History Timeline


France was divided into the first, second, and third estates

Approx. 1770

Frances economy sank in debt, it was because of extra spending by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette plus a previous debt that was held

Approx. 1770 - Approx. 1790

A mob stormed the Bastille to overthrow the government overtaxing and being overbearing

July 14, 1779

Bad weather resulted in widespread crop failures, especially in grain

Approx. 1780

Economy was in decline and the cost of living went up sharply


Banks refused to lend anymore money to the government to pay off debt


Price of bread doubled, many were left starving


Meeting at Versailles took place of the Estates-General to approve a new tax on the nobility

May 5, 1789

It was voted to establish the National Assembly, to begin a representative government and end the absolute monarchy

June 17, 1789

An emotional late night meeting took place between the nobles and members of the clergy in the National Assembly to discuss the uprisings

July, 1789

Noble men made grand speeches on their love for liberty and equality in fear that all estates would become equal

August 4, 1789

Thousands of Parisian Women rioted over the rising price of bread

October, 1789

The royal family tried to escape from France to the Austrian Netherlands, they were apprehended at the border and brought back to Paris under guard. This increased the influence of their enemies

June, 1791

The National Assembly completed a new constitution which Louis reluctantly approved, much of his power was taken

September, 1791

France was made into a republic and monarchy was abolished, adult males could vote and hold office, women could not

September 21, 1791

Legislative Assembly declared war on Austria and Prussia because they wanted Louis' power restored


Guillotine was invented

Approx. 1792

20,000 men and women invaded Tuileries, the palace where the royal family was staying, the family was arrested

August 10, 1792

Citizens raided the prison and murdered over 1,000 prisoners in fear that they would break out and seize power in support of the king

September, 1792

Olympe de Gouges was declared an enemy of the revolution and executed

Approx. 1793

Great Britain, Holland, and Spain joined Prussia and Austria against France


Robespierre leads Reign of Terror and becomes dictator

1793 - July 17, 1794

Convention ordered a draft of 300,000 citizens aged 18 to 40


The army grew to 800,000 and included women