Mapping Paris

Political Paris:A Brief Timeline 1789- 1870

Site Home
Mapping Home

Realities vs. Representations
Hugo's Paris
The Real Paris

A City Divided
Paris & Politics
Cultural Paris
Streets of Paris

Gas Lights

Space & Money






1789 The fall of the Bastille signals the start of the Revolution on July 14. After initial violence things settle down. The National Assembly votes to remove all the last vestiges of feudalism, confiscates church lands and strips its clergy of titles, and forms the Jacobins, a radical group, as a forum for political discussion.

1792 King Louis XIV and his Queen Marie Antoinette ousted from power when angry rioters storm the palace. They are executed by guillotine after much debate between warring political factions. During this time of turmoil France is led by the Convention (under which is formed the Committee of General Security and the Committee Public Safety). Among the leaders of the convention are such political figures as Robesspierre, Danton, and Herbert.


1795 The Board of Directors is elected to replace the King. They struggle with the Jacobins and Royalists while trying to stay in power. They maintain power by having a military which eventually becomes more powerful than the government.


1799 Napoleon is ushered in by a bloodless coup. As dictator his main preoccupation are his military campaigns, yet he also establishes ties with the church, and is well known for his extensive education reforms, his building programs, and finance reform in establishing the Bank of France.

RESTORATION (i.e.. "Restoration" of the monarchy and all its trappings -- Louis XVIII and Charles X)

1814 Napoleons depleted forces are defeated by those of the rest of Europe in the Battle of the Nations and he is exiled to the island of Elba. The Royalists put a Bourbon (King Louis XVIII) back on the throne. Royalists who did not agree with King Louis XVIII's new status branch out to form a group of Ultra Royalists. Most of these Ultras are aristocrats, and want to get rid of reform.

1815 Napoleon's attempts a Second Revolution and is defeated at Waterloo, because of this the Ultras become powerful. The Moderate Royalists, with the support of Louis XVIII, try to eliminate the Jacobins, Regicides, and collaborators of Napoleon.

1816 Louis XVIII dissolves the Chamber (Ultras) and lends his support to the Moderates (i.e.: Voltaire, Richelieu, Decazes). The Moderates soon come into power and maintain it for four years.

1820 The Moderate autocracy fails after four years due to a lack of power. The Ultras regain control of the Chamber, and the Liberals form a secret society called Carbonari.

1824 The Ultras gain control of ninety more seats in the Parliament. Louis XVIII at last expires and the throne is passed on to unpopular Charles X.

1824-28 The Ultra power is quickly diminishing. Chateaubriand is responsible for this decline because of a personal feud with Villele.

Early 1830 The Liberals began their rise to power, supporting the Duc d'Orleans (Louis-Phillippe - the "pear") against the Polignac ministry (ministry of Charles X).

JULY MONARCHY (Louis-Phillippe)

1830 The July Monarchy: On July 27th there are a few demonstrations. On the 28th, bloody street clashes. On the 29th, there are barricades. Charles X is kicked out and the Royal Garrison abandons the city to the rebels. Liberal leaders are put into power with the Commission of Constitutional Monarchists. The Duc d'Orleans (Louis-Phillippe) decides to be Lt. General because he does not want to declare himself King. On the 4th of August, he actually becomes the King.

Late 1830 Two new political factions emerged: Right-Center and Left-Center. The Right believed that government should be based on the upper Bourgeois alone and that the king should govern and reign. The Left believed that the government should include the middle and lower Bourgeois and that the king should reign but not govern. Louis-Phillippe favored the Right-Center.

1831-1834 The Ultras and Republicans want to get rid of Louis-Phillippe.


1848 The separation between the Bourgeois Republicans and the Proletariat Republicans becomes more evident. The Republican movement gains popularity and universal suffrage takes place. In February angry politician denied the right to meet begin rioting. Faced with the desertions of most of national guard and the uprising of the General Theirs, Louis -Phillippe abdicates the throne and flees to England. The second Republic is founded. Political upstart Louis Napoleon is elected president over Cavaignac and Lamartine. There is a general feeling of goodwill, but it disappears due to class conflict. There is a call for reform, mass activism, and feelings of uneasiness among the Bourgeoisie.


1852 frustrated with conservative opposition, Louis Napoleon ascends the throne after a bloody coup d'etat.

1870 September 4 crowds gather and demand the formation of a Third Republic


This page maintained by your Friendly Neighborhood Mappers.