1787-1795

France

Assembly of Notables

February 1787

Colonne, Louis XVI's minister of finances, sought to remove trade barriers and proposed new taxes that all landowners would have to pay. Colonne asked for the support of the Assembly of Notables, but they did not trust him and refused.

Estate Voting System Changed

September 1788

The voting system of the Estates General was changed. Instead of counting the overall vote of every representative, voting was done by estate. Each estate had one vote, meaning the Third Estate could be easily outvoted.

Doubling of Third Estate

December 27, 1788

The Third Estate was able to elect double the number of representatives of the other two estates, allowing them to easily overpower if voting was done by head.

National Assembly is Created

June 17, 1789

The Third Estate split from the Estates General and established the National Assembly. The Second Estate was invited to join them and, through a very close vote, agreed.

Tennis Court Oath

June 20, 1789

The National Assembly vowed to continue to meet until until France was given a constitution.

Storming of the Bastille

July 14, 1789

Large crowds stormed the Bastille to gather weapons for their militia and released the seven prisoners inside (none of which were political prisoners). Nearly 100 were killed and many were injured.

Civic Equality is Decreed

August 4, 1789

The National Assembly abolished all of the feudalistic special privileges that the nobility had formerly received.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

August 27, 1789

Reflected ideas of the government of the United States and declared the freedom and equality of all citizens.

March on Versailles

October 5, 1789

A group of over 7000 armed women marched to Versailles to demand more bread. They forced Louis and his family to return to Paris with them.

Civil Constituion of the Clergy

July 12, 1790

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy declared the Roman Catholic Church in France to be a branch of the government.

Chapelier Law

June 14, 1791

Banned guilds and the right to strike, called for free enterprise.

King Louis Attempts to Flee

June 20, 1791

Louis and his family were disguised as peasants and attempted to flee but was discovered and was escorted back to Paris on June 24.

Declaration of Pillnitz

August 27, 1791

Austria and Prussia promised to protect the French Royal family if the other main European powers agreed. It was meaningless, though taken seriously in France.

War Declared on Austria

April 20, 1792

France invaded the Austrian Netherlands

Storming of the Tuileries

August 10, 1792

Battalions attacked the Tuileries and the Swiss Guard, a branch of the Royal Army were slaughtered, even after they were ordered to cease fire.

Meeting of the Convention

September 21, 1792

The monarchy is formally abolished.

King Louis is Executed

January 21, 1793

King Louis was condemned to death for "conspiring against the liberty of the people and the security of the state" and was beheaded.

War Declared on Great Britain

February 1, 1793

France declared war on Great Britain only one month after Louis' execution.

Committee of Public Safety is Formed

April 1793

This committee was formed to carry out the executive duties of the government, but became almost a dictatorial power over time.

Constitution of 1793

June 22, 1793

Drafted by the Committee of Public Safety, was heavily inspired by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and supported popular sovereignty.

Levée En Masse is Proclaimed

August 23, 1793

Drafted young men into France's various wars with other European powers.

Marie Antoinette is Executed

October 16, 1793

Marie Antoinette, along with other members of the royal family, were among the first victims of the Reign of Terror.

Enragés are Executed

March 24, 1794

Robespierre ordered the execution of some of the extreme sans-culottes, known as enragés.

Law of 22 Prairial Adopted

June 10, 1794

Permitted the conviction of suspects without the need of hearing evidence against them.

Robespierre is Executed

July 28, 1794

Members of the Convention began to resent Robespierre's powers and arrested him on July 27, 1794. He was executed the next day.

Constitution of the Year III

August 22, 1795

This constitution created a legislature with two houses, as the Convention noted the dangers of one house having unlimited authority.

Two-Thirds Law Adopted

September 23, 1795

Required two-thirds of the new Legislative Assembly to have served in the original Convention.

French Government

Reign of Louis XVI

1787 - 21 September 1792

Actually began on May 10, 1774. Ended with the declaration of the First French Republic

National Constituent Assembly

17 June 1789 - 30 September 1791

National Assembly

June 17, 1789 - July 9, 1789

National Convention

20 September 1792 - 26 October 1795

French Directory

2 November 1795 - 10 November 1799

French Consulate

10 November 1799 - 18 May 1804

Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself as First Consul