french history

Timeline created by ailaoshi
In History
  • 1412

    joan of arc born

  • 1420

    Henry V king of England and France

    Result of peace treaty after 100 Years War
    Disinherited French crown prince, Charles of Valois
    Along with its French allies (led by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy), England occupied much of northern France, and many in Joan’s village, Domrémy, were forced to abandon their homes under threat of invasion.
  • 1422

    Henry IV becomes king of France

    Succeeded his father, Henry V
    French allies include Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy
  • 1429

    Siege of Orleans

    Orleans was under siege by the Anglo-Burgundians
    Joan led assaults against them, driving them out
  • 1429

    King Charles VII crowned

    Joan escorts crown prince Charles across enemy territory to Reims, where he is crowned
  • 1430

    Joan of Arc captured by Anglo-Burgundians

  • May 30, 1431

    Joan of Arc burned at the stake

    in Rouen
  • Period:

    Precursors to colonial expansion in the Americas

    In the 16th century, excursions by da Verrazzano and Jacques Cartier and frequent voyages of French boats and fishermen to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland were the precursors to the story of France's colonial expansion.
    But Spain's defense, and the distractions of the French Wars of Religion, prevented any constant efforts to settle colonies. Early French attempts to found colonies in Brazil in 1555, Florida in 1562, and São Luís in 1612 were not successful.
  • Period:

    French Wars of Religion

    A prolonged period of war and popular unrest between Catholics and Huguenots (Reformed/Calvinist Protestants). An estimated three million people perished in this period from violence, famine, or disease in what is considered the second deadliest religious war in European history.
    Much of the conflict took place during the long regency of Queen Catherine de' Medici, widow of Henry II of France, for her minor sons and involved a dynastic power struggle between powerful noble families.
  • Henry IV crowned King of France

    Le bon roi Henri - First monarch of France from the House of Bourbon. He and his predecessor Henry III of France were direct descendants of Saint-King Louis IX.
    Baptised Catholic but raised Protestant by his mother, he converted to Catholicism after 4 years ("Paris is well worth a mass").
    Edict of Nantes => religious liberties to Protestants.
    Opposed during reign, remembered fondly after death for victories, conversion, concern for subjects.
    French col of the Americas truly began.
  • Edict of Nantes signed

    Signed by King Henry IV, it granted the Calvinist Protestants of France (Huguenots) substantial rights in the essentially Catholic nation. Aiming to promote civil unity, the edict separated civil from religious unity and opened a path for secularism and tolerance. It offered general freedom of conscience as well as specific concessions to the Protestants, such as amnesty and the reinstatement of their civil rights. It marked the end of the religious wars.
    w/ end of war, henry looks abroad
  • Period: to

    Henry IV encourages trade w/ faraway lands

    With the end of the French Wars of Religion, King Henry IV encourages various enterprises, set up to develop trade with faraway lands.
    1600 - company was formed to trade with the Moluccas and Japan
    1604 - François Martin de Vitré was the first Frenchman to write an account of travels to the Far East, and from that time numerous accounts on Asia would be published.
    1604-1609 - Henry developed a strong enthusiasm for travel to Asia and attempted to set up a French East India Company.
  • Port Royal (Acadia) founded

    This marks the true beginning of France's colonial empire
  • Samuel de Champlain founds Quebec

    Quebec is to become the capital of the enormous, but sparsely settled, fur-trading colony of New France. New France had a small population bc more emphasis was placed on the fur trade rather than agricultural settlements. As a result, the French relied heavily on creating friendly contacts with the local First Nations community who supplied them with fur at the trading posts. The French were, however, under pressure from religious orders to convert them to Catholicism.
  • Settlement begins in French Guiana

    Settlement begins along the South American coast in what is today French Guiana
  • France establishes trading colonies along coast of Senegal

  • Colony founded on Saint Kitts

    The island had to be shared with the English until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, when it was ceded outright.
  • Colonies founded in Guadeloupe and Martinique

    In 1635 the Carib were overwhelmed by French forces led by the adventurer d'Esnambuc, who imposed French colonial rule on the indigenous Carib peoples. Cardinal Richelieu of France gave Martinique (& Guadeloupe?) to the Saint Christophe Company, in which he was a shareholder. Later the company was reorganized as the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique. The French colonists imposed French Law, and Jesuit missionaries followed.
  • La Traite des Noirs?

    Because the Carib people resisted working as laborers to build and maintain the sugar and cocoa plantations which the French began to develop in the Caribbean, in 1636 King Louis XIII proclaimed La Traite des Noirs. This authorized the capture or purchase of slaves from Africa, who were then transported as labor to Martinique and other parts of the French West Indies.
  • "Cogito, ergo sum" - René Descartes

    Considered by some to be the beginning of the Enlightenment
  • Carib Expulsion

    When the Carib revolted against French rule in 1660, the Governor Charles Houel sieur de Petit Pré retaliated with war against them. Many were killed; survivors were taken captive and expelled. On Martinique, the French colonists signed a peace treaty with the few remaining Carib. Some Carib had fled to Dominica or St. Vincent, where the French agreed to leave them at peace. However, following the British conquest, the Caribs were expelled to Central America after losing the 2nd Carib War.
  • Colony of Saint-Domingue established

    France's most important Caribbean colonial possession was established in 1664, when the colony of Saint-Domingue (today's Haiti) was founded on the western half of the Spanish island of Hispaniola. In the 18th century, Saint-Domingue grew to be the richest sugar colony in the Caribbean. The eastern half of Hispaniola (today's Dominican Republic) also came under French rule for a short period, after being given to France by Spain in 1795.
  • Period: to

    France establishes colonies in India and Indian Ocean

    Colonies were established in India's Chandernagore (1673), Pondichéry (1674), Yanam (1723), Mahe (1725), and Karikal (1739). Colonies were also founded in the Indian Ocean, on the Île de Bourbon (Réunion, 1664), Isle de France (Mauritius, 1718), and the Seychelles (1756).
  • The Edict of Fontainebleau

    By the Edict of Fontainebleau, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes and ordered the destruction of Huguenot churches, as well as the closing of Protestant schools.
    **research more later**
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    The French and Indian Wars

    A series of conflicts that occurred in North America, some of which indirectly were related to the European dynastic wars. (Called the Intercolonial Wars in Quebec.) They were preceded by the Beaver Wars. Some conflicts involved Spanish and Dutch forces, but all pitted the Great Britain / colonies / Indian allies against France / colonies / Indian allies. Major cause = desire of each country to control the interior territories + Hudson Bay region to dominate the fur trade.
  • Louisiana founded

    French territorial claims in North America expanded still further, with the foundation of Louisiana in the basin of the Mississippi River. The extensive trading network throughout the region connected to Canada through the Great Lakes, was maintained through a vast system of fortifications, many of them centered in the Illinois Country and in present-day Arkansas.[
  • Treaty of Utrecht

    Ends the War of the Spanish Succession, which involved much of Europe for over 10 yrs as France defended Spain against a multinational coalition. Allows Philip V (grandson of King Louis XIV of France) to keep Spanish throne in return for renouncing claim to French throne, and guaranteeing France and Spain would not merge. Ends French ambition of European hegemony, preserves European balance of power and ushers in British maritime, commercial and financial supremacy.
  • Acadia ceded to British

    As part of Treaty of Utrecht. St. Kitts too.
  • Period: to

    French enlightenment From Louis XIV's death to the French Revolution (acc to French historians)

    ideas: the sovereignty of reason and the evidence of the senses as the primary sources of knowledge
    ideals: liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, constitutional government and separation of church and state
    emphasis: scientific method and reductionism, along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy
    central doctrines in France: individual liberty and religious tolerance, in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Church.
  • Period: to

    The Seven Years' War

    A global conflict & struggle for global primacy between Britain and France and the most important event in 18th cent NA.
    Old rivalries between Britain and France/Spain in NA and Caribbean were fought on a grand scale.
    It ended France's presence as a land power while Britain began its rise as the world's predominant colonial and naval power. France's supremacy in Europe was halted until Napoleon emerged after the Revolution.
  • Period: to

    Tensions and financial crisis mount

    A series of social and political tensions build, before being unleashed by a financial crisis in the 1780s. Financial troubles were due to bad handling, poor revenue management, over spending, and contribution to the American Revolutionary War. One revolution ended up triggering another, and both changed the world. By the end of the 1780s, the king and his ministers are desperate for a way to raise taxes and money, so desperate they will resort to historical gatherings of subjects for support.
  • The Estates General & all that ensued

    The French crown called the Estates General in order to gain assent for new tax laws. The three estates were the clergy, the nobility, and the rest of France, which was by far the largest but only had 1/3 of the vote. Bc of the Enlightenment, the middle class demanded involvement in govt and the financial crisis gave them a way in. The Third estate declared itself a National Assembly and decreed the suspension of taxation, taking French sovereignty into its own hands.
  • Period: to

    The French Revolution

    The French revolution radically changed the government, administration, military, and culture of the nation as well as plunging Europe into a series of wars. France went from a largely "feudal" state under an absolutist monarch to a republic which executed the king and then to an empire under Napoleon Bonaparte. Not only were centuries of law, tradition, and practice wiped away, but warfare spread the revolution across Europe, changing the continent permanently.
  • Period: to

    The Great Fear

    Mass panic across France as people fear a noble led backlash against their anti-feudal demonstrations.
  • The Tennis Court Oath

    The Third Estate (the Commons) has refused to meet or verify their election and has given an ultimatum to the other estates. A few members of the First Estate (priests and clergy) have joined the Third, which proclaims a National Assembly. 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. Soon members of the Second Estate will begin to join the National Assembly.
  • Feudalism and privileges are abolished by the National Assembly

    Feudalism and privileges are abolished by the National Assembly in perhaps the most remarkable evening in Europe's modern history.
    Many more changes will follow:
    Nov2: Church property is nationalized.
    Feb 13, 1790: Monastic vows banned.
    June 19: Nobility is abolished.
    July 12: The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, a complete restructuring of the church in France.
    Nov 27: The Oath of the Clergy passed; all ecclesiastical office holders must swear an oath to the constitution.
  • Constitutional changes

    • 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.
  • Flight to Varennes

    The King and Queen attempt to flee France but only get as far as Varennes.
  • Haitian Rebellion begins

    Rebellion of self-liberated enslaved people in Haiti begins in Saint-Domingue.
  • The Republican Revolution

    A second revolution took place, as Jacobins and sansculottes forced the Assembly to replace itself with a National Convention which abolished the monarchy, declared France a republic and in 1793 executed the king.
  • King gives in to the demands of the Third Estate

    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.
  • 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.
    The next day, 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.
  • The French seize Algiers

    With the decay of the Ottoman Empire, the French seized Algiers, thus beginning the colonization of French North Africa.
  • Period: to

    The Belle Époque

    Standards of living and security for the upper & middle classes increased, leading to it retrospectively being labeled as a golden age by them compared to the humiliations/upheaval before, and the devastation that followed. The Age equates loosely to the “Gilded Age” of the US.
    There was peace in w and c Europe and expansion, as France grew its empire in Africa greatly. Such stability provided the basis for growth and innovation in the arts, science, and material culture.
  • End of Franco-Prussian War

  • First Battle of the Marne

    Germany attacked France by going through neutral Belgium.
    French and British troops tried to stop them.
    The two sides reached a stalemate and dug in in the trenches from which the war was fought for the next four years.
  • Period: to


  • Assassination of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie

    Serb nationalist assassinated heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary.
    = great excuse to attack Serbia
    Austria-Hungary had back of Germany.
    Serbia had backing of Russia. Russia had treaty with France and Britain.
    At outset: Allied Forces (France, UK, Russia)
    Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary)
  • France recruits soldiers from African colonies

    During WWI, after suffering heavy casualties on the Western Front, France began to recruit soldiers from their African empire. By 1917, France had recruited 270,000 African soldiers. Their most decorated regiments came from Morocco, but due to the ongoing Zaian War they were only able to recruit 23,000 Moroccans. African soldiers had success in the Battle of Verdun and failure in the Nivelle Offensive.
  • US declare war on Germany

    Motivating events:
    1915 - German U-boat sank the RMS Lusitania
    One of the events that motivated the US out of isolationism and into joining in WWI. Americans were furious, especially since it held 159 Americans.
    1917 - Zimmerman telegram
    Also motivated US to intervene in WWI. Britain intercepted a coded message from Germany to Mexico, promising Mexico US land if they joined WWI against the US.
  • Russia signs Brest-Litovsk peace treaty with Germany

    Russia bows out of WWI bc after revolution removing czar from power, new communist gov't wanted to focus on internal troubles.
  • WWI - end of fighting

  • Treaty of Versailles

    The peace settlement between Germany and the Allied Powers that officially ended World War I.
    However, the conditions in the treaty were so punitive upon Germany that many believe the Versailles Treaty laid the groundwork for the eventual rise of Nazis in Germany and the eruption of World War II.