French Revolution Timeline


Calling of Estates general at Versailles

May 5,1789

The estates general assembly represents the french estates of the realm: the nobility, the church, and the common people. It was summoned by King Louis XVI to propose solutions to his governments financial problems

Third Estate Declares Itself National Assembly

June 17,1789

The National Assembly was a revolutionary assembly formed by representatives of the Third Estate due to the disagreements amongst the three estates over voting methods in the Estates General.

Tennis Court Oath

June 20, 1789

The third Estate was locked out of its meeting rooms so they gathered at a tennis court in Versailles and made an oath stating "not to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the kingdom is established".

Storming of the Bastille

July 14, 1789

A Paris mob invaded Bastille, a prison which was viewed as a symbol of the kings absolute authority. They attacked Bastille and released the seven prisoners inside.

The Great Fear

July 20, 1789

The Great Fear in the countryside was caused by rumors of a famine plot where they would starve or burn out the population of France. As a result, the peasants rebelled as a form of self defense.

Feudaliism Abolished

August 4, 1789

Due to the Great Fear in the countryside, the National Assembly began to take notice of the peasant's anger with the system of feudalism. In order to stop the violence, the Assembly renounced feudal privileges and abolished serfdom on August 11, 1789.

Declaration of the Rights of Man

August 26, 1789

The Declaration of the rights of man was heavily influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment philosophes, the English Bill of Rights, and the American Declaration of Independence. It cites the political and social equality of all men.

March on Versailles

October 5, 1789

Women lead a march to Versailles to demand bread. The mob forces the royal family to return to Paris with them and Louis XVI signs the Declaration of the Rights of Man

Civil Constitution of the Clergy

July 12, 1790

he National Assembly passes the Civil Constitution of the Clergy to bring the clergy under the control of the government. The clergy is forced to swear an oath of allegiance to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and acknowledge the supremacy of the French government over the Pope.

France Goes to War with Austria

April 21, 1792

The French government declares war on Austria. Due to the fact that Prussia and Austria are allies, France ends up fighting a war against both countries.

Paris Mob Attacks the Tuileries

August 10,1792

Paris turns against their king and a mob attacks Tuileries; where the royal family was staying. The mob demands a new constitution and for the Legislative Assembly to be replaced. The Legislative Assembly is replaced by the National Convention.

September Massacres

September 11, 1792

An angry mob led by Jean Paul Marat storms the

Paris prisons and kills about 1600 prisoners due to various rumors and news that Verdun was threatened by the Prussian army.

The Republic of Virtue

September 22, 1792

Social and cultural changes were implemented by the Jacobins. They called the new society the Republic of Virtue.

Execution of Louis XVI

January 21, 1793

After six weeks of debate in The National Convention, the French government sends its former king to the guillotine.

Levee en Masse

August 23, 1793

The Committee of Public Safety made a decree assemble the entire French population for war. All unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 25 were obligated to join.

Execution of Robespierre

July 28, 1794

Robespierre was arrested on July 27 and executed the next day. He was accused of being a tyrant and lost all his supporters. He wanted to extend emergency powers but people just wanted everything to return back to normal.

Napoleon overthrows directory

November 9, 1799

Napoleon overthrows directory and seizes power with the help of Sieyes, Roger-Ducos, and his brother Lucien. He becomes the first consul of France.