reform the provincial parlements which were the spearheads of the aristocracy's resistance to the Crown's absolutism and centralization efforts.
  • Effects of the Poor Harvest

    Louis appoints Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot as controller-general of the finances. He notably liberalized grain commerce which resulted in an increase in bread prices.
  • Flour War

    Due to an increase in grain prices, bread riots known as the Flour War begin in Dijon and spread.
  • Roit at Versailles.

    Flour War rebels demonstrate in front of the Palace of Versailles for two days.
  • Call for the crisis end.

    Government minister Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon de Malesherbes advocates calling an estates-general to end the crisis.
  • End of the flour war.

    By a combination of repressive measures and aid, Turgot puts down most of the bread riots.
  • Six Edicts

    Turgot presents his Six Edicts calling for the abolition of privilege and the taxation of all social classes.
  • Dismissed

    Turgot is dismissed after having made powerful enemies with his edicts and other policies.
  • Jacques Necker

    Jacques Necker is appointed director-general of the finances. He opposes the deregulation of the grain market implemented by Turgot and stabilizes the social and financial situation in France.
  • America

    After years of unofficial support, France formally recognizes the United States dragging it into a war which would further increase France's debt.
  • Report to the King

    Necker publishes the Compte rendu au roi (Report to the King), a book explaining government finances in a way that, for the first time, generates public interest in the subject.
  • Coalition of enemies

    Necker resignes unable to implement his reforms and forced out by a coalition of enemies gathering Princes of the blood, financiers, provincial parliaments and the Ferme générale.
  • Compromise

    Charles Alexandre de Calonne is appointed as a compromise between Turgot's liberalism and Necker's dirigism.
  • Monetary reforms

    Calonne, failing to end the financial crisis with credit and loans, attempts monetary reforms.
  • Diamond Necklace Affair

    The Diamond Necklace Affair concludes with the acquittal of Cardinal Rohan and the discrediting of Marie Antoinette.
  • Period: to

    Assembly of Notables

  • New tax code

    Calonne informs Louis that the royal finances are insolvent and proposes a new tax code.
  • Assembly of Notables

    The Assembly of Notables, organized by Calonne to endorse his proposals, is convoked.
  • First Assembly of Notables

    First Assembly of Notables meets against a background of state financial instability and general resistance by the nobility to an imposition of taxes and fiscal reforms.
  • Calonne's his proposals

    Calonne's publication of his proposals and the intransigence of the Notables leads to a public clash and impasse.
  • Dismissions

    Louis dismisses both Calonne and the keeper of the seals, or minister of justice, Miromesnil, in an attempt to break the impasse.
  • Lamoignon

    Louis appoints Lamoignon keeper of the seals.
  • Archbishop of Toulouse

    The Archbishop of Toulouse and vocal leader of the higher clergy, Loménie de Brienne is appointed chief minister of state.
  • The first Assembly of Notables is dissolved.

  • Tax reform legislation

    Brienne sends edicts for tax reform legislation to the parlements for registration.
  • Rejection

    Parlement of Paris overwhelmingly rejects the royal legislation.
  • Pass and support

    Legislation is passed at a lit de justice. Subsequently the parlement declares the registration illegal. Supported by public opinion, it initiates criminal proceedings against the disgraced Calonne.
  • Parisian parlement

    Louis dismisses the Parisian parlement and orders the parlementaires to remove themselves to Troyes.
  • Political clubs

    Louis orders the closure of all political clubs in Paris.
  • Invasion

    Civil unrest in the Dutch republic leads to its invasion by the Prussian army, and increases tensions in Paris. Brienne backs down with his legislative demands, settling for an extension of the vingtième tax, and the parlementaires are allowed to return to Paris.
  • Royal session

    A royal session of the Paris parlements for registration of new loans turns into an informal lit de justice when Louis doesn't allow a vote to be taken.
  • Exile,arrest and imprisonment

    The vocal opposition of the duc d'Orléans leads to his temporary exile by lettres de cachet, and the arrest and imprisonment of two magistrates.
  • Arrests

    Orders for the arrest of two Parisian parlementaires, d'Eprémesnil and Goislard, who are most implacably opposed to the government reforms, are issued; the parlement declares its solidarity with the two magistrates
  • Reforms

    Judicial reforms partly abolishing the power of parlements to review legislation are forced through the parlements by Lamoignon in a lit de justice timed to coincide with military sessions
  • Outcry

    Outcry over the enforced reforms ensues, and courts across France refuse to sit.
  • Day of the Tiles

    Day of the Tiles in Grenoble - a meeting called to assemble a parlement in defiance of government order put down by soldiers.
  • Estates-General

    Brienne begins to consider calling an Estates-General
  • Assembly of Vizille

    Meeting of the Estates of Dauphiné, known as the Assembly of Vizille and led by Jean Joseph Mounier, to elect deputies to the Estates-General, adopts measures to increase the influence of the Third Estate.
  • Date is set.

    After being informed that the royal treasury is empty, Brienne sets May 1, 1789 as the date for the Estates-General in an attempt to restore confidence with his creditors
  • Bankruptcy

    Repayments on government loans stop, and the French government effectively declares bankruptcy
  • Resignation

    Brienne resigns as Minister of Finance, and is replaced by the favored choice among the Third Estate, Jacques Necker
  • Be Free

    Necker releases those arrested for criticising Brienne's ministry, leading to a proliferation of political pamphlets
  • Second Assembly of Notables

    Necker convenes a second Assembly of Notables to discuss the Estates-General
  • Representation

    The second Assembly of Notables is dismissed, having firmly refused to consider doubling the representation of the Third Estate
    Prompted by public controversy, Necker announces that the representation of the Third Estate will be doubled, and that nobles and clergymen will be able to stand for the same cause.
  • Riots

    The Réveillon Riots in Paris, caused by low wages and food shortages, lead to about 25 deaths by troops.
  • First in 175 years

    The Estates-General meets for the first time since 1614.
  • Period: to

    Estates-General and Constituent Assembly

  • Communes

    The Third Estate (Tiers Etat) begins to meet on its own, calling themselves "communes" (commons)
  • Dauphin of France dies

  • Voting

    The Third Estate votes for the common verification of credentials, in opposition to the First Estate (the clergy) and the Second Estate (the nobility)
  • Treason

    Some priests from the First Estate choose to join the Third Estate
  • Decleration

    The Third Estate (commons) declares itself to be the National Assembly
  • Tennis Court Oath

    Third Estate/National Assembly are locked out of meeting houses; the Third Estate chooses to continue thinking King Louis XVI has locked them out and decides upon a declarative vow, known as the "serment au Jeu de Paume" (The Tennis Court Oath), not to dissolve until the constitution has been established
  • 1st and 3rd Meet

    National Assembly meets in church of St Louis, joined by a majority of clergy
  • Mutiny

    Two companies of French guards mutiny in the face of public unrest. Louis XVI holds a Séance Royale, puts forward his 35-point program aimed at allowing the continuation of the three estates.
  • Even more treason

    48 nobles, headed by the Duke of Orléans, side with the Third Estate. A significant number of the clergy follow their example.
  • Recongsion

    Louis recognises the validity of the National Assembly, and orders the First and Second Estates to join the Third.
  • Mercenaries

    Louis recruits more troops, among them many foreign mercenaries
  • Redecleration

    National Assembly reconstitutes itself as National Constituent Assembly
  • Dissmal

    uly 11: Necker dismissed by Louis; populace sack the monasteries, ransack aristocrats' homes in search of food and weapons
    July 12: Camille Desmoulins announces the dismissal of Necker to the Paris crowd. The Karl Eugen, Prince von Lothringen-Lambesc appears at the Tuilleries with an armed guard - a soldier and civilian are killed.
  • National Guard

    National Guard formed in Paris, of middle class men.
  • Start of the Revolution

    Storming of the Bastille; de Launay, (the governor), Foulon (the Secretary of State) and de Flesselles (the then equivalent of the mayor of Paris), amongst others, are massacred.
    July 15: Lafayette appointed Commandante of the National Guard.
    July 16: Necker recalled, troops pulled out of Paris
  • Period: to

    French Revolution

    Influential period of social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of theocracies and absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and democracies.
  • Start of the Fear

    The beginning of the Great Fear, the peasantry revolt against feudalism and a number of urban disturbances and revolts. Many members of the aristocracy flee Paris to become émigrés. Louis XVI accepts the tricolor cockade.
  • Period: to

    Great Fear

    General panic that occurred between 17 July and 3 August 1789 at the start of the French Revolution.Rural unrest had been present in France since the worsening grain shortage of the spring, and fueled by the rumors of an aristocrat "famine plot" to starve or burn out the population, peasant and town people mobilized in many regions.
  • Decleration

    The Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
  • Nope

    The National Assembly grants suspensive veto to Louis XVI; Louis fails to ratify the August acts of the National Assembly.
  • 2 days of mobs

    October 5-6: Outbreak of the Paris mob; Liberal monarchical constitution; the Women's March on Versailles
    October 6: Louis XVI agrees to ratify the August Decrees, Palace of Versailles stormed.
  • Pope speaks out

    Pope Pius condemns the Declaration of the Rights of Man in secret consistory.
  • Constitution

    The Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Demands priests to take an oath of loyalty to the state, splitting the clergy between juring (oath-taking) and non-juring priests.
  • The pope again

    Pope Pius VI condemns the Civil Constitution of the Clergy
  • Easter Cancelled

    Louis and Marie-Antoinette prevented from travelling to Saint-Cloud for Easter
  • Dissolution of the National Constituent Assembly

  • Period: to

    Legislative Assembly

  • Start of the food roits

  • End of the food roits

  • France declares war against Austria

  • Invasion

    Austria and Prussia begin invasion of France.
  • Louis is found out

    News of the Brunswick Manifesto reaches Paris - interpreted as proof that Louis XVI has been collaborating with the foreign Coalition.
  • Arrested and new minister.

    Louis XVI of France is arrested and taken into custody, along with his family. Georges Danton becomes Minister of Justice.
  • Tri-Roits

    Royalist riots in Brittany, La Vendée and Dauphiné.
  • Massacres

    The September Massacres of prisoners in the Paris prisons.
  • Period: to

    National Convention

  • Trial

    Louis XVI brought to trial, appears before the National Convention (11 & 23 December). Robespierre argues that "Louis must die, so that the country may live".
  • Death

    Citizen Louis Capet (formerly known as Louis XVI) guillotined.
  • Constitution

    Ratification of new Constitution by National Convention, but not yet proclaimed. Slavery is abolished in France until 1802
  • French forces defeat Austrians at the Battle of Fleurus.

  • Sex with her son?

    Queen Marie Antoinette is impeached and convicted for treachery against the country, and for treason, originally they claimed that Marie had intercourse with her child, it was at this remark she stood up before the jury and told them no mother would do such a thing, and at that the people agreed they had gone too far on accusations. (so satisfied with treason)
    The Dauphin (Louis XVII) is condemned to be executed in the Place de la Revolution. October 16: Marie Antoinette guillotined.
  • Country of Athesists?

    An anti-clerical law passed, priests and supporters liable to death on sight.
  • Cult of Reason

    The Cathedral of Notre Dame is re-dedicated to the civic religion of the Cult of Reason.
  • French forces defeat Austrians at the Battle of Fleurus.

  • Period: to

    The Directory

  • Constitution of the Year VIII

    leadership of Napoleon established under the Consulate. French Revolution may be considered ended.