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    France History
    Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies and other sources.

    Photograph of cave paintings at Lascaux, France

    << Back to France History Index

    French History Time Line

    -10,000 BC: Cro Magnon Man - Homo Sapiens

    4,000-2,500 BC: Neolithic Period

    2,500-50 BC: Celtic Domination in Gaul

    58-51 BC: Caesar's Gallic Wars

    52 BC: Lutetia is built, the future Paris

    43 AD: Lugdunum (Lyon) becomes the capital of the Gauls

    2nd century AD: Romans bring Christianity to Gaul

    485-511: Reign of Clovis I, Merovingian King of the Franks

    637: Dagobert I, last Merovingian king

    732: Charles Martel defeats Muslims at Poitiers, stopping Arab invasion

    751: Pepin II "The Short" becomes king of the Franks

    755: Franks protect the church against Lombards and create the Papal States

    768-814: Charlemagne rules as King of the Franks

    800: Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III

    814-40: Louis the Pious succeeds Charlemagne as emperor

    843: Treaty of Verdun partitions the Carolingian Empire

    870: Treaty of Mersen allows eastern and western Frankish kingdoms to absorb the fragmented middle lands

    910: Foundation of the monastery of Cluny

    987: Hugh Capet starts Capetian dynasty

    1095: Pope Urban II preaches the First Crusade- link: The Crusades

    1066: William of Normandy invades England; Battle of Hastings

    1120: St Denis Cathedral is rebuilt: birth of Gothic architecture

    1189-92: Third Crusade; crusaders fail to recover the Holy Land

    1200: University of Paris starts messenger service

    1202: Fourth Crusade launched; crusaders capture Constantinople

    1209: Pope Innocent III launches the Albigensian Crusade in southern France

    1305-1378: The Avignon Papacy

    1337-1443: Hundred Years' War

    1453: English out of France except for Calais

    1464: King of France establishes postal system

    1494-1559: Italian Wars- France and Austria fight over Italian territories

    1515: François I crowned King

    1519: Leonardo da Vinci dies in the arms of François I

    1547-59: Reign of Henry II

    1562-98: The Wars of Religion

    1572: Massacre of Protestants on St. Bartholomew's Eve in Paris

    1589-1593: Henri IV becomes 1st Bourbon King and converts to Catholicism, ending Wars of Religion

    1608: Founding of Quebec

    1617: Louis XIII crowned at the age of 17

    1624: Cardinal Richelieu becomes principal minister

    1631: A French newspaper carries classified ads

    1642: Blaise Pascal invents the Pascaline - an automatic calculator

    1643-1715: Louis XIV becomes king with Mazarin as principal minister

    1682: Royal court moves to Versailles

    1685: Louis revokes the Edict of Nantes

    1715: Louis XIV dies and Louis XV accedes

    1762: Rousseau's Social Contract

    1769: Napoleon Bonaparte born in Ajaccio, Corsica

    1774: Louis XVI becomes king

    1778-83: The kingdom supports the American Revolution

    1789: French Revolution, storming of La Bastille

    1792: Louis XVI tried for treason and convicted; monarchy abolished

    1793: Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette are guillotined in Paris

    1794: Robespierre overthrown and end of Reign of Terror

    1796: Napoleon weds Rose de Beauharnais (the future Empress Joséphine)

    1799: Robert in France invents a paper-making machine

    1799: French soldiers discover the Rosetta Stone

    1799: General Bonaparte enters Paris

    1801: Joseph-Marie Jacquard invents a loom using punch cards

    1803-15: Napoleonic Wars expand the Empire

    1814–24: Reign of Louis XVIII

    1814: Congress of Vienna begins to remake Europe after the downfall of Napoleon

    1815: Napoleon enters Paris, the beginning of the "100 Days"

    1815: Napoleon is deported to Santa Helena, an island off the coast of Africa

    1824–30: Reign of Charles X

    1827: Nicéphore Niépce makes a true photograph

    1829: Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) joins Niépce to pursue photographic inventions

    1830-48: Reign of Louis Philippe

    1839: Daguerre annouces invention of first practical camera

    1852: Napoleon I's nephew crowned as Emperor Napoleon III

    1853: Haussman redesigns Paris

    1854: Bourseul in France builds an experimental telephone

    1870-71: Franco-Prussian War

    1871: Third Republic

    1889: Eiffel Tower built

    1895: Lumière brothers build a portable movie camera.

    1895: Paris audience sees movies projected. (Leaving the Lumière Factories - Dec. 28, 1895)

    1905: CharlesPathé colors black and white films by machine.

    1907: Lumière brothers invent still color photography process.

    1914-18: World War I

    1919: Versailles Treaty

    1929-39: The Depression

    1939: France declares war on Germany

    1940: Paris falls, Vichy's government formed

    1944-45: D-Day and Allied victory and Fourth Republic led by de Gaulle

    1946-54: War in Indochina

    1954-58: War of Algeria

    1958: De Gaulle initiates 5th Republic

    1968: General strikes and students' riots in Paris

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

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