Timeline: Important dates of the French Revolution

BEFORE

1756–1763

Seven Years War

1770

Future Louis XVI marries Marie-Antoinette

1771–4

Maupeou remodels parlements

1774

Accession of Louis XVI. Dismissal of Maupeou

1776

American Declaration of Independence. Necker joins government

1778

France enters American War of Independence. Death of Voltaire and Rousseau

1781

Necker resigns

1783

Peace of Paris; Calonne becomes finance minister

1787

Assembly of Notables

1788

8 Aug. Estates-General convoked for 1789

 

16 Aug. Payments suspended from Treasury

 

Oct.–Dec. Second Assembly of Notables

 

27 Dec. Doubling of third estate

DURING

1789

Feb.–June. Elections to Estates-General

 

Feb. Sieyès, What is the Third Estate?

 

5 May. Estates-General convene

 

17 May. National Assembly proclaims national sovereignty

 

20 May. Tennis Court Oath

 

27 May. Orders finally unite

 

14 July. Bastille falls

 

July. ‘Great Fear’ in countryside

 

4 Aug. Abolition of feudalism, privileges, and venality

 

26 Aug. Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen

 

5–6 October. ‘October Days’: women march to Versailles, king and Assembly move to Paris

 

2 Nov. Church property nationalized

 

12 Dec. Assignats introduced.

1790

13 Feb. Monastic vows forbidden

 

22 May. Foreign conquests renounced

 

19 June. Nobility abolished

 

12 July. Civil Constitution of the Clergy

 

16 Aug. Parlements abolished

 

27 Nov. Oath of the clergy

 

Nov. Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

1791

Mar. Paine, Rights of Man

 

2 Mar. Guilds dissolved

 

13 Apr. Pope condemns Civil Constitution

 

14 May. Le Chapelier law bans trade unions

 

20–21 June. Flight to Varennes

 

16 July. Louis XVI reinstated

 

17 July. Champ de Mars massacre

 

14 Aug. Slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue

 

27 Aug. Declaration of Pillnitz

 

14 Sept. Louis XVI accepts constitution

 

30 Sept. Constituent Assembly dissolved

 

1 Oct. Legislative Assembly convenes

 

19 Dec. Louis XVI vetoes decrees against émigrés and unsworn priests

1792

20 April. War declared on Austria

 

25 April. First use of guillotine

 

13 June. Prussia declares war on France

 

20 June. Sansculottes invade royal palace

 

30 June. Fédérés enter Paris singing the Marseillaise

 

10 August. Overthrow of monarchy

 

2–6 Sept. September massacres

 

20 Sept. First victory of French forces at Valmy

 

21 Sept. Convention meets

 

22 Sept. Republic proclaimed

 

19 Nov. Fraternity and help offered to all peoples ‘seeking to recover their liberty’

 

3 and 26 Dec. Trial of Louis XVI

1793

16 Jan. Louis XVI condemned to death

 

21 Jan. King executed

 

1 Feb. War against British and Dutch

 

11 Mar. Vendée rebellion begins

 

19 Mar. Defeat in Belgium at Neerwinden

 

6 April. Committee of Public Safety created

 

31 May–2 June. Purge of Girondins

 

June. Spread of ‘Federalist Revolt’

 

13 July. Marat assassinated

 

27 July. Robespierre joins Committee of Public Safety

 

23 Aug. Levée en masse decree

 

27 Aug. Toulon surrenders to the British

 

5 Sept. Sansculottes force Convention to declare terror the order of the day

 

29 Sept. General maximum on prices

 

Oct.–Dec. Dechristianization campaign

 

5 Oct. Revolutionary calendar introduced

 

9 Oct. Fall of Lyon to Convention’s forces

 

16 Oct. Marie-Antoinette executed

 

31 Oct. Girondins executed

 

19 Dec. Fall of Toulon

 

23 Dec. Vendéans defeated at Savenay

1794

4 Feb. Abolition of slavery

 

24 Mar. Execution of Hébertists

 

5 Apr. Execution of Dantonists

 

8 June. Festival of the Supreme Being

 

10 June. Law of 22 prairial inaugurates ‘Great Terror’ in Paris

 

27–8 July (9–10 thermidor). Fall of Robespierre; end of terror

 

Aug.–Dec. ‘Thermidorean Reaction’

 

18 Sept. Republic renouces all religious affiliations

 

12 Nov. Jacobin club closed

 

24 Dec. Invasion of Dutch Republic

1795

1–2 Apr. Germinal uprising of sansculottes

 

20–23 May. Prairial uprising of sansculottes

 

8 June. Death of Louis XVII

 

24 June. Declaration of Verona by Louis XVIII

 

27 June–21 July. Emigré landing at Quiberon

 

22 Aug. Constitution of Year III and Two Thirds Law approved

 

1 Oct. Belgium annexed

 

5 Oct. Vendémiaire uprising in Paris: ‘whiff of grapeshot’

 

2 Nov. Directory inaugurated

1796

19 Feb. Abolition of assignats

 

11 April. Bonaparte invades Italy

 

10 May. Arrest of Babeuf and conspirators for equality

1797

18 April. Bonaparte forces peace preliminaries of Leoben on the Austrians

 

29 June. Cisalpine Republic created

 

4 September. Councils and Directory purged in coup of fructidor

 

30 Sept. Bankruptcy of Two Thirds

 

18 Oct. Peace of Campo Formio ends war on the continent

1798

15 Feb. Roman Republic proclaimed

 

11 May. Electoral results annulled in coup of floréal

 

19 May. Bonaparte sails for Egypt

 

21 May. Irish rebellion

 

1 Aug. Battle of the Nile. Bonaparte marooned in Egypt

 

5 Sept. Jourdan law universalizes conscription

1799

26 Jan. Parthenopean Republic proclaimed in Naples

 

12 Mar. Austria declares war: War of the Second Coalition

 

10 Apr. Pope Pius VI brought to France

 

18 June. Directory purged in coup of prairial

 

22 Aug. Bonaparte leaves Egypt

 

29 Aug. Death of Pius VI

 

9 Oct. Bonaparte lands in France

 

9–10 Nov. Bonaparte takes power in coup of 18–19 brumaire

 

25 Dec. Consular constitution promulgated

1800

14 June. First Consul defeats Austrians at Marengo. Negotiations with new pope, Pius VII, follow

 

3 Dec. Final defeat of Austrians at Hohenlinden

1801

16 July. Concordat signed

1802

27 Mar. British make peace at Amiens. End of French revolutionary wars

 

18 Apr. Concordat promulgated

AFTER

1804

Promulgation of the Civil Code

1804

Coronation of the Emperor Napoleon; end of the First Republic

1806

Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire

1808

Deposition of Spanish Bourbons

1812

Napoleon invades Russia; retreat from Moscow

1814–15

First Bourbon restoration

1815

20 March–22 June. The ‘Hundred Days’

 

18 June. Final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo

1815–30

Restoration monarchy

1821

Death of Napoleon on St. Helena

1830

June: Revolution of 1830

1830–48

July Monarchy: reign of Louis-Philippe

1835

Büchner, Danton’s Death

1836

Carlyle, The French Revolution. A History

1840

Return of Napoleon’s remains to France

1848

February. Revolution of 1848

 

December. Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte elected president

1848–52

Second Republic

1852–70

Second Empire: reign of Napoleon III

1856

Tocqueville, The Ancien Regime and the French Revolution

1859

Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

1870

Franco-Prussian War; abdication of Napoleon III

1871

Paris Commune

1873–1940

Third Republic

1905

Separation of church and state

1917

Russian Revolution

1940–4

Vichy State

1944–58

Fourth Republic

1958

Fifth Republic established

1989

Bicentenary of the French Revolution

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