French governments timeline


French Monarchy

1700 - Approx. 1792

includes almost all fence kings such as louis xiv and louis xvi
it does not start in 1700 but doing this makes the timeline look much better

beginnings of the republic

1789 - 1792

creation of the national assembly, national constituent assembly, and legislative assembly

Reign of terror

9/5/1793 - 7/28/1794

headed up by Maximilien de Robespierre the committee for public safety restricted civil liberties and killed many frenchmen in the name of preserving the republic technically lasts until 1795 but robspiere is killed in 94 symbolizing its waning power

The Directory

2 November 1795 - 10 November 1799

created by a new constitution written by the national assembly starting as an ineffective system with a 5 man executive branch it would evolve to become an ineffective system with a 5 man dictatorship


1799 - 1804

Napoleon leads a military coup against the directory and establishes the consulate at gunpoint it had many complicated legislative chambers which were so decentralized all of the power was effectively given to the consulates who had a 10 year term unsurprisingly napoleon was one of those consulates

First Empire

1804 - 1814

napoleon crowns himself emperor and now with unparalleled political power leads his armies across Europe seeing serfs and hurting monarchies all across Europe this ends with the french defeat at the battle of leipzig after which napoleon is forced into exile

New Monarchy

1814 - 1848

Starting with the reestablishment of louis xviii brother of louis xvi the monarchy reigns with more restrictions than the last one due to the now entrenched presence of republic institutions such as the national assembly during this time the national workshops would be established under the last and only orleans monarch louis phillipe

the 100 days

March 20, 1815 - July 8, 1815

napoleon Bonaparte returns to France and rules for 100 days under the support of the common people he engages in more foreign wars and is finally defeated in the battle of waterloo

the second republic

1848 - 1852

the second republic comes to power in the 1848 revolution being more conservative than the monarch the republic dooms itself by disbanding the beloved national workshops the president of this republic for its entire existence was Napoleon iii who was elected because he was bonaparte's cousin

The second empire

1852 - 1870

under napoleon iii france engaged in many foreign policy intrigues and blunders such as the destruction of the congress system and the franco Prussian war domestically because napoleon had liberal leanings the freedom of the press and other freedoms were not restricted

the 3rd french republic

1871 - 1940

the 3rd republic was an actual republic despite the highly polarized opposition between the left and right in france the french avoided revolution and military coups by distracting themselves with colonial pursuits

vichy france

1940 - 1944

the french government with its capital at Vichy following hitlers occupation of northern France it collaborated with nazi Germany in many ways and is denounced as a illegitimate traitors government by all french governments that follow it

4th french republic

1947 - 1959

established following world war 2 this republic was decentralized and had many regime changes the lack of consistency in its administration led to it being unable to handle many crisis effectively culminating with its collapse

5th republic

1959 - 2016

a new republic fixing the error of the 4th republic straightens the presidency and weakens the parliament this government still exists today