University of Botswana History Department

H 202: French Revolution

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Main phases of the French Revolution

General phase Years Specific period Description
Initial revolution 1787 - 88 Pre-revolutionary phase attempted reforms by royal authority: resistance especially by nobles --> Estates-General 1789
Estates General/National Assembly Estates-General --> National (Constituent) Assembly (dominated by old Third Estate)
Political revolution led by bourgeois, backed against king by urban revolution (especially people of Paris)
Peasant revolution --> end of "feudalism"
1789 - 91 Moderate revolution National/Constituent Assembly reforms government of France
1791 - 92 Constitutional monarchy constitutional monarchy under new system; King + Legislative Assembly
First Republic 1792 Overthrow of monarchy king overthrown in Paris; republic established (king executed, 1793)
1792 - 95 Convention radical phase, ideas of democracy; in latter period Terror
1795 - 99 Directory attempt to stabilize, oligarchical
1799 - 1804 Consulate Dictatorship; Napoleon Bonaparte = First Consul
First Empire 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte makes himself Emperor Napoleon establishes authoritarian state with hereditary monarchy
1804 - 1814 First Empire
Restoration and Hundred Days period 1814 Bourbon Restoration Napoleon defeated in war; goes into exile in Elba; Bourbon Kings restored
1815 Hundred Days Napoleon returns; defeated again; exiled to St Helena; Bourbons restored again


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Copyright © 2000 B. S. Bennett
Last updated 11 September 2000