Humanities › History & Culture French Revolution Timeline: 1789 - 1791 Share Flipboard Email Print Louis XVI. Wikimedia Commons History & Culture European History European History Figures & Events Wars & Battles The Holocaust European Revolutions Industry and Agriculture History in Europe American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Robert Wilde History Expert M.A., Medieval Studies, Sheffield University B.A., Medieval Studies, Sheffield University Robert Wilde is a historian who writes about European history. He is the author of the History in an Afternoon textbook series. our editorial process Robert Wilde Updated March 17, 2017 A narrative history of the French Revolution beginning in 1789. 1789 January• January 24: The Estates General is officially summoned; election details go out. Crucially, no one is really sure how it should be formed, leading to an argument over voting powers.• January - May: The Third Estate politicizes as cahiers are drawn up, political clubs form, and discussion takes place both verbally and through pamphleteering. The middle class believe they have a voice and intend to use it. February• February: Sieyes publishes 'What is the Third Estate?'• February - June: Elections to the Estates General. May• May 5: The Estates General opens. There is still no decision on voting rights, and the third estate believe they should have more of a say.• May 6: The Third Estate refuses to meet or verify their election as a separate chamber. June• June 10: The Third Estate, now frequently called the Commons, gives an ultimatum to the other estates: join in a common verification or the Commons would go on alone.• June 13: A few members of the First Estate (priests and clergy) join the Third.• June 17: The National Assembly is proclaimed by the former Third Estate.• June 20: The Tennis Court Oath taken; with the National Assembly's meeting place closed in preparation for a Royal Session, the deputies meet at a tennis court and swear not to disband until a constitution is established.• June 23: The Royal Session opens; the King initially tells the estates to meet separately and introduces reforms; the deputies of the National Assembly ignore him.• June 25: Members of the Second Estate begin to join the National Assembly.• June 27: The king gives in and orders the three estates to unite as one; troops are called to the Paris area. Suddenly, there has been a constitutional revolution in France. Things would not stop here. July• July 11: Necker is dismissed.• July 12: Revolt begins in Paris, caused in part by Necker's dismissal and the fear of royal troops.• July 14: The storming of the Bastille. Now the people of Paris, or the 'mob' if you prefer, will start to direct the revolution and violence will result.• July 15: Unable to rely on his army, the King gives in and orders troops to leave the Paris area. Louis does not want a civil war, when that might be all that would save his old powers.• July 16: Necker is recalled.• July - August: The Great Fear; mass panic across France as people fear a noble led backlash against their anti-feudal demonstrations. August• August 4: Feudalism and privileges are abolished by the National Assembly in perhaps the most remarkable evening in Europe's modern history.• August 26: Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen published. September• September 11: The King is granted a suspensive veto. October• October 5-6: Journee of 5-6 October: the King and the National Assembly move to Paris at the behest of a Parisian mob. November• November 2: Church property is nationalized. December• December 12: Assignats are created. 1790 February• February 13: Monastic vows banned.• February 26: France divided into 83 departments. April• April 17: Assignats accepted as currency. May• May 21: Paris is divided into sections. June• June 19: Nobility is abolished. July• July 12: The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, a complete restructuring of the church in France.• July 14: Feast of the Federation, a celebration to mark one year since the fall of the Bastille. August• August 16: Parlements are abolished and the judiciary reorganized. September• September 4: Necker resigns. November• November 27: The Oath of the Clergy passed; all ecclesiastical office holders must swear an oath to the constitution. 1791 January• January 4: Last date for clergy to have sworn the oath; over half refuse. April• April 2: Mirabeau dies.• April 13: The Pope condemns the Civil Constitution.• April 18: The King is prevented from leaving Paris to spend Easter at Saint-Cloud. May• May: Avignon is occupied by French forces.• May 16: Self-Denying Decree: National Assembly deputies cannot be elected to the Legislative Assembly. June• June 14: Le Chapelier Law stopping workers associations and strikes.• June 20: Flight to Varennes; the King and Queen attempt to flee France but only get as far as Varennes.• June 24: Cordelier organises a petition stating that liberty and royalty cannot co-exist. July• July 16: The Constituent Assembly declares that the king was the victim of an abduction plot.• July 17: Massacre at the Champs de Mars, when National Guard open fire on republican demonstrators. August• August 14: Rebellion of self-liberated enslaved people in Haiti begins in Saint-Domingue.• August 27: Declaration of Pillnitz: Austria and Prussia threaten to take action in support of the French king. September• September 13: The King accepts the new constitution.• September 14: King swears the oath of allegiance to the new constitution.• September 30: The National Assembly is dissolved. October• October 1: The Legislative Assembly convenes.• October 20: Brissot's first calls for war against the émigrés. November• November 9: Decree against the émigrés; if they do not return they will be considered traitors.• November 12: The King vetoes the émigrés decree.• November 29: Decree against refractory priests; they will be considered suspects unless they take a civic oath. December• December 14: Louis XVI requests the Elector of Trier disperse émigrés or face military action.• December 19: The King vetoes the decree against refractory priests.