The French Revolution from 1781-1789

By amanda_
  • Jacques Necker presented his Compte Rendu au Roi

    Compte Rendu au Roi was the first public accoubnt of the state of the kingdom's finances in 1781.
    Jacques Necker was appointed Director-General of the Royal Finances in 1776.
  • Calonne took office as Comptroller-General of Finances

  • Calonne informed King of disastrous finances.

    Calonne presented his reform agenda, and suggested calling of Assembly of Notables to endorse the reforms before sending them to the Parliament for Paris for registration. The King agreed.
  • The Assembly of Notables convened.

    The assembly was stunned to hear of the state of France's finances when Necker has shown them to be so healthy only five years before.
    Distrust of Calonne.
    The Notables were asked to support Calonne's reforms.
  • The King recognised the need for reform.

    The King was too weak to support Calonne against the Notables. Calonne dismissed.
  • Brienne replaced Calonne.

    The Notables still refused to support the tax reforms.
    They argued that legally the only body which could train new taxes was an Etates-General.
  • Assembly of Notables dissolved.

    Brienne reworked Calonne's reforms.
  • Parlement of Paris exiled by King.

    Was exiled for refusing to register Brienne's reform package.
  • King recalled Parlement.

    Brienne announced Estates-General for 1792.
  • Royal Session

    The King attempted to assert his royal prerogative as if this were a lit de justice.
  • Parlement of Paris proclaimed Fundamental Laws of Kingdom

    The Paris Parlement appeared as defender of the rights of the nation in promulgating laws which it claimed were 'ancient practice and outside the jurisdiction of the King'.
  • New Plenary Courts set up.

    Parlements deprived of rights to register new laws - in exile again.
    Aristocratic Revolt: riots in provincial capitals, nobles met in unauthorised assemblies.
  • Day of Tiles in Grenoble. Pamphlet war began.

    The people of Grenoble turned out to prevent the exile by force of their parlementaries.
    Assembly of Clergy supported nobles, voted very small don gratuit for 1788.
    Pamphlet war began: more radical - referred to ideas like natural law, inalienbale rights, general will and sovereignty of the people.
  • Winter: Very harsh and cold; wolves entered streets of Paris

  • 8-16 August: Government bankrupt.

    Meeting of Estates-General brought forward to 1 May 1789.
    Brienne resigned.
  • Necker reinstated,

    Parlement recalled, Plenary Court disbanded.
  • Parlement of Paris declared that Estates-General must be constituted as it was in 1614.

    Overnight the Parlement lost the support of bourgeoisie who feared this meant voting by estate not by head.
    Controversy erupted over method of voting in Estates-General; Assembly of Notables recalled briefly but did not resolve issues.
  • Formation of Society of Thirty

    A revolutionary group, later called the Constituional Club.
    Consisted of thirty, but later increased to sixty liberal nobles (only five commoners). Members included Marquis de Lafayette, Duc de Noailles and Duc de La Rochefoucauld. Many had brought home ideas from America.
  • King publicly ruled that the Third Estate be given double the number of deputies.

    The Third Estate now had 600 deputies, while the nobility and clergy each had 300.
    Elections of deputies began; although indirect for Third Estate. these were the most democratic elections of the whole revolution.
  • Abbe' Sieye's published What is the Third Estate?

    Thousands of copies sold.
  • Price of bread rose to 75-89 per cent of working man's wage.

  • Reveillion riots

    House and factory of prosperous businessmen set on fire, rumoured that he intended to reduce wages.
  • Formal opening of the Estates-General at Versailles

    Deputies were unsure whether they would be voting by estate or by head.
  • Opening plenary session. The Estates sent off to verify credentials seperately.

  • Death of the seven-year-old Dauphin.

    Death after 2 years fighting tuberculosis. The King and Queen suffered deep grief throughout this period.
  • The Third Estate invited privileged orders to join it.

  • Deputies began verification of their credentials as representatives of the nation.

    Several parish priests soon joined them.
  • Declaration of the National Assembly

    This group of commoners and a few lower clergy took a momenous and revolutionary step.
  • Clergy votes to endorse the declaration of the National Assesmbly

  • The Tennis Court Oath

    '[We] take a solemn oath not to seperate ... until the constitution of the Kingdom is established.'
  • 150 clerical deputies joined the National Assembly

    This was headed by two archbishops and a few nobles.
  • The Royal Session

    The King ordered the Estates to meet seperately.
  • Soldiers sent to deny deputies deny entry crossed to support National Assembly

    'We, too, are citizens.'
  • 47 liberal nobles arrived.

    Included royal prince Duc d'Orleans. Lafayette was not among them.
  • King capitulated; ordered Estates to meet in common, to vote by head.

  • The National Assembly took the name of the National Constituent Assembly

    This reflected its avowed purpose, which was to write a constitution for France.
    Royal troops were around 18 000. The crowd in Paris feared the King meant to close the Assembly by force.
  • Dismissal of Necker

    The King blamed Necker for the failure of the Estates-General.
    Royal troops around 30 000, which looked like a declaration of war to the crowd in Paris.
  • The crowd began to arm itself.

    Parisian attacked hated customs barriers around Paris.
  • Formation of the Paris Commune

    Electors of Paris decided to form a new municipal government at the Town Hall in an attempt to restore order in the city.
  • Fall of the Bastille

    The first revolutionary journee.
    The crowd saw itself as having saved the Revolution.
    It was understood that is had power if it organised itself to act togther.
  • Lafayette appointed commander of the newly-formed National Guard.

    Was answerable to the new Paris Commune.
  • The Comte d'Artois fled Paris.

    20 000 emigres were to follow him in the next two months.
  • Lafayette escorts the King into Paris.

    The cockade worn by Louis signifies his acceptance of the Revolution.
    This was the symbolic birth of constitution monarchy in France,
  • The Great Fear 20 July - 6 August

    A seperate phenomenon which became entwined with the Rural Revolt.
    A set of rumours which swept through pockets of France, claiming that armed bands of 'brigands' who were in the pay of aristocracy would destroy te harvest,
    There was no substance of these rumours.
    The Great Fear was the last major crisis of the old regime.
    Had a direct influence upon the reforms of August 4th.
  • Municipal Revolt

    The seizure of power from royal authorities throughout the town of France.
    The establishment of communes and national guards in regional cities, modelled on those of Paris.
  • The Rural Revolt

    Had already begun in Spring.
    Intensified after the news of the Fall of the Bastille reached the countryside.
    Chateaux and tithe barns were attacked, fires were sometimes set in order to destroy terriers, or manorial rolls of feudal records.
  • Abolition of feudal privileges

    Decrees that watered down the absolute renunications made on the Night of August 4th.
  • Discussion of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens (20-27 August)

    This document would be called the 'blueprint' of the Revolution.
  • March of Women to Versailles 5-6 October

    The second revolutionary journee.
    King and royal family brought back to Paris.
    The King was forced to pass the August decress and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.
    The National Assembly followed the King to Paris.