French Revolution

Stage 1

The 3rd Estate Declares Itself the National Assembly

June 17 1789

The 3rd Estate refused to vote by power and began to meet privately. The 3rd Estate was originally called the commons.

Tennis Court Oath

June 20, 1789

Members of the French Estate-General of the Third Estate take a vow on the outside courts of the Versaille never to separate until a written constitution is established in France.

King Louis XVI Fires Necker

July 11 1789

King Louis XVI fires Jacques Necker, his financial administrator. Necker cared more about the people in France and wanted everyone to be fed.

Storming of the Bastille

July 14, 1789

A Paris mob storms into the Bastille and takes over the state prison because of their dissatisfaction of the monarchy. The Bastille represented royal presence and authority in France.

The Great Fear

July 19 1789 - August 3 1789

The Great Fear was a period of panic and rioting of the peasants especially. Rumors began to spread about a conspiracy of the King and the nobles to overthrow the 3rd Estate.

Feudal Rights Abolished and the Jacobin Club Formed

August 4 1789

The Jacobin Club was formed by Antoine Barnare. The Jacobins were radicals and an influencial group in the French Revolution.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen Is Drafted

August 26 1789

This declaration was drafted by the National Assembly. It enforced the rights of man.

Women's March to Versailles

October 5 1789

The women raided the city for weapons, due to high price and scarcity of bread. They marched to the royal palace and pressed their demands to the King.

The Royal Family Is Captured

October 6 1789

King Louis XVI and his family is captured from his palace in Versaille and is moved to Paris.

Civil Constitution of the Clergy Is Passed

July 12 1790

This Constitution recreated the diocesan and monastic character of the Church. It also reduced papal influence, forcing priests to swear loyalty to state, rather than to the papacy.

Stage 2

Flight to Varennes

June 21 1791

The royal family attempted to escape to Austria, Queen Marie Antoinette's homeland but is recaptured in Varennes and is taken back to Paris.

Massacre of the Champs de Mars

July 17 1791

This massacre was named after the area in Paris it took place. The massacre occurred two days after the National Assembly announced the King would remain under a constitutional monarchy in protest.

Declaration of Pillnitz

August 27 1791

Austria and Prussia call for support for King Louis XVI in the French Revolution. This declaration was made between Fredrick William II of Prussia and Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II.

Slavery Abolished in France

September 28 1791

The National Assembly voted to reinstate political rights for slaves, but not for French colonies.

France Declares War on Austria

April 20 1792

France declared war because French revolutionaries wanted to unify the country by war. They also desired to spread the ideas of revolution.

First Use of Guillotine

April 25 1792

Dr. Guillotine invented a new, efficient way to behead people: the guillotine. The guillotine was then used for the executions of presumed traitors of the French revolutionaries.

Revolution of August 10

August 10 1792

A Paris mob storms the royal palace. Legislative Assembly falls. Minister of Justice Danton executes thousands of French people, who are presumed traitors to the revolutionaries. This marks the end of Louis XVI's reign as King.

September Massacres

September 2 1792 - September 7 1792

These massacres took place in Paris and other cities. A fear of foreign and royalist armies attacking spurred.

The French Monarchy Is Abolished

September 21 1792

The monarchy was finally abolished by the National Convention and was replaced by a republic.

King Louis XVI's Trial Begins

December 3 1792

The former monarch was presented with 33 charges, describing his poor leadership. He was later found guilty.

Stage 3

Louis XVI Is Executed

January 21 1793

King Louis XVI was found guilty and was sentenced to death. He was executed by the guillotine.

Counter-revolution in the Vendee Begins

February 1793

The counter-revolution was an uprising which began in the Vendee region of France. It initially started as a peasant uprising, but it escalated into a counter-revolution, led by the Royal army.

Reign of Terror Begins

March 1793

The Committee of Public Safety declared the "Reign of Terror" after King Louis XVI's death on January 21, 1793. Its purpose was to purge suspected enemies of the revolution.

Marat Is Murdered

July 13 1793

French Charlotte Corday went to Jean-Paul Marat's home in the Paris on July 13, 1793, and stabbed Marat in the chest, killing him. Corday was then executed soon after.

Dechristianization Begins

September 1793

Dechristianization was initiated by the Committee of Public Safety. Churches were closed and public worship was prohibited.

The French Revolutionary Calendar Was Introduced

October 5 1793

The Committee of Public Safety initiated a period of anti-clericalism. The Committee abolishes the Christian calendar, creating the revolutionary calendar with a 10-day week period instead of 7 days. This also meant there were no Sundays.

The Tricolor Flag Is Introduced as the French Flag

February 15 1794

The colors of the French flag are blue, white, and red, which the ideals of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Danton Is Executed

April 4 1794

Minister of Justice Danton was a moderate, and therefore did not support the extreme violence in the Reign of Terror. The Committee of Public Safety decided to execute him.

The Great Terror Begins

June 1794

The Great Terror occurred at the height of the Reign of Terror. It was a period of extreme violence.

Robespierre Is Executed

July 28 1794

Maximilien Robespierre began to decrease in power after he sent his friends to be killed by the guillotine. He then was viewed as a tyrant and unfit to remain in power. He was executed, ending the Reign of Terror.