The Estates-General Convenes
In May 1789, the Estates-General met in Versailles. For the first time in 175 years, delegates from all three estates gathered, signaling the start of deep political unrest and the revolution.
The Tennis Court Oath
On June 20, 1789, the Third Estate delegates, joined by some from the First and Second, took the Tennis Court Oath, vowing not to disband until a new constitution was created.
Bastille: A Symbolic Siege
The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, wasn't just about freeing prisoners—there were only seven inside—but it represented the oppression by the monarchy and was a pivotal revolutionary act.
Women's March on Versailles
In October 1789, Parisian women marched to Versailles over bread scarcity, ultimately forcing the royal family to move to Paris, symbolically bringing the king closer to the people and their demands.
Reign of Terror Begins
From 1793 to 1794, the Reign of Terror ensued, led by Robespierre and the Jacobins. Approximately 40,000 people were executed under suspicions of anti-revolutionary activities or sentiments.
Napoleon's Rise to Power
Following the revolution's chaos, Napoleon Bonaparte gained popularity. In 1799, he led a coup d'état, eventually declaring himself Emperor in 1804, turning the republic back into a form of monarchy.
Revolutionary Calendar Reform
The revolution introduced a new calendar, discarding traditional Christian structure. It began on September 22, 1792, marking the establishment of the French First Republic, but was abandoned in 1806.