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French Revolution + Napoleon

  • Estates General Meeting

    Estates General Meeting
    King Louis XVI declares that the Estates-General will meet in May 1789 to address the financial crisis. The Estates-General, a political body representing the three orders of Clergy, Nobles, and Commoners, had not been assembled since 1614
  • Third Estate Compromise

    After much public debate, Louis XVI decrees that the Third Estate will have twice the number of representatives as either of the other two, but that the Estates General will follow the traditional voting process, with each Estate only receiving one vote. This meaningless compromise means that 90% of the French people have the same voting power as the small number of nobles or clergy, and that these two privileged orders can combine to veto any proposals put forward by the Third Estate.
  • Jacobin Club is formed

    Jacobin Club is formed
    The Jacobin Club is formed during the ensuing Estates General meeting. It was initially moderate, but it became increasingly radical as the Revolution progressed and leaders of the Reign of Terror emerged from it.
  • National Assembly created by Third Estate

    National Assembly created by Third Estate
    The Third Estate defects from the Estates-General and declares itself The National Assembly. They urge the other two Orders to join them.
  • Period: to

    Monarchy- Republic (1793)

  • Tennis Court Oath

    Tennis Court Oath
    The Third Estate is locked out of their meeting hall, so the group (now calling itself the National Assembly) meets in an abandoned indoor tennis court. They agree not to disband until a constitution is created and approved. This is known as the Tennis Court Oath
  • National Assembly committee

    The National Assembly, which now includes clergy, nobles, and commoners, creates a thirty-member committee to draft a new constitution. They then set forth to create and adopt a new constitution.
  • King Louis XVI dismisses Jacques Necker

    King Louis XVI dismisses Jacques Necker
    King Louis XVI, dismisses finance minister Jacques Necker. His removal is one of the events that inspires the attack on the Bastille
  • Bastille Falls

    Bastille Falls
    Worried by royal troops moving toward Paris and rumors of the dismissal of finance minister Necker, people in Paris scour the city for arms to defend it, coming eventually to the Bastille prison. They demand all weapons be given to them. When the guards refuse to open the gates, they storm the building and the Bastille falls.
  • The National Assembly's formal power begins

    The National Constituent Assembly’s formal power begins. Louis XVI participates in celebratory ceremonies and design of the new constitution begins.
  • Feudal system abolished

    Decree of the National Assembly abolishing the Feudal System.
  • French state cancels taxing power of the Church

    The issue of church property became central to the policies of the new revolutionary government. Declaring that all church property in France belonged to the nation, confiscations were ordered and church properties were sold at public auction.
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

    Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
    The National Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, inspired by the American Declaration of Independence of 1776. Key points of the document include: subordination of the church, disbanding the nobility, all citizens regardless of class, removes power from the king
  • Intendant System abolished

    Intendant System abolished
    France’s administration reorganized with the establishment of 83 uniform departments, districts, cantons, and communes, instead of the original intendant system.
  • Hereditary titles abolished

    Hereditary titles abolished
    All hereditary titles are abolished, eliminating automatic special rights or privileges for people “born into royalty.”
  • Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790) !

    National (state) church, 83 diocese (reduce number of bishops). It also forbade clergy from taking direction from the Pope. Part of the discontent of the Church had to do with the National Assembly being primarily Huguenot.
  • Oath of Loyalty

    Public officials and priests are required to sign a loyalty oath to the new French nation.
  • Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are arrested

    Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are arrested
    Attempting to flee France, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their children were arrested at Varennes and brought back to Paris. The Constituent Assembly then suspends the King’s authority until further notice.
  • The Declaration of Pillnitz

    The Declaration of Pillnitz
    The rulers of Austria and Prussia agree to combine forces against the French Revolution. They insist that England participate before they will act.
  • Constitution of 1791

    Constitution of 1791
    The Constituent National Assembly introduces The Constitution of 1791, which upholds tenets from the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen".
  • Louis XVI swears an oath to the Constitution

    Louis XVI swears an oath to the Constitution
    Louis XVI swears to uphold the new constitution; his power is restored.
  • Fall of the Monarchy

    The Fall of the Monarchy. Popular assault--Sans-Culottes--on the Tuileries; Louis XVI deposed.
  • National Convention assembled and new Constitution

    August 11: Under pressure from Sans-culottes, the National Assembly votes to call election of a National Convention by universal male suffrage to write a new constitution. The assembly authorizes arrest of anyone suspected of being an enemy of the Revolution and bans royalist newspapers.
  • Formation of a National Convention

    Formation of a National Convention
    In the autumn of 1792, the revolutionary government, having written off the idea of a constitutional monarchy, set about to elect a National Convention of delegates to oversee the country.
  • Abolishing of the monarchy

    Abolishing of the monarchy
    The National Convention abolishes the Monarchy, decrees the establishment of a republic, and begins discussing the new constitution.
  • Louis XVI Trial and Execution

    Louis XVI Trial and Execution
    As a sign of the Republic's newfound contempt for the monarchy, the next proposal in the convention was the execution of Louis XIV. They ultimately found him guilty and had him killed on the 21st of January.
  • Second Partition of Poland

    Second Partition of Poland
    Following the first partition, Poland began to strenghten itself and adopt their own constitution. Russia accepted the Polish invitation in the Confederation of Targowica, and would intervente to restore the previous Polish constitution. Prussia sent troops in on this day, and later, the two powers agreed to the Second Partition. The Second Partition transferred to Russia the major remnant of Lithuanian Belorussia and the western Ukraine, including Podolia and part of Volhynia, and allowed Pruss
  • France declares war on Netherlands and Great Britain

  • France Declares War on Spain

    France declares war on Spain.
  • Committee of Public Safety is formed

    Committee of Public Safety is formed
    In the weeks after the execution of the king, the internal and external wars in France continued to grow. Prussian and Austrian forces pushed into the French countryside. Unable to assemble an army out of the disgruntled and protesting peasants, the Girondin-led National Convention started to panic. In an effort to restore peace and order, the convention created the Committee of Public Safety on April 6, 1793, to maintain order within France and protect them from foreign threats.
  • Maximum established

    Price controls, known as “the maximum,” are established for grain.
  • Constitution of 1793

    Constitution of 1793
    Another constitution was created in June. However, the Committee of Public Safety (led by more radical Jacobins) installed themselves in charge of the committee and immediately began to make drastic changes. One of the more radical changes was the Maximum, a decree which fixed prices in attempt to fight inflation.
  • Festival of Unity

    Jacques-Louis David aimed to destroy the mystique of monarch yand to make the republic sacred. He did this through creating a Festival of Federation marking the first anniversary of the fall of the Bastille as well as the Festival of Unity in August of 1793, which celebrated the first anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy.
  • Carnot appointed War General

    Carnot appointed War General
    In August, Lazare Carnot was put in charge of the French war efforts, and immediately he went about instituting conscription throughout France. His efforts proved successful; his new armies were able to reestablish the traditional boundaries of France, pushing out the Austrians and Prussians.
  • Reign of Terror begins

    Reign of Terror begins
    The Reign of Terror begins when Robespierre declares Terror "the order of the day." This marks the beginning of almost two years of repressing perceived enemies of the Revolution.
  • Period: to

    Reign of Terror

    In the autumn of 1793, Robespierre and the Jacobins focused on addressing economic and political threats within France. What began as a proactive approach to reclaiming the nation quickly turned bloody as the government instituted its infamous campaign against internal opposition known as the Reign of Terror.
  • Republic of France is founded

    Republic of France is founded
    At the national convention, a great number of new faces were found (not from the previous assembly) either from the Jacobins or the Girodins. The first action of the convention was to abolish the monarchy. This formed the Republic of France.
  • Robespierre and execution

    Robespierre and execution
    Robespierre, and the Committee of Public Safety, began to point fingers at anyone whose beliefs seemed to be counter-revolutionary. These were people who did not necessarily commit a crime, but had differing social views from that of Robespierre. A rash of executions of Paris ensued and spread to rural towns.
  • Marie-Antoinette is executed

    The Committee of Public Safety set the machinery of the Terror in motion through a series of desperate measures. One of the "unreliable officials" who were purged was Marie-Antoinette. In October, the Revoultionary Tribunal in Paris convicted her of treason and sent her to the guillotine
  • Jacobins Revolt

    Jacobins Revolt
    The Committee of Public Safety followed a moderate course after its creation, but it proved to be weak and very ineffectiv. After a few fruitless months under the committee, the sans-culottes couldn't take anymore. They stormed the National Convention and accused the Girondins of representing the aristocracy. Seeing an opportunity, Maximilien Robespierre, the leader of the Jacobins, used the fury of the sans-culottes to banish the Girondins and take control of the convention.
  • 15,000-50,000 die at the Guillotine

    15,000-50,000 die at the Guillotine
    Even Georges Danton, who helped orchestrate the Jacobin rise of power, fell victim to paranoia. He, along with 15,000-50,000 other French citizens, fell victim to the guillotine in the ensuing 9 months.
  • Georges Danton falls to the guillotine

    The death of Georges Danton also displayed the cruelty and disorder. He was an associate of Robespierre, and helped with the Jacobins rise to power.
  • Robespierre Sentenced to death

    Robespierre accused many people of treason, and some people became frightened that he might do the same to them. To prevent this from happening, they had him sentenced to death. AFter his death, the radical people lost a lot of their power and the reign of terror ended.
  • Period: to

    Thermidorian Reaction Period

  • Robespierre is killed

    Robespierre is killed
    Robespierre's bloody attempt to protect the sanctity of the Revolution had the exact opposite effect; instead of spreading the ideas, it prompted a weakening on every front. On July 27, 1794, a group of Jacobin allies arrested Robespierre. Receiving the same treatment that he had mandated for his enemies, he lost his head at the guillotine the following day. Undoubtedly, a collective sigh of relief echoed throughout the country.
  • Thermidorian Reaction Period begins

    Thermidorian Reaction Period begins
    With Robespierre out of the picture, a number of the Bourgeoise who had been supressed during the reign of terror (many of them Girondins) came back to the scene in the National Convention in 1794. These moderates freed many Jacobins prisoners, neutralized the power of the Committee of Public Safety, and had many of Robespierre's supporters executed.
  • Napoleon named Commander in Chief

    Napoleon is named commander–in–chief of all armies within the boundaries of France
  • Directory Government takes office.

    Directory Government takes office.
    After replacing Jacobin leaders and Robespierre, those who remained in the National Convention prepared yet another constitutino in 1795, setting up a two-house legislature and an executive body, which became known as the Directory. It was headed by five directors
  • Napoleon invades italy

    Bonaparte invades italy
  • Consulate formed and Directory abolished

    Consulate formed and Directory abolished
    On this day, Bonaparte stomped into a directory meeting, and demanded immediate changes in the Constitution. Although he was met with contempt and cries of "down with the dictator," his brother Lucien saved him by summoning troops to guard the hall. The soldiers ejected those who opposed Napoleon and left the others to vote to abolish the Directory and establish a new three man executive called the Consulate.
  • Consulate formed

    On this day, Bonaparte stomped into a directory meeting, and demanded immediate changes in the Constitution. Although he was met with contempt and cries of "down with the dictator," his brother Lucien saved him by summoning troops to guard the hall. The soldiers ejected those who opposed Napoleon and left the others to vote to abolish the Directory and establish a new three man executive called the Consulate.
  • Napoleonic Code

    Napoleonic Code
    Napoleon set out to reform the French legal system in accordance with the principles of the French Revolution because the old feudal and royal laws seemed to be confusing and contradictory to the people. Before the Code, France did not have a single set of laws. Napoleon set out to create a set of laws that were easily accessible, easy to understand. The Napoleonic Code forms the basis of many legal systems in Europe today, and is the basis of civil law in the province of Quebec.
  • Napoleon becomes Emperor

    Napoleon becomes Emperor
    The coronation of Napoleon I as Emperor of France was preceded by a vote on the issue of whether or not Napoleon should be appointed "First Consul for Life", which he won. Napoleon put the crown on his own head at his coronation.
  • Battle of Austerlitz

    Battle of Austerlitz
    The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, effectively brought to an end on Third Coalition against France. It is one of Napoleon's greatest victories.
  • Continental System

    The Continental System was the foreign policy of Napoleon Bonaparte's in his struggle against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland during the Napoleonic Wars. It was inaugurated on November 21, 1806 and lasted until 1814. It was an attempt to prevent the British from trading on the European continent.
  • Battle of Friedland

    Battle of Friedland
    The Battle of Friedland saw the French Army's defeat of Russian forces effectively bringing to an end the Fourth Coalition against France.
  • Invasion of Russia

    Invasion of Russia
    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. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia. Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to curry favor with the Poles and provide a political pretense for his actions.
  • Battle of Leipzig

    Battle of Leipzig
    The Battle of the Nations (or Battle of Leipzig) which occurred on October 16-19, 1813 was one of the most decisive defeats suffered by Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Napoleon abdicates the throne

    Napoleon abdicates the throne
    On April 6, 1814, Napoleon abdicates in favor of his son, but the Allies of the Sixth Coalition refuse. Napoleon abdicates unconditionally on April 11, and is sent into exile on the island of Elba. The Allies allow him to keep his title of Emperor, and 1,000 men go into exile with him on Elba.
  • Napoleon escapes from Elba

    Napoleon saw an opportunity to escape from Elba when the commander went to visit Italy. Napoleon left Elba by sea and arrived in France on March 1, 1815
  • Hundred Days

    Hundred Days
    Napoleon's arrival in Paris on March 20, 1815 marks the beginning of the "Hundred Days".
  • Battle of Waterloo

    Battle of Waterloo
    Napoleon's forces were defeated near the village of Waterloo in Belgium by the British and Prussian forces. It was the first time that Napoleon had met the Duke of Wellington on the field of battle, and Wellington (who had studied Napoleon's techniques) anticipated his every move, and was able to defeat him.
  • Napoleon's 2nd Exile

    Napoleon's 2nd Exile
    After his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon was sent into exile for a second time, this time to the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic.