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
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
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.
THE SECOND REPUBLIC
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.
SECOND EMPIRE (Napoleon II)
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