The French Revolution

  • Louis XVI calls the Estates General

    Louis XVI calls the Estates General
    Originally, King Louis XVI called the Estates General, which represented French estates, to discuss France's financial issues. Eventually, the Estates General changed their name to the National Assembly and abolished feudalism in France. This signaled the outbreak of the French Revolution.
  • Tennis Court Oath

    Tennis Court Oath
    When the Third Estate found the doors to their meeting room locked, they decided to meet at a nearby tennis court. This is where they pledged that they were not going to disband until the nation had drafted and implemented a constitution. This was the first time the French citizens opposed King Louis XVI.
  • Parisians Storming the Bastille

    Parisians Storming the Bastille
    On this day, hundreds of Parisians stormed the Bastille, a state prison, in which they seized 250 barrels of gunpowder and freed its prisoners. This was a victory for the idea of a representative government. It was also the event that kicked of the start of the French Revolution.
  • Writing of the Declaration of the Rights of Men

    Writing of the Declaration of the Rights of Men
    The Declaration of the Rights of Men is when the idea of natural and unalienable rights. It also declared freedom of speech and press as well as outlawed arbitrary arrest. This Declaration also asserted the principles of popular sovereignty and equality among citizens and the nobles.
  • March on Versailles

    March on Versailles
    Because they were concerned about the cost of bread, approximately 10,000 women led the march on Versailles. After they besieged the palace, they successfully pressed their demands upon King Louis XVI. This caused the king and his family to return to Paris and gave the revolutionists power over the people over the king.
  • Establishment of the New French Constitution

    Establishment of the New French Constitution
    This constitution was created by the National Assembly during the French Revolution. This caused feudalism to be abolished and limited the power of the king. It also forced France to become a monarchy and stripped the nobles of their privileges.
  • Execution of the King and Queen

    Execution of the King and Queen
    After King Louis XVI was arrested, he was found guilty of high treason and died by the guillotine on 21 January 1793. The Queen was brought before the Revolutionary tribunal on October 14, 1793, and executed of treason as well by guillotine. Their deaths emboldened revolutions across the entire country, which continued to alter their structure a lot over several years.
  • Reign of Terror

    Reign of Terror
    Following the creation of the First Republic, an event called the Reign of Terror occurred. This was when a series of massacres and public executions took place due to revolutionary fervor, anticlerical sentiment, and accusations occurring. This instituted a conscripted army, which saved France from invasion by other countries.
  • Napoleon Overthrows the Directory

    Napoleon Overthrows the Directory
    In an event that is now called the Coup of 18 Brumaire, Napoleon successfully overthrew the Directory. Once he finished this task, he replaced the Directory with the French Consulate, where he was made the first consul or France's leading political figure. This event is often viewed as the effective end of the French Revolution.
  • Napoleon Builds and Empire

    Napoleon Builds and Empire
    Napoleon gained success by defending France and defeating the Coalition armies. In 1804, he was crowned emperor, and he built his armies through the conquest of the territories of his enemies. This event shows how Napoleon led the French Empire into a powerful, new era.
  • Napoleon Invades Russia

    Napoleon Invades Russia
    When Napoleon invaded Russia, he took over 600,000 men and the invasion lasted about six months. During this invasion, the troops had insufficient access to resources and were trudging through unfamiliar, freezing terrain, which were the main reasons for their defeat. This effectively halted his march across Europe and led to his first exile.
  • 6th Coalition Occupies Paris

    6th Coalition Occupies Paris
    The Coalition consisted of Russia, Austria, and Prussia. After fighting for a day in the suburbs of Paris, the French Empire Surrendered, forcing Napoleon to abdicate and go into exile.
  • The Congress of Vienna Meets

    The Congress of Vienna Meets
    During this meeting, many things were decided on, like restoring the monarchies Napoleon had overthrown. The Congress decided that France was dispossessed of all the territories Napoleon had conquered, and was successful in a balance of power and peaceful diplomacy.
  • Napoleon Defeated at Waterloo

    Napoleon Defeated at Waterloo
    Napoleon was defeated yet again at the Battle of Waterloo merely 100 days after his return from exile. Because of this loss, he was forced to abdicate his title as emperor and exiled for the second time to St. Helena. This destroyed Napoleon's imperial power forever.
  • King Louis XVIII Begins His Reign

    King Louis XVIII Begins His Reign
    When King Louis XVIII was crowned king, it was France's first experiment in parliamentary government since the Revolution occurred. Because of this, France was granted a peace settlement, restored its former boundaries, and was not required to pay war indemnity. He died surrounded by his family while still crowned king.