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Chronology of Revolutionary Events

1789 | 1790 | 1791 | 1792 | 1793 | 1794

1789
5 May Opening session of Estates-General
17 June Third Estate declares itself the National Assembly
20 June         Oath of the Tennis Court
23 June     Royal session, where Louis XVI presents reform program to plenary session of the three estates; the third rejects it
27 June      Louis XVI orders first and second estates to join with the third as the National Assembly
11 July     Dismissal of the Necker ministry (replaced by Breteuil), leading to Popular revolts
14 July         Taking of the Bastille
16 July             Recall of Necker
20 July-4 August     Peasant revolution; the Great Fear
4 August Abolition of feudal rights and privileges decreed by the National Assembly
26 August     Promulgation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
5-6 October     March of the Parisians on Versailles; establishment of the Royal family in the Tuileries
19 October         First meeting of the Constituent Assembly in Paris
2 November Assembly decrees the nationalization of Church property

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1790
January-February     Elections to the new municipalities
8 March     Barnave, speaking for the colonies committee, has the Assembly approve self-government for the colonies; slavery is upheld, leading to risings in May-November in the West Indian colonies
21 May     Paris local government reorganized into 48 sections
19 June Abolition of titles of hereditary nobility
12 July     Assembly enacts the Civil Constitution of the Clergy
14 July             Festival of Federation
27
November        
Clerical oath to the Nation declared

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1791
10 March     Pope Pius VI condemns the Civil Constitution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man
20-25 June Louis XVI and his family attempt flight but are captured at Varennes and returned to Paris. Provisional suspension of the King
17 July Champ de Mars massacre
27 August         Pillnitz declaration
14 September         Louis XVI takes oath to the new Constitution
30 September Final session of the Constituent Assembly
1 October         Opening session of the Legislative Assembly
9 November First of a series of laws against the Emigrés, culminating in the sequestration of their property, February 1792.

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1792
10-23 March Formation of Girondin ministry
15 April Festival in Paris in honor of the Suisses of Châteauvieux
20 April     France declares war on Austria; Prussia joins with Austria; beginning of the war of the first coalition, 1792-1797
20 June     Parisian crowd invades the Tuileries palace, obliging Louis XVI to don the bonnet rouge and drink the health of the Nation.
4-5 July Law on "la patrie en danger"
10 July             Resignation of the Feuillant ministers
3 August Petitions from the sections demand the overthrow of the King (adjourned by the Assembly until 9 August; yet on that date the Assembly makes no decision, and a Commune insurrectionnelle is established in Paris to plan his overthrow)
10 August     Tuileries palace invaded for a second time. Louis XVI suspended and soon imprisoned.
11 August Calls for a National Convention. Power interregnum until 20 September 1792.
19 August Defection of the Marquis de Lafayette
2-6 September     Massacres of prisoners in Paris and the provinces ("September massacres"), after bad news from the front, and fears of counter-Revolutionary plots
20 September     Prussians defeated by the French at Valmy. Last session of the Legislative Assembly
  First session of the National Convention (20 September 1792-26 October 1795)
21-22 September Abolition of the monarchy and establishment of the Republic. Proclamation of the Year I
2 October     Creation of the Committee of General Security, with Police Powers
6 November         Battle of Jemappes won by French
10 December Trial of Louis XVI begins in the Convention

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1793
14-17 January     Louis XVI found guilty and condemned to death
21 January Louis XVI executed
1 February France declares war on Britain and Holland
24 February Levy of 300,000 men for armies of the Republic
7 March France declares war on Spain
10 March Revolt begins in the Vendée. Establishment of the Revolutionary Tribunal
18 March French lose at Neerwinden
21 March Establishment of surveillance committees
5 April Defection of Dumouriez to the Austrians
6 April     Committee of public safety established
31 May-2 June Montagnards seize power; Girondins placed under arrest. Beginnings of the Federalist revolt
13 July Assassination of Marat by Charlotte Corday
27 July Robespierre joins the CPS
27 August Toulon surrenders to the British (although the news reaches Paris only on 2 September)
5 September Terror becomes officially "the order of the day," after sections march on the Convention
22 September Beginning of Revolutionary calendar (voted and antedated in October)
5 October
[1 Vendémiaire Year II]
Adoption of Revolutionary calendar
16 October
[25 Vendémiaire]
Execution of Marie-Antoinette. French victory at Wattignies
[10 Brumaire]
31 October
Execution of 20 leading Girondins
10 November
[20 Brumaire]
"Festival of Liberty" in Paris. Height of dechristianisation. Establishment of the "cult of reason"
21 November
[1 Frimaire]
In the Convention, Robespierre attacks dechristianisation as "aristocratic" and immoral.
24 November
[3 Frimaire]
Closing of all Catholic churches in Paris by the Commune

4 December
[14 Frimaire]
Law of 14 Frimaire establishing Revolutionary government. Centralization of Power on the CPS
24 December
[4 Nivôse]
British evacuate Toulon; organized resistance to the Republic collapses in the Vendée

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1794
26 February-
3 March
[8-13 Ventôse]
"Ventôse decrees" authorize seizure of property of suspects
24 March
[4 Germinal]
Hebertists executed
5 April
[16 Germinal]
Dantonists executed
8 June
[20 Prairial]
Festival of the supreme being            
10 June    
[22 Prairial]
Law of 22 Prairial increases Powers of Revolutionary tribunal. Beginning of "Great terror"
26 June
[8 Messidor]
French victory at Fleurus
26 July    
[8 Thermidor]
Robespierre's last speech to the Convention, calling for a purge of the CGS
27-28 July
[9-10 Thermidor]
Robespierre and Robespierrists proscribed and executed by the Convention

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