Timeline of the French Revolution

from GURPS Scarlet Pimpernel, by Lisa Evans and Robert Traynor

Events not recorded in history are in blue










April: The Parlement of Paris demands that King Louis convene the Estates-General to deal with the grave financial situation

May 8: The King promulgates the Lamoignon Edict, abolishing the Parlement's power to review royal edicts

July: The crown backs down in its dispute with the Parlement, announcing the convening of the Estates-General in the following year.

October: The mysterious "Committee of Thirty" is formed by the "Nationals" group

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March: Elections for the delegates to the Estates-General are held.

May 5: Estates-General convenes at Versailles

June 10: In defiance of royal wishes and led by Abbe Siéyes, the Parisian delegates of the Third Estate meet separately

June 12: The Parisian delegates invite the remaining delegates to join them in independent convocation

June 17: The Third Estate proclaims itself the National Assembly

June 20: Tennis Court Oath. National Assembly assumes sovereignity

June 23: King sides against the reformers and declares null and void the decrees of the new Assembly, to no avail

June 27: Under pressure from the mob, the King orders the remaining abstaining delegates to join the Assembly

July: Several food riots in Paris

July 12: King unwisely dismisses the popular reformist finance minister Necker; spontaneous demonstrations in protest.

July 13: National Gaurd founded; firm commander Lafayette

July 14: Fall of the Bastille

July 17: King accedes to the desires of the constitutionalists.

August 8: Abolition of feudal rights by the Constituent Assembly

August 27: Adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

October 4: Dinner of the Flanders Regiment at Versailles; Sir Percy Blakeney meets Marguerite St. Just at a banquet

October 5: March of the women to Versailles; royal family forced to return to Paris the next day

October 16: The National Assembly moves to Paris

October 19: First Parisian session of the Assembly, in the Archeveche

November 2: Church lands are seized

November 7: Decree passed barring Deputies from the active ministry

December 19: Clerical lands and property worth 400 million livres sold at auction; money used to back the new "assignat" paper currency

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January: Peasant uprisings in Brittany and several other provinces

February 13: Religious orders abolished, remaining monasteries and convents closed

May: Bourbonnais revolts

July 12: Passage of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy

July 14: Fall of Bastille celebrated at the Fête de la Federation; the King and Lafayette preside

July 19: Assembly votes to revoke all titles of nobility

August: City of Nancy revolts; rebellion ruthlessly suppressed

November 27: The Assembly demands that the clergy sign the Civil Constitution; the Church splits over the issue

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February 19: Import duties into the city of Paris abolished

April: Uprising in Provence

June: Blakeney begins recruitment for the League

June 20: Royal family attempts to defect; caught at Verennes near the Austrian border and forced to return. King's prestige destroyed

July 14: Second annual Fête de la Federation

July 17: Massacre of the Champ de Mars

August: Formation of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel; all members swear secrecy and obedience to Sir Percy Blakeney. Training begins.

August 27: Austria and Prussia threaten war in a joint declaration

September: Sir Percy Blakeney begins courting Marguerite St. Just

September 12: King approves Constitution, giving him veto power over Assembly acts

October 1: The new Legislative Assembly is seated, and begins deliberations concerning the war threat

November: Sir Percy and Marguerite marry. She retires from the stage and returns to England with him. They rapidly become estranged. League activities begin at this time

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March 1: Death of Leopold II of Austria

March 10: Brissotin/Girondin "war party" comes into power

April 20: The Assembly and Girondin government declares war on Austria

May 30: King's bodyguard is dismissed

June 13: King dismisses the Girondins

June 20: Mob attacks the Tuileries; royal family moved to the Temple for "their own protection"

July: First known public mention of "Le Mouron Rouge" coming to the aid of defecting aristocrats. War goes poorly; France invaded by Austrians

July 14: Third annual Fête de la Federation

July 30: The Commune creates the Committee of Surveillance to uncover counterrevolutionaries, headed by Marat and including Danton, Tallien, Collot D'Herbois, and Billaud-Varennes. First contingents of the Marseillais arrive in Paris

August 1: Brunswick's Manifesto, threatening the destruction of Paris

August 10: Marat's insurrectionists seize the Commune and the Assembly; the Assembly votes to abolish the monarchy

August 13: Royal family imprisoned in the Temple

August 19: Lafayette defects to the Austrians

September 2-6: The September Massacres. Girondins accuse - accurately - the Jacobins of complicity. Reign of Terror begins

September 20: The National Assembly is dissolved. Dumouriez's army wins victory against the invading Prussians at the battle of Valmy

September 21: The National Convention is established

September 22: Official establishment of the Republic; Louis XVI is now "Citizen Capet." Proclamation of "Year 1 of the Republic"

October: The Scarlet Pimpernel first duels with Chauvelin. The Blakeneys are reconciled.

November: The Montagnards, Jacobins, and sans-culottes league against the Girondins.

November 6: Dumouriez succeeds in defeating the Austrian armies at the battle of Jemappes, completing the French conquest of Belgium.

November 19: The Assembly votes a decree offering French assistance to "all peoples who want to recover their liberty."

December 3: Convention votes to place the King on trial

December 11: The King goes on trial in the Convention for treason against the Republic

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January 14-21: The King is found guilty of treason, sentenced to death by a narrow margin, and guillotined.

February 1: Declaration of war on England and the Netherlands

February 25: Food riots in Paris

February 26: Dumouriez and the French Army of the North invades the Netherlands

March 7: Declaration of war on Spain

March 9: Establishment of the Revolutionary Tribunal

March 10: The Vendéan uprising begins

March 21: French armies in the north defeated by the First Coalition, headed by England and the Netherlands

April 5: Dumouriez defects to the Austrians, seriously discrediting the Girondin faction

April 6: Establishment of the Committee of Public Safety , with Danton as its president; Danton becomes the de facto master of France

April 24: The Girondins manuever the arraignment of Marat before a Revolutionary tribunal for treason; Marat is handily acquited

May: Lyons revolts

May 4: First Law of the Maximum instituted

June 2: Fall of the Girondins; 29 arrested on the floor of the Convention

June 24: New Constitution enacted

July 10: Peace negotiations abandoned; a new committee of Public Safety elected

July 13: Marat killed by Charlotte Corday

July 27: Robespierre and Carnot appointed to the Committee

July 28: Remaining Girondin leaders at large outlawed

August 10: Fête in honor of the Constitution

August 23: National conscription law begins the levee en masse

September 4-5: The Fructidor riots; Paul Déroulede defects

September 8: French forces defeated at the battle of Hondschoote

September 17: Law of the Suspect enacted

September 29: Law of the Maximum - price control edicts - revised

October 5: New calendar established

October 9: Lyons recaptured by the Republic

October 10: Chief executive power is officially vested in the Committee of Public Safety

October 12: Danton, in disgust at continuing excesses, leaves the Convention for his home in Arcis

October 14: Marie Antoinette is brought to trial and condemned

October 16: Marie Antoinette guillotined; the Austrians decisively defeated at the battle of Wattignies

October 17: Cult of Reason established

October 28-31: Trial and execution of Vergniaud and the remaining Girondin leadership. Philippe Égalite soon follows

November: The Terror gains momentum; various Citizen-Deputies are dispatched as "representatives on mission" to the provinces to lead executions. Some begin the dechristianization movement

November 10: Désirée Candéille presides as the Goddess of Reason at the first Festival of Reason, at Notre Dame

November 21: At the urging of the Cordeliers and the remaining moderates, Danton returns to Paris and reenters the political arena

December: Bonaparte retakes Toulon from Admiral Hood, Lord Nelson, and the English. The first aerial telegraph line is in operation, to the northern frontier and Kellerman's army; the first battlefield uses of hot-air balloons also occur

December 4: Billaud-Varennes drafts a law giving the Committee of Public Safety direct power over all provincial officials.

December 13-14: Vendéan rebellion crushed at Le Mans

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January: League of the Scarlet Pimpernel rescues the Dauphin. He goes into unrecorded exile in Brussels

January 16: Decree of 27th Nivose

March: Hébert and his enragés accuse the Convention and the Jacobins of moderation; he calls for a general uprising on the 4th. The sans-culottes, for a change, do not respond

March 14-24: Fall and execution of Hébert

March 30: Mass arrests of Dantonists

April 3-5: Fall and execution of Danton and Désmoulins; Robespierre reigns unopposed.

April 16: Police Bureau instituted

May: Chauvelin falls from favor and is arrested. Assasination attempts on Collot D'Herbois and Robespierre fail, provoking new slaughters

May 7: Declaration of the Supreme Being celebrated

June 8: Festival of the Supreme Being celebrated

June 10: Passage of the Law of 22 Prairial - the Great Terror begins. More are executed in Paris in the next six weeks than in the previous two years

July: Robespierre taken ill, ceasing to appear at Convention or Committee functions; he restricts appearances to the Jacobin Club

July 26: Robespierre returns to the floor of the Convention, promising a new, vast purge of "traitors"

July 27-28: Thermidorean Reaction; Robespierre, Louis Antoine St. Just, Couthon, Hanriot executed. Terror ends, after 17,000 executions.

August: League of the Scarlet Pimpernel lies dormant.

November 12: Jacobin Club suppressed

December 8: Remaining Jacobins released from prison; Chauvelin pardoned.

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February: In reaction to the White Terror, the League resumes activities.

April-May: Many remaining Jacobites are purged; Collot D'Herbois, Billaud-Varennes, and Fouquier-Tinville deported or executed. Continuing food riots in Paris

April 5: Peace treaty signed with Prussia

May 16: Peace treaty signed with the Netherlands

May 20: The National Guard finally suppresses the sans-culottes

May 31: Revolutionary Tribunal suppressed

June 8: Dauhpin's death announced

July 22: Peace treaty signed with Spain

August 5: Emmanuel Siéyes - a miraculously surviving deputy of the Estates-General and the original Declaration - takes control of the Convention

August 22: New constitution, written by Siéyes, adopted

October 5: Royalist revolt put down by Bonaparte. Last known activites of the League.

October 31: Directorate begins.

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