French Revolution

Prior to French Rev.

Major poeple and events causing the french revolution

Rule of Louis XIV

1657 - 1715

Sun king's reign consisted of mass spending on Versailles, enormous taxes, expensive unsuccessful wars and wastefulness-see notes, p. 62-64

Louis XV's reign

1715 - 1774

ruled from 1 September 1715 until his death on 10 May 1774.

During the French Rev.

Seven Years' War Ends


a major military conflict that lasted from 1756 until 1763 that involved all of the major European powers of the period. (P. 247,246, 48)

Louis XVI's reign

1774 - 1793

his indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to eventually view him as a symbol of tyranny.(P.64-66,83)

American Declaration of Independence


Inspired new ideals of rights for the french (P.48,72,306,307)

The Estates General summoned

Jan 1789

Louis VXI summoned the estate-general in 1789 because the wealthy and powerful classes demanded the king to summon the Estate-General as an answer to solve the economic crisis that afflicted France. (P.73-74)

Fall of the Bastille


Mob attacked the prison, killed the govenor, released the prisoners; symbolic destruction of it was important rallying point that represented the bringing down of authority p. 75

Tennis Court Oath

june 1789

a pledge signed by the Third Estate and a few members of the First Estate during a meeting of the Estates-General in a tennis court building near the Palace of Versailles. (P.75)

All Feudal Rights Abolished

Aug 1789

the National Constituent Assembly abolished feudalism, sweeping away both the seigneurial rights of the Second Estate (the nobility) and the tithes gathered by the First Estate (the Roman Catholic clergy). (P.75-77)

October days

Oct 1789

A crowd of women and armed men crowded in the town square surrounded by the beating of dums. they wanted to kill Marie Antoinette ( not in text )

Civil Constitution of Clergy


was a law passed on 12 July 1790 during the French Revolution, that subordinated the Roman Catholic Church in France to the French government. (P.76,77)

Flight to the Varennes


a part in the French Rev. when King Louis XVI was unsuccessful in his attempt to escape, disguised as servants, from the Jacobins in Paris. Their destination was a Royalist stronghold from which the King hoped to initiate a counter-revolution. They were only able to make it as far as Varennes. (P. 62-67)

Monarchy Overthrown

Aug 1792

a mob supported by the insurrectionary besieged the Tuileries palace. This proved to be the effective end of the French Monarchy (until it was restored in 1814). (P.83)

Convention Meets

oct 1792

comprised the constitutional and legislative assembly which sat from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795 (p. 76-83)

Louis XVI Executed

Jan 1793

Arrested august, to temple in september, beheaded monday 21st jan 1793 where the blade was unable to cut all the way through the first time. (P.83)

Reign of Terror begins

sep 1793

Created by conflict of Girondists and Jacobins. Mass executions approx. 16,000 - 40,000 killed. (P.84)

Marie Antoinette Executed

oct 1793

declared guilty of treson Oct. 16th and executed later that month. (P.83)

Fall of Robespierre; Thermidor Period begins

July 1794

people were beginning to turn against Robespierre, more convinced than ever that he had designs on a dictatorship. When he himself was condemed after condeming thousands himself he failed to shoot himself,then he was arrested and guillotined July 28th. (P.84,85)

The Directory first meets


This is the end of the revolution as a middle class government is established where only people who own property can vote. (p. 85)

After the French Rev.

Napoleon crowns himself Emperor


The last phase of the revolution changes the government back to a way that is similar to how it was before the French Revolution.(see notes on the 3 phases of revolution and text p.85, p.93, p.102)