French Revolution Timeline

Taylor Garrett


American Revolution

1756 - 1763

The American Revolution influenced many of the ideas of the French Revolution.

Louis XVI Reinstates the Estates General


The estates general had not been called into session in over 150 years.

National Assembly Created

June 17, 1789

A group created by 3rd estate leaders in order to create a constitution for France. 1st and 2nd estate members were also invited. They were influenced by the concepts of the enlightenment (thoughts like equality, natural rights, and the general will of the people) and the success of the American Revolution.

Tennis Court Oath

June 20, 1789

The National Assembly was kicked out of Versailles and hold a meeting at a nearby tennis court. They vow to meet until their country forms a constitution.

Storming of Bastille

July 14, 1789

Mob looking for bread and weapons, so the storm this old prison after rumors of large stores.

Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen

August 26, 1789

Limited only to men, and spells out things such as rights, freedoms, and equality. Very similar to the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Women March to Versailles

September 1789

STARVING BABIES RULE THE WORLD! Women lead protest to demand the stores of flour and grain to feed their children. They take up weapons and storm Versailles. General Lafayette leads an army to follow the women. Propaganda saying by Marie Antoinette "Let them eat cake!"

Constitution of 1791


Created by the national assembly. They create a limited constitutional monarchy. The king agrees at first. This constitution completely revamps all of France. Creates 83 departments, and promotes more equality and rights.

National Convention


Radicals call for new elections and a new constitution, so they create the national convention. This group is controlled by the Jacobin club, which is led by Maximilion Robespierre. Also controlled by the Girodins.

Louis's Attempt to Escape

June 20, 1791

After "agreeing" to the new constitution and all these new ideas, the king is seen dressed in disguise while attempting to escape the country. This discredits the new constitution, and turns majority of people against him.

Declaration of Pillnitz

August 27, 1791

agreement by Austria and Prussia to attack revolutionary France to restore the Bourbon dynasty. Both countries agree to save the royal family which turns people against them even more so.

New Government Created 1791

October 1791

A limited constitutional monarchy was created with the constitution of 1791. This allows Louis and his family to remain royal, but limits his power.

Royal Family Captured and Imprisoned


People believed that the royal family was conspiring with the ememy, and are captured and imprisoned.

Legislative Assembly Declares War on Austria and Prussia

April 20, 1792

They take pre-emptive measures and declare war, but Austria and Prussia have the upper hand.

Austria and Prussia Advance of France

August 1792

Austria and Prussia have the advantage, and advance towards Paris

Levee in Masse

August 1792

French army swells to over 800,00 as the elderly, women, and children are called to help. Austrians and Prussians are expelled from French lands.

Law of the Fourth of August

August 4, 1792

National assembly tries to quell mobs, and ends up passing laws to end feudal privileges of clergy and nobles (end serfdom, sames taxes for all classes, etc.)

New Government Created 1792

September 22, 1792

The national convention created a republic as the form of government, ending the monarchy. The Sans Culottes wanted a republic, and was the poor, hard working group that got stuff done during the revolution.

King's Death - Regicide

January 1793

Without a trial, the king was found guilty of treason, and executed by guillotine in the center of Paris. He tries to speak, but the drums drown out his words.

Queen's Death

October 1793

Marie Antoinette is put on trial and is found guilty of treason. She is paraded down the streets as a commoner in a criminal cart. She was also executed by the guillotine.

Reign of Terror

1794 - 1795

conducted by the national convention, and Robespierre. Thousands were executed in an attempt to wipe out all who were against the revolution and Robespierre's ideas. The committee of public safety was elected to search out people who opposed the revolution and those ideas.

Robespierre Falls Out of Favor


Robespierre begins to get rid of everything having to deal with the church from the calender to street names. He starts showing almost dictator-like signs, and isn't providing the equality and enlightenment inspired ideas the people want. So the begin to dislike him and end up executing him like he did thousands of people. By guillotine.

Republic of Virtue

February 5, 1794

Purges France of all enemies of the revolution such as nobles, those who favored the Catholic Church, etc.

Thermadorian Reaction


As the reign of terror comes to an end, this has more of a calming effect, as more moderates come back into power.

Constitution of 1795


Elects a directory and ends universal male suffrage. The directory was a group of five men who served as an executive branch of the government. Napoleon Bonaparte sat on the directory, and that is the reason why he began to rise to power.