The Age of George III

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A chronology of the French Revolution

September 25
1774 Louis XVI comes to the throne
American War of Independence
Famine in Paris and grain riots in northern France.
1776 July 4 American Declaration of Independence.
1778 France enters American war; at war with Britain.
1783 September 3 Peace of Versailles.
1786 September 26 Commercial free trade treaty between Britain and France (Vergennes/Eden Treaty).
1787 February 22 The first Assembly of Notables convened
July-September Conflict between the king and the Parlement de Paris
1788 June-July Insurrection at Grenoble and district, with calls for profound reforms
August 8 King and his minister, Brienne, convoke Estates General for May 1789
Paris Parlement recommends that the Estates General should be held as in 1614, and presents a list of grievances.
Riots in Paris, Rennes, Dijon and Pau.
November Meeting of the Second Assembly of Notables
1789 January-May Preparation of Cahiers de Doléances (lists of grievances) and elections to the Estates General.
May 5 Estates General assemble at Versailles.
June 17 Adoption of the title 'National Assembly' by the Third Estate.
June 20 Members of the Third Estate (plus some reform-minded clergy and nobility), excluded from their meeting place, assemble and take the 'Tennis Court Oath', swearing not to disband until a constitution is established.
June 23 Louis XVI rejects Resolutions of the Third Estate.
June 27 King orders clergy and nobility to join Third Estate.
July 9 National Assembly declares itself a Constituent Assembly.
July 13 Formation of National Guard
July 14 Fall of the Bastille.
July 15 Lafayette appointed Commander of the National Guard.
July 17 Beginning of the 'Great Fear', the peasant revolt against feudalism, and of municipal revolts.
August 5-11 National Assembly decrees the abolition of feudalism, equality of taxation and the sale of offices.
August 26 National Assembly approves the text of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
October 5-6 The 'October Days'- women's march to Versailles. Return of the king to Paris.
October 10 Louis XVI decreed 'King of the French' rather than 'King of France'.
November 2 Church property nationalised.
December 14-16 Legislation to reorganise local government, which will create 83 départements in January 1790.
1790 January First sale of assignats.
January 28 Removal of civil disabilities of Jews.
February Edmund Burke condemns and Charles James Fox welcomes Revolution in speeches at Westminster.
February 13 Suppression of religious orders and monastic vows.
June 19 Abolition of nobility and titles by Constituent Assembly.
July 12 Civil constitution of the clergy.
July 14 Fête de la Federation: first public celebration of Bastille Day.
August 18 First counter-revolutionary assembly at Jalès (between Loire and Rhône).
November Publication of Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Counter-revolutionary riots in Lyons. Inflation of French currency caused by immense issue of assignats.
November 26 First decree imposing civic oath on the clergy.
1791 January 30 Mirabeau elected President of the French Assembly.
February 9 First bishops of constitutional church elected.
March 2 Abolition of guilds and monopolies
March 10 Pope condemns civil constitution and Declaration of the Rights of Man.
April 2 Death of Mirabeau.
April 13 Papal bull, Cavitas, condemns civil constitution.
May 15 Black inhabitants of French colonies born of free parents declared to have equal civil rights with whites
June 20 Louis XVI flees Paris for Varennes.
June 25 King returns to Paris under duress.
July 15 Assembly declares the king is inviolable and his prerogatives are restored.
July 17 'Massacre of the Champs de Mars'- National Guard fire on crowd during protests against the king's reinstatement.
August 27 Declaration of Pillnitz - Austria and Prussia ready to intervene in French affairs, but Britain remains neutral.
September 4 France annexes Avignon.
September 13-14 Louis XVI formally accepts constitution.
September 28 Slavery abolished in France but not in colonies.
September 30 Constituent Assembly dissolved.
October 1 First meeting of Legislative Assembly.
November 9 Assembly orders all émigrés to return under pain of death. Civil marriage and divorce instituted.
November 11 King vetoes Assembly's ruling on émigrés.
November 29 Decree of Assembly against non-juring priests (i.e. those refusing to swear oath of allegiance to the State).
December 19 King vetoes Assembly's decrees against non-juring priests.
1792 January- March Food riots in Paris.
January 2 Decree that 1 January 1789 shall be reckoned the start of the 'Era of History'.
February 9 Property of émigrés declared forfeit to the nation.
April 20 'War of the First Coalition' begins - France declares war on Austria.
April 24 'La Marseillaise' composed by Rouget de Lisle.
August 10-13 Revolution of 10 August. Storming of Tuileries. King imprisoned with his family
August 19 Lafayette, commander of the National Guard, flees to Austria.
August 22 Royalist riots in La Vendée, Brittany and Dauphiné.
August 23 Prussian army captures Longwy.
September 2 Prussian army captures Verdun
September 2-6 'September Massacres' - Paris crowd murder 1200, including 100 priests.
September 20 French defeat Prussians at Valmy.
September 20-21 Final sessions of Legislative Assembly. First session of the Convention. Unanimous vote to abolish monarchy. Revolutionary calendar introduced.
September 21-22 Year I of the First Republic proclaimed
September 29 French occupation of Nice (Sardinian territory)
October 10 Convention decree forbids use of madame and monsieur, and replaces them with citoyen and citoyenne.
November 6 French victory over Austria at Jemappes; occupation of Belgium begins.
November 19 Edict of Fraternity offers aid to all subject people everywhere 'struggling to be free'.
November 27 Savoy (formerly Sardinia) decreed 84th French département.
December 11 Trial of the king begins.
1793 January 21 Louis XVI executed.
February 1 France declares war on Britain and Holland.
February 13 First Coalition against France formed by Britain, Austria, Prussia, Holland, Spain and Sardinia.
February 25 Food riots in Paris.
March 7 France declares war on Spain.
March 11-16 Beginning of revolt in La Vendée.
March 18 France withdraws from Belgium.
April 6 Committee of Public Safety established with dictatorial powers.
May - June Insurrection leads to fall of Gironde and purge of all government committees except the Committee of Public Safety.
May 4 Maximum imposed on grain prices.
June 24 The Convention accepts the 'Jacobin' Constitution of 1793 (Year I).
July 10 Danton leaves Committee of Public Safety.
July 12 Royalist insurrection in Toulon.
July 13 Marat stabbed to death in his bath by Charlotte Corday.
July 17 Abolition of all feudal rights without compensation.
July 27 Robespierre and St Just appointed to Committee of Public Safety.
August 1 Metric system adopted in France.
August 23 Decree of Levée en masse.
August 27 Surrender of Toulon to British.
September 4-5 Popular riots in Paris.
September 17 Law of Suspects and beginning of the Terror.
September 22 Beginning of 'Year II' of the Revolution
October 10 Decree suspending constitution and sanctioning Revolutionary government for the 'duration of the war'.
October 16 Execution of Marie Antoinette.
November 10 Festival of Liberty and Reason.
November 24 Revolutionary calendar introduced.
December 19 Toulon retaken by French.
December 23 Revolt in La Vendée crushed by Republican forces (Battle of Savenay).
1794 February 4 Abolition of slavery in all French colonies.
February 15 Tricolour adopted as French flag.
June 1 British naval victory against French in English Channel.
June 10 Law of 22 Prairial increases power of the Revolutionary Tribunal, leading to mass executions
June 26 Battle of Fleurus - French reconquest of Belgium.
July 30-31 Reorganisation of Committee of Public Safety.
August 10 Reorganisation of Revolutionary Tribunal.
September 18 State financial support for all forms of religious worship withdrawn.
September 28 Britain, Austria and Russia form Alliance of St Petersburg against France.
November 12 Jacobin Club closed.
December 24 New issue of assignats further depreciates French currency.
1795 Year of near famine throughout France.
February 19 Peace treaty between France and Tuscany.
February 21 Decree permitting freedom of worship and separation of Church and State.
April 5 Peace with Prussia signed at Basle.
April 16 Peace with United Provinces. French recognition of the 'Batavian Republic' in Holland.
May-June 'White Terror' in south.
June 8 Death of Dauphin (Louis XVII) in captivity. Comte de Provence assumes title of Louis XVIII.
July 21 Hoche destroys Royalist landings at Quiberon.
July 22 Peace with Spain signed.
August 22 Convention approves 'Constitution of Year III' which establishes Directory.
October 5 Defeat of attempted Parisian insurrection of 13 Vendémiaire by Napoleon Bonaparte's 'whiff of grapeshot'.
October 26 Convention dissolved. Directory is inaugurated. Place de La Revolution renamed Place de la Concorde.
1796 February 2-23 Napoleon given command of French army in Italy.
February 19 End of assignats.
March 9 Napoleon marries Josephine de Beauharnais.
March 18 Government issues land bonds to replace assignats; massive inflation.
March 29 End of rebellion in La Vendée.
April Napoleon's ultimately victorious campaign against Austrians in Italy begins.
November 15-17 Napoleon wins decisive battle against Austrians at Arcola in northern Italy.
1797 March-April Elections lead to defeat of Directory candidates; monarchists strengthened.
October 18 Treaty of Campo Formio - peace with Austria.
1798 May 19 Napoleon sails for Egypt.
August 1 French fleet destroyed in Battle of the Nile.
August 22 Formation of Second Coalition (Britain, Austria and Russia) against France.
1798-1799 Winter - Spring French power eliminated in Italy (except for besieged garrison at Genoa).
1799 March 12 France declares war on Austria
June 18 Directory resigns.
August 22- October 9 Napoleon abandons army in Egypt and returns to France.
November 9-10 Napoleon's coup d'état of 18-19 Brumaire. Napoleon proclaimed First Consul.

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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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