French Rulers: from Renaissance to World War II

By Chaoxys
  • Period: Feb 1, 1328 to

    Valois Dynasty

    • preceded by the Capetian dynasty
    • the taille was collected during this time
    • collapsed because of the French Wars of Religion
  • Jul 22, 1461

    Louis XI

    • opposed his father on many occasions
    • earned the nickname "the Spider" because of his devious tactics
    • brought unity to France by supporting the bourgeoisie
  • Aug 30, 1483

    Charles VIII

    • began the Itallian Wars between the Valois and Hapsburgs
    • all of his sons died during infancy
    • introduced the Italian Renaissance to France
  • Apr 7, 1498

    Louis XII

    • called "Father of his People" because of his great domestic policies
    • had terrible foreign policies, which resulted in conflict with the Holy League
    • never had any sons
  • Jan 1, 1515

    Francis I

    Francis I
    • failed at capturing Milan many times
    • centralized the power of the king
    • strongly patronized the Renaissance in France
  • Mar 31, 1547

    Henry II

    • married Catherine de Medicis and had several children
    • went to extremes to destroy the Hapsburg dynasty
    • died from a splinter that pierced his brain in a jousting match
  • Jul 10, 1559

    Francis II

    • took the throne at a young age
    • advisers took control of the country
    • died only a year and a half after becoming king
  • Dec 5, 1560

    Charles IX

    • authorized the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre
    • Catherine, who initially ruled as regent for Charles, convinced him that the Protestants were going to overthrow the Crown
    • this all was a part of the French Wars of Religion
  • May 30, 1574

    Henry III

    • became involved with the French Wars of Religion and the War of Three Henrys
    • attempted to stop his brother-in-law, Henry of Navarre, from taking the throne because he was Protestant
    • eventually lost the throne and allied himself with Henry of Navarre (and was killed by a Catholic as a result)
  • Henry IV

    Henry IV
    • ended the French Wars of Religion through the Edict of Nantes
    • brought a much needed peace to France
    • used guile and charm instead of war to get what he wanted
  • Period: to

    Bourbon Dynasty

    • saw many absolutist rulers
    • held firm control over Europe in the seventeenth century
    • possessed the largest army by the French Revolution
  • Louis XIII

    Louis XIII
    • had to fight for control of the throne from a young age
    • was dominated by Cardinal Richlieu
    • entered the Thirty Years' War against Spain and Austria to weaken the Hapsburg dynasty
  • Louis XIV

    Louis XIV
    • revoked the Edict of Nantes, angering protestants
    • faced virtually all of the European nations in the War of the Grand Alliance
    • France claimed the regency of Spain and England and the HRE attack France
  • Louis XV

    Louis XV
    • struggled with the parlements during his reign
    • drove France into debt during the Seven Years' War against Britain and Prussia
    • left the monarchy with no money and shaky power
  • Louis XVI

    Louis XVI
    • inherited the financial problems of Louis XV
    • ruled when the French Revolution occurred
    • was killed during the Revolution
  • National Convention

    • one of the many Revolutionary governments
    • waged war with Austria, the German states, Britain, and Holland
    • abolished the remnants of the feudal system in France
  • Period: to

    First Republic

    • established during the French Revolution
    • was not at all stable
    • was the first republic France had ever experienced
  • Directory

    • leaders did not stay in power for long
    • relied almost entirely on war
    • attempted to return to monarchy, but failed
  • Consulate

    • provided a more powerful executive body then the Directory
    • included three rulers
    • was the last government of the French Revolution
  • Napoleon Bonaparte

    Napoleon Bonaparte
    • established France's first ever empire
    • tried to conquer all of Europe
    • came back for a 100 days after being exiled, but was defeated and forced to flee again
  • Period: to

    First Empire

    • established by Napoleon Bonaparte
    • was known for its strong military
    • dissolved in only a couple decades
  • Louis XVIII

    • cleaned up the mess left behing by Napoleon
    • promised a constitutional monarchy, but never delivered
    • maintained French strength in Europe
  • Period: to

    Bourbon Dynasty

    • the Bourbon dynasty was restored after Napoleon abdicated
    • Napoleon scared other countries when he returned from exile
    • the rulers of the restored dynasty were all heavily influenced by the French Revolution
  • Charles X

    • passed reforms that supported the old regime
    • became increasingly reactionary over time
    • was forced to abdicate after the July revolution
  • Louis Philippe

    Louis Philippe
    • tried to use French colonization to gain popular support
    • did not realize the importance of the growing middle class
    • eventually fled to exile during the 1848 revolution
  • Period: to

    Orleans Dynasty

    • short-lived dynasty
    • succeeded the restored Bourbon dynasty
    • was the last monarchy in France
  • Eugene Cavaignac

    • ruler of France for a very short time
    • never could assert control over France
    • was overshadowed by Louis Napoleon
  • Period: to

    Second Republic

    • citizens of France barricaded the streets
    • republicans put Eugene Cavaignac in control
    • Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon) returns from exile and takes control
  • Louis Napoleon

    Louis Napoleon
    • tried many times unsuccessfully to gain control in France
    • exploited his family name to gain power
    • was a terrible war leader, partly due to a physical disability
  • Period: to

    Second Empire

    • established by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte
    • used the popularity of the Napoleon to gain support
    • was defeated by Prussia at war
  • Period: to

    Third Republic

    • one of the longest lasting Republics of France, only rivaled in duration by the current Fifth Republic
    • biggest challenge was the Dreyfus Affair
    • survived WW1 but not WW2 in which the Vichy goverment was set up
  • Adolphe Thiers

    Adolphe Thiers
    • initially a monarchist
    • became republican during his rule
    • was almost forced to resign
  • Duc de Magenta

    • only monarchist to serve as president during the Third Republic
    • dissolved the Chamber of Deputies that was created by Louis XVIII
    • first president under an official Third Republic constitution
  • Jules Grévy

    • first president to rule for a full term
    • eventually forced to resign
    • was involved with a scandal concerning his son-in-law
  • Marie François Sadi Carnot

    • involved with Panama scandals
    • assassinated by Santa Geronimo Caserio
    • had important diplomatic relations with Russia
  • Jean Casimir-Perier

    • ruled the shortest amount of time for any French president
    • resigned after six months
    • did very little for France
  • Félix Faure

    • helped forge an alliance with Russia
    • was responsible for much French colonization
    • was president during the Dreyfus Affair
  • Émile Loubet

    • ruled when the Separation of Church and State occurred
    • was part of the Democratic Republican Alliance
    • did not seek re-election
  • Armand Fallières

    • was president when French troops first occupied Morocco
    • entered France into the Triple Entente
    • did not seek re-election
  • Raymond Poincaré

    Raymond Poincaré
    • served five times as Prime Minister of France
    • ruled during World War I
    • carried out the reoccupation of the Rhineland after the War
  • Paul Deschanel

    Paul Deschanel
    • nobody was executed during his presidency
    • walked out of a conference and into a lake
    • resigned due to mental health issues
  • Alexandre Millerand

    • known for being a socialist
    • was nearly assassinated by a French anarchist
    • eventually resigned as president
  • Gaston Doumergue

    • first Protestant president of France
    • opposed German nationalism
    • was considered to be radical
  • Paul Doumer

    Paul Doumer
    • started out governing French Indochina
    • took a position of Finance Minister before becoming president
    • was assassinated by a mentally unstable Russian
  • Albert Lebrun

    • was reelected in 1939
    • was part of the Democratic Alliance
    • World War II displaced him, making him the last president of the Third Republic