French Revolution Timeline ALL THE GOOD STUFF IN ORDER!
1770’s Even though France was the center of Enlightenment ideas, they’re still stuck in the Old Regime which includes the estates system. Louis XVI becomes king (1774).
1789 Bad weather has effected crops, the price of bread has doubled. The government is in debt from Louis XVI’s spending. The Estates – General is called to approve tax reform. Third Estate breaks off and creates the National Assembly. They take the Tennis Court Oath. On July 14 they storm the Bastille. The Great Fear spreads through out France, and women march to Paris demanding bread. The Declaration of the Rights of Man is written.
1790 - 1791 State controls the church and seizes their lands. Louis XVI and his family attempt to escape France. National Assembly creates a limited constitutional monarchy. National Assembly creates the Legislative Assembly that has the power to create laws or prevent the king from declaring war.
1792 War with Austria. National Convention takes over – it is voted to get rid of the monarchy and create a new constitution for France. The radical phase of the revolution is beginning.
1793 - 1794 Louis XVI is put on trial by the National Convention. They find him guilty and execute him by guillotine. National Convention creates the Committee of Public Safety run by Maximilien Robespierre to deal with food shortages and make France safe for democracy. The Reign of Terror begins and last until 1794 under Robespierre’s rule. Approximately 40,000 people are killed. Marie Antoinette is executed by guillotine.
Moderates Take Over After Robespierre’s execution most people in France no longer wanted revolution. Many of the issues of the revolution were still not resolved, such as food shortages. A group of moderates took over in 1795 and wrote a new constitution. The new government was made up of a group of five men known as the Directory. They were supposed to share the power evenly, but they were very corrupt.
1795 - 1799 The Directory holds power, but they’re weak. They’re facing growing discontent amongst the people. They appointed a man named Napoleon to be commander of the military. He is very popular and well liked by most of France.
Important Vocabulary National Assembly – a group of representatives from the Third Estate that formed their own group in protest of the Estates-General. Legislative Assembly – a group of representatives that decided if and when the king could declare war and if laws were allowed to pass (this was part of the limited and constitutional monarchy). Limited Monarchy – when the king is still in power but his power is controlled by the constitution and Legislative Assembly
1799 - 1804 In a coup d’etat Napoleon overthrows the Directory and becomes one of three consuls to rule France. A plebiscite is taken in which the people support Napoleon’s constitution which gives all the power to Napoleon. Napoleon creates his Napoleonic Code which makes changes to government, education, society, and the economy. Concordat between Napoleon and the Pope is signed. Napoleon crowns himself emperor of France.
1804 - 1812 Napoleon’s conquests/expansion of the French empire take place. Continental System is put into place, which leads to the Peninsular War and Napoleon’s failed invasion of Russia. Due to Russia’s use of scorched earth policy Napoleon’s troops are greatly weakened. Napoleon and his diminished troops return to Paris. The Third Coalition notices how weak Napoleon has become.
1814 - 1821 1814 – Paris falls to Third Coalition troops. Napoleon is exiled to Elba. 1815 – Napoleon escapes from Elba and Louis XVIII flees France. The Hundred Days begins and ends when Napoleon loses the Battle of Waterloo against the Third Coalition forces. 1815 – 1821 – Napoleon is banished to St. Helena and lives out the rest of his life there.
Congress of Vienna (1814 – 1815) After Napoleon’s 2nd banishment the Congress of Vienna met to peacefully re-order Europe. Klemens von Metternich the minister from Austria came in with very strong views about legitimacy (the belief that monarchs had the right to rule and should be returned to their thrones) and that the powers in Europe should be balanced. The lands France conquered were returned, most monarchs were put back into place and an alliance system was formed that remained in place until World War I.
What should you know for the test? Vocabulary! Know the causes behind major events and what happened. Knowledge of specific dates isn’t needed, but order of major events is. Study vocabulary from your unit outline and look at the objectives you should know. All the information you are being tested on comes from your notes. Remember all PowerPoints are available on the wiki.