. . Flags of the World Maps of All Countries

  • |Main INDEX|
  • Country Ranks

  • History Contents
  • Introduction
  • History Timeline
  • The Roman Period
  • Invasions/Charlemagne
  • Feudal Kindgoms
  • The 100 Years' War
  • 16th-17th Centuries
  • The French Revolution
  • Napoleon
  • Restoration of the Monarchy
  • Colonial Expantion
  • First World War
  • Second World War
  • The Fourth Republic
  • The Algerian War
  • Modernization
  • De Gaule's Policy
  • The 1970's - Pompidou and Giscard D'Estaign
  • Mitterrand and Chirac

  • France Introduction
  • History <<<
  • Geography
  • People
  • Government
      Gov. Leaders
  • Economy
  • Communications
  • Transportation
  • Military
  • Transnational Issues
  • Maps
  • Flags

    . Feedback


  • Home PageCountry Index

    France History
    Source: France Ministry of Foreigh Affairs, The Library of Congress Country Studies and other sources.

    Column at Bastille Square in Paris, France

    << Back to France History Index

    The French Revolution

    In the mid-18th century, France was weakened internationally by the expensive and fruitless Wars of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War. Under the Treaty of Paris (1763), France ceded control of Canada to Great Britain. The Enlightenment made France a world center of intellectual activity but also led to the questioning of the political and social bases of the French monarchy. An increasingly wealthy but powerless bourgeoisie chafed under the restrictions of an archaic socioeconomic order.

    France under Louis XVI supported the American colonies in the Revolutionary War, incurring a large public debt in the process. Combined with unrestrained extravagance on the part of the court and the aristocracy, poverty increased among the rural peasantry and the urban working class, while the bourgeoisie demanded a greater voice in government. These trends came to a head with the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789; soon thereafter, the Estates-General took control of the country, and France was in the throes of revolution.

    Revolutionary leaders at first allowed Louis XVI to remain on the throne in a limited monarchy, but the king and Marie Antoinette were subsequently tried for treason and executed in 1793. Thousands died during the Reign of Terror which continued until July 1794, ending with the execution of its primary architects, Augustin Robespierre and Georges Danton. The Directory, with five heads of each division of government (179599), failed to maintain public order and suffered military reverses in foreign wars in which successive revolutionary governments had been embroiled since 1792. On Nov. 9, 1799, the Directory was overthrown by the Consulate, with Napoleon Bonaparte named first consul.

     Back to top

    NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of French History information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France History should be addressed to The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Support Our Sponsor

    Support Our Sponsor

    Please put this page in your BOOKMARKS - - - - -

    Revised 26-Jul-05
    Copyright © 2005 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)