The French Revolution


Between 1789 and 1802 France was wracked by a revolution which radically changed the government, administration, military and culture of the nation as well as plunging Europe into a series of wars. France went from a largely feudal state where the country was ruled by an absolute monarch as part of the Ancien Régime. In this system society was divided into 3 different groups – First estate (Clergy), Second Estate (nobles/ aristorcracy) and Third Estate (all the rest ranging from educated professionals to poor farm labourers). The Revolution led to the collapse of this system to be replaced by a republic which executed the king and then to an empire under Napoleon Bonaparte.


Background to Revolution in France



Timeline of Main Events

1715– Louis XIV died leaving his country in debt from the money he spent supporting the arts.

1774– Louis XV died leaving an even bigger debt from all of the wars France was in during his reign.

1789– French peasants were mad because of an unfair tax system and a poor harvest in 1788.

May 5, 1789– Louis XVI called Estates-General to a meeting in Versailles to approve a tax plan.

June 17, 1789– The Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly and made the Tennis Court Oath.

July 14, 1789– The people of Paris stormed Bastille.

August 4,1789– The National Assembly announced the end of feudalism and serfdom in France.

August 27, 1789– The National Assembly issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

October 5,1789– Paris women invaded Versailles.

1790– The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was passed.

1791-The Constitution of 1791 was adopted.

June 20,1791-Louis XVI and his family tried to flee France but were arrested at Varennes.

April 20, 1792– France declared war on Austria.

September 1792-The National Convention held their first meeting.

January 21, 1793– Louis XVI sentenced to the guillotine.

August 1793– A national draft called for all able-bodied men to join the army.

September 1793 to July 1794– The Reign of Terror court sentenced 20,000 to 40,000 people to death.

July 27, 1794– The National Convention arrested Robespierre.

July 28, 1794– Robespierre was beheaded.

1795– A new Constitution was adopted.

1799– The Directory fell and ended the French Revolution.


History@Banagher College, Coláiste na Sionna.

Published on April 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm Comments (0)

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.