French Revolution Timeline


National Assembly is in power

June 17, 1789 - September 30, 1791

Storming of the Bastille

July 14, 1789

Peasants, fearful of a rising military group, heard rumors of gunpowder and weapons being stored in the Bastille. They all gather together with any weapons they could find, and stormed the place. The weapons and gunpowder were not there. This was important because it is what many see as the beginning of the French revolution. It also showed that peasants could revolt if they so needed.

Official End of Feudalism

August 1789

The nobles and the clergy of the assembly were pressured into finally ending feudalism in France. A major contributor to this was the terror currently raging through the country. This was important because it also made way for the Declaration of the Rights of Man to be created. This also took away the rights for nobles to have servants, and other rights.

Declaration of the Rights of Man

August 26, 1789

A document made shortly after the official end of Feudalism, written by the Assembly. This document declared that liberty, property, safety, and resistance against oppression were a part of their unalienable rights. This was important because it gave the people freedom to chose religion, and the choice to talk about whatever they wanted. It was a huge factor in the French revolution for its ideas.

Royal Family escape attempt

June 1791

King Louis XVI and his family, constantly getting shamed and tormented by his people, decided that he needed to flee the country. They disguised as nobles, but were found out and sent back to the castle and put under house arrest. This was important because it fueled the revolution. It also lead to some radicals starting to rise in power.

Constitution of 1791 created

September 1791

Established a form of limited monarchy instead of an absolute monarchy. A new legislative assembly was assigned, and they had the power to make laws, collect taxes, and start wars. This was important because there was finally no longer a king. This would also lead to many governmental changes in the future.

Legislative Assembly in power

Oct. 1, 1791 - Sept. 20, 1792

Legislative Assembly declares war on Austria and Prussia

April 1792

When the rulers of Austria and Prussia decided that they wanted to protect France’s monarchy, the people were not happy. They prepared for war to fight for their right to have a non-monarchy. This was important as it showed that the French would fight against threats, even if they were just bluffs.

Monarchy is abolished

September 1792

During a very radical phase of the revolution, many people were killed in the violent outbursts of the radicals supporting it. People were slaughtered just because of rumors and speculation. Soon this lead to end of the Monarchy when the king was killed. This was extremely important as it would finally get what the French wanted; a new government.

National Convention (mostly) in power

September 20, 1792 - October 26, 1795

King Louis XVI is executed

January 21, 1793

After being caught and forced to stay in his castle against his own will, the new republic government decided that their previous king was a traitor. This lead to him being publicly executed by guillotine. This event was important because it prevented any further action against the revolution’s path like Louis was planning.

Committee of Public Safety briefly takes over

April 6, 1793 - July 28, 1794

Jacobins take over power

June 1793

The Jacobins were a group of middle class lawyers and other intellectuals, gaining attention by the use of pamphlets and the newspaper. They were radicals, and because of this quickly gained power in the assembly. This is impo

Robespierre’s execution

July 28, 1794

Robespierre, one of the main radical revolutionists, was one of the contributing factors of the great fear. This time was when many were falsely accused and executed for even the smallest things. The people doing all the arresting and executing soon turned against the Committee of Public Safety, and Robespierre was executed. This was important for two reasons, one because it slowed the rate of executions and the great fear dwindled. Two, that the revolution would soon be over.