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Essay on the history of france



Major historical dates and events in French history, with wars and battles; the reigns of the kings, queens and political figures.

You can also test and improve your general knowledge with the French trivia quiz

A list of important dates and periods in French history:

  • 10 000 BC Paleolithic age
  • 5000 - 2500 BC Neolithic age
  • 51 BC - 486 AD Gaule
  • 52 - The Battle of Alesia
  • 486 - 751 Complete timeline about the Merovingiensperiod
    • 481 - 511 Clovis, the first king of the Francs
    • 629 - 638 Dagobert I
    • 721 - 737 Thierry IV
  • 751 - 987 Carolingiens period
  • 751 - 768 King Pepin le Bref
  • 768 - 814 Charlemagne,
  • 843 - 877 Charles II
  • 877 - 879 Louis II
  • 879 - 882 Louis III
  • 898 - 923 Charles III
  • 936 - 954 Louis IV
  • 996 - 987 Louis V
  • 987 - Capetiens period
  • 987 - 996 Hugues I
  • 996 - 1031 Robert II le Pieux
  • 1031 - 1060 Henri I
  • 1060 - 1108 Philippe I
  • 1096 - Contruction of the Basilica Vézelay
  • 1108 - 1137 Louis VI
  • 1130 - Construction of the Abbey of Fontenay
  • 1137 - 1180 Louis VII
  • 1180 - 1223 Philippe II
  • 1223 - 1226 Louis VIII
  • 1226 - 1270 Louis IX
  • 1270 - 1285 Philippe le Hardi III
  • 1285 - 1314 Philippe le Bel IV
  • 1309 - The Pope moves to Avignon
  • 1314 - 1316 Louis IX
  • 1316 - Jean I ( died after only four days )
  • 1316 - 1322 Philippe V
  • 1322 - 1328 Charles IV
  • 1328 - Valois Period
  • 1346 - The Battle of Crecy
  • 1350 - 1364 Jean II le bon
  • 1364 - 1380 Charles V
  • 1380 - 1422 Charles VI
  • 1422 - 1461 Charles VII
  • 1431 - Jean d'Arc is burnt to death in the city of Reims
  • 1461 - 1483 Louis XI
  • End of the Middle Ages 1486
  • 1483 - 1498 Charles VIII
  • 1483 - 1595 Renaissance period
  • 1498 - 1515 Louis XII
  • 1539 - The king Francois 1st declares French as the offical language of France
  • 1534 - Francois Cartier begins to explore what is Canada
  • 1559 - 1560 Francois II, end of the war with Italy
  • 1562 - 1598 The War of Religions
  • 1589 - 1610 Henry IV (murdered by Ravaillac)
  • 1610 - 1643 Louis XIII
  • 1643 - 1715 Louis XIV Roi Soleil, the longest reign of a French king
  • 1661 - Louis XIV begins the construction of Versailles
  • 1715 - 1774 Louis XV
  • 1774 - 1792 Louis XVI
  • 1778 The American Colonies and France signed a military treaty on February 6.
  • 1783 The Treaty of Paris is signed to end the American Revolutionary War
  • 1789 The French Revolution
    • Prise de la Bastille the 14th July
    • The declaration of "Droits de l'homme" 26th August
    • The wealth of church is given to the nation 2nd November
  • 1792 1st Republic
  • 1793 Louis XVI is guillotined 21st January
  • 1793 Marie Antoinette executed the 16th October
  • 1795 France adopts the metric system
  • 1796 Napoleon named as general of the army of Italy
  • 1799 Creation of the Bank of France
  • 1804 - 1814 Napoleon 1
  • 1809 Napoleon takes Moscow
  • 1809 Louis Braille is born on January 4th
  • 1810 Chopin is born
  • 1814 - 1824 Louis XVIII
  • 1814 The Restoration, where the monarchy regains powers.
  • 1816 Napoleon defeated at the Battle of Waterloo
  • 1821 Death of Napoleon 1 on the island of Saint Helene
  • 1822 Louis Pasteur is born December 27th
  • 1824 - 1830 Charles X
  • 1830 Les Trois Glorieuses, 3 days of Parisian revolution.
  • 1830 - 1848 Louis-Philippe I, declared king of the French and King of France.
  • 1840 - 1917 Auguste Rodin, the sculptor
  • 1844 The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  • 1848 The 2nd Republic
  • 1849 Chopin dies in Paris
  • 1852 - 1870 2nd Empire Napoleon III ( he dies in England in 1873)
  • 1858 The vision of Bernadette Soubrious at Lourdes
  • 1862
    • Victor Hugo writes "Les Miserables"
    • Debussy is born near Paris
  • 1870 The battle of Sedan, Napoleon III surrenders to the Prussians and France loses Alsace and Lorraine
  • 1871 The 3rd Republic
  • 1880 Offenbach dies in Paris
  • 1887 - 1894 Sadi Carnot
  • 1894 The affair Drefus, accused of treason
  • 1889 World Expo at Paris with the Eiffel Tower
  • 1895 Louis Pasteur September 28th
  • 1898 J'accuse by Emile Zola
  • 1899 Renault begin to construct automobiles
  • 1905 The law separates the state from the church
  • 1906-1913 Clemenceau
  • 1914 - 1918 World War I
    • Detailed dates and timeline for World War I
    • ANZAC
  • 1926 Death Claude Monet
  • 1936 Holiday pay begins
  • 1936-1945 Second World War
    • Detailed dates and timeline for World War II
    • Petain 1940-1944
    • D-Day June 6 1944
    • World war II. all in French, but excellent site
  • 1938 Jean-Paul Sartre publishes La Nausée
  • 1942 Albert Camus publishes L'Etranger
  • 1944 - 1946 Charles De Gaulle
  • 1944 April 21st, France finally gives women the right to vote.
  • 1946 - 1947 Léon Blum
  • 1947 The 4th Republic
  • 1947-1954 Vincent Henrauriol
  • 1954-1959 René Coty
  • 1957 France joins the EEC
  • 1959 The 5th Republic
  • 1959-1969 Charles de Gaulle is president of France
  • 1960 Albert Camus dies
  • 1962 End of the war in Algeria
  • 1968 - May student riots
  • 1969 - 1974 President Pompidou
  • 1969 The first flight of the Anglo-French built super sonic aircraft "Concorde"
  • 1970 Death of Charles De Gaulle
  • 1972 Maurice Chevalier dies on the 1st of January
  • 1974 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing elected President
  • 1981 François Mitterrand elected President
  • 1981 France abolishes the Death penalty.
  • 1988 François Mitterrand re-elected President
  • 1991 Edith Cresson, the first woman French Prime Minister
  • 1992 The French singer composer Michel Berger dies
  • 1995 Jacques Chirac elected President
  • 1996 François Mitterrand dies
  • 2001 Constitution is changed, the President is elected for 5 years (7 years before)
  • 2002 Jacques Chirac re-elected President
  • 2007 Nicolas Sarkozy elected as the 6th President of the 5th French Repulic
  • 2012 Francois Hollande elected as the 7th President of the 5th French Repulic

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