Timeline of French history

Last updated

This is a timeline of French history, comprising important legal changes and political events in France and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of France. See also the list of Frankish kings, French monarchs, and presidents of France.


5th century

418 Honorius gave land in Gallia Aquitania to his Visigoth federates in which to settle, forming the nucleus of the future Visigothic Kingdom under king Wallia and then his son and heir Theodoric I.
426 Clodio, the earliest recorded king lord of the Salian Franks, began his reign.
448 Clodio died. He was succeeded by Merovech.
45120 June Battle of Châlons : Romans, Visigoths under Theodoric I and their allies (including the Franks) definitively stop further Hunnic invasion in Gaul. Theodoric I died during the battle, he was succeeded by his son Thorismund who also had a decisive role during the battle.
453 Thorismund was murdered by his younger brother Theodoric II who succeeded him in the throne of the Visigothic Kingdom.
457 Merovech died. His son Childeric I succeeded him as king.
The Domain of Soissons, last Roman province of Gaul, was created with Aegidius as magister militum of the rump state.
462Roman territory of Septimania was ceded to the Visigothic Kingdom.
463 Aegidius and Childeric I defeated the invading Visigoths in Orléans.
464 Aegidius died. His son Syagrius succeeded him as magister militum of the Domain of Soissons.
465 Childeric I died. His son Clovis I succeeded him.
466 Theodoric II was murdered and succeeded by his younger brother Euric as king of the Visigoths, declaring total independence from Roman influence and extending during his reign the Visigothic kingdom to most of the Iberian Peninsula.
485 Euric died and was succeeded by his son Alaric II as king of the Visigoths.
486 Battle of Soissons (486) : A Frankish army under Clovis I defeated Syagrius and conquered the Domain of Soissons. Syagrius sought refuge in Alaric II's kingdom, but was later handed back to Clovis and beheaded.

6th century

507 Battle of Vouillé : Clovis defeated a Visigoth army under Alaric II, and conquered Gallia Aquitania, thus forming the basis of modern-day France.
51127 November Clovis died. His kingdom was divided among his four sons; the territory with its seat at Paris went to Childebert I, the kingdom of Soissons went to Chlothar I, the kingdom of Orléans went to Chlodomer, and the kingdom of Rheims (Austrasia) went to Theuderic I.
52425 June Battle of Vézeronce : The united armies of Clovis' sons inflicted a serious defeat on the Burgundian king Godomar. Chlodomer, the king of Orléans, was killed in battle.
Chlothar I, the king of Neustria, had two of Chlodomer's sons killed and forced the third into hiding thus inheriting his kingdom.
534 Theuderic I died, his son Theudebert I succeeded him as king of Austrasia.
547 Theudebert I died, his son Theudebald succeeded him as king of Austrasia.
555 Theudebald died, his realm passed to his great-uncle Chlothar I.
55813 December Childebert I died. His brother Chlothar I inherited his territory, thus becoming sole King of the Franks and reuniting Clovis' kingdom.
56129 November Chlothar I died. The kingdom was divided among his four sons; Paris went to Charibert I, Burgundy to Guntram, Austrasia to Sigebert I, Soissons to Chilperic I.
567November Charibert I, king of Paris, died. With no heir, his realm was partitioned among his brothers.
575 Sigebert I of Austrasia died, his son, Childebert II, inherited his kingdom.
584September Chilperic I of Soissons (Neustria) was assassinated. His infant son Chlothar II became king and his wife Fredegund became regent.
59228 January Guntram of Burgundy died, his realm was passed on to Childebert II who was his adoptive son.
8 December Fredegund died so the 13-year-old Chlothar II started his reign as King of Neustria.
58917 October Charibert II, Franco-Lombard-Byzantine war over the Po Valley. The war was stopped by breaching dam in Cucca, transferred to the Lombards by the Byzantine emperor Maurice, which caused a severe flood, that blocked the franks' army advance into Italy.
595 Childebert II died, his kingdom was divided between his two sons. The kingdom of Austrasia went to Theudebert II, the kingdom of Burgundy to Theuderic II.

7th century

612 Theudebert II, the king of Austrasia, was assassinated. His realm went to his brother Theuderic II, king of Burgundy.
613Theuderic II died. His bastard son Sigebert II briefly inherited his kingdom.
Sigebert II, the king of Burgundy and Austrasia, was executed by Chlothar II, who inherited his kingdoms thus becoming sole king of the Franks.
623 Chlothar II gave Austrasia its independence under the kingship of his son, Dagobert I.
629 Chlothar II died. Under an agreement forged after his death, Dagobert I succeeded him as king of Neustria but ceded what would become Aquitaine to his brother, Charibert II.
6328 April Charibert II died, possibly in an assassination ordered by his brother Dagobert I. His infant son Chilperic succeeded him as king of Aquitaine.
Chilperic was also killed. Dagobert I reacquired Aquitaine and became sole king of the Franks.
63919 January Dagobert I died. Austrasia went to his son Sigebert III, and the Kingdom of Neustria and Burgundy to Clovis II. Both of these new kings are considered early rois fainéants.
655 Clovis II died. He was succeeded by his son Chlothar III (roi fainéant).
6561 February Sigebert III died. He was succeeded by Childebert the Adopted.
661 Childebert the Adopted died. Chlothar III annexed his kingdom, and became sole king of the Franks.
Chlothar III died. His kingdom was divided between his two younger brothers; Austrasia to Childeric II, and Neustria to Theuderic III (roi fainéant).
673 Childeric II annexed Theuderic III's kingdom, and became sole king of the Franks.
675 Childeric II died. Theuderic III inherited Neustria, Clovis III (roi fainéant) inherited Austrasia.
676 Clovis III died. Theuderic III inherited his kingdom, becoming sole king of the Franks.
691 Theuderic III died. He was succeeded by his son Clovis IV (roi fainéant).
695 Clovis IV died. He was succeeded by his brother Childebert III.

8th century

71123 April Childebert died. He was succeeded by his son Dagobert III.
715 Dagobert died. He was succeeded by Chilperic II, the youngest son of Childeric II.
72113 February Chilperic died. He was succeeded by Theuderic IV, Dagobert III's son.
73210 October Battle of Tours : Frankish and Burgundian soldiers under the Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel inflicted a significant defeat on the invading armies of the Umayyad Caliphate.
737 Theuderic died. Charles Martel was prevented succession.
74122 October Charles Martel died and his realm was divided between his two sons, Pepin the Short and Carloman, acting as Mayors of the Palace.
743 Childeric III was finally proclaimed king of the Franks thanks to Pepin the Short's influence, after the throne was vacant for 7 years.
74715 August Carloman renounced his position as Mayor of the Palace and withdrew to monastic life, his realm was given to his brother, Pepin the Short.
751 Childeric III was dethroned as the last king of the Merovingian dynasty, Pepin the Short was later crowned king of the Franks, thus starting the rule of the Carolingian dynasty.
76824 September Pepin the Short died.
9 October Charlemagne and Carloman I were proclaimed Kings of the Franks after their father's death. Each brother obtained half of their father's kingdom.
7714 December Carloman I died, Charlemagne annexed his kingdom.
774Following successful conquests, Charlemagne became king of the Lombards.
795The Spanish March was created by Charlemagne as a buffer zone between the Frankish kingdom and Al-Andalus.

9th century

80025 December Charlemagne is crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III.
811The treaty of Heiligen is signed between Charlemagne and the Danish king establishing the boundary between Denmark and the Frankish Empire.
812Frankish conquests in Spain were recognized by Emir Al-Hakam I.
81428 January Charlemagne dies and his only legitimate son, Louis the Pious, inherits the Empire.
84020 JuneLouis the Pious dies, the Frankish Empire is claimed by his eldest son Lothair I, over his two brothers, Louis the German and Charles the Bald.
843 Treaty of Verdun : An alliance between Louis the German and Charles the Bald, and their victories over Lothair I, compelled the elder brother to negotiate the division of the Frankish Empire. It was divided in three parts; West Francia for Charles the Bald, Middle Francia for Lothair I and East Francia for Louis the German, hence laying the foundations of modern France and Germany.
87529 DecemberCharles the Bald is crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John VIII.
8768 October Battle of Andernach : After Louis the German's death, Charles the Bald is badly defeated at Andernach by Louis' successor, Carloman of Bavaria, in an attempt to conquer his late brother's kingdom.
8776 OctoberFleeing Northern Italy from Carloman's army, Charles the Bald falls ill and dies. His son Louis the Stammerer (Louis II) succeeds him as King of West Francia.
87910 April Louis the Stammerer dies of illness. His two sons Louis III and Carloman II succeed him as joint kings of West Francia.
880MarchLouis III and Carloman II sign a treaty in Amiens dividing the kingdom between each other. Louis III obtains Neustria, Carloman II receives Burgundy and Aquitaine.
8825 August Louis III dies, Carloman II becomes sole king of West Francia.
88412 December Carloman II dies, his cousin Charles the Fat (Louis the German's youngest son) already king of East Francia, succeeds in the rule of West Francia reviving until his death the entire Carolingian Empire.
88813 January Charles the Fat dies, with no legitimate or recognized heir, the Empire falls apart never to be reunited again.
February Odo of France is crowned King of the Western Franks for his successes in fighting off the Normans. Ranulf II became King of Aquitaine.
8981 January Odo of France dies leaving no surviving heir. Charles the Simple, son of Louis the Stammerer, is declared king of West Francia, the Carolingian dynasty is thus again ruler of France.

10th century

911 Charles signed the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte with Rollo, the king of the Vikings, allowing their settlement in what would become the Duchy of Normandy.
922 Charles was overthrown by a noble revolt and replaced by Robert I, Odo's brother.
92315 June Battle of Soissons (923) : Robert was killed. Charles was captured by Rudolph, the duke of Burgundy.
Rudolph was elected king of France by an assembly of nobles. He left the Duchy of Burgundy to his brother.
93615 January Rudolph died. He was succeeded by Louis IV, a son of Charles the Simple.
95410 September Louis IV died. He was succeeded by his son Lothair.
9861 March Lothair died. He was succeeded by his son Louis V.
98721 May Louis V died. With no heir, Hugh Capet was chosen as his successor for his noble blood and military successes, thus ending the Carolingian dynasty's reign, and starting the Capetian dynasty.
99624 October Hugh Capet died. He was succeeded by his son Robert II.

11th century

1004 Robert annexed the Duchy of Burgundy.
10166 July Battle of Pontlevoy
1022 Orléans heresy
103120 July Robert died in a civil war against his sons. His second son, Henry I, succeeded him; his third, Robert I Capet, disputed the succession and led a new revolt.
1032 Henry bought peace by reversing the annexation of the Duchy of Burgundy and giving it to his brother.
1047 Battle of Val-ès-Dunes
1054 Battle of Mortemer
10604 August Henry died. The throne passed to his seven-year-old son, Philip I, with his wife Anne of Kiev acting as regent.
1066 Philip entered his majority.

12th century

110829 July Philip died. He was succeeded by his son Louis VI, the Fat.
113125 October Louis' son, the future Louis VII, the Young, was crowned the junior king and heir to the throne.
113722 July Louis VII became duke of Aquitaine by marriage to the duchess Eleanor.
1 August Louis the Fat died. Louis VII became king.
115221 MarchThe marriage of Louis VII and Eleanor was annulled.
118018 September Louis VII died. He was succeeded by his son Philip II.

13th century

121427 July Battle of Bouvines : The French army defeated a combined EnglishFlemish force, enabling the kingdom to consolidate its control over Anjou, Brittany, Maine, Normandy and the Touraine.
122314 July Philip II died. He was succeeded by his son Louis VIII, the Lion.
12268 November Louis died. He was succeeded by his son Louis IX.
1241June Louis IX announced that the County of Poitiers would go to his brother Alphonse – offending Isabella of Angoulême, whose son would have inherited the territory had the English won the Battle of Bouvines.
124220 May Saintonge War : Henry III of England arrived with an army in support of Isabella's claim to Poitiers.
127025 August Louis IX died. He was succeeded by his son Philip III.
12855 October Philip III died. He was succeeded by his son Philip IV.
1297 Louis IX was canonized by Pope Boniface VIII, and was from then on better known as Saint Louis. He is the only French monarch to be declared a saint.

14th century

130218 May Bruges Matins : The exiled citizens of Bruges, in Flanders, returned to their hometown and killed every Frenchman.
11 July Battle of the Golden Spurs : Flemish insurrectionists soundly defeated a French occupation force.
131429 November Philip IV died. He was succeeded by his eldest son Louis X, the Headstrong.
13165 June Louis X died, possibly of poisoning. His wife was pregnant with their first child; his brother Philip V was appointed regent.
15 November Louis X's son was born John I, the Posthumous. He died 5 days later so Philip V was crowned king of France.
13223 January Philip V died. With no heir, his younger brother Charles IV succeeded him.
13281 February Charles IV died. He was succeeded by his cousin Philip VI.
135022 August Philip VI died. He was succeeded by his son John II.
135619 September Battle of Poitiers a major battle of the Hundred Years' War between England and France.
1357The States-General passed Étienne Marcel's Great Ordinance in an attempt to impose limits on the monarchy, in particular in fiscal and monetary matters.
13648 April John II died. He was succeeded by his son Charles V.
138016 September Charles V died. He was succeeded by his son Charles VI.

15th century

1412756Birth of Jeanne d'Arc (The Maid of Orleans)
141513 August Hundred Years' War (1415–1429) : An English army under King Henry V landed in the north of France.
141525 October Battle of Agincourt: A major loss to the French in the Hundred Years' War (1415–1429) [1]
141830 MayThe army of John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy, captured Paris. The dauphin, the future Charles VII, fled.
141920 September John the Fearless was assassinated by companions of the dauphin. He was succeeded by his son Philip the Good, who would ally himself with the English against the French crown.
142021 MayThe Burgundians compelled Charles VI to sign the Treaty of Troyes, under which the throne was to pass to Henry V.
142231 August Henry V died. He was succeeded as King of England by his infant son Henry VI.
21 October Charles VI died. He was succeeded by his son Charles VII as king of France, a title disputed for Henry VI of England.
14387 JulyCharles VII issues the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, requiring Church councils to be held every 10 years, and confirming the right of the Gallican Church to appoint ecclesiastical officials.
145317 July Battle of Castillon: In what is considered the last battle of the Hundred Years' War, the French inflict a decisive victory on the English army, eventually gaining back all English-held territories of France.
146122 July Charles VII died. He was succeeded by his son Louis XI.
148330 August Louis XI died. He was succeeded by his son Charles VIII.
1494Charles VIII begins the first of the Italian Wars by invading Italy, but is eventually repulsed by the League of Venice.
14987 April Charles VIII died. With no heir, he was succeeded by his father's second cousin, the Duke of Orléans, Louis XII.
1499Louis XII begins the Italian War of 1499–1504 in order to press his claims to the Duchy of Milan and the Kingdom of Naples.

16th century

150810 December War of the League of Cambrai : Representatives of the Papacy, France, and the Holy Roman Empire and Ferdinand I of Spain established the League of Cambrai, whose purpose was to defeat Venice and partition its territory.
151418 May Claude, the duchess of Brittany, was married to Francis of Angoulême, the heir to the French throne.
15151 January Louis died. Francis of Angoulême succeeded him as Francis I.
152420 July Claude died. Her eldest son Francis, Dauphin of France, became Duke of Brittany.
152524 February Battle of Pavia. Francis is defeated by Imperial forces under Charles V and captured.
1532 Francis I issued an edict incorporating Brittany into the kingdom of France.
154731 March Francis I died. He was succeeded by his son Henry II.
15593 AprilHenry II ends the Italian Wars by signing the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis and renouncing all his Italian claims.
10 July Henry II died. He was succeeded by his son Francis II.
15605 December Francis II died. With no heir, he was succeeded by his brother Charles IX.
15621 March Massacre of Vassy begins The French Wars of Religion.
157223 August St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of French Protestants. [2]
157430 May Charles IX died. With no heir, he was succeeded by his brother Henry III.
15892 August Henry III died with no heir, thus ending the reign of the Valois branch of the Capetian dynasty. He was succeeded by Henry IV, the first monarch of the House of Bourbon.
159813 April Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes to end the French civil war of religion. [3]

17th century

161014 MayKing Henry IV died, by assassination Francois Ravaillac. He was succeeded by his eldest son Louis XIII, with de' Medici ruling as regent.
1617Sixteen-year-old Louis exiled his mother and took control of the government.
1624August Louis took Cardinal Richelieu as his chief minister.
164314 May Louis died. His five-year-old son Louis XIV succeeded him. Cardinal Mazarin became regent.
1648August Fronde : Cardinal Mazarin ordered the arrest of the leaders of the parlement of Paris, which provoked widespread rioting.
24 October Thirty Years' War : The Peace of Westphalia ended the war with France obtaining the better bargain, and annexing eastern territories.
1659 Franco-Spanish War : Victorious France signs the Treaty of the Pyrenees with Spain and annexes northern Catalonia and French Flanders. The war confirms France as the dominant continental power and Bourbon strength over the Habsburgs.
16682 May Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle : end of the War of Devolution. France obtains Lille and other territories of Flanders from Spain.
1678 Treaties of Nijmegen : A series of treaties ending the Franco-Dutch war. France obtains the Franche-Comté and some cities in Flanders and Hainaut (from Spain).
168415 August Truce of Ratisbon : End of the War of the Reunions. France obtains further territories in the north-west from Spain.
169720 September Treaty of Ryswick : End of the Nine Years' War between France and the Grand Alliance. Territorial changes were made in Europe and the colonial empires of the countries involved.

18th century

17019 July Battle of Carpi : In what was the first battle of the War of the Spanish succession, Austrian invaders encountered the French army at Carpi, and defeated them.
171311 April War of the Spanish Succession : France and England signed the Treaty of Utrecht, under which Philip V of Spain renounced for himself and his descendants any right to the French throne. Similarly, possible heirs to the French crown renounced all rights to the rulership of Spain.
1713 7 MarchWar of the Spanish Succession: The Treaty of Rastatt ended hostilities between France and Austria.
17151 September Louis XIV died of gangrene. His five-year-old great-grandson Louis XV succeeded him, with his nephew Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, acting as regent.
172017 February Treaty of The Hague: France and its allies signed a treaty with Spain, thus ending the War of the Quadruple Alliance.
172315 February Louis XV Became the new King of France.
173818 November Treaty of Vienna: The signing of the treaty ended the War of the Polish Succession. France gained the Duchy of Lorraine and Bar.
17445–10 October Louis XV visits Strasbourg. It is the first time since 1681 that a monarch goes to Alsace. Sumptuous festivals are organized throughout the city, the wine flows in the fountains of the squares, fireworks are fired, and a huge screen 12 meters high and 30 wide is set up in front of the Rohan Palace to partially hide the little-appreciated Gothic houses. This visit will leave the city ecstatic and indebted for many years.
Entree Louis XV a Strasbourg.jpg
174523 FebruaryThe Dauphin Louis of France marries Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain at the Chapel of Versailles.
Marriage of Louis, Dauphin of France to Marie Therese Raphaelle, Infanta of Spain in 1745 at Versailles.jpg
25–26 February Yew Tree Ball : Masked ball given by the Louis XV in the Grand Gallery of the Chateau of Versailles, on the occasion of the marriage of Louis, Dauphin of France with Maria Teresa, Infanta of Spain. Fifteen thousand people attended including Jeanne Antoinette Poisson who met with the King for a second time.
Bal des Ifs-galerie des glaces.jpg
11 May War of the Austrian Succession : French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army at the Battle of Fontenoy; Louis XV, and his son, the Dauphin, were present at the battle.
Battle of Fontenoy 1745.PNG
6 December Jean-Baptiste de Machault d'Arnouville becomes Controller-General of Finances at the age of forty-four.
Jean-Baptiste de Machault d'Arnouville.jpg
17465 August Christophe de Beaumont becomes Archbishop of Paris at the age of forty-three.
Christophe de Beaumont Colour.jpg
174818 October Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle: The signing of the treaty, dictated by France and Britain, ended the War of the Austrian Succession. The French population was dissatisfied with the terms, considering the French conquests during the war.
176310 February Seven Years' War : France and some allied and enemy nations sign the Treaty of Paris ending the Seven Years' War, resulting in a major blow on French colonial possessions.
176815 May Treaty of Versailles : In order to pay its debts and being no longer able to suppress struggle for independence, the Republic of Genoa ceded Corsica to France. Corsica remained French ever since.
177016 MayThe Dauphin Louis Auguste of France marries Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria at the Chapel of Versailles.
Ceremonie du mariage du Dauphin de France Louis-Auguste, futur Louis XVI.jpg
177410 May Louis XV died. He was succeeded by his grandson Louis XVI.
1778FebruaryFrance recognizes the American colonies as independent from the United Kingdom, making its involvement in the American War of Independence official. France will wage war with the United Kingdom in the Americas and other parts of the world assuring victory with the Peace of Paris.
178621–23 June Louis XVI visits Cherbourg to see the construction site of the dam and the arsenal.
Construction de la digue de Cherbourg remorquage d un cone en presence du roi en 1786.jpg
178914 July The French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille.
Anonymous - Prise de la Bastille.jpg
179321 JanuaryFormer King of France Louis XVI was executed by guillotine. The National Convention had taken power a few months earlier.
Execution of Louis XVI.jpg
7 JuneRevolutionary Paris sections took over the Convention, calling for administrative and political purges, starting 1-year and 2 months of what is known as the Reign of Terror.
Raffet DerniereCharrette.jpg
16 OctoberFormer Queen of France Marie Antoinette was executed by guillotine.
Execution of Marie Antoinette - Gabrielli 1793.jpg
17952 NovemberThe Directory seized power over the Convention.
Members of the French Directoire.jpg
179717 October War of the First Coalition – The Treaty of Campo Formio is signed between France and Austria following decisive French military victories. The treaty marks the collapse of the First Coalition, composed of European powers which tried to contain Revolutionary France.
17987 JulyThe United States Congress rescinded treaties with France, a moment considered as the semi-official beginning of the Quasi-War.
17999 November Coup of 18 Brumaire : General Napoleon Bonaparte overthrew the French Directory, replacing it with the French Consulate.

19th century

18019 February War of the Second Coalition : The Treaty of Lunéville was signed after the victory of the French Republic against the Second Coalition states (led by the Austrian and Russian Empires), marking the end of the war with only Britain left fighting France.
Treaty of Luneville commemoration.jpg
15 JulyThe Concordat of 1801 was signed between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII, solidifying the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France, returning most of its civil status, and restoring much power to the papacy.
Gerard - Signature du Concordat entre la France et le Saint-Siege, le 15 juillet 1801.jpg
18023 February Saint-Domingue expedition : French Army General Charles Leclerc and the first 5,000 of 20,000 troops arrive at Cap-François (now Cap-Haïtien) to suppress Toussaint L'Ouverture and the rebellion of the black population in Haiti.
Prise du Cap Francais par l'Armee Francaise, sous le Commandement du General Leclerc, le 15 et 20 Pluviose, An 10 (4-9 Fevrier 1802) - detail.jpg
25 MarchWar of the Second Coalition: The Treaty of Amiens established a peace between France and the United Kingdom.
Tratado de Amiens. Fragata Mercedes, exposicion 2015. MARQ.jpg
18032 May Louisiana Purchase : France sold Louisiana to the United States of America, renouncing its last territorial possessions on continental North America.
Louisiana Purchase New Orleans Thure de Thulstrup.jpg
18 November Battle of Vertières : The viscount of Rochambeau was defeated and forced to surrender to the revolutionary army of Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
18041 January Haitian Revolution : Dessalines declared the independence of Haiti.
Jean Jacques Dessalines.jpg
18 May Napoleon was declared Emperor by the Senate, marking the beginning of the First French Empire and the end of the French Consulate.
Napoleon Bonaparte senatus-consulte.jpg
2 December Napoleon crowned himself Emperor in Notre-Dame de Paris. Napoleon had Pope Pius VII in attendance to indicate approval of the Church.
Jacques-Louis David - The Coronation of Napoleon (1805-1807).jpg
18052 December War of the Third Coalition : The French Empire is victorious at the decisive Battle of Austerlitz which marks the end of the Third Coalition (Austria, Russia, United Kingdom, Sweden and others) against France and its client states.
Charles Thevenin - Reddition de la ville d'Ulm.jpg
180612 JulyNapoleon dissolved the Holy Roman Empire, and created the Confederation of the Rhine, a union of French client states composed of 16 states in present-day Germany.
180714 June War of the Fourth Coalition : The French Empire is victorious at the decisive Battle of Friedland which marks the end of the Fourth Coalition (mainly Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) against France and its client states.
Napoleon friedland.jpg
18082 MayBeginning of the Peninsular War which will last until Napoleon's defeat against the Sixth Coalition in 1814.
El dos de mayo de 1808 en Madrid.jpg
18095 July War of the Fifth Coalition : The French Empire is victorious at the decisive Battle of Wagram which marks the end of the Fifth Coalition (mainly the Austrian Empire and the United Kingdom) against France and its client states. (to 6 July)
Napoleon Wagram.jpg
181214 September War of the Sixth Coalition : The Fire of Moscow marks the beginning of French retreat after the French invasion of Russia. The First French Empire reached the height of its power and declined henceforth with the disastrous Battle of Berezina. The Sixth Coalition will go on to win the war and Napoleon will be exiled in 1814 to Elba.
181326–27 August Battle of Dresden, took place around Dresden, Germany, resulting in a French victory under Napoleon against forces of the Sixth Coalition of Austrians, Russians and Prussians under Field Marshal Schwartzenberg. However, Napoleon's victory was not as complete as it could have been. Substantial pursuit was not undertaken after the battle, and the flanking corps was surrounded and forced to surrender a few days later at the Battle of Kulm.
181316–19 October Battle of Leipzig, 600,000 soldiers are involved in the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I. Coalition routs the French.
Battle of Leipzig 11.jpg
18144 AprilForced abdication of Napoleon and subsequent exile to Elba.
181424 April First Restoration: The House of Bourbon was briefly restored with Louis XVIII as King of France in an intermediate period of the Napoleonic Wars.
Louis XVIII relevant la France.jpg
181521 JanuaryThe transfer of the coffins of King Louis XVI of France and his wife, Marie Antoinette, to the church St. Denis in Paris.
The transfer of the coffins of King Louis XVI of France and Wellcome V0042355.jpg
26 February Hundred Days: Napoleon escapes from Elba.
Beaume - Napoleon Ier quittant l'ile d'Elbe - 1836.jpg
7 March Hundred Days: Napoleon greeted by the 5th Regiment at Grenoble after his escape from Elba.
Retour de Napoleon d' Isle d'Elbe, by Charles de Steuben.jpg
18 June Hundred Days: Battle of Waterloo : Napoleon is defeated by Seventh Coalition armies, definitively ending the First French Empire and the Napoleonic Wars, and marks the start of almost half a century of peace throughout Europe.
Castle of Hougoumont during the Battle of Waterloo.jpg
7 July Second Restoration: With Napoleon exiled in Saint Helena, the House of Bourbon was again restored. Louis XVIII became King of France until his death on 16 September 1824.
The French Royal family in 1823.jpg
18215 MayDeath of Napoleon.
1823April French invasion of Spain: France started its invasion of Spain, eventually succeeding and restoring the monarchy, ending the Liberal Triennium.
Episode of the French intervention in Spain 1823.PNG
1830July July Revolution or French Revolution of 1830: the conservative House of Bourbon is overthrown and replaced by the more liberal Orleans Monarchy with Louis-Philippe becoming King of France.
Revolution de 1830 - Combat de la rue de Rohan - 29.07.1830.jpg
3 FebruaryEnd of the Greek War of Independence; Greece wins their independence when Russia, France and Britain finally agree on the terms of the Treaty of London
183122 November First Canut revolt : first clearly defined worker uprising of the Industrial Revolution.
Revolte des Canuts - Lyon 1831 - 1.jpg
18325 June June Rebellion : Unsuccessful Anti-monarchist insurrection in Paris.
June Rebellion.jpg
183528 July The Fieschi attentat : In Paris, the assassination of Louis Philippe I is attempted by Giuseppe Marco Fieschi using a home-made volley gun. Eighteen are killed but the King escapes with a minor wound.
Francois d'Orleans - Attentat de Fieschi, 1835.jpg
18399 March Pastry War : Victorious French troops withdraw from Mexico after their demands were satisfied.
Episode de l'expedition du Mexique en 1838.jpg
1848February February Revolution or French Revolution of 1848: Republican riots forced King Louis-Philippe to abdicate and flee to England.
Lar9 philippo 001z.jpg
20 December Louis Napoleon Bonaparte starts his term as the first president of the French Republic.
Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte president.JPG
European Revolutions of 1848
18512 DecemberExactly one year after his coup d'état , president Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte becomes Napoleon III of France, ending the Second Republic and creating the Second French Empire with him as emperor.
1853–185628 March Crimean War : France and Britain formally declared war on Russia.
1860Following the Franco-Sardinian victory over the Austrian Empire in the Second Italian War of Independence, Italian regions of Nice and Savoy were transferred to the French Empire as a reward.
18 October Second Opium War : British and French troops entered the Forbidden City in Beijing.
186631 May French intervention in Mexico : French troops start withdrawing from the country.
1870–1940 Third Republic
187110 MayThe end of the Franco-Prussian War: France's loss marked the downfall of Napoleon III and led to the end of the Second French Empire. The Third Republic was subsequently declared and Napoleon III went into exile in the United Kingdom until his death.
26 MarchThe Paris Commune was declared and lasted 2 months before being violently suppressed by the French army.
31 August Adolphe Thiers began his term as president of France.
Adolphe Thiers Nadar 2.JPG
187324 May Patrice de Mac-Mahon began his term as president of France.
Patrice de Mac Mahon crop.jpg
187930 January Jules Grévy began his term as president of France.
Jules Grevy.jpg
188728 JanuaryWork begins on the foundations of the Eiffel Tower.
Eiffelturm 1887.jpg
3 December Marie François Sadi Carnot began his term as president of France.
Marie Francois Sadi Carnot.jpg
188820 MarchFirst Stage of the Eiffel Tower is completed.
Construction tour eiffel3.JPG
21 AugustSecond Stage of the Eiffel Tower is completed.
Construction tour eiffel5.JPG
188915 MayThe Eiffel Tower is opened to the public.
Eiffel Tower 1889-04-02.jpg
26 MayThe Eiffel Tower lifts begin service.
Eiffel-Otis lift-poyet.jpg
18944 JanuaryThe Franco-Russian Alliance was confirmed.
27 June Jean Casimir-Perier began his term as president of France.
Jean Casimir-Perier.jpg
NovemberThe Dreyfus affair begins, creating a scandal which will mobilize intellectuals and divide the French population for a decade.
189517 January Félix Faure began his term as president of France.
Felix Faure.jpg
189918 February Émile Loubet began his term as president of France.
Emile Loubet by Paul Nadar c1900.jpg

20th century

19048 AprilThe Entente Cordiale was signed, as an agreement mainly based on imperial issues. With the Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907, France, Britain and Russia were known as the Triple Entente in opposition to the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria and Italy. [4]
190515 DecemberThe 1905 French law on the separation of Church and State ended government funding of religious groups. [5]
190618 February Armand Fallières began his term as president of France.
191318 February Raymond Poincaré began his term as president of France. [6]
19143 August French entry into World War I : Germany declared war on France.
191811 NovemberWorld War I: The first armistice at Compiègne was signed between France and Germany, ending the Great War. France regained Alsace-Lorraine.
1923JanuaryBeginning of Franco-Belgian occupation of the Ruhr.
192413 June Gaston Doumergue began his term as president of France.
193113 June Paul Doumer began his term as president of France.
193210 May Albert Lebrun began his term as president of France.
19346 February Riots by far-right leagues were repressed by the state in what was considered as a failed coup d'état, and a major political crisis of the Third Republic.
193725 May International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life was opened in Paris in 1937.
Place de Varsovie in Paris in 1937 (Agfacolor photo). Paris expo 1937 troisieme photo.jpg
Place de Varsovie in Paris in 1937 (Agfacolor photo).
19393 September Second World War : France declared war on Germany.
7 September Saar Offensive
19409 MayThe Battle of France begins.
18 JuneCharles de Gaulle holds his Appeal of 18 June.
25 JuneSecond World War: The Second Armistice at Compiègne was put into effect after the French and British armies were heavily defeated in the Battle of France by the Germans. The northern half of France was occupied by German forces and the southern part was governed by the collaborationist Vichy Government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain.
27 October Battle of Gabon
19418 June Syria–Lebanon campaign
194211 November Case Anton
19446 June Normandy landings
25 AugustSecond World War Liberation of Paris : In what is considered the last battle of the Allied Operation Overlord, Allied forces, and in particular Free French Forces and the French Resistance, liberated Paris from German occupation as a strong symbolic effort to restore French honor, tarnished by the fast defeat. The rest of France was liberated as the Allies advanced towards Germany.
194522 AprilCapture of the Sigmaringen enclave
24 OctoberEstablishment of the United Nations (UN) with France having a veto on the Security Council.
194613 October France adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic.
194716 January Vincent Auriol began his term as the first president of the Fourth Republic.
195118 April Treaty of Paris: Establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) between France, West Germany, Italy, and the Benelux countries, producing diplomatic and economic stability in Europe between former enemy states. The ECSC is credited as one of the major "ancestors" of the European Union.
195416 January René Coty began his term as president of France.
1 AugustEnd of the 8-year long Indochina War. The following Geneva Conference (1954) agreed to dividing Vietnam. France departed from the country in a move that started worldwide decolonization of the French colonial empire.
195725 March Treaties of Rome: The Inner Six countries (including France) signed two treaties establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC).
19598 January Charles de Gaulle became the first president of the Fifth Republic, whose new constitution greatly increased the President's powers (as opposed the Third and Fourth Republics, in which the office of President of the Republic was a largely ceremonial and powerless one).
196219 MarchEnd of the Algerian War, Algeria, a French colony, obtained independence from France after almost 8 years of official strife.
19658 April Merger Treaty: this treaty merged the ECSC, the EEC and the EAEC into a single institutional structure known as the European Community.
196724 July Charles de Gaulle's famous "Vive le Québec libre" speech provoked a diplomatic crisis in Canada–France relations.
1968May–June May '68: a series of protests, occupations and strikes against capitalism, consumerism and traditional institutions, values and order (part of the 1968 worldwide protests).
196920 June Georges Pompidou began his term as president of France.
197427 May Valéry Giscard d'Estaing began his term as president of France.
198121 May François Mitterrand began his term as president of France.
198617 February Single European Act  : a major revision of the Treaty of Rome to establish a common market by the end of 1992. (to 28 February 1987)
19927 February Maastricht Treaty: Members of the European Community (including France) signed a treaty creating what is now known as the European Union.
199517 May Jacques Chirac began his term as president of France.
199812 JulyFrance won the 1998 World Cup of football on home soil. This was their first FIFA World Cup title.
31 December Introduction of the euro: the exchange rates between the euro and legacy currencies (the franc for France) in the eurozone became fixed.

21st century

2001 "French government adopts a law that requires every French Web page to be officially archived." [7]
20022 JanuaryIntroduction of the first euro coins and bills replacing the legacy currency, the franc.
200415 March A law bans "conspicuous" religious symbols in schools. The law is renowned to target the Islamic headscarf, but forbids also Christian and Jewish symbols.
2005October and November suburban riots.
200715 May Nicolas Sarkozy began his term as president of France.
201014 SeptemberA law to ban face covering from public space is passed by the Senate of France. The law had been previously passed by the National Assembly of France on 13 July 2010. The law is renowned to target the burqa and the niqab, that President Sarkozy declared "not welcome" in France.
201119 MarchFrance leads the NATO intervention in Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyan leader is eventually killed on 20 October 2011.
20126 May François Hollande began his term as president of France.
201311 JanuaryBeginning of the French intervention in Mali against Islamic militants known as Operation Serval (11 January 2013 – 15 July 2014)
18 May Same-sex marriage becomes legal in France, the thirteenth country worldwide to allow it.
20157–9 January17 people, including three police officers, are killed in two terrorist attacks by Muslim terrorists; the Charlie Hebdo shooting targeted a magazine which published cartoons of Mohammed. [8]
10–11 JanuarySome 3.7 million people demonstrate nationwide against terrorism and for freedom of speech following the terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo.
13 November ISIS sends three teams of suicide bombers to attack multiple targets in Paris including a soccer stadium, a concert, and several restaurants; over 120 dead.
201614 JulyA cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice resulting in the deaths of 86 people and the injury of 458 others. 2016 Nice truck attack
201714 May Emmanuel Macron began his term as president of France.
201817 NovemberDemonstrations of the Yellow vests movement started.
201815 JulyFrance wins the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
202016 October Murder of Samuel Paty

See also

Related Research Articles

This is a timeline of Polish history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Poland and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Poland. See also the list of Polish monarchs and list of prime ministers of Poland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of Chinese history</span> Timeline

This is a timeline of Chinese history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in China and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of China. See also the list of Chinese monarchs, Chinese emperors family tree, dynasties in Chinese history and years in China.

This is a timeline of Portuguese history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Portugal and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Portugal.

This is a timeline of German history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Germany and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Germany. See also the list of German monarchs and list of chancellors of Germany and the list of years in Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of Russian history</span> Timeline of notable events in the history of Russia and its predecessor states

This is a timeline of Russian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Russia and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Russia. See also the list of leaders of Russia.

This is a timeline of Armenian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Armenia and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Armenia. See also the list of Armenian kings.

This is a timeline of Japanese history, comprising important legal, territorial and cultural changes and political events in Japan and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Japan.

This is a timeline of Mexican history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events and improvements in Mexico and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see history See also the list of heads of state of Mexico and list of years in Mexico.

This is a timeline of Syrian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Syria and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Syria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of Georgian history</span> Timeline of notable events in the history of Georgia and its predecessor states

This is a timeline of Georgian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Georgia and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Georgia. See also the List of Georgian Kings and Queens.

This is a timeline of Swiss history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Switzerland and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Switzerland.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Florence, Tuscany, Italy.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Palermo, Sicily, Italy.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Toulouse, France.

The following is a timeline of the history of the municipality of Utrecht, Netherlands.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Metz, France.

Chronology of the Crusades presents the list of chronologies and timelines concerning the Crusades. These include the Crusades to the Holy Land, the Fall of Outremer, the Crusades after Acre, 1291–1399, the Crusades of the 15th Century, the Northern Crusades, Crusades against Christians, the Popular Crusades and the Reconquista.


  1. Buellesbach, Alfred. Battlescapes: A photographic Testament to 2,000 years of Conflict. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2009.
  2. Arlette Jouanna, The Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre: The mysteries of a crime of state (Manchester University Press. 2007) online
  3. Ruth Kleinman, "Changing Interpretations of the Edict of Nantes: The Administrative Aspect, 1643-1661." French Historical Studies 10.4 (1978): 541-571 online
  4. P. M. H. Bell, France and Britain, 1900–1940: Entente and Estrangement (1996).
  5. Murat Akan, The Politics of Secularism: Religion, Diversity, and Institutional Change in France and Turkey (Columbia University Press, 2017).
  6. Gordon Wright, Raymond Poincaré and the French presidency (1967).
  7. Cornell University Library (2003). "Digital Preservation and Technology Timeline". Digital Preservation Management. USA. Archived from the original on 6 August 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  8. "Gun attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo kills 11". BBC News. 7 January 2015. Archived from the original on 31 May 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.


In English

  • Langer, William. An Encyclopedia of World History (5th ed. 1973); highly detailed outline of events online free
  • Morris, Richard B. and Graham W. Irwin, eds. Harper Encyclopedia of the Modern World: A Concise Reference History from 1760 to the Present (1970) online
  • Charles E. Little (1900), "France", Cyclopedia of Classified Dates, New York: Funk & Wagnalls
  • Henry Smith Williams, ed. (1908). "Chronological Summary of the History of France". France, Netherlands. Historians' History of the World. Vol. 13. London: Hooper & Jackson. hdl:2027/njp.32101063964827.
  • Benjamin Vincent (1910), "France", Haydn's Dictionary of Dates (25th ed.), London: Ward, Lock & Co.
  • Echard, William E. Historical Dictionary of the French Second Empire, 1852–1870 (1985)
  • Hutton, Patrick H. and Amy J. Staples, et al. Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870–1940 (2 vol 1986)
  • Northcutt, M. Wayne. Historical Dictionary of the French Fourth and Fifth Republics, 1946–1991 (1992)
  • Kibler, et al. Medieval France: An Encyclopedia (1995)
  • Gino Raymond (2008). "Chronology". Historical Dictionary of France. Scarecrow Press. ISBN   978-0-8108-6256-2.
  • Graham Robb (2008). "Chronology". Discovery of France: A Historical Geography. W. W. Norton. ISBN   978-0-393-06882-5.

In French