French Revolution


Financial Crisis of 1787-1789

1787 - 1789

The Financial Crisis was a time when France was having trouble with money due to funding the American Revolution, and because France was not taxing its populace in a way that would not only create more wealth but was also not fair (barely taxing the wealthy, heavily taxing the poor). The palace of Versailles was also a major cause of this. This is against the Declaration because the poor were being overly taxed while the wealthy were not-it wasn't fair and the poor couldn't do anything about it.


1789 - 1815

The Counterrevolution was composed of various groups both within and without France who's aim it was to change the course of the revolution. This went against the Declaration, because if it succeeded then things would go back to the way they were before, with injustice rampant throughout France.

Estates general

June 1, 1789 - June 16, 1789

The Estates-General was a meeting of the three estates, or social classes, in France. This was the first such meeting in 175 years, and this went against the Declaration because each person was not represented, only their social class.

Tennis Court Oath

June 17, 1789 - June 18, 1789

The representatives of the Third Estate met in an indoor tennis court and swore the Tennis Court Oath; that they wouldn't leave the court until they had written a constitution for France. This supports the Declaration as it resulted in its creation.

Creation of National Assembly

June 17, 1789 - 1791

The National Assembly was largely a placeholder government, put in place until a new government could be formed. It was created by the Third Estate, and they declared themselves a legislature with powers to make laws for France. It was eventually replaced by the Legislative Assembly. This was for the Declaration, as an elected assembly was created by the people as fast as possible.

Storming the Bastille

July 14, 1789 - July 15, 1789

Parisians stormed the Bastille, an infamous prison, looking for weapons to protect themselves because they thought that King Louis would be mad that the Third Estate declared themselves a legislature. This goes against the Declaration because people were hurt and killed without express government permission.

Great Fear

July 19, 1789 - August 3, 1789

The Third Estate feared that King Louis would punish them for the Bastille, and end the Revolution. People spread rumors that he had hired foreign mercenaries to kill everyone, and so fear spread throughout the nation. There was much violence, but it came from the peasants, not foreign mercenaries. This went against the Declaration because people were destroying others property.

Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

August 26, 1789 - August 27, 1789

The Declaration laid out the basic principles of the Revolution; "liberty, equality, fraternity,". This was inspired by the American Declaration of Independence and Enlightenment philosophers. This guaranteed many freedoms, and that all men were equal before the law...but this did not extend to women. This is obviously for the Declaration. Because it is the Declaration.

Creation of National Convention

September 20, 1792 - September 21, 1792

The National Convention first convened on September 20, 1792, but continued to hold power until October 26, 1795. This was controlled by radicals, supported by lower middle class and the poor. This supported the Declaration, as the people were given even more power than they had previously.

Important Actions of the National Convention

September 20, 1792 - October 26, 1795

During the period of its control, the National Convention set up the Committee of Public Safety to manage the country's military defenses (and the committee then set up a draft for men between the ages of 18 and 45). The National Convention also established a new court; the Revolutionary Tribunal, which was supposed to get rid of those who would threaten the Revolution from within. The Convention also attempted to completely change French culture and society, going so far as to switch the old measuring system for the metric, and create a new calendar. Religion was also changed; instead of Christianity, the following of the Supreme Being (where the idea of the Revolution was praised) became the state sponsored religion. This went against the Declaration as it was an attempt by the government to effectively brainwash the populace.

Execution of Louis XVI

January 20, 1793 - January 21, 1793

The king was tried on January 20, and quickly condemned to die the following day, the 21st. This was done in an effort to prevent a return of the monarchy and defend the Revolution from its enemies. This went against the Declaration, as there was no reason to kill the king other than the fact that he was royalty; he had not done anything else.

Reign of Terror

September 5, 1793 - July 28, 1794

The revolutionary leaders were afraid that they would lose control, and so took drastic action against the possibility of a counterrevolution. A series of accusations, trials, and executions started that created a wave of fear through the country. This went against the Declaration because these were not 'real' trials; they were simply the government trying to stay in power.

Napolean's Rise to Power

1799 - 1804

In 1799 Napolean staged a coup d'état and took installed himself as the First Consul. After five years he was declared Emporer. He engaged France in a series of stuggles called the Napoleonic Wars, and created a large sphere of influence for France. This went against the Declaration because he named himself Emperor, a station that the Declaration sought to get rid of.

Important Napoleanic Reforms

1799 - March 21, 1804

Napolean did numerous things, including overthrowing the Directory and installing the Consulate, improved trade, and made peace with the Catholic Church, bringing it under state control. Peasants also recieved land, but the most important thing that Napolean did was called the Napoleonic Code, which included many Enlightenment ideas, such as freedom of religion, and equality of citizens efor ethe law. It was finally published the 21st of March, 1804. These reforms were for the Declaration because they gave the people more power and control over their own lives, as well as many freedoms.

Invasion of Russia

June 24, 1812 - December 14, 1812

Napoleon invaded Russia with the primary goal of stopping an invasion of Poland. The French won many of the battles, but after they captured Moscow it was burned to the ground by the Russians. With no victory in sight, Napoleon issued a general retreat, but was harassed by the Russians all the way back to France, and suffered heavy casualties, effectively destroying his army. This is neutral in regards to the Declaration because it was just a battle, and did not have overarching moral consequences.

Exile to Elba

April 11, 1814 - March 1815

Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated the French throne and was banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba on Aril 11, 1814. However in March 1815 he escaped from Elba and returend to Paris, where he reclaimed his title as Emperor. This went against the Declaration because Napoleon once again became an Emperor.

Congress of Vienna

September 1814 - June 1815

A conference of ambassadors, the Congress of Vienna's aim was to settle issues arising from the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, along with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. This resulted in the redrawing of boundaries across all of Europe. This would agree with the Declaration because every person (or i this case country) that was involved was fairly represented.

Battle of Waterloo

June 18, 1815 - June 19, 1815

An Imperial French army commanded by Napoleon was defeated by armies of the Seventh Coalition; the culminating battle of the Waterloo campaign, it was Napolean's last defeat. This is neutral in regards to the Declaration because it was just a battle, and did not have overarching moral consequences.