French Revolution Concept Map: Causes and Timeline

Last updated on September 22, 2022 by

The French Revolution, which started in 1789 and concluded with Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power in the late 1790s, was a turning point in world history. It brought terror, damage, chaos, upheaval, and deaths to many people’s lives. Despite adversity in this era, the French revolution contributed to the development of modern democracies by demonstrating the strength of the popular will. Here, see the French revolution Concept map scoping the rebellion’s timeline, causes, and consequences.

Summary of the French Revolution

French Revolution Timeline

French Revolution Concept Map
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a) Revolution Violence between 1789-1794

During the French Revolution, there was a time of state-approved violence and mass executions known as the Reign of Terror. The revolutionary government of France authorized the arrest and execution of thousands of people between September 5, 1793, and July 27, 1794. Maximilien Robespierre, a statesman, and lawyer from France oversaw the Terror, which was fueled in part by the conflict between the Jacobins and the Girondins, two of France’s most influential political organizations.

Marie Antoinette, the overthrown queen of France, was one of the most well-known victims of the Reign of Terror. On October 14, 1793, she was put on trial by the Revolutionary Tribunal and killed two days later. Aside from her, those accused of counterrevolutionary activity, including members of the aristocracy, priests, middle-class people, and anyone else, made up the majority of those who were imprisoned and killed during the early Terror.

b) The End of the Revolution

Ending the frustration and chaos, on November 9, 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte plotted a coup d’état, destroying the Directory and installing himself as France’s “first consul,” ushering in a period in which France would come to rule most of continental Europe.

What Caused the French Revolution?

As the 18th century nearly came to an end, France was on the verge of going bankrupt due to its expensive participation in the American Revolution and King Louis XVI’s lavish spending. Furthermore, a number of years of poor harvests, drought, livestock sickness, and spiking bread prices had stoked unrest among peasants and the urban underclass, leaving the royal coffers empty. Many rioted, looted, and went on strike to vent their frustration and disgust at a government that levied high taxes but offered no relief.

To fully envision this occurrence here are the socio-economic and political contexts that caused the French Revolution to be initiated. 

  • Absolute monarchy

In a country that was “subjected” to Louis XVI’s absolute monarchy as the earth’s representation of God, the French Revolution was born. In reality, the monarch had the authority to direct the army, halt or reverse any court ruling, and bring back any case from the courts to the council.

Whereof, the administrative power of the King was commanded by the following councils:

Privacy Council/Council of Secrets: it is administered by the king, and it concerned foreign policy issues;

Council for Dispatches: was in charge of the court’s appeals and internal administration;

Finance Council and Commerce Council: responsible for the economic issues and handled financial difficulties;

Council of Conscience: ecclesiastical benefits were discussed;

Council of Parties: imposing the sovereign’s private jurisdiction

  • Society

There are three estates in the pre-French Revolution namely: Nobility, Clergy, and the Third State. Each plays a significant role in France during this period and it is briefly discussed below.

Nobility– Nobles, such as dukes, viscounts, knights, and those with illustrious titles, as well as members of the Royal Family, but not the King himself, were members of this class. Being a member of nobles would have allowed you to live a quite prosperous lifestyle and even allow you to hunt and carry a sword. Additionally, you would have been bringing in taxes from the Third Estate.

Clergy– Priests active in the administration of the Catholic Church and particular regions of the nation were a member of the Clergy. In addition to keeping records of births, and funerals, and imparting divine knowledge, clergy members also dabbled in a variety of legislative issues and had a comfortable place in society’s upper classes. Additionally, they had the authority to impose a tithe, a 10% tax.

Third State– This included everyone else in French society, from farmers all the way up to the commoners known as the Bourgeoisie who had established a great living through business. Despite making up 98% of France’s population, the Third Estate possessed none of the other two estates’ rights. The bourgeoisie desired the same privileges as the clergy and nobles since they had become affluent via the success of their businesses. And since the peasants were either starving or jobless or both, discontent was rising.

  • Economic crisis

France experienced an extreme economic crisis throughout the 18th century. The population had outgrown the available food supply. Besides that, an intense winter led to agricultural damages, industrial crisis,  widespread starvation, and famine. And during this time, both the nobility and the peasants were unable to pay higher taxes and even the price of bread rise. 

  • Tax system

By the late 18th century, French finances were a complete mess. The taille, a direct tax levied against French peasants and other non-noble citizens, served as the foundation for the French tax system. Given that funds nearly always equated with power and that the tax system permitted the wealthiest to evade paying almost no taxes at all, attempts to enact dramatic financial reforms were thwarted by the legislature.

Finance Minister Jacques Necker was unable to alter the tax and did not dare add to the burden of those who already carried it, so he instead raised money by borrowing money. Even though this idea had some advantages, it also made the country’s loans increase drastically.

  • New Culture

In this setting, a philosophical-political culture known as “the Enlightenment” had emerged in France and was built on the three key tenets of rationalism, equality, and contractualism.

Consequences of the French Revolution

Despite that, the French revolution was a brutal period of history as thousands of people lost their lives, yet the fall of the Ancient Regime is the rise of the now firmly entrenched French system. According to historians, the French Revolution was actually required by history to achieve the anticipated purposes. Taking this into account, the following political, societal, and economical objectives were attained in the post-French revolution.

  1. Abolition of slavery;
  2. Abolition of feudal rights, with the introduction of legal, political, and social equality;
  3. Affirmation of the principle of the separation of powers, and the total separation between State and Church;
  4. Introduction of free justice;
  5. Introduction of direct taxes for all citizens;
  6. Abolition of the absolute monarchy;
  7. Drafting of the Constitution, and the constitutional monarchy;
  8. Drafting of the Declaration of the rights of man and citizen


French Revolution has been a bloody part of world history. In this blog, we have tackled the timeline, causes, and consequences of this rebellion. And if you find it informative and interesting, please do not forget to leave a comment and give us positive feedback. Stay tuned for more upcoming mind maps and timelines like the French Revolution concept map. 

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Posted by: on to Tips and Resources. Last updated on September 22, 2022

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  • the timeline is extremely blurry!!
    • You can click "Edit this example" button to view and save the clear timeline.