French rev

French Revolution and Napoleon

  • The Estates General Opens at Versailles

    The Estates General Opens at Versailles
    The legislative body in France until 1789, representing the three estates of the realm, the nobility, and the commons. This was the first meeting since 1614 of the French Estates-General.Summoned by King Louis XVI to propose solutions to his government's financial problems, the Estates-General sat for several weeks in May and June 1789 but came to an impasse as the three estates clashed over their respective powers.
  • The Third estate decides to call itself the National Assembley

    The Third estate decides to call itself the National Assembley
    This was a political pamphlet written by French thinker and clergyman Abbé Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès in January 1789, shortly before the outbreak of the French Revolution. The pamphlet was Sieyès' response to finance minister Jacques Necker's invitation for writers to state how they thought the Estates-General should be organized.
  • Tennis court oath shows determination of deputies to carry out a constitutional revelution

    Tennis court oath shows determination of deputies to carry out a constitutional revelution
    was a pivotal event during the first days of the French Revolution. The Oath was a pledge signed by 576 of the 577 members from the Third Estate who were locked out of a meeting of the Estates-General on 20 June 1789. They made a makeshift conference room inside a tennis court located in the Saint-Louis district of the city of Versailles, near the Palace of Versaill
  • Fall of Bastille

    Fall of Bastille
    Louis XVI was worried by the action of the Third Estate and threatened to dissolve the Estates General after the tumultuous events surrounding the Tennis Court Oath. Rural and urban uprisings throughout France at this time saved the Third Estate. The most famous of these uprisings is the Fall of the Bastille, which occurred on July 14, 1789.
  • National Assebley abolishes Feudalism

    National Assebley abolishes Feudalism
    On 4 August 1789, the National Constituent Assembly abolished feudalism, in what is known as the August Decrees, sweeping away both the seigneurial rights of the Second Estate and the tithes gathered by the First Estate. In the course of a few hours, nobles, clergy, towns, provinces, companies and cities lost their special privileges.
  • National Assembley passes Decleration of the Rights of Man

    National Assembley passes Decleration of the Rights of Man
    Once they had agreed on the necessity of drafting a declaration of rights, the deputies of the National Assembly still faced the daunting task of composing one that a majority could accept. The debate raised several questions: should the declaration be short and limited to general principles or should it rather include a long explanation of the significance of each right of man.
  • Women march to Versailles and are joined by men to bring back royal family to Paris

    Women march to Versailles and are joined by men to bring back royal family to Paris
    This was one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution. The march began among women in the marketplaces of Paris who, were near rioting over the high price and scarcity of bread. Their demonstrations quickly became intertwined with the activities of revolutionaries who were seeking liberal political reforms and a constitutional monarchy for France.
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    Monarchy to Republic

    The Assembly could offer only feeble resistance. This situation persisted until the Convention, elected by universal male suffrage and charged with writing a new constitution, met on 20 September 1792 and became the new form of government of France. The next day it abolished the monarchy and declared a republic.
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    French Revolution and Napoleon

    The French Revolution was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France from 1789 to 1799 that had a fundamental impact on French history and on modern history worldwide.
  • The Great Fear

    The Great Fear
    The Great Fear spread across the country. Once the revolutionary spirit seized control of the people of Paris, people in surrounding areas began to demand cheaper bread and suspension of feudla dues. Civil unrest grew in the countryside, with many peasants attacking manor homes. Aristocratic property was destroyed by the peasantry. From July 20 to August 5, 1789, hysteria spread across the country, but was gradually put down by militias that imposed law and order.
  • Storming the Bastille

    Storming the Bastille
    Paris erupted on July 14, 1789. The Paris mob was determined to arm itself due to presence of foreign troops in the streets of Paris. They first attacked the Invalides fortress from which they obtained 30,000 muskets. They moved on to the Bastille, an old fortress prison which had long been viewed as a sumbol of the king's absolute authority. The mob attacked the Bastille and released the seven prisoners inside. Louis XVI recalled the popular Jacques Necker in response
  • King Louis XVI calls the Esates-General

    King Louis XVI calls the Esates-General
    After France falls into financial difficulties following the war, King Louis XVI senses the rising trouble and tries to stem it before it can grow any further. This is the first time the Estates-General has been called in almost 180 years, since 1614.
  • Civil Constitution of the Clergy

    Civil Constitution of the Clergy
    The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was a law passed on 12 July 1790 during the French Revolution, that subordinated the Roman Catholic Church in France to the French government.
  • Louis and Marie Antoinette attempt to flee and are captured

    Louis and Marie Antoinette attempt to flee and are captured
    King Louis XVI of France, his wife Marie Antoinette, and their immediate family attempted unsuccessfully to escape from Paris in order to initiate a counter-revolution. They desired to hide in Austria due to Marie's heritage, and hoped they would find safety in their newly found French Austrian agreement
  • Declaration of war on Austria

    Declaration of war on Austria
    France declared war on Austria first, with the Assembly voting for war on 20 April 1792, after a long list of grievances presented by foreign minister Dumouriez. He prepared an immediate invasion of the Austrian Netherlands, where he expected the local population to rise against Austrian rule. However, the revolution had thoroughly disorganized the army, and the forces raised were insufficient for the invasion.
  • Insurrection in Paris and attack of Tuileries

    Insurrection in Paris and attack of Tuileries
    The populace were unwilling to wait on the result of Pétion's attempts to pursue matters through legislative channels. The section of the Quinze-vingts declared on 8 August that, if the dethronement were not pronounced that very day, at midnight they would sound the tocsin and attack the royal residence at the Tuileries.
  • Murder of Prisoners in September massacres in Paris

    Murder of Prisoners in September massacres in Paris
    The September Massacres were a wave of mob violence which overtook Paris in late summer 1792, during the French Revolution. By the time it had subsided, half the prison population of Paris had been executed: some 1,200 trapped prisoners, including many women and young boys. Outbursts of violence, in particular against the Roman Catholic Church, would continue throughout France for nearly a decade to come.
  • Establishment of the Republic

    Establishment of the Republic
    The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First French Empire in 1804 under Napoleon I. This period was characterized by the fall of the monarchy, the establishment of the National Convention and the infamous Reign of Terror, the founding of the Directory and the Thermidorian Reaction, and finally
  • The Republic of Virtue

    The Republic of Virtue
    Social and cultural changes were implemented by the Jacobins during the time they were in control in an attempt to erase all traces of the Old Regime. They called their new society, based on reason, the Republic of Virtue.
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    Reign of Terror

    The Reign of Terror was a period of violence that occurred after the onset of the French Revolution, incited by conflict between rival political factions, the Girondins and the Jacobins, and marked by mass executions. The death toll ranged in the tens of thousands, with 16,594 executed by guillotine ,and another 25,000 in summary executions across France.
  • Execution of Louis XVI

    Execution of Louis XVI
    The execution of Louis XVI took place on 21 January 1793 at the Place de la Révolution in Paris. After events on the 10 August 1792, which saw the fall of the monarchy after the attack on the Tuileries by insurgents, Louis was arrested, interned in the Temple prison with his family, tried for high treason before the National Conventi
  • Beginning of Uprising in the Vendee

    Beginning of Uprising in the Vendee
    The Vendée is a coastal region, located immediately south of the Loire River in western France. The uprising headed by the self-styled Catholic and Royal Army was closely tied to the Chouannerie, which took place in the area north of the Loire.
  • Insurrection leading to arrest of the Girondins

    Insurrection leading to arrest of the Girondins
    They campaigned for the end of the monarchy but then resisted the spiraling momentum of the Revolution. They came into conflict with The Mountain. This conflict eventually led to the fall of the Girondists and their mass execution, the beginning of the Reign of Terror.
  • Robespierre named to the committee of public safety

    Robespierre named to the committee of public safety
    The power of the Committee peaked between August 1793 and July 1794, under the leadership of Robespierre. In December 1793, the Convention formally conferred executive power upon the Committee, and Robespierre established a virtual dictatorship.
  • Execution of Marie Antioinette

    Execution of Marie Antioinette
    Many French people hated the Queen for her Austrian blood and her expensive tastes. Marie Antoinette was called Madame Deficit and blame was placed on her for the country's financial problems. As she matured, Marie Antoinette became less frivolous.
  • Convention establishes General maximum on prices and wages

    Convention establishes General maximum on prices and wages
    The General Maximum or Law of the Maximum was a law created during the course of the French Revolution as an extension of the Law of Suspects on 29 September 1793. It succeeded May 1793 loi du maximum which had the same purpose: setting price limits, detering price gouging, and allowing for the continued flow of food supply to the people of France.
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    Thermidorian Reaction

    The Thermidorian Reaction was a revolt in the French Revolution against the excesses of the Reign of Terror. It was triggered by a vote of the National Convention to execute Maximilien Robespierre, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, and several other leading members of the Terror. This ended the most radical phase of the French Revolution.
  • Execution of Robespierre

    Execution of Robespierre
    Robespierre was arrested on July 27 and executed the next day. In month of Thermidor in the new French calendar, Robespierre was deserted by his supporters, accused of being a tyrant. Robespierre wanted to extend emergency powers, but others felt that the emergencies were over and wanted to return to regular administration.
  • Slavery abolished in the French Colonies

    Slavery abolished in the French Colonies
    Abolition of slavery occurred as abolition in specific countries, abolition of the trade in slaves and abolition throughout empires. Each of these steps was usually the result of a separate law or action.
  • Arrest trial and execution of Danton and his followers

    Arrest trial and execution of Danton and his followers
    One of the most conspicuous actors in the decisive episodes of the French Revolution, born at Arcis-sur-Aube on the 26th of October 1759. When the Revolution broke out, it found Danton following his profession with apparent success, leading a cheerful domestic life, and nourishing his intelligence on good books.
  • Constitution

    was a national constitution of France ratified by the National Convention on 22 August 1795 during the French Revolution. It established the Directory, and remained in effect until the coup of 18 Brumaire effectively ended the Revolution and began the ascendancy of Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Directory Government takes office

    Directory Government takes office
    The Directory was a body of five directors that held executive power in France following the National Convention and preceding the Consulate. The period of this regime, commonly known as the Directory era, constitutes the second to last stage of the French Revolution.
  • The Directory comes into power

    The Directory comes into power
    The Directory, created by a new constitution, assumes the role of governing France until November 10, 1799, when it is overthrown by Napolean Bonaparte. During its reign of government, it only held legislative power.
  • Italian Campaign

    Italian Campaign
    Napoleon took over the French “Army of Italy,” drove the Austrians and Sardinians out of Piedmont, defeated the Papal States, and occupied Venice. This was his first major victory.
  • Succession of Italian Victories by Bonaparte

    Succession of Italian Victories by Bonaparte
    In quick succession Napoleon achieved victories over the Italians, Austrians and Sardinians at Matenotte, Dego, Millesimo, Mondovi and Lodi, Milan, Castiglione and Arcola. In February 1797 he marched across the Alps toward Vienna.
  • Coup d'etat

    Coup d'etat
    Coup d’état that established Napoleon as First Consul of France, part of a triumvirate that included Cambacérès and Lebrun. Although the plan was for the three to have equal power, Napoleon quickly became the most powerful.
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    Napoleon Bonaparte overthrew the Directory in the Brumaire coup and established the Consulate. The primary successor state of the Revolution, the First Empire under Napoleon, emerged in 1804 and spread the new revolutionary principles all over Europe during the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Napoleon Named first consul

    Napoleon Named first consul
    As First Consul, he had established himself as the head of a more conservative, authoritarian, autocratic, and centralized republican government in France while not declaring himself head of state. Nevertheless, due to the long-lasting institutions established during these years.
  • Napoleon escapes an assassination attempt

    Napoleon escapes an assassination attempt
    Threats against the life of Napoleon Bonaparte were not rare as his manner of ruling France did outrage many on all sides of politics. Royalists were the main plotters, although Napoleon preferred for political reasons to blame the rival Jacobins. Royalist plotters had positioned a horse and wagon bearing a barrel filled with gunpowder and shrapnel on the Rue Saint-Nicaise and lit the fuse as Bonaparte's carriage neared. Speed of the vehicle led to the bomb exploding seconds after he passed.
  • Napoleon signs concordat with pope

    Napoleon signs concordat with pope
    The Concordat of 1801 was an agreement between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII, signed on 15 July 1801. It solidified the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France and brought back most of its civil status.
  • Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor

    Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor
    When he made himself emperor, Napoleon clearly rejected the republican form of government. Here he tries to claim that hereditary government is necessary in a large state. The presence of the pope at his coronation seemed to confer legitimacy on the act.
  • Napoleon crowns himself Emperor

    Napoleon crowns himself Emperor
    Napoleon crowns himself Emperor, in the company of the Pope. Napoleon used the plot to justify the re-creation of a hereditary monarchy in France, with himself as Emperor. Napoleon put on the crown himself, shows that he is higher in rank and authority than the Pope. Claims that he seized the crown out of the hands of Pope during the ceremony to avoid his subjugation to the authority. Beethoven a long-time admirer, was disappointed at this turn towards imperialism.
  • Battle of Austerlitz

    Battle of Austerlitz
    Napoleon defeated the Third Coalition (actually the first coalition mounted against him, rather than against the Revolutionary troops.) Generally viewed as one of his most brilliant battles, the Battle of Austerlitz was fought in what is now the Czech Republic, with Napoleon trouncing the armies of the Austrian and Russian Empires.
  • Battle of Trafalgar

    Battle of Trafalgar
    The Battle of Trafalgar was a naval engagement fought by the Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).
  • Treaty of Tilsit

    Treaty of Tilsit
    After the battle of Friedland, where Napoleon defeated the Russians, Alexander of Russia negotiated this treaty that would bring peace to Russia. They met on a raft in the middle of the Niemen River to sign the treaty, which had both a public and a private part. In the public part, Russia ceded 50% of Prussian territory to France; in the private part, Alexander agreed that if the British continued the war against France, Russia would join the Continental System of blockades whose goal it was to
  • Russian Campaign

    Russian Campaign
    Napoleon amassed a huge army and marched to Moscow, not recognizing the challenges of supplying a large army such a long way from home. As the Russian army retreated, they applied a “scorched earth” policy, destroying or carrying off anything that might be useful. As they retreated from Moscow, they set it on fire. Napoleon had counted on billeting his troops in the city during the long Russian winter, but no shelter was left standing. As a result, the French army suffered terribly from starvati
  • Napolean Invades Prussia

    Napolean Invades Prussia
    The French Invasion of Russia began on 24 June 1812 when Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army. Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace.
  • German Campaign

    German Campaign
    Napoleon’s army regrouped in German territory, and battled the Coalition successfully in several locations before suffering a decisive defeat in the Battle of the Nations (Leipzig) at the hands of Germany’s General Blucher.
  • Napoleon abdicated as emperor

    Napoleon abdicated as emperor
    Napoleon abdicated as emperor, and was sent into exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba. He was given “sovereignty” over the island, and actually had his own navy.
  • The Congress of Vienna

    The Congress of Vienna
    The Congress of Vienna was a lengthy conference between ambassadors from the major powers in Europe. Its purpose was to redraw the political map of Europe following the defeat of Napoleon. The Congress continued in spite of Napoleon’s escape from Elba.
  • Congress of Vienna

    Congress of Vienna
    The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September 1814 to June 1815.The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Napoleon escaped from Elba

    Napoleon escaped from Elba
    Napoleon escaped from Elba, landing in southern France and marching towards Paris, gathering an army around him as he went.
  • Champ-de-Mai

    The Champ-de-Mai parade and ceremony in Paris reaffirmed Napoleon as Emperor and forced everyone to swear allegiance to him and to the Acte Additional. The Acte was a set of small reforms that disappointed his supporters, to whom he had promised a less dictatorial government.
  • Napoleon escapes Fontainebleau

    Napoleon escapes Fontainebleau
    Losing support at home, Napoleon turned to the battlefield where he faced the largest Coalition army yet. His forces were defeated, and he escaped to Fontainebleau.
  • Napoleon abdicated a second time

    Napoleon abdicated a second time
    Napoleon abdicated a second time, and attempted to escape to the United States. He was captured by the British and eventually transported to the island of St. Helena, where he remained for the rest of his life.
  • Napoleon defeated at Waterloo

    Napoleon defeated at Waterloo
    The Prussians pursued the remnants of the French army, and Napoleon left the field. French casualties in the Battle of Waterloo were 25,000 men killed and wounded and 9,000 captured, while the allies lost about 23,000.
  • Napoleon died on St. Helena

    Napoleon died on St. Helena
    Napoleon was sent to the island of Saint Helena, off the coast of Africa. He died on May 5 1821 of stomach cancer.