Major Events of the French Revolution


Calling of the Estates General

May 5, 1789

King Louis XIV calls forth the Estates General after a long period of time. The Estates General is summoned to help Louis' government financial problems. The Estates General is made up of the Clergy (First Estate), the Nobles (Second Estate), and the common people (Third Estate).

Tennis Court Oath

June 20, 1789

After being removed from the Estates General, the Third Estate formed the National Assembly. The National Assembly found themselves locked out of their usual meeting spot at Versailles. They then moved to a nearby indoor tennis court. An oath was taken that they would not separate until a written constitution was established.

Dissolution of the National Assembly

July 9, 1789

The National Assembly disbanded on July 9, 1789 and was replaced by the National Constituent Assembly. The National Constituent Assembly then dissolved 2 years later on September 30, 1791. It was replaced by the Legislative Assembly.

Storming of the Bastille

July 14, 1789

Angered revolutionaries storm the Bastille. The Bastille was a royal fortress that symbolized the Bourbon monarchs. The Bastille also was a place that held prisoners captive. The revolutionaries were able to obtain many weapons and gunpowder from the prison.

Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

August 26, 1789

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen is a written document. The document states that all men are equal under the law. Women and children were unaffected by this document.

Womens March on Versailles

October 5, 1789

Parisian women gather and march to Versailles to protest and demand bread for them and their families. Not only do they protest the scarcity of bread, they also protest the high price of bread.

Civil Constitution of the Clergy

July 12, 1790

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy is a law. The law states that the French government has complete control over the Roman Catholic Church. Since France was short of money due to its crippling debt, the government begins selling part of the church's land.

Flight to Varennes

June 21, 1791

The Flight to Varennes is where King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their immediate family try to flee France. Unfortunately the family failed to flee and was caught at Varennes. They are are sent back to Paris where Louis XIV is forced to be put on trial.

Execution of Louis XVI

January 21, 1793

After being put on trial and being convicted for treason, Louis was sentenced to death. King Louis XIV was then executed using the guillotine. His execution made him the first victim of the Reign of Terror.

Reign of Terror

September 5, 1793

The Reign of Terror was the result of the many conflicts between the Jacobins and Gridirons. During this time, about 16,000 people were executed. Many people died using a method involving the guillotine, while others were beaten by angry mobs. The whole idea of this terror was to purge those who posed as a threat to France. Those who were suspected of being against the French Revolution were especially threats.