French revolution

French Revolution Timeline

  • Accession of Louis XVI

    Accession of Louis XVI
    Louis Auguste became Louis XVI upon the death of his grandfather, Louis XV. Only 20 years old at the time, Louis XVI was immature and lacked self-confidence.
  • American Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration summarized the colonists' motivations for seeking independence. This allowed the 13 American colonies to sever their political connections to Great Britain.
  • Meeting of Estates General

    The second meeting called forth by Louis XVI since 1614. He summoned it to propose a solution to France's financial situation. It ended when the Third Estate formed into a National Assembly, signaling the outbreak of the French Revolution.
  • Period: to

    National Assembly

    A revolutionary assembly formed by the representatives of the Third Estate of the Estates-General to ensure that the common people were represented in France and to demand that the King make reforms to ensure people had food to eat.
  • Tennis Court Oath

    Tennis Court Oath
    The members of the Third Estate went to the Tennis Court to hold the Assembly. It was a pledge that was signed in the early days of the French Revolution and was an important revolutionary act that displayed the belief that political authority came from the nation's people and not from the monarchy.
  • Storming of the Bastille

    Storming of the Bastille
    This violent attack on the government by the people of France signaled the start of the French Revolution. The Bastille was rumored to be full of political prisoners and was a symbol of many of the oppression of the king. It also had stores of gunpowder that the revolutionaries needed for their weapons.
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

    One of the most important papers of the French Revolution. This paper explains a list of rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and separation of powers.
  • Period: to

    Women's March on Versailles

    It gave the revolutionaries confidence in the power of the people over the king. In 1789 France, the main food of the commoners was bread. A poor French economy had led to a scarcity of bread and high prices.
  • Declaration of the Pillnitz

    Urged European powers to unite to restore the monarchy in France; French King Louis XVI had been reduced to a constitutional monarchy during the French Revolution.
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

    A book by British writer Mary Wollstonecraft. She argued that women should be treated with equal dignity and respect to men, especially regarding education.
  • Sans-Culottes

    Most of them urban laborers served as the driving popular force behind the revolution. They demanded that the revolutionary government immediately increase wages, fix prices, end food shortages, punish hoarders and most important, deal with the existence of counter-revolutionaries. In terms of social ideals, the sans-culottes wanted laws to prevent extremes of both wealth and property.
  • Period: to

    September Massacre

    The September Massacres were a number of killings in Paris and other cities that occurred from 2–6 September 1792 during the French Revolution. More than 1,000 prisoners were killed within 20 hours.
  • Creation of the Republic

    Following the aftermaths of the Revolution of 1789 and the abolishment of the monarchy, the First Republic of France is established on September 22 of 1792.
  • Jacobins vs. Girondins

    When the king was put on trial for treason the Girondins fought for the king to be exempted from execution while the Jacobins argued that the king should be executed in order to assure the revolution's success. The Jacobins were successful.
  • Execution of Louis XVI

    The execution of Louis XVI by means of the guillotine, a major event of the French Revolution. The National Convention had convicted the king in a near-unanimous vote and condemned him to death by a simple majority.
  • Committee of Public Safety

    During one of the crises of the Revolution, when France was beset by foreign and civil war. ... These men were replaced in July by men more determined and more radical in the defense of the Revolution, among them Maximilien Robespierre.
  • Period: to

    Reign of Terror/ Robespierre

    Reign of Terror lasted from September 1793 until the fall of Robespierre in 1794. Its purpose was to purge France of enemies of the Revolution and protect the country from foreign invaders. The Committee of Public Saftey, headed by Robespierre, was brought to power after the First French Republic was established. Multiple massacres and public executions occurred in response.
  • Marie Antoinette Executed

    Marie Antoinette Executed
    During the Reign of Terror, Marie Antoinette was put on trial for treason and theft, as well as a false and disturbing charge of sexual abuse against her own son.
  • Robespierre Execution

    After a year of harsh rule by the Committee of Public Safety and Robespierre, many of the revolutionary leaders had had enough of the Terror. They turned on Robespierre and had him arrested. He was executed, along with many of his supporters, by guillotine.
  • Thermidorian Reaction

    A liberal-conservative counter-revolution that wound back the Reign of Terror, purged the government of Jacobin influence and attempted to restore some of the political, social and economic values. It changed the months on the calendar.
  • Period: to

    War of Second Coalition

    The second war on revolutionary France by most of the European monarchies. An attempt to defeat the forces of the French.
  • Coup d'etat

    Overthrew the system of government under the Directory in France and substituted the Consulate, making way for the despotism of Napoleon Bonaparte. The event is often viewed as the effective end of the French Revolution.
  • Concordat of 1801

    It sought national reconciliation between revolutionaries and Catholics and solidified the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France. But while it restored France's ties to the papacy, it was largely in favor of the state.
  • Napoleonic Code

    The Napoleonic Code is the French civil code established under the French Consulate, Napoleon. It made the authority of men over their families stronger, deprived women of any individual rights, and reduced the rights of illegitimate children. All male citizens were also granted equal rights under the law and the right to religious dissent, but colonial slavery was reintroduced.
  • Confederation of the Rhine

    A confederation of client states of the First French Empire. It was created as a buffer state from any future aggression from Austria, Russia, or Prussia against France.
  • Period: to

    Continental System

    It was the blockade designed by Napoleon to paralyze Great Britain through the destruction of British commerce. This occurred during the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Treaty of Tilsit

    The Treaties of Tilsit were two agreements signed by Napoleon I of France in the town of Tilsit. Russia and Prussia were to join the Continental System, the blockade intended to destroy Britain's commerce, by closing their ports to British ships and neutral ships engaged in British trade.
  • Period: to

    Russian Campaign

    The French invasion of Russia, when Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian Army. The army failed and came back with about 10% of the men they came with.
  • Waterloo

    Allied forces, consisting of British, Dutch, Belgian and German soldiers, thwarted the attempts of European domination by the French general and emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. The battle marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), which took the lives of 5 million people.
  • Period: to

    Paris Commune

    The Paris Commune during the French Revolution was the government of Paris from 1792 until 1795. Established in the Hôtel de Ville just after the storming of the Bastille, it consisted of 144 delegates elected by the 48 divisions of the city.