French Revolution

Key events

Louis XVI

23 August 1754 - 21 January 1793

Louis' reign

10 May 1774 - 21 September 1792

Louis executed

21 January 1793

The End of The Ancien Regime

Bad harvest


King’s council allowed the number of deputies to be doubled

Dec 1788

Grain convoys and suspected hoarders attacked

Jan 1789

Third Estate now National Assembly

17 June 1789

Third estate voted to call themselves the National Assembly

Deputies of 3rd Estate, hall closed

20 June 1789

Seance Royale

23 June 1789

Municipal Revolution

1 July 1789 - 31 July 1789

Proposal to form a citzens' militia

10 July 1789

New body set up to govern the city

15 July 1789

Set up by the Paris electors

King's Journee - recognition of revolutionary councils

17 July 1789

King journeyed to Paris from Versailles, given a hostile reception. He recognised the revolutionary council, the Commune and National Guard

Tennis Court Oah

20 July 1789

The Great Fear

20 July 1789 - 6 August 1789

Began: rumours outlaws, paid by nobles, where intending to destroy crops and the harvest. Peasants took up arms and waited for them. When they didn’t arrive – they turned their anger on landlords. The Great Fear spread rising throughout most of France. Areas further away from Paris were unaffected

August Decrees

5 August 1789 - 11 August 1789

Debate ended in a total renunciation of feudal rights

October Days

1 October 1789 - 6 October 1789

Church land nationalised

2 November 1789

The Constitutional Monarchy

Tithes, annates and pluralism abolished

Aug 1789

Free trade in grain

Aug 1789

The Constituent Assembly introduced free trade in grain and removed price controls

Church land nationalised

2 November 1789

Reforming France

December 1789

A start had been made to begin reforming the country.

Law introduced 'active citizens'

December 1789

Civil rights given to Protestants

December 1789

Extended to Jews in Sep 1791

No government officials at local level


Replaced by elected councils

Decree to distinguish between different sections in church

February 1790

Decree distinguished between monastic orders which didn’t work in the community and those which provided education and charity

Departements created

26 Feb 1790

83 new divisions for local administration in France were created to replace the old divisions of the ancien regime

Gabelle abolished

March 1790

Decree to reorganise local gov

21 May 1790

Constituent Assembly passed a decree which reorganised the local government of the city into 48 sections

Constituent Assembly passed decree to reorganise local government

21 May 1790

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy

12 July 1790

Internal tariffs abolished

Oct 1790

National market created for the first time

Decree that clergy must take oath to support constitution

27 November 1790

Nearly all unpopular indirect taxes abolished


New financial system

January 1791

Established 3 new direct taxes. Contribution fonciere, contribution mobiliere, patente

Guilds abolished


Restricted entry of people into certain trades in order to ensure the wage levels and prices charged for goods and services remained high

Pope condemned constitution

April 1791

Le Chapelier Law

June 14 1791

Forbade trade unions and employers' organisations. Collective bargaining, picketing and strikes declared illegal.

Flight to Varennes

June 20, 1791

Champ de Mars massacre

July 17, 1791

Guillotine introduced

March 1792

Legislative Assembly tried to be firm with priests

27 May 1792

Legislative Assembly attempted to be firmer with priests who refused to take the oath

War, Revolt and the Overthrow of the Monarchy

Deportation of refractory priests

27 May 1792

Louis dismisses Grondin ministers

13 June 1792

Dismisses Roland, the Girondin Minister of the Interior and other ministers

Louis vetoed laws

19 June 1792

Laws on refractory priests and the federe camp

8000 demonstrators stormed into the Tuileries

20 June 1792

La Patrie En Danger

11 July 1792

Declared a state of emergency by issuing a decree ‘la patrie en danger’ which called on every Frenchman to fight

Brunswick Manifesto

1 August 1792

Mayor requested abolition of the monarchy

3 August 1792

The Mayor of Paris went to the Legislative Assembly and demanded on behalf of 47/48 Sections, the abolition of the monarchy

The Battle of Valmy

20 September 1792

Louis executed

21 January 1793

French Republic declares war on Britain and Holland

1 February 1793

Government by Terror

Revolutionary Tribunal set up

10 March 1793

Set up in Paris to try counter-revolutionary suspects

Convention passes measures to deal with problems

10 March 1793 - 20 May 1793

The Convention passed a range of measures 10 March – 20 May 1793 designed to deal with these problems and ensure its survival

CPS set up

6 April 1793

CPS reformed

July 1793

The Thermidorian Reaction and the Directory

The Impact of the Revolution

Napoleon: Consulate and Empire