The French Revolution Timeline

Timeline created by EvelynDetw
In History
  • Term-Louis XVI

    Term-Louis XVI
    Louis XVI was the weak king of France who took the throne on May 10th 1774, according to He was not a bad person, but he was really indecisive, and intimidated by his people. One of his most remembered action was calling the Estates-General, which had not been called for 175 years. He was executed by the guillotine.
  • Term-Jacques Necker

    Term-Jacques Necker
    "After the fall of Turgot in 1776, Louis XVI appointed Necker as Director of the Royal Treasury." (Versilles, 1) He advised that Louis should “stop extravagant spending” and “abolish burdensome tariffs on internal trade.” (World History, 193) The First and Second Estates did not approve of him for he had told Louis to start taxing them.
  • Term-Bourgeoisie

    The Bourgeoisie was part of the Third Estate, the middle class. Those who were included in it were bankers, merchants, manufacturers, lawyers, doctors, and professors. Some of the Bourgeoisie was wealthier than the nobles because they were making more money than they were spending.
  • Term-Estates-General

    King Louis called this meeting of the three Estates of France in 1789. This was the first time in 175 years that it had been called. In preparation for this event, Louis wanted the three Estates to write in cahiers.
  • Term-Cahiers

    King Louis wanted the three Estates to write down their problems. In the cahiers were lots of reforms that members from each of the three Estates wanted, but they were mostly requested from the Third Estate. Most of the problems were directed towards the unfairness of the current social classes.
  • Term-Marquis de Lafayette

    Term-Marquis de Lafayette
    He was the “hero of two worlds” who had fought in the American Revolution and in France. He was in charge of the National Guard, who were all wearing the tricolor. His troops “arrived in response to the royal troops in Paris.”(World History, 195)
  • Louis XVI calls the Estates General

    Louis XVI calls the Estates General
    a. France was almost bankrupt. The 1st and 2nd estates were afraid that they would have to pay taxes, so they denounced royal tyranny. The 3rd Estate (everyone else) were starving and had bread riots on the streets.
    b. During the Estates General, the 3rd estate would always get outvoted, so they got angry and said that they should have more votes because they had the largest population. Many other things were discussed, such as how to solve the financial crisis, and even lowering leather prices.
  • Parisians Storm the Bastile

    Parisians Storm the Bastile
    a. Rumors had been spreading about royal troops threatening to occupy Paris. The people of Paris wanted to defend themselves, but they had no weapons of their own. So they gathered around Bastille (the prison) to take the gunpowder and weapons that the prison supposedly held. Although the prison had few weapons, the storming of Bastille was the first big step in the French Revolution. The common people finally had some hope.
  • Writing of the Declaration of the Rights of Men

    Writing of the Declaration of the Rights of Men
    a. This Constitutional Document was modeled after the Declaration of Independence written in the US. France's Declaration of the rights of Man and Citizen claimed that all men were entitled to "liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression." It also said that "all men were equal before the law" (World History,196).
  • Extra Event 1-Women March on Versailles

    Extra Event 1-Women March on Versailles
    About six thousand women banded together in Paris and proceeded to march to Versailles. It was pouring rain, but the women were starving and were demanding the king for bread. Taking advantage of the situation, they also yelled at Marie Antoinette saying, "Death to the Austrian!" The women successfully took the king back to Paris.
  • Term-Marie Antoinette

    Term-Marie Antoinette
    She was Louis XVI’s wife from Austria. When she arrived in France, she spent a lot of money on expensive parties and food. In the Women’s March on Versailles, she was targeted by the hungry women who wanted bread. She supposedly said, “let them have cake.
  • Term-Olympe de Gouges

    Term-Olympe de Gouges
    She wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Women and the Female Citizen. She believed that men and women both could hold public office. Although her opinion was not popular with the majority of the male population, she firmly believed in her ideals.
  • Term-Sans-culottes

    he term means “without breeches”, they were the working class men and women in France’s cities. During the Revolution, this group of people would wear trousers instead of Breeches(worn by the upper class). They demanded the government be replaced with a republic, and more wages.
  • Term-Jacobins

    They were a middle-class revolutionary political club, mostly lawyers or intellectuals. During the Revolution, they supported the sans-cullottes and the idea of republicanism for France. They would usually write about their ideals in the news or in pamphlets,
  • Establishment of the New Constitution

    Establishment of the New Constitution
    a. The Constitution of 1791 changed France's government from an absolute monarchy to a restricted monarchy. It formed a Legislative Assembly that would "make laws, collect taxes, and decide on issues of war and peace" (World History, 197) The Legislative Assembly's members were to be elected by male taxpayers over the age of 25. It also involved separation of the church and State.
  • Term-Maximillen Roespierre

    Term-Maximillen Roespierre
    He became the leader of the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror. He thought that the idea of murdering all of the “traitors” of France (via the guillotine) was for the common good of the country, He was very dedicated and “incorruptible,” but his support for the excessive amounts of death was rather horrible.
  • Execution of the King and Queen

    Execution of the King and Queen
    a. King Louis XVI was beheaded in January of 1793, and his wife Marie Antoinette was killed on October 16, 1793. When Louis was beheaded, he gave a rather lame speech that was cut short. Although the press heavily supported Marie's death, she was very dignified to her death. With the deaths of their monarchs, the French people fell into disarray-and into the Reign of Terror.
  • Beginning of the Reign of Terror

    Beginning of the Reign of Terror
    a. France fell into a state of disarray after their monarchs King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed. The Reign of Terror involved the murders of French "traitors" by means of the guillotine. Robespierre was one of the leading men during this time, part of the Committee of Public Safety, who would execute many of the French citizens to "protect" the country. However, the terror was soon directed towards the Committee and many of them were killed, so the numerous execution died down.
  • Extra Event 3-Reaction to the Great Terror

    Extra Event 3-Reaction to the Great Terror
    After the Great Terror, the people of France were eager to make a better government. The Bourgeoisie (the middle class) benefited the most during this time. This is when the Directory was formed, and when another Constitution was written. France made peace with Prussia and Spain, but it was still at war with England and Austria.
  • Term-Napoleon

    Napoleon was a national hero who had the popular support of the people when he took control of France from the Directory. He was very bold and courageous, willing to take risks. He quotes, “a man such as I cares little for the life of a million men.” His rule, while short, is very dramatic and helps France’s reformation a lot.
  • Napoleon Overthrows the Directory

    Napoleon Overthrows the Directory
    a. The Directory, made by a Constitution change in 1795, was in power from 1795-1799. The 5 men in the Directory wanted Napoleon to help them keep power and help them with reforms (mostly to their own benefit), but Napoleon was smarter than them and quickly stole their power. He easily overthrew the weak Directory in 1799, and replaced them with his own Consulate.
  • Extra Event 2-Napoleon Reforms France

    Extra Event 2-Napoleon Reforms France
    When Napoleon took the French throne in 1802, the citizens expected a smart military leader like him to make significant reforms for France. And he certainly did. "He controlled prices, encouraged new industry, built roads and canals, set up a system of public schools..."(World History, 207) He also established the Napoleonic Code, which "embodied Enlightenment principles and the abolition of feudalism."
  • Term- Plebiscite

    Term- Plebiscite
    A plebiscite is a “popular vote by ballot.” (World History, 207) Napoleon held plebiscites many times on his rise to power to see if the people were satisfied with his actions. Indeed, they were very satisfied and supported him even when he gave himself the title of an emperor with absolute power.
  • Napoleon Builds an Empire

    Napoleon Builds an Empire
    a. Napoleon had already conquered land in France's name, but once he took the throne he utilized his power to conquer much of Europe. He destroyed the Holy Roman Empire, and took land from Austria, Russia, and Prussia. He controlled other countries by placing his relatives or friends in charge. He established his own Continental System to control the exporting and importing of goods throughout his empire, and to suppress British power.
  • Napoleon Invades Russia

    Napoleon Invades Russia
    a. Tsar Alexander I (the ruler of Russia) was Napoleon's ally in the Continental system, but Russia's economy was suffering because of the system. When Russia withdrew from Napoleon's system, he became very angry and proceeded to invade Russia. At first, his army was advancing further into Russia, but soon food and supplies ran out and they were forced to retreat. This weakened the Grand Army considerably and affected Napoleon's rule very negatively.
  • The Congress of Vienna

    The Congress of Vienna
    a. The Congress of Vienna was "a brilliant gathering of European leaders"(World History, 212). Concerned about the Napoleonic Wars, the council worked to strengthen European monarchy and establish peace between the largest countries. The Congress established country border lines and replaced the French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian monarchs.
  • Term-Congress of Vienna

    Term-Congress of Vienna
    The Congress of Vienna was “a brilliant gathering of European leaders.” (World History, 212) The Congress met 10 months, and the leaders Metternich of Austria, Alexander I of Russia, Castlereagh of Britain, and Talleyrand for France, These men all made border compromises and decisions to help keep the balance of power in Europe under control.
  • Napoleon Defeated at Waterloo

    Napoleon Defeated at Waterloo
    a. After being exiled and then welcomed back home, Napoleon may have either wanted to restore confidence in himself or in France, but he decided to battle the Prussian army in Waterloo, Belgium. However, he was defeated and forced back to exile. He would later die in 1821.