The French Revolution and Napoleon

  • Estates-General

    The Estates-General met in Versailles on 5th May 1789. The meeting was chaired by the king and made up of representatives of the nobility, the clergy and the Third Estate. However, the Third Estate representatives left the meeting because of their very small representation.
  • Creation of the National Assembly

    Creation of the National Assembly
    When the Third Estate left the Estates-General, they met in a pavilion in Versailles and proclaimed themselves the National Assembly. They drafted a Constitution that reflected the will of the French people.
  • Storming of the Bastille

    Storming of the Bastille
    The people of Paris stormed the Bastille and stole many guns and artillery
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    The Constitutional Monarchy

    The Old Regime had and intense opposition, which became more violent. The common people stormed the Bastille and then, they burnt the nobles' countryside houses (The Great Fear).
    After that, the National Constituent Assembly approved several measures that abolished the Old Regime laws, like the tithe. Then, they published the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, and the first Constitution.
    When he saw he was in danger, Louis XVI fled Paris.
  • Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen

    Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen
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    The Girondin Convention

    The Girondins were the moderate bourgeoisie and they controlled the Republic. Then, the National Convention was elected by universal male suffrage. In response to the king's death, monarchies in Europe formed an absolutist coalition against France.
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    Reign of Terror

    The Jacobins were the most radical sector of the bourgeoisie. A new constitution that recognised popular sovereignty and the right to social equality was enacted. The executive was led by a Committee of Public Safety, which gave power to Robespierre.
    To satisfy the demands of the sans-culottes, a series of social laws were introduced.
    Church lands were sold and education became compulsory.
  • Execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

    Execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
    Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were executed by guillotine in the charge of treason.
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    The Directory

    The moderate bourgeoisie took back control of the Revolution.
    Jacobin laws were cancelled and a new Constitution (1795) granted executive power to a collegial government, known as The Directory.
  • Execution of Robespierre

    Execution of Robespierre
    Many people opposed the dictatorial government, and a coup ended the Jacobin government. Robespierre and other Jacobin leaders were executed by guillotine
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    The Consulate

    Napoleon's coup d'état was supported by a large part of the bourgeoisie. In 1799 Napoleon was named consul, and the Consulate's rule began. This was a period of autocratic and authoritarian rule.
    The state was organised into departments.
    The public finance sector was reformed, and state schools were created to educate an elite of civil servants.
    A commercial code was established to estimulate the economy, the Bank of France was created, and new banknotes were issued
  • Coup d'état

    Coup d'état
    Napoleon Bonaparte organised a coup that ended the Directory
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    Napoleonic Empire

    Napoleon was crowned emperor by the Pope in 1804. His large army and the use of new military tactics enabled him to defeat most European monarchies.
  • Battle of Austerlitz

    Battle of Austerlitz
    In this battle, France was victorious over Austria and Russia.
    After that, the French troops seemed unstoppable.
  • French invaded Spain

    French invaded Spain
    After the invasion, Napoleon made his brother, Jose Bonaparte, king.
  • The Decline of Napoleon

    The Decline of Napoleon
    The failure of his invasion of Russia and the revolt in Spain marked the decline of the Napoleonic Empire.
  • Battle of Waterloo

    Battle of Waterloo
    Napoleon's troops were finally defeated by Great Britain and Prussia in Waterloo
  • Napoleon's death

    Napoleon's death
    After he lost in Waterloo, he was sent into exile on the island of Saint Helena