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Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
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A Revolution: 1789-1790

The storming of the Bastille
The storming of the Bastille

1789

July 12-14: Worried by royal troops moving toward Paris and rumors of the dismissal of finance minister Necker, Parisians scour the city for arms to defend it, coming eventually to the Bastille prison, where they demand to be given all weapons inside. When the guards refuse to open the gates, they storm the building and the Bastille falls.
July 16: The National Constituent Assembly insists that Jacques Necker be recalled as Director General of Finances and Minister of State; Louis XVI complies.
July 17: The National Constituent Assembly’s formal power begins. Louis XVI participates in celebratory ceremonies and design of the new constitution begins.
July through August: This period marks the "Great Fear," when peasants riot throughout France and anticipate the nobles’ revenge.
Declaration of the Rights of Man
Declaration of the Rights of Man
August 26: The National Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, inspired by the American Declaration of Independence of 1776.
September 12: Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat's daily pamphlet "L'Ami du peuple" (The Friend of the People) debuts, raging against aristocrats and those who argue for equal, democratic distribution of property.
Women's March on Versailles
Women's March on Versailles
October 5-6: The Women's March Upon Versailles occurs when Parisian women lead a mob of people to Versailles and force the royal family back to Paris.
October 6: The Versailles-based National Assembly, proclaiming its inseparability from the king, transfers closer to the royal family's new home—Tuileries Palace.
December 9: The administrative reorganization of France begins, abolishing old provincial boundaries and establishing administrative departments.
Renunciation of feudal rights in National Assembly
Renunciation of feudal rights in National Assembly

1790

January: Jacobin Clubs expand admission policies and attract more members, building popularity for the party and introducing more citizens to anti-aristocratic sentiment.
June 19: All hereditary titles are abolished, eliminating automatic special rights or privileges for people “born into royalty.”
July 12: The Adoption of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy allows the National Assembly to appoint all church officers, rather than having the appointments come from the Papacy.
July 14: The "Fete de la Federation," marking the Revolution’s first anniversary, is celebrated.
August: The Jacobin Club grows in popularity; over 150 Jacobin affiliate clubs now exist throughout France.
Louis XVI in 1790
Louis XVI in 1790
October: Louis XVI secretly writes to his cousin Charles IV of Spain, exploring a possible foreign coalition to end the Revolution.
November 27: Public officials and priests are required to sign a loyalty oath to the new French nation.

Timeline

Early Years 1755 - 1775Married to France: 1770-1780Queen as Mother: 1780-1786Financial Failings: 1787-1788Change of Power: 1789A Revolution: 1789-1790New Rule: 1791A Monarchy Falls: 1792Revolution Enemies: 1792-1793Reign of Terror: 1793-1794Aftermath: 1794-1799
Explore Versailles Queen's Chamber

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Read the text of the declaration.

King Louis XVI
Learn more about King Louis XVI.

Fact or Fiction Quiz