The French Revolution
The French Revolution spanned fom 1789 to 1799. It was prompted by massive debt accumulation and was spearheaded liberal politicians and most supported by the peasantry class. Impacts of the Revolution include the shift from a monarchy to a republic democracy and a reorganization of France's politics, economy and society.
May 5, 1789: After bad harvests and costly wars, King Louis XVI is forced to convene this ancient assembly in order to raise taxes. During the election process, voters traditionally draft petitions of grievance (cahiers de doléances)
June 17, 1789: Representatives of the tiers état form a National Assembly swearing not to leave until a new constitution is established.
June 23, 1789: King rejects Resolutions of the tiers etat.
July 14, 1789: Bastille stormed and taken by a Paris mob
July 15, 1789: Lafayette appointed Commander of National Guard.
July 20, 1789: The Great Fear - Once the revolutionary spirit seized control of the people of Paris, people in surrounding areas began to demand cheaper bread and suspension of feudal dues. Civil unrest grew in the countryside, with many peasants attacking manor homes.
August 4, 1789: Nobles in National Assembly renounce feudal rights; Jacobin Club formed.
August 27, 1789: Assembly issues the Declaration of the Rights of Man.
October 5-6, 1789: King Louis brought from Versailles to Tuileries palace in Paris.
July 12, 1790: Assembly issues Civil Constitution of the Clergy, requiring elections and oaths
June 20, 1791: Royal family flees.
April 21, 1792: France goes to war against Austria
August 10, 1792: Storming of the Tuileries Palace. Louis XVI is arrested and taken into custody
September 11, 1792: September Massacres - An angry mob led by Jean Paul Marat stormed the prisons and killed about 1600 prisoners because of rumors circulating that the prisoners were planning to stage an uprising.
September 21, 1792: Convention abolishes monarchy and declares France a republic
January 21, 1793: Convention condemns and executes King Louis XVI.
August 23, 1793: Levee en Masse - The Committee of Public Safety made a decree that mobilized the entire French population for war. All unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 25 were conscripted.
July 28, 1794: The Execution of Robespierre
November 9, 1799: Napoleon's Coup d'etat
These are the two flags affiliated with the revolutionary war. The first is the family flag of the pre Revolution family of monarchs in France. It was seen as the symbol of oppression and over taxation and all that the revolutionaries fought against. The second is the revolutionary flag. It represented the fight for the lower classes rights and remains the French national flag to this day.
The guillotine was used in the French Revolution for ceremonial and public executions. The victims head was placed in the hole as they laid or knelt behind. The large blade came down and decapitated them. This was usually done in front of large crowds in town squares. This can be incorporated into the rising fever portion of the Revolution as it came around the end of the monarchy's rule.
For those that could afford them, long and elegant swords were a popular weapon during the battles. It allowed for medium ranged hand to hand combat that easily defeated the smaller, homemade weapons.
Some smaller firearms were used in the Revolution. For those that could get them, this was a common pistol that could have been used to fight their oppressors.
Those who could not find or afford larger and more expensive swords armed themselves with whatever they could, including smaller axes like this. Though they were inferior to the longer reaching swords, they were brutally effective when the target got within their range.