French Revolution Timeline


financial Crisis

1787 - 1789

The second Estate didn’t corporate. Also for thousands of citizens, misery turned into anger. Also france was deeply in debt. But the king and court were spending a lot, so the country went into debt. Half of taxes were used to pay the country. Also nature made it really hard for crops to grow, a hailstorm and drought riuned. Then there was the rivers, they got frozen so they couldln't make flour because the mills didn't work. Food and firewood became low and expensive.

Estates General

1788 - 1789

An assembly made up of the three estates. After that Louis agreed that they should meet in the following spring. The Estates General hadn't met for 175 years so it was a big deal that they meet. How they prepare for the meetings is they have notebooks called "cahiers so they can document their grievances. People got excited because people wanted the Estates General to pass through, but the voting process threatened the possibility of reforms.

Tennis court Oath


The Tennis court Oath is about the Third Estate. They met in an indoor tennis court. There they swore what became known as the Tennis Court Oath. Thay swore they would not leave the tennis court until they had written a constitution for France. In the face of this event, Louis relented and allowed each representative to have a vote.

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen


The Declaration laid out all the basic principles of the French Revolution. These are the principles, liberty, equality, fraternity (brotherhood). They created this declaration with help from the writers that wrote the English Bill of Rights, the American Declaration of independence, and the writings of Enlightenment philosophers. The document said that all men are born equal and remain equal before the law. The declaration guaranteed freedom of speech, the press, and religion.

Storming Bastille


The past French Government imprisoned people who spoke out against the monarchy. This event occurred because Louis made a serious mistake. The National Assembly feared that the king would use violence to to end their meetings. The people and National Assembly of Paris would arm themselves against any action that the king might take. A mob of Parisians went to the ancient prison in Bastille, looking for wepons. After that the mob killed a commander, cut off his head and paraded through the streets. It became a powerful symbol of the french revolution.

Great Fear


After the the storming of the bastille fell people were shocked by what they had done. They had feared that the king would punish them and that he would end the revolution. Rumors that had spread by the people that the king has hired foreign soldiers to punish the Third Estate. As result of the rumors, a panic called the Great fear swept through France. the panic was based on both fiction and fact. Some of the rumors spread village to village. Many of the people believed the wild stories. The region of Champagne 3,000 men tried to find gangs of thugs but all they found were a herd of cattle. As result of years of abuse some peasents took revenge

Creation of National Assembly


The National Assembly's actions was alarmed by the mistake that Louis made earlier that summer. Louis called troops in to protect his throne in Versailles. This made the common people of Paris very angery. The people of Paris were scared that the king would crush the Revolution. In October 7,000 women marched in the rain from Paris to Versailles. The mob, demanding bread, broke into the palace. To make peace with the crowd, Louis agreed to go and live in the Tuileries Palace with his family.

Creation of National Convention


It voted itself out of existence and called for the election of a new legislature, the National convention. The violence that occured in August helped put radical fractio, or those who favored extreme change, in control. The National Convention's first acts were abolishing the monarchy and declaring France a repubic. It was the same day the new National Convention met, the France won the battle against the foreign invaders. The victory inspired hope in the revolutionary troops. The French Repubic had held its ground against Europe's Old Order.



The counterrevolution was a decision that the revolutinary leaders made in drastic actions. It's a revolution that's against a government that was established by a revolution.

Important Actions of the National Convention


After the king died the National Convention began to tighten it's hold on France. The first thing they did was they set up the Committee of Public Safety to manage the country's military defense against the foriegn forces on France's borders. The communittee promptly made an unprecedented draft for all men between18 and 45.

Reign of Terror


By this time many people were concerned about the course of the Revolution. A lot of the French were criticizing it. Outside of France, the countries of Great Britain, Holland, Spain, Austria, and Prussia were getting worried about the revolution that they formed a coalition and made war against France. As a result of this some revolutionary leaders feared they would lose control. All of the leaders decide to take drastic actions to avoid o possible counterrevolution. A counterrevolution is a revolution against a government that was established by a revolution. The Reign of Terror is a mountian that began a series of accusations, trials, and executions. That created a wave of fear throughout the country.

Execution of LouisXVI


After the morning the king was scheduled to die, the streets in Paris were quiet. The soldiers lined up where the execution took place. This was just in case there were any supporters in the monarchy caused trouble. At his execution, the king began to deliver a speech proclaiming his innocence, but a drumroll drowned out his voice. They forced the king into place on the guillotine, it's a device that dropped a very sharp, heavy blade on the victim's neck. When the deed was over, a young guard held up the dripping head for everyone to see. Reports of the king's execution spread quickly through Europe. Outside of France Europeans reacted with horror to the news of the Revolution.

Important Napoleonic Reforms


Napoleon had a lot reforms.Here's a couple of them, Economic Reforms, and Legal and Educational Reforms. He knew that a good financial system was essential for the stability of France, so he established the Bank of France to regulate the economy. Also he set up a more efficient tax collection system. Under his leadership, scholars revised and organized the French law and created the Napoleonic Code. The code made laws uniform across the nation and elminated many injustices. But it also promoted order and authority over individual rights, like freedom of the press for example.

Napoleon's Rise to Power


The French Revolution gave him a prime opportunity to rise quickly to power. In a few short years, he would rise from a mere army captain to become the ruler of France. He faced off a mob of royalists trying to regain power in Paris. Napoleon's used artillery to shoot into the crowd. That forced the royalists to flee. His reward was he was put in charge of defending the French interior. He was only 26 years old though. After that, the Directory placed Napoleon in command of the French forces invading Italy. They were poorly suppied but that didn't slow down his troops, they just took their food from the countryside. He took the hardship to his advantage. It did't slow his troops down, they could strike quickly.

Invasion of Russia


Napoleon stationed troops near the western border of Russia. When that happened the Russian ruler, Czar Alexander I, got worried. The Russian ruler was also worried about the Continental System on his country’s need to import goods, so he began to gather his own troops. Napoleon saw the Russian troop’s movement, so he began to move his troops into Russia. In June his army of 600,000 men marched across Russia’s border. But the invasion was in trouble from the beginning. The first reason is because most of the soldiers were new recruits that had no loyalty to Napoleon. Also a lot of the army’s supplies were either spoiled or lost along the rough roads. In addition to that the heat in July made the horses miserable. The result is, many men were suffering either from diseases, hunger, and desertion, which thinned out the army’s ranks.

Exile to Elba

1813 - 1814

After Napoleon's defeat in Russia, it got his enemies hopes up. His enemies are Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Great Britian. They all allied themselves agianst France. Meanwhile he got new troops but they didn't have any expirence at all. In Octorber the allies met his new troops near the German city of Leipzig. Napoleon got defeated in this battle. Then in March the allies entered Paris in triumph. One of the terms of surrendering, he had to give up his thone. But the victors allowed him to keep the title of emperor, but his new empire was tiny.

Congress of Vienna

1814 - 1815

A little before Napoleon escaped from Elba, a hundred diplomats gathered in the city of Vienna. The prupose of this was to create a plan so they could restore order and stability to Europe. This was after the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars. Metternich from Austria had a strong distrust of the democracy and political change. That dominated the Congress of Vienna. He wanted to restore a balance of power to make Europe peaceful again. The way he did that was he restored old monarchies, and compensate the allies for their losses.

Battle of Waterloo


Across Europe enimies of Napoleon were gathering for another showdown with Napoleon. After indecistive battles were fought, the final confrontation pitted Napoleon troops against British troops. THe British troops were led by the Duke of Wellington. The Belgian, Dutch, and German troops increased Wellington's ranks. Heavy rain delayed the battle until morning. British forces stood their ground, but the fighting was all day. Britain's allie, Prussia, came to their aid. Prussian troops came to help the British. Two armies were no match for Napoleon's army. The British and Prussian troops drove the French off the field by the end of the day .