What Are Some Defining Events of the French Revolution?

Some defining events of the French Revolution are the meeting of the Estates General, the fall of the Bastille, the march on Versailles and the dissolution of the National Assembly. After these events, war broke out, and following the attack on the Tuileries Palace, the Declaration of Republic and the Trial of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette occurred. The Reign of Terror and the rise of Napoleon are also key moments of the revolution.

The meeting of the Estates General was called in order to solve the French monarchy’s financial crisis. The meeting ended in discord and a break-away group met to create a new French constitution.

The Bastille was a prison that represented the monarchy. The attack symbolized an assault on Louis' regime and demonstrated the people's desire for a new system.

The march on Versailles was a direct assault on the home of the king and queen. A mob marched from Paris to the Palace of Versailles. The royal family agreed to return to Paris with the mob.

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were eventually tried for treason and executed by the new National Convention. Following the Reign of Terror, where an estimated 16,000 people were guillotined, the National Convention created a new constitution for France. The National Convention was lead by a group called the Directory.

In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte returned from Egypt and ousted the Directory and declared himself France's new leader.