26 Chronology of the French Revolution

French Revolution Chronology

1774 Accession of Louis XVI

1776 July 4 American Declaration of Independence

Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense

1778 France declares war on Great Britain. The war debt brings the French Monarchy to its knees

1780 June Gordon Riots, England. An anti-Catholic demonstration led by Lord George Gordon that was followed by several days of rioting

1783 Peace signed between Britain and France

1788 Centenary celebrations in England of the ‘Glorious

Revolution of 1688’ that shifted power from the Monarchy to Parliament and allowed the people of England considerable freedom to debate public issues

Louis XVI calls a meeting of the Estates General, and lifts censorship to help prepare its work

1789 May 5 Meeting of Estates General in Paris

June 17 National Assembly

June 20 Oath of the Tennis Court

July 14 Fall of the Bastille

August 4-5 The National Assembly ‘abolishes Feudalism’

August 26 National Assembly adopts Declaration of the Rights of

Man and Citizen, inspired by the American Declaration of Independence

September 12 Jean-Paul Marat’s L’Ami du people (The Friend of the People), a radical publication, appears

October 5-6 Women of Paris march to Versailles

October 10 Dr. Guillotin proposes scientific device for execution

1790 June 19 Formal abolition of nobility and hereditary titles

July 14 “Fête de la Fédération” – the first anniversary of the Revolution (the Fall of the Bastille) is celebrated on the fields of the Champs-de-Mars

December Publication of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France

1791 February Publication of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, part I

1791 June 20-21 Royal Family’s flight and capture at Varennes

July 17 Massacre at the Champ-de-Mars

August 27 The Declaration of Pillnitz by the rulers of Austria and Prussia, affirming their intention to return the King of France to power

September 3 The Constitution of 1791 is proclaimed

September 14 Louis XVI accepts the Constitution and is restored to power

1792 January Foundation of the London Corresponding Society (LSC), a society that campaigned throughout England for Parliamentary reform

Mary Wollstonecraft publishes A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

January-March Serious inflation begins – food riots in Paris

February Publication of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, part II

April Foundation of the Association of the Friends of the People

April 28 War between France and Austria

May 21 George III issues Royal proclamation against ‘tumultuous meetings and seditious writings’

June 20 Anniversary of King Louis XVI’s flight – Invasion of the


July 11 Proclamation by the Assembly of ‘la patrie en danger’

July 28 Brunswick Manifesto published, which threatened the people of Paris with punishment if they do not submit to the King, instigating the panic that caused the September Massacres

July 29 Maximilien Robespierre calls for the removal of the King

August 10 Second invasion of the Tuileries, the monarchy is overthrown

August 13 Royal Family imprisoned in the Temple

September 2 September Massacres, the first major atrocities of the

Revolution where priests and aristocrats were murdered

September 20 Battle of Valmy, French victory over the Prussians

September 21 Formal abolition of the French monarchy, France declared a Republic

November 6 Foundation of the Association for Preserving Liberty and Property against Republicans and Levellers by John Reeves

December 20 Trial of the King opens

December 22 British Whigs form “Friends of the Liberty of the Press” to defend free speech against the attack of Loyalist associations

1793 January 17 King Louis XVI condemned to death

January 21 Execution of Louis XVI

February 1 France declares war on England and Holland

February 11 England declares war on France

March 10 Revolutionary Tribunal established in France

April 6 Committee of Public Safety established

June 2 Journée in which the Convention is forced to expel 29 Girondin deputies, Montagnards in power

July 13 Jean-Paul Marat is assassinated by Charlotte Corday

July 17 Execution of Charlotte Corday

August 2 Marie Antoinette transferred from the Temple prison to the prison of Conciergerie

August 10 Fête révolutionnaire on the site of the Bastille to commemorate journée of August 10 1792

September 17 Beginning of the Terror, in which there was widespread

surveillance and powers of denunciation, with those

suspected of treason guillotined

September 22 Introduction of the Revolutionary calendar starting with Year II

October 16 Execution of Marie Antoinette

October 31 Execution of Girondin deputies

November 7 Execution of Philippe Egalité, cousin of King Louis XVI

and Duke of Orleans

November 10 Fête de la Raison in deconsecrated Notre Dame Cathedral

1794 March 24 Opponents of Robespierre executed

April 5 Execution of Georges Jacques Danton (organiser of the uprising in 1792 that overthrew the monarchy and leader of the Committee of Public Safety)

May 10 Execution of Madame Elizabeth, the King’s sister

June 1 ‘Glorious 1st of June’: British naval victory over France

June 8 Fête de l’Etre Suprême , last great fête révolutionnaire under Robespierre

July 27-28 Arrest and execution of Maximilien Robespierre

August 5 Release of suspects imprisoned under the Terror


November Treason trials

December 16 Execution of Jean Baptiste Carrier, one of the most brutal of the Terrorists

1795 May 7 Execution of Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville, the public prosecutor during the Terror

May 20 Invasion of Convention by sans-culottes and assassination of Deputy Feraud

June 8 Death of the Dauphin, the eldest son and heir of the French king, who in royalist eyes was King Louis XVII since the execution of his father. Louis XVI’s brother, the Comte de Provence, becomes Louis XVIII

October 31 Election of new Directory and end of Convention


December Seditious Meetings and Treasonable Practices Act passed in Great Britain

December 18 Release of Louis XVI’s daughter Marie-Therese Charlotte

1796 March 9 Marriage of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josèphine de Beauharnais (the future Empress Josephine)

April 10 Bonaparte’s Italian campaign begins

December 15-17 Beginning of French attempt to invade Ireland under Hoche

1797 September 4 Coup d’Etat in Paris

September 19 Death of Lazare Hoche

1798 January 12 Napoleon plans invasion of England, presents plans to


April 12 Napoleon appointed to command Army of the Orient

May 23 Revolts in Ireland in expectation of help from Napoleon

July 14 British army crushes Irish rebellion

August 1 Decisive victory by Nelson over the French fleet in the

Battle of the Nile

1799 July 25 Battle of Aboukir

November 9-10 Bonaparte’s coup d’etat removes Directory, and Council of five hundred and establishes a consulate with himself as First Consul

1800 January 1 Consulate establishes the Bank of France

February 19 Napoleon takes up residence at the Tuilieries Palace

June 14 Battle of Marengo

December 3 Battle of Hohenlinden

1801 April 2 Battle of Copenhagen

April 15 Concordat with Pope Pius VII, an attempt to appease disgruntled Catholics unhappy with the Revolution’s split with the church. The concordat led to compensation for seized church lands but limited the power of Rome to appoint bishops

1802 March 25 Peace of Amiens between France and England

May 19 Creation of legion d’honneur

August 2 France annexes Elba

October 15 France invades Switzerland

1803 May 3 France sells Louisiana to the United States

May 16 Britain declares war on France

October 9 Franco-Spanish alliance signed

1804 March 21 Kidnap and execution of Duc d’Enghien

March 28 Civil Code introduced

May 18 Napoleon proclaimed Emperor

May 19 Creation of the Marshalate

December 2 Napoleon’s coronation at Notre Dame, Paris

December 14 Spain declares war on Britain

1805 April 11 Alliance between Russia and Britain

May 26 Napoleon is crowned King of Italy

June 4 France annexes Genoa

October 21 Battle of Trafalgar: British navy under Horatio Nelson defeats the French navy. Due to censorship of the press, the French people are not told of this loss for many months

December 2 Anniversary of Napoleon’s coronation

Napoleon defeats Austria and Russia at Austerlitz

1806 January 23 British Prime Minister William Pitt dies

April 1 Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s older brother, becomes King of Naples

May 16 Britain blockades French ports

June 20 Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother, becomes King of Holland

July 4 Battle of Maida

July 12 Confederation of the Rhine created, when 16 German

minor states allied themselves with Napoleon and


July 20 Franco-Prussian peace treaty signed

August 6 Holy Roman Empire dissolved

October 6 Fourth Coalition against France

October 7 France invades Saxony

October 10 Battle of Saalfield

October 14 Battles of Jena and Auerstadt

November 7 Last Prussian forces surrender to France

1807 February 7-8 Battle of Eylau

April 26 Franco-Russian Convention of Bartenstein

May 27 Fall of Danzig

July 7-9 Peace Treaty of Tilsit, between France and Russia

August 16 British forces land at Copenhagen

September 7 Britain captures Danish Fleet

October 13 Decree of Fontainebleau

October 27 Secret treaty with Spain

November 23 First Milan Decree, declaring that ships complying with

British rules are to be considered pirate ships and may be seized

November 30 General Jean-Andoche Junot occupies Lisbon

December 17 Second Milan Decree issued by Napoleon, stating that no European country was to trade with the United Kingdom

1808 February 20 Murat appointed Napoleon’s deputy in Spain

Barcelona captured by the French

June 6 Joseph Bonaparte becomes King of Spain

June 8 France captures Cordoba

June 14 First siege of Saragossa

June 16 Battle of Medina del Rio Seco

June 25 Massacre of Evora

August 1-8 British forces, led by Arthur Wellesley, land at Mondego


August 14 Raising of siege of Saragossa

August 17 Battle of Rolica

August 21 Battle of Vimiero

October 27 British General, Sir John Moore, leaves Lisbon for Spain

November 5 Napoleon takes command of Spain’s army

November 23 Battle of Tudeia

November 30 Battle of Somosierra

December 4 Napoleon occupies Madrid

December 20 Second siege of Saragossa

December 21 Battle of Sahagun

December 24 British General Sir John Moore begins retreat to Corunna

December 26 Battle of Benavente

1809 January 16 Battle of Corunna, Sir John Moore killed

April 9 Austria attacks Bavaria

Creation of Fifth Coalition

April 20 Battle of Abensberg

April 26 Arthur Wellesley lands at Lisbon

May 13 Napoleon enters Vienna

May 21-22 Battle of Aspern-Essling

June 14 Battle of Raab

July 5-6 Battle of Wagram

July 28 Battle of Talavera

July 29 British forces land at Walcheren

August 16 Battle of Flushing

October 19 Treaty of Vienna

November 19 Battle of Ocana

December 15 Napoleon and Josephine divorce

1810 February 5 Siege of Cadiz begins

March 11 Marriage by proxy of Napoleon to Archduchess Marie

Louise of Austria, in hopes of producing an heir

March 23 Napoleon’s Rambouillet Decree, orders American ships to be seized and sold. Made in retaliation for the embargo of France by US President Thomas Jefferson

July 9 Napoleon annexes Holland

August 16 Start of siege of Almeida

August 28 Fall of Almeida

September 27 Battle of Bussaco

October 18 The Fontainebleau Decrees, orders the seizure and burning of any British goods in Europe

1811 January 26 First siege of Badajoz

March 5 Battle of Barrossa

March 11 Fall of Badajoz

March 20 Marie Louis Bonaparte gives birth to Napoleon’s son

December 31 Tsar Alexander limits French trade

1812 January 10 France occupies Swedish Pomerania

February 26 Alliance between France and Prussia

March 10 Alliance between France and Austria

June 18 War begins between US and Britain

June 20 Sixth coalition against France formed

June 24 French army enters Poland

August 13 Duke of Wellington enters Madrid

September 7 Battle of Borodino, between France and Russia

September 14 Napoleon enters Moscow

December 30 Prussia abandons its treaty with France and enters truce with Russia

1813 January 25 Napoleon and Pope Pius VII sign second Concordat

March 16 Prussia declares war on France

June 12 France withdraws from Madrid

August 12 Austria declares war on France

October 3 Treaty Alliance of Teplitz between Britain and Austria

October 16-19 Battle of the Nations at Leipzig, Napoleon retreats

October 18 Bavaria and Saxony join war against France

December 4 Allies issue Declaration of Frankfurt

1814 January 11 Marshal Murat signs peace with Allies

January 29 Battle of Brienne

February 1 Battle of La Rothiere

February 10 Battle of Champaubert

February 11 Battle of Montmirail February 14 Battle of Vauchamps

February 22 Treaty of Troyes

March 9 Treaty of Chaumont

March 31 The Allies enter Paris

April 6 Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba

April 26 Louis XVIII leaves England to return to France

May 3 Louis XVIII enters Paris

May 4 Napoleon arrives on Elba

May 29 Death of Josephine

May 30 Treaty of Paris

November 1 Congress of Vienna begins, with Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia attempting to bring stability to Europe after the fall of Napoleon

December 24 Treaty of Ghent

1815 January 8 Battle of New Orleans

February 26 Napoleon escapes from Elba

March 1 Napoleon enters Southern France

March 13 Allied powers declare Napoleon an enemy of humanity

March 19 Louis XVIII flees to Belgium

March 20 Napoleon enters Paris

March 25 Seventh Coalition against France formed between Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia

April 8 Napoleon orders general mobilisation in France

June 12-18 Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon defeated

June 22 Second abdication of Napoleon

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