Liberty, Equality, Fraternity - The French Revolution Timeline

  • First Estates-General Assembly

    First Estates-General Assembly
    On the 5th of May of 1789, the first Estates-General took place. It was the first meeting held in 175 years. Representatives from all three "estates" gathered in France to approve the new tax the King wanted to impose on the nobility since he had a large debt. This was an important event because it was the first time to social classes united to discuss a serious matter of their country.
  • National Assembly Established

    National Assembly Established
    On the 17th of June of 1789, the Third Estate voted to establish the National Assembly with the goal of declaring the end of absolute monarchy and the beginning of representative government. This then leads to Tennis Court Oath (a pledge made by the members of of the National Assembly in which they promised to continue meeting until they had a new constitution planned). It was important because it was a representation of the people and the first act intended to form a revolution in France.
  • Feudalism Ends

    Feudalism Ends
    Noblemen made grand speeches declaring liberty and equality. They were motivated more by their fear than by idealism, so they joined other members of the National Assembly in taking away privileges to the First and Second "Estates". Their goal was to make the commoners equal to the clergy and nobles. The Old Regime was dead by the next day. This was an important event because it symbolized how unity (between noblemen and commoners) would equal power against the rest and make things possible.
  • Declaration of the Rights

    Declaration of the Rights
    Just a couple weeks after the feudalism had ended, the National Assembly adopted a statement of revolutionary ideals that was influenced by the Declaration of Independence of America. This was called “Declaration of the Rights of a Man and of the Citizen.” What makes it important is how a document from the other side of the world hugely influenced France during their own revolution.
  • Period: to

    King Louis Attempts to Escape

    The royal family, including King Louis, Marie Antoniette, and their children, tried to escape from France to the Austrian Netherlands (Varennes). They were arrested in the border and returned to Paris under guard. What makes this event important is the fact that his attempt escape altered the French citizens and increased the influence on enemies in the government (meaning that the chances of the establishment of a reblublic were greatly possible).
  • Period: to

    Declare War Against Austria and Prussia

    The Legislative Assembly declared war because Austria and Prussia urged the French to restore King Louis to his position in the absolute monarchy. They worried it would influence other European countries and create more wars. This event was important because it made France have more debts (covering the costs of war), and lead to the imprision of the royal family. This event mostly showed how the Prussians were defending the king and his family while the French were trying to get rid of his rule.
  • France was Declared a Republic

    France was Declared a Republic
    Under pressure from radicals, Legislative Assembly set aside the constitution of 1791 (in which the king had power), and the new body called National Convention took office in September 21, which rapidly put an end to the Monarchy and declared France a Republic. It was important because it marked the power the citizens could have against the King to make changes to the government. Enlightenment ideas influenced, like Locke's saying that people have the right to overthrow the govt if unfair.
  • Period: to

    Robespierre Becomes Leader

    During the month of July of 1793, Robespierre became leader of the Committee of Public Safety. This was very important because Robespierre said he would be a good leader and that all together would make a change for a better nation. In reality, he was a dictator so there were several problems during that year until he was guillotined.
  • King was Guillotined

    King was Guillotined
    The former King Louis XVI walked with calm dignity up the steps of the guillotine and got his head cut off after he was found guilty by the National Convention. Clearly, the importance of this event was how it was the final end of the monarchy and that there was no King Louis anymore... or no more king ruling the country. It wasn't only the citizens aginst his rule, but his counterrevolutionary intrigues with foreign nations were discovered (treason, betray).
  • Reign of Terror Ends

    Reign of Terror Ends
    This was the period of time when Robespierre ruled France as a dictator. Thousands of political figures and ordinady citizens were executed. In July of 1794, members of the National Convention demanded his arrest and execution. This reign ended in July 28 when Robespierre was sent to the guillotine. This event is important because it marked the end of the dictatorship, and it was when the French citizens were finally "free" and could draft a new form of government.
  • Period: to

    New Government Draft Created

    During the year 1795, moderate leaders in the National Convention drafted a new plan for government, the third since 1789. Placed power firmly in the hands of the upper middle class and called for a two house legislature and executive body of five men (Directory). Found the right general to command French armies- Napoleon Bonaparte. This event is clearly important because it finally changed the way of governing the nation in which the citizens disagreed with.