French Revolution Timeline


Calling of the Estates General

May 5, 1789

Louis XVI calls the Estates General together for the first time since 1614. Louis called to help with the increasingly worsening financial situation. The Estates General was made up of the FIrst Estate-clergy, Second Estate-nobles, and the Third Estate-everyone else.

Tennis Court Oath

June 20, 1789

After assuming the Third Estate had been removed from the Estates General, they created the National Assembly. They then met at a tennis court and made an oath to stay together until a new constitution was created.

Storming of the Bastille

August 26, 1789

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen was a written document stating that all men are equal under law. The Rights of Man was specifically directed as women and children were unaffected by this document.

Women's March on Versailles

October 5, 1789

Parisian women marched to the doors of Versailles in search of bread. Their movement was not only for more bread, but it was to lower the cost as well. The women took the royal family to Paris where they would live until their death.

Civil Constitution of the Clergy

July 12, 1790

This law stated that the Roman Catholic Church would be under government rule. To help pay off debts, the government sold parts of the church’s land. Many religious peasants were in turmoil, unable to support or revolt against the law.

Flight to Varennes

June 21, 1791

The Flight to Varennes was a failed attempt by the royal family to flee France as their own people scared them. Their attempt was stopped in Varennes, just short the border to Austria. Upon their return to Paris, Louis XVI was put on trial.

Execution of Louis XVI

January 21, 1793

Louis was put on trial for treason. His sentence was death. After being beheaded on the guillotine, King Louis XVI became the first victim of the Reign of Terror.

Reign of Terror

September 5, 1793

The Reign of Terror was a result of conflict between Jacobins and Gridirons. IN this reign over 16,000 were killed by guillotine or severe beating. These murders happened to eliminate anyone who stood in the way of the revolution.