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French Revolution and Napoleonic France  - Historical outline

 

The French Revolution and Consulate 1789-1799

1789                  

May 5: The Estates-General meets for the first time since 1614.

June 21: Third Estate/National Assembly are locked out of meeting houses; the Third Estate vows to never dissolve until the constitution has been established (oath of the Tennis court).

June 24: 48 nobles, headed by the Duke of Orléans, side with the Third Estate. A significant number of the clergy follow their example.

June 27: Louis recognizes the validity of the National Assembly, and orders the First and Second Estates to join the Third.

July 11: The finance minister Necker is dismissed by Louis; populace sack the monasteries, ransack aristocrats' homes in search of food and weapons.

July 13: National Guard formed in Paris. Storming of the hotel des Invalides in search of canon.

July 14: Storming of the Bastille; de Launay, (the governor), Foulon (the Secretary of State) and de Flesselles (prévot des marchands), amongst others, are massacred.

July 15: Lafayette appointed Commander of the National Guard.

July 16: Necker recalled, troops pulled out of Paris

July 17: The beginning of the Great Fear, the peasantry revolt against feudalism and a number of urban disturbances and revolts. Many members of the aristocracy flee Paris to become émigrés. Louis XVI accepts the tricolor cockade.

August 4: Surrender of feudal rights: The August Decrees

August 26: The Assembly adopts The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

October 5-6: Outbreak of the Paris mob; Liberal monarchical constitution; the Women's March on Versailles.

October 6 Louis XVI agrees to ratify the August Decrees, Palace of Versailles stormed. The royal family and the National Assembly move to Paris.

November 2: Church property nationalized and otherwise expropriated

1790

January: Former Provinces of France replaced by new administrative Departments.

February 13 Suppression of monastic vows and religious orders

May 19 Nobility abolished by the National Assembly.

July 12 The Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Demands priests to take an oath of loyalty to the state, splitting the clergy between juring (oath-taking) and non-juring priests.

July 14 Fête de la Fédération on the Champ de Mars

July: Growing power of the clubs (including: Cordeliers, Jacobin Club)

August 16 The parlements (royal courts of justice) are abolished

September: Fall of Necker

1791

January 30: Mirabeau elected President of the Assembly

March 2: Abolition of trade guilds

April 2: Death of Mirabeau- first person to be buried in Pantheon, formerly the church of Sainte-Geneviève

April 13: Encyclical of Pope Pius VI, Charitas, condemning the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and the unauthorized appointment of Bishops is published

June 20–25: Royal family's flight to Varennes. The royal family forced to return to Paris

July 10: Leopold II the Austrian Emperor issues the Padua Circular calling on the royal houses of Europe to come to his brother-in-law, Louis XVI's aid.

July: Remains of Voltaire reburied in Pantheon.

August 14: Slave revolts in Saint Domingue (Haiti)

August 27: Declaration of Pillnitz threatening France by Frederick William II of Prussia and Leopold II of Austria.

October 1: Legislative Assembly meets - many young, inexperienced, radical deputies.

November 9 All émigrés are ordered by the Assembly to return under threat of death

November 11 Louis vetoes the ruling of the Assembly on émigrés.

1792

January – March: Food riots in Paris

March 20: Guillotine adopted as official means of execution.

April 20: France declares war against Austria

April 25: Battle Hymn of the Army of the Rhine (Marseillaise) composed by Rouget de Lisle. First execution using the guillotine.

April 28: France invades Austrian Netherlands (Belgium).

July 25: Brunswick Manifesto by European monarchs - warns that should the royal family be harmed by the popular movement, an "exemplary and eternally memorable revenge" will follow.

July 30: Austria and Prussia invade France.

July: The tricolor cockade made compulsory for men to wear. La Marseillaise sung by volunteers from Marseilles on their arrival in Paris.

August 9: Revolutionary commune took possession of the hôtel de ville.

August 10–13: Storming of the Tuileries Palace. Swiss Guard massacred. Louis XVI  is arrested and taken into custody at the Temple, along with his family. Georges Danton becomes Minister of Justice.

August 16: Paris commune presents petition to the Legislative Assembly demanding the establishment of a revolutionary tribunal and summoning of a National Convention.

August 19: Lafayette flees to Austria. Invasion of France by Coalition troops led by Duke of Brunswick.

August 22: Royalist riots in Brittany, La Vendée and Dauphiné.

September 3–7: The September Massacres of prisoners in the Paris prisons.

September 19: Dissolution of Legislative Assembly.

September 20: First session of National Convention. French Army stops advance of Coalition troops at Valmy.

September 21: Abolition of royalty and proclamation of the First French Republic.

December 3: Louis XVI brought to trial, appears before the National Convention (11 & 23 December). Robespierre argues that "Louis must die, so that the country may live".

1793

January 21: Citizen Louis Capet guillotined, formerly known as Louis XVI.

March 7: Outbreak of rebellion against the Revolution: War in the Vendée.

March 11: Revolutionary Tribunal established in Paris.

April 6: Committee of Public Safety established.

June 2: Arrest of Girondist deputies to National Convention by Jacobins.

June 10: Jacobins gain control of the Committee of Public Safety.

June 24: Ratification of new Constitution by National Convention, but not yet proclaimed. Slavery is abolished in France.

July 13: Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat by Charlotte Corday.

July 27: Robespierre elected to Committee of Public Safety.

August 23: Levée en masse (conscription) order.

September 5: Start of Reign of Terror.

September 9: Establishment of sans-culottes paramilitary forces - revolutionary armies.

September 17: Law of Suspects passed.

September 22: A new calendar is introduced, denoting September 22, 1792 as being the start of year I.

October 16: Marie Antoinette guillotined.

October 21: An anti-clerical law passed, priests and supporters liable to death on sight.

October 31: The 21 Girondist deputies guillotined.

November 10: Celebration of the Goddess of Reason at Cathedral of Notre Dame which was re-dedicated as the Temple of Reason.

December 4: Law of 14 Frimaire (Law of Revolutionary Government) passed; power becomes centralized on the Committee of Public Safety.

December 23: Anti-Republican forces in the Vendée finally defeated and 6000 prisoners executed.

1794

March 24: Hébert and leaders of the Cordeliers guillotined.

March 30: Danton, Desmoulins and their supporters (left wing of the Revolution) arrested.

April 5: Danton and Desmoulins guillotined.

May 7: National Convention, led by Robespierre, passes decree to establish the Cult of the Supreme Being.

June 8: Festival of the Supreme Being on the Champ de Mars.

July 27-28: Night of 9-10 Thermidor - Robespierre arrested, guillotined without trial, along with other members of the Committee of Public Safety. End of the Reign of Terror. Also called The Thermidorian Reaction.

November 11: Closure of Jacobin Club.

1795

May 31: Suppression of the Paris Revolutionary Tribunal.

July 14: Marseillaise accepted as the French National Anthem.

August 22: 1795 Constitution ratified - bicameral system, executive Directory of five.

October 5: 13 Vendémiaire – Napoleon Bonaparte’s "whiff of grapeshot" quells Paris left wing insurrection.

October 26: National Convention dissolved.

November 2: Executive Directory takes on executive power. The leading director is Barras.

1796

March 9: Marriage of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine.

May 10: Battle of Lodi (Napoleon in Italy)

1797 - October 17: Treaty of Campo Formio

1798 - February: Roman Republic proclaimed

April: Helvetian Republic proclaimed

May 11: Law of 22 Floréal Year VI - Council elections annulled, left wing deputies excluded from Council.

July: Bonaparte invades Egypt.  Battle of the Pyramids

 

 

 

 

 

The Consulate

 

1799

August 24: Napoleon leaves Egypt to return to France. November 9: The Coup d'État of 18 Brumaire: end of the Directory. December 24: Constitution of the Year VIII - leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte established under the Consulate. French Revolution may be considered ended. Dec 25. Napoleon, First Consul; Cambacérès, Second Consul; Lebrun, Third Consul. 

1800

May and June. Marengo campaign. Napoleon commences passage of St. Bernard; 2d June, enters Milan; 14th June, battle of Marengo; 15th June; Genoa and Italian fortresses surrender to French. Feb 9. Treaty of Luneville between France and Germany; Venice partitioned; left bank of Rhine and the Austrian Netherlands secured to France.

1801

Oct 1. Preliminaries of peace between France and England signed at London. Mar 27. Treaty of Amiens; England restores all conquests except Ceylon and Trinidad. Jul 15. Concordat with Rome; Roman Catholic religion restored in France. 

1802 - Aug 4.--Napoleon First Consul for life.

1803 - Mar 5.--Civil Code (later, Code Napoléon) decreed. May.--War between France and England.

 

The First Empire

 

1804 - Mar 21.--Duc d'Enghien shot at Vincennes. May 18.Napoleon becomes Empereur des Francais; crowned 2d December.

1805 - Ulm campaign; 25th September, Napoleon crosses the Rhine; 14th October, battle of Elchingen; 20th October, Mack surrenders Ulm. Oct 21. Battle of Trafalgar. Dec 2. Russians and Austrians defeated at Austerlitz. Dec 26.--Treaty of Presburg; Austria cedes her share of Venetian lands to Kingdom of Italy, and the Tyrol to Bavaria, which, with Würtemberg, is recognized as a Kingdom.

1806

Feb 15.--Joseph Bonaparte enters Naples as King. June 5.--Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland. Jena campaign with Prussia. Battle of Saalfeld, 10th October; battles of Jena and of Auerstadt, 14th October; Berlin occupied, 25th October.

1807

Feb 8.--Battle of Eylau with Russians, indecisive; 14th June, battle of Friedland, decisive. Jul 7. Treaty of Tilsit. Prussia partitioned; Polish provinces forming Duchy of Warsaw under Saxony; provinces on left of Elbe, with Hesse Cassel, made into Kingdom of Westphalia for Jerôme Bonaparte.

1808

Mar.--French, under Murat, gradually occupy Spain under pretense of march on Portugal; 2d May, insurrection at Madrid; 9th May, treaty of Bayonne; Charles IV. Of Spain cedes throne; Joseph Bonaparte transferred from Naples to Spain; replaced at Naples by Murat.

1809

Campaign of Wagram. 10 April; battle of Abensberg 20th April; Echmuhl 22 April; Napoleon occupies Vienna, 13th May; beaten back at Essling, 22d May; finally crosses Danube, 4th July, and defeats Austrians at Wagram, 6th July; Armistice of Znaim, 12th July. Dec 15-16. Josephine divorced.

1810 - Apr 1 and 2. Marriage of Napoleon, aged 40, with Marie Louise, aged 18.

1811 - Mar 20. The King of Rome, son of Napoleon, born.

1812 - Jun 23. War with Russia; Napoleon crosses the Niemen; 7th September, battle of Moskwa or Borodino; Napoleon enters Moscow, 14th September; commences his retreat, 19th October. Nov 26-28. Passage of the Beresina; 5th December, Napoleon leaves his army; arrives at Paris, 18th December.

1813 - Leipzig campaign. Despite intial victories Napoleon is finally beaten in October.

1814

Allies advance into France. March, allies commence their march on Paris; 29th March, Empress and Court leave Paris. Mar 30.--First Treaty of Paris; France restricted to limits of 1792. Apr 2. Senate declares the dethronement of Napoleon, who abdicates, conditionally, on 4th April in favour of his son, and unconditionally on 6th April; on 11th April Napoleon signs the treaty giving him Elba for life; 20th April, Napoleon takes leave of the Guard at Fontainebleau; 3d May, Louis XVIII enters Paris; 4th May, Napoleon lands at Elba. Oct 3. Congress of Vienna meets for settlement of Europe.

1815

Feb 26.--Napoleon quits Elba; lands near Cannes, 1st March; 19th March, Louis XVIII leaves Paris; 20th March, Napoleon enters Paris. 18th June, Battle of Waterloo. Jun 29 Napoleon leaves Malmaison for Rochefort; surrenders to English, 15th July; sails for St. Helena. Nov 20 Second Treaty of Paris; France restricted to limits of 1790; losing Savoy, pays an indemnity, and receives an army of occupation.

 

 
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