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French Revolution Timeline AP Euro

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    Reign of Louis XVI (Political)

    The Last Bourbon King before the French Revolution. He inherited a nation that was financially decrepit which contained a an angry 3rd Estate that ha dlong suffered injustices (cahiers de doleances) against the nobility and clergy. Eventually, he was deposed after he attempted to escape from France in terror after being carried from Versailles to Paris by the commonpeople. He was executed in 1793 along with the rest of his family. Also, he was an ally of America in the Revolutionary War.
  • What is the Third Estate? by Abbé Sieyes (Social)

    What is the Third Estate? by Abbé Sieyes (Social)
    Although a member of the clergy, Abbé Sieyes sympathized with the cause of the Third Estate and was one of their representatives at the Estates-General. In this particualr pamphlet, he argues why the working people and the merchants are the backbone of the nation, yet they are trampled upon by the other two smaller estetaes that don't contribute to the national wellbeing.
  • Convening of the Estates General (Political)

    Convening of the Estates General (Political)
    In 1789, France was in a dire state of affairs with a massive economic crisis and political deadlock rising due to royal vs. provincial authority. In an attempt to get a national solution, Louis XVI convened the Estates General (which hadn't been summoned since the early 1600s during Louis XIV's reign) which brought together the 3 Estgates. However, an equal voting system was in place that made the 3rd Estate have a disadvantage leading to later issues.
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    Era of the Jacobin Club (Political/Intellectual)

    The Jacobin Club was an intellectual gathering of like-minded individuals in the ruins of a monastery. They also wieleded influence in the National Assembly and later Convention through their occupation of the left-wing radical sector. There, they also had an extremist faction known as the Montignards that included the likes of Robespierre that distrusted the moderate Girondins. They feel from influence in the 1794 Thermidorian Reaction.
  • Tennis Court Oath (Political)

    Tennis Court Oath (Political)
    At the Estates-General, the 3rd Estate got locked out by the King's guards from the meeting chamber. In a fit of spite and rage, they went to an empty tennis/handball court and took an oath to band together into a cohesive representative body known as the National Assembly to represent the interests of all people.
  • Dismissal of Jacques Necker (Economic)

    Dismissal of Jacques Necker (Economic)
    The finance minister under Louis VI, he was a savvy and shrewd Swissman who managed all the perceived wealth that Louis XVI had. However, he was sacked due to him being exposed for fixing the statistics of the nation's coffers to make them look better when in fact had no money left to pay for anything. However, he was popular with the people for being a "savior" of sorts to attempt to salvage the French economic wreck. His daughter went on to become a notable political opponent of Napoleon.
  • Storming of the Bastille (Political)

    Storming of the Bastille (Political)
    After the debacle of the Estates-General, the commonpeople realized their issues weren't going to be solved readily by the king. A few days later, the people banded up to take up arms to stockpile artillery in the event of civil war. They assaulted the Bastille (an armory and debtor prison) and the fortress fell swiftly with minimal resistance. This event represents a turning point in the Revolution when it became violent and a general uprising became something more. The
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    The Great Fear

    With turmoil occuring in urban France, many fled into the countryside roaming through and stealing and generally causing havor wherever they went. This stoked fears about the existing peasantry that they were going to be targeted soon. As a result, they banded up and went to their seigneurial lieges and chased them out and burned all the documents binding them to the land which essentially freed them. This ruckus ended up worrying the middle-class National Assembly members, forcing a compromise.
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (Political)

    Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (Political)
    The basic rights constitution for France that was based on the U.S. Constitution. It was developed on Locke-esque principlesof the right to life, liberty, and property for all people, not the just the nobility and clergy. This document is a classic example of modern democracy and human rights codified through the work of the people
  • March on Versailles (Political- Economic)

    March on Versailles (Political- Economic)
    After rising bread prices in Paris lead to mass starvation, the women of Paris took up pitchforks and marched to Versailles and demanded the king and his queen to rectify these issues. They dragged them out of the palace and took them all the way back to Paris to be imprisoned in the Tuileries.
  • Civil Constitution of the Clergy (Religious)

    Civil Constitution of the Clergy (Religious)
    To promote Enlightenment ideals, the revolutionary government (National Assembly) went ultra-secularist to drive out papal and Catholic influence in France. To this end, they made all the priests and bishops swear allegiance to the French nation and pay taxes to the government. These demands drove many of the clergy into hiding and displeased many neighboring nations. It wasn't until the Napoleonic reform of the Concordat were formal relations with Rome restored along with French religion.
  • Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (Social)

    Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (Social)
    A pamphlet published around this time by the political/feminist activist Olympe de Gouged. Encouraging women to "wake up" and see, she wanted women to also enjoy the fruits of the French Revolution which hadn't happened because it went against the interests of the dominating Jacobins (she was a Girondin), she is the one of the first serious French feminists. Unfortunately, not enough cared and she was guillotined soon after during the fall of the Girondins.
  • Flight to Varennes (Political)

    Flight to Varennes (Political)
    After being put under house arrest in the Tuileries, Louis XVI and his immediate family decided to go incognito and flee the nation to his other power bases namely his brother (D'Comte de Artois) and his other royal relatives in Austria/in laws. He came pretty close,but was apprehended and paraded back to Paris. This action damaged his crediiblity and made his legitimacy to the kingship doubtful at best.
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    War of the First Coalition (Political)

    After observing the violent turns of events in France, nations like Austria and Prussia and Britain seeked to protect their nations from such turmoil, so they decided to invade the revolutionary nation in an attempt to restore absolutist rule there. At first, they were successful in the Netherlands and the Piedmont area. However, the mass conscription conducted by the Committee of Public Safety and the young Napoleon pushed back the coalition and established client states in the former war zones
  • Storming of the Tuileries Palace (Political)

    Storming of the Tuileries Palace (Political)
    A defining French Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette's National Guard along with other revolutionaries from the Paris Commune storm the Tuileries Palace where Louis XVI is under house arrest. This date reflects the end of Louis XVI's personal sovereignty and and semblance of hold over the people A few days later, the newly established National Convention abolished the Bourbon monarchy
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    National Convention (Political)

    A single-chamber assembly, it succeeded the Legislative Assembly and founded the First Republic. The Legislative Assembly notably abolished Louis XVI's monarchy, presided indirectly over the Reign of Terror, and was repsonsible for drawing up the Constitution of 1793. It was also the first body elected by universal male suffrage in France.
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    Vendeé Insurrection (Social)

    Vendee is a coastal region near the Loire River Valley in Western France. There, the nobility was not resented by the commonpeople so when the republican reforms from the capital came long, they displeased many. This lead to a massive armed revolt that gained momentum until the Siege of Nantes which failed for the rebels. The resulting genocide killed thousands of civilians as disloyal ones were drowned and shot by the hundreds. An example of revolutionary zeal gone too far.
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    Committee of Public Safety (Political)

    An appointed five-man committee established right before the Reign of Terror. Its purpose was to maintain order both internally and externally from other nations and anti-revolutionary elements. They carried their mission too far (like most of the Revolution) and they mass-conscipted every male to fight in the 1st Coalition War and they proscribed thousands of innocents to the guillotine under the leadership of Maximilien Robespierre.
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    Reign of Terror (Political/Social)

    Describing the era when the Committee of Public Safety held sway over the lives of thousands of people under the guidance of Danton and Robespierre. The Committee was meant to deal with protecting the nation from internal and external threats. It instead became a symbol of mob politics that sent countless to a headless death at the guillotine. Paranoia overtook the leading Jacobins where everyone became their enemy from Louis XVI to the Girondins to their own leaders leading to their downfall.
  • Thermidorian Reaction (Political)

    Thermidorian Reaction (Political)
    Named after the Revolutionary calendar's equivalent of July, in 1794, the state of the National Convention was in disarray. After a leadership change in the Committee of Public Safety from eorges Danton to Maximilien Robespierre, the Reign of Terror leading to widespread bloodshed that even the sans-culottes grew sick of it. The rest of the politicians decided to vote for the Jabins to be executed and the semi-coup actually worked.
  • 13 Vendémiaire (Political)

    13 Vendémiaire (Political)
    After a restoration in the public order, the National Convention faced another threat. Resulting from the overbearing load of liberal reforms, certain conservative areas like the Vendee or Paris contained Royalist factions which desired to depose the Convention. In Paris, an artillery officer named Napoleon Bonaparte quickly dispersed an angry crowd that was threatening to again storm the Tuileries. According to his terms, he used "a whiff of grapeshot" shrapnel and this act advanced his career.
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    The French Directory

    The last government before the Napoleonic stage of the French revolution which fell during the 18 Brumaire coup. It was a five-man assembly that acted like a dictatorship by repressing civil rights and racking up more debt. It also dealt with political turmoil externally and internally in the Vendee and in the Netherlands. It was ineffectual and was mostly dedicated to self-interests. Portrayed very poorly by history.
  • End of the Conspiracy of Equals (Social)

    End of the Conspiracy of Equals (Social)
    The Conspiracy of the Equals was a movement that supported the end of price controls and forcing the rest of France to feed Paris attracting many of the lower 3rd Estate. Led by Grachus Babeuf, they gained mass support and were preparing a military revolt to abolish the economic system and turn it into a proto-communist one. The Directory found out and successfully arrested Babeuf and the other leaders and had them executed. Babeuf was considered a martyr for socialism and communism later on.
  • XYZ Affair (Economics)

    XYZ Affair (Economics)
    An episode showing Talleyrand's crafty method of diplomacy, a trade war had broken out between Britain and France while the USA took a neutral stance which theoretically broke their longstanding French alliance which caused French seizure of American merchant ships. Three diplomats were sent to Paris where they were informed by Tallyrand's agents that he would only meet in exchange for a bribe and loan. The agreement was not settled upon and a small-scale naval war that ended in 1800 resulted.
  • Battle of the Nile (Military)

    Battle of the Nile (Military)
    Napoleon sought to reduce British influence and trade by conquering Egypt and cutting off India through invasion. He successfully maneuvered his way and landed there and launched a semi-successful land campaign. Meanwhile, the large fleet was anchored in a bay and caught off guard by Horatio Nelson who successfull killed the French admiral and destroyed the fleet trapping Napoleon. Napoleon was forced to abandon his campaign and return home while Nelson became a hero.
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    French Consulate

    The French government surviving from the fall of the Directory in the coup of 18 Brumaire in 1799. During this period, Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul, established himself as the head of a authoritarian, autocratic, and centralized republican government in France while not declaring himself head of state. It ended with Napoleon's coronation in 1804 establishing the Empire.
  • Concordat of 1801 (Religious)

    Concordat of 1801 (Religious)
    Agreement between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII, It sought reconciliation between revolutionaries and Catholics and solidified the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France. It did not restore the church lands that had been seized during the revolution and left Napoleon in charge of bishops.
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    Reign of Napoleon (Political)

    Domestically, Napoleon was an effective, autocratic ruler who wanted the best for the French people to an extent. He supported the idea of him running the country through a bureaucracy. He codified laws like the Napoleonic Code that guaranteed rights for his people, but restricted female rights similtaneously. Also, he censored the press and disallowed a strong constitution to bind him only making as a sham.
  • Coronation of Napoleon I

    Coronation of Napoleon I
    Finally consolidating the political power in France and building a military power base, Bonaparte instates the Empire with him at its head. For him, this is his immortality/legacy moment. On this day, he actually took the crown and crowned himself instead of the hope showing he was now unstoppable to even God.
  • Battle of Trafalgar

    Battle of Trafalgar
    During the War of the 3rd Coalition, a major naval confrontation near the Port of Cadiz near French-dominated Spain ensued. On one end was the noted French admiral Villanueve and the other, Horatio Nelson. The battle was a decisive victory for the British with 22 French ships lost and Villanueve captured. Nelson died during the battle, but became a legendary respected by all.
  • Battle of Austerlitz (Political)

    Battle of Austerlitz (Political)
    One of the most important and greatest engagements of the Napoleonic Wars forthe French. The Grande Armée of France defeated a larger Russian and Austrian army led by Tsar Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. The battle occurred near the village of Austerlitz in the Austrian Empire It involved an accidental gambit where Napoleon outflanked the Austrians by marching too far and then routing them. The resulting treaty took Austria out and created the client Confederation of the Rhine
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    Peninsular War (Political)

    Amilitary conflict between Napoleon's empire and the allied powers of Spain, Britain and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, its ally until then. The war was a drain on French resources because it became guerilla-based by the locals, never-ending and never losing.
  • Commencement of the French Campaign into Russia (Military)

    Commencement of the French Campaign into Russia (Military)
    Due to Russia violating the Treaty of Tilsit and instead breaking the Continental System and trading with Britain, Napoleon decided to invade Russia with the whole Grande Armee. They made huge land gains, but eventually, their supply lines grew short and a victory at Borodino didn't end the Russians. With the intentioonal burning of Moscow, Napoleon's army suffered. He eventually ordered a retreat and only 20,000 out of 600,000 made it back to France.
  • Battle of Leipzig

    Battle of Leipzig
    Fought in Saxony. The coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sweden, led by Tsar Alexander I of Russia decisively defeated the French army of Napoleon's army alThe battle was the culmination of the 1813 German campaign and involved nearly 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I. After this battle, he was sent to exile on Elba with a stipend, but he would soon return.
  • First Bourbon Restoration (Pre-100 Days)

    First Bourbon Restoration (Pre-100 Days)
    The start of the period of French history following the fall of Napoleon in 1814 until the July Revolution of 1830. The brothers of executed King Louis XVI reigned in highly conservative fashion They were nonetheless unable to reverse most of the changes made by the French Revolution and Napoleon.They had to give up all the territorial gains made since 1789. Plus, their monarchy became a constitutional one, not absolute in power.
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    Congress of Vienna (Political)

    The conference where all of the major powers of Europe and France decided what would happen with the territories of the forme rNapoleonic Empire. They created a German Confederation led by Austria and cut up the Grand Duchy of Warsaw under Russian influence. Italy became Austrian dominated and France kept some land, but not much from the 1791 borders. It restored a balance of power for a few decades but was not perfect in nature.
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    Hundred Days Campaign (Political)

    This was Napoleon's last ditch attempt in trying to come back to power after he returned from exile on Elba. He was greeted very popularly by the the military and his arrival caused Louis XVIII to flee. However, his bravado never returned and he lost at Waterloo and was exiled.
  • Battle of Waterloo (Political)

    Battle of Waterloo (Political)
    The true end of Napoleon in a Belgian village where a coalition of hundreds of thosands led by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhr=ard Von Blucher overwhelmed the Grande Armee. It was a decisive blow to his reputation and he also lost his Imperial Guard. The results were having punishments on France and the exile of Napoleon to St. Helena isolating him.