Rise and Fall of The French Republics

By brk5856
  • Beginning of French Rev.

    French Revolution begins with the storming of the Bastille. After years of poor harvests, a costly involvement in the American Revolution and increasing food prices their grew a storm of discontent among the lower classes of France. On top of that the voting system in France favored the rich heavily. In protest to all this the people stormed the fortress of Bastille in an attempt to seize weapons. Many consider this act the beginning of the French Revolution.
  • Start of the First French Republic

    Following the Revolution, the National Convention, the single chamber assembly that represented the people fighting against the government in the French revolution, met and immediately decided to abolish the monarchy. In it’s place they established the First French Republic.
  • Louis XVI Killed

    Following the French Revolution the National Convention, the same body that abolished the monarchy, tried Louis XVI, the last true king of France, for 33 charges against the Nation. He was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by the guillotine in the Palace de la Revolution. His wife, Marie Antoinette, met the same fate nine months later, on October 16, 1793
  • Reign of Terror

    The Reign of Terror was a dark time beginning on September 5th 1793 when the revolutionary government of France tried and executed thousands of people that they believed to be “enemies of the revolution”. The Committee of Public Safety had complete control over the French Government during the reign and killed “enemies” throughout the country including left wingers, right wingers, and nobles and priests.
  • Napoleon takes power

    • On November 10th Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in France through a coup d’état. In 1804 he crowned himself emperor and started a successful military campaign that lasted ten years and took over much of Europe.
  • Battle Of Waterloo

    The Battle of waterloo marks the final defeat and end of Napoleon’s reign. Napoleons army of 72,000 troops was defeated by the British army of 68,000 that included Belgian, Dutch, and German troops. Napoleon was blamed for appointing inadequate commanders and acting indecisively.
  • Start of the Second Republic

    On February 25th 1848 the Second Republic of France was founded. This lasted a short time until the 1851 coup by Napoleon III (nephew of Napoleon the first) who proclaimed himself President of the Second Republic, starting what was actually the Second Empire
  • Start of the Third Republic

    The Third Republic began in 1870 after the fall of the Second Empire. The Constitutional laws of 1875 were adopted. During this republic there were a number of short lived governments however despite this it was mostly a time of social stability and industrialization. The Third Republic lasted until 1940 when France was defeated by the Nazis.
  • 16 May 1877 Crisis

    During the French Third Republic there was a “constitutional crisis” over the distribution of power between the legislature and the president. New elections following this brought in a massive number of victories for republicans, ending any hopes of a monarchist revival.
  • France and World War I

    France was drawn into WW1 on August 3rd 1914. The war had a huge effect on France and lasted until Nov. 11th 1918. In that time span France alone (not including their allies) lost around 1,400,000 soldiers creating more than 700,000 widows and leaving 1,000,000 kids orphaned. Around 4,300,000 were wounded. To put this in perspective 1 out of every 20 people in France were killed by the war. This clearly effected every person living in France. (Statistics from France-pub.com)
  • Peace Treaty of Versailles

    Although France is considered a victor they were still devastated by lose of life they suffered. Wars fought on their land destroyed industrial regions and economic disparity swept the country. It wasn’t all bad though, France did re-gain lands lost during the Franco-Prussian war, along the Rhine, making it the new boarder between themselves and Germany for protection from potential invasions. They also gained part of Germany’s African territories, and multiple territories in the middle east.
  • France and World War II

    September 3rd 1939 was the date Britain and France officially declared war against Germany. However it wasn’t until May 10th 1940 when France saw real fighting. At this time Germany attacked and occupied France and set up a Vichy government. The French people lived in fear under Nazi control with regular bombings, murder, and famine.
  • Liberation of Paris

    This was the military campaign by the allies to retake Paris from the Germans. Although they successfully regained the capital it is important to note there was still fighting going on in other parts of the country.
  • Start of Fourth French Republic

    This was in many ways a revival of the third republic that existed before WW2. After France’s liberation the Vichy government was dissolved into the Provisional Government of the French Republic. The Fourth republic was a time of re-building and economic growth for France.
  • Start of the Fifth French Republic

    The Fifth and current French Republic took hold with the collapse of the Fourth French Republic and switched from a parliamentary system to a semi presidential system. The Fourth Republic collapsed due to rising complications from their colonies. The french president was originally elected on an electoral college system but in 1962 this system was switched to a system where presidents are elected directly by the people of France.