French Revolution Timeline


Edmond Burke

1723 - 1792

Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher, who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party. Supported American Revolutions and opposed the French Revolution.

Edmond was not a major event because he did not have a profound effect on the times.

Olympe de Gouges

7 May 1748 - November 3 1793

French playwright and political activist whose feminist and abolitionist writings reached a large audience. Spoke to improve the conditions of slaves in 1788.

Olympe was not a major event because he did not have a profound effect on the times.

Maximilien François Marie Isidore Robespierre

May 6 1758 - July 28 1794

French lawyer and politician, and one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. Member of the Estates General and the Jacobin Club.

Max was not a major event because he did not have a profound effect on the times.

Louis XVI Reign

1774 - 1791

King of France during the Financial Problems after the American Revolution. Called the Estates General.

While Louis XVI had reigned during the French Revolution he was killed during it and so we do not know the choices he could have made that could hange the course of history; this makes him illegible in my standards for granting his reign as a major event.

Marie Antoinette

May 10 1774 - September 21 1792

Wife of Louis XVI

Marie was not a major figure in the French Revolution so therefore she is not major.

Bastille Storming


In 1789 a mob attack on a royal armory, which then became a popular symbol of triumph over despotism.

Bastille Storming was a major event because it was the fall of the France and all that it stood for.

Ancien Regime


The French society before the Revolution of 1789.

Ancien Regime is not a major event because the French Revolution was more important than it so it therefore is not able to be important.


1789 - 1799

Radicals that stressed the Enlightenment value of equality.

The Jacobins are not major as they did not have profound effect on the French Revolution.


1789 - 1799

More interested in in liberty, especially in terms of the laissez-faire economics.

The Girondists are not major people because they did not have a wide effect on the revolution.

Estates General


Spring 1789, assembly of nobility, church officials, and bourgeoisie, to reform tax, King Louis XVI hoped to convince the assembly to support new and increased taxes to pay the bills for the war and for the extravagant royal life style.

The Estates general was a major event because he had a big influence on French Culture during his reign.

Tennis Court Oath


The middle class representatives in the estates general that decided to make the estates general a real parliament that shared power with the king. The Tennis Court Oath was signed when they were locked out of their meeting place and forced to move to an indoor tennis court.

The Tennis Court Oath was a major event because it had made the king share some of his power.

Three Estates


Three Estate System- Social system;
The first estate- around 130,000 members of the Catholic clergy made up this estate. Church controlled about 10% of the land, exempt from the chief tax. Split, upper clergy siding with the nobles, lower clergy siding with the poor.
The second estate- About 350,000 nobled were members of the Second estate. Hold important positions in the government, military, law courts and the church. Had 30% of the land. Split like the first estate Nobility of the robe, holding offices of government and the Nobility of the sword, claiming to be descendants of the the original medieval nobility. Exempt from chief tax and sought to expand their power at the expense of the king
The third estate- 75- 80 % of the population. owned about 35-40% of the land, but more than half had no land, about 8% or 2.3 million ,members of the third estate were bourgeoisie, or middle class. They were educated and felt like they deserved more rights.

The Three Estates System was not important because it did not have a profound effect on classifying people by class.

National Assembly

June 13, 1789

The parliament of the estates general that was the result of the Tennis Court Oath.

The National Assembly was a major event because it was the parliament that forced the king to share power.

Great Fear

July 17 1789 - August 3 1789

The formations of citizens forming militias and committees to contain the violence for the revolts.

The Great Fear is not a major event in the French Revolution because it was not very important to the success/failure of the rebels against the French Revolution.

Declaration of the Rights of Men and Women

August 1789

was like the american declaration of independence but was not intended to declare political independence but rather to proclaim freedom of thought.

It played a major role in the French Revolution because it made a statement that gave reason to fight. People began to believe these rights were needed and they didn't have them so the people decided that it was wise to fight for what they thought was important.

Civil Constitution of the Clergy

July 12 1790

Secularized the catholic church, and confiscated church lands for the government. The urban poor got no relief from the rising food prices and peasants were mad because they still had to pay the landlords.

This was not a major event because it did not involve much politics that interfered with the Revolution.

National Convention

August 1792

After the seized of the king and the suspension of the monarchy the national convention was called, which gave every adult male a vote Drafted a new constitution.

This was a major event as it was the creation of a new government that common people could help build.

Reign of Terror

1793 - 1974

A violent time between the Girondists and the Jacobins, who were two rival factions at the beginning of the French Revolution. Also used to rid France of any internal enemies.

Not a major event because it was not feared by the rebels.

Committee of Public Security

March 1793

Formed to be the executive branch of the French Government during the Reign of Terror. It was restructured in July 1793. It took over the Committee of General Defense's job to protect he country from foreign invaders and attacks.

Not a major event because France did not have any real outside threats at the time he it was more for after the revolution.

Thermadorian Reaction

13 July 1793 - April 5 1794

Was a revolt against the excessive use of fear tactics in the Reign of Terror.

Not a major event because the Reign on Terror was not important so this cannot be deemed as important.

Napoleonic Code

March 21 1804

Napoleon Bonaparte's law writings for the French Civil code.

Very major event because it solidified his power and the legal system in France for after the Revolution.

Napolean Bonaparte Reign

18 May 1804

French Leader who rose to power politically and militarily during the French Revolution and the wars after. Led to the Abolishement of Feudalism in Europe and the spread of religious tolerance.

Very major influential leader because of all he did, which is described above.

Alexis de Toqueville

July 29 1805 - April 16 1859

French Political thinker and historian; he wrote Democracy in america (published in two volumes). He analyzed the raising of humanitarian standards due to market status' in Western Culture.

Not a major event because Alexis could not turn the tides of the war.

Continental System

November 21 1806

Diplomatic Economic war between Napoleon and England. It forbid trade with England without the usage of French intervention. this did not work and ended up hurting the French and it's allies.

Major event because it only weakened Franc and it's allies even though it was meant to weaken England and strengthen France and it's allies.

Congress of Vienna

September 1814 - June 1815

The objective of the Congress of Vienna was to provide a long-term peace for Europe by settling critical issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.

Not a major event because it did not promote peace for very long.

Battle of Waterloo

June 18 1815

Battle between Napoleon and the Seventh Coalition. They defeated Napoleon Bonaparte's army in Belgium. Overran Napoleons rule and ended his reign.

Not a major event because Napoleon did so much more than lose this battle and it should not be counted as a major tide in his reign.