French Revolution 10 Key Events Timeline

Events

Call of the Estates Generals

May 5, 1789

King Louis called together the Estates Generals for the first time in a very long time to discuss the financial problems of the French government. It was the first meeting since 1614. The Estates are made of three estates. The first was clergy, the second nobility, and the third was the commons.

Tennis Court Oath

June 17, 1789

On June 20, 1789, the members of the Third Estate, who had started calling themselves the National Assembly, took this oath. They vowed “not to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the kingdom is established”.

Storming of the Bastille

July 14, 1789

A state prison on the east side of Paris was attacked by mobs. This event became one of the defining moments in the revolution that followed. The mob demanded the huge ammunition storage that was hidden behind the walls.

Royal Families Attempt to Flee

June 20, 1791

The flight to Varennes was a significant moment in the French Revolution where King Louis, his wife, and their immediate family attempted to flee Paris in order to initiate a counter-revolution. They made it as far as Varennes before they were arrested after being recognized at their last stop.

The first invasion of the Tuileries

June 20, 1792

A little more that three years after the attack on Bastille, the people of Paris attacked Tuileries. The Tuileries was the official home of the King and the legislative assembly.

Overthrow of the Monarchy

August 10, 1792

this was the day in which the French revolutionaries overthrew the monarchy because they found the king guilty of treason.

Execution of Louis XVI

January 21, 1793

The execution of King Louis XVI was a major turning point in the Revolution. It took place at Revolution Square. The National Convention convicted the king in a near unanimous vote and condemned him to death simply by majority.

Reign of Terror

September 1793 - July 1794

A period of time after the first French Republic was established. These people forced many citizens into giving up their land and rights. Thousands of people were sentenced to death by execution. This sparked the first of many different civil wars.

Execution of the Queen

October 16, 1793

The queen was the first executed after the Reign of Terror began. She was executed by the Guillotine.

Execution of Robespierre

July 27, 1794

Towards the end of the revolution Robespierre was executed. He was a lawyer and one of the best known influence in the French Revolution. He was against the death penalty, but was one of the most involved in the King's execution. The French did not like him, so they ordered his arrest.