The French Revolution


Prior to the French Revolution

Rule of King Louis XIV

1657 - 1715

Spent a lot more money than necessary on luxuries, causing high taxes. "I am the nation" was his personal motto. p.62

Seven years' war ends


A large military conflict that lasted (-what a surprise!-) seven years.

Louis XVI marries Marie Antoinette


Marie Antoinette was very unpopular with the people of France because of her idealistic views of peasant life and her love of luxury. She put her wants over the people's needs. p.66

Louis XVI becomes king


Louis XVI was not prepared to be king, and did not have the qualities of a ruler at all. He left decisions mainly to the royal court. p.64

Tennis Court Oath


The Oath was a pledge that the Third Estate would continue meeting until France had a new form of government. p.75

The Estates General Summoned


A parliament that only met as a result of royal command. It included three representatives from the three estates of France (clergy, aristocrats, and middle class). p.74

The French Revolution

October Days


Crowds of women marched to meet the king. Once getting there, they stormed the palace and attacked the National Assembly. The king and queen agreed to go back to Paris. p.76

All Feudal Priviledges Abolished


The National Assembly ended serfdom and abolished all feudal rights. p.76

Fall of the Bastille


A great mob attacked a royal prison as a form of rebellion. The troops sent in to disperse it, joined it and they captured the Bastille. p.75

Civil Constitution of the Clergy


All noble titles were declared obsolete. Everyone was given the title "citizen". p.77

Flight to Varennes


The king, queen, and their children tried to escape from their country in disguise. They were recognized in Varennes, and imprisoned. p.77

Convention Meets


A newly elected body decided that the king should be tried for his crimes against the country and executed. p.83

Monarchy Overthrown


A split between moderates, radicals, and the leaders occured. Leaders were arrested. p.80

Marie Antoinette executed


Never won over the hearts of the people, got executed in January. p.83

Reign of Terror begins


An estimated 37000 people were guillotined in this short period of almost 2 years. p.84

Louis XVI executed


As the revolution entered a new and violent stage, Louis XVI was executed. p.80

Fall of Robespierre; thermidor period begins


Introduced the Metric System and the Revolutionary Calendar. After a failed attempt to shoot himself, he was executed because of his feared dictatorship. p.85

The Directory first meets


Controlled by the Middle Class. They swept away much of the progress poor people had made and gave many privileges to people with money. p.85

After the French Revolution

Napoleon saves the convention


He ordered cannons to be fired straight into the crowd of rebellious French citizens. p.95

Napoleon appointed first consul


Napoleon overthrew the Directory and obtained his title as the First Consul. He set about improving the French lifestyle. p.98

Napoleon crowns himself Emperor


Napoleon controlled every aspect of France, but was smart enough to know that he had to remain popular with the people, and give them no reason to overthrow him. p.102