France History Timeline

France History Timeline

According to Computerannals, France is a country in Western Europe. France has coasts to the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, the North Sea and the Mediterranean. To the south it borders Spain and Andorra, to the east Italy, Monaco and Switzerland and to the northeast Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. Outside Europe, French possessions border Brazil, which is the longest border (673 km), with Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles.

France contains many varied types of landscapes from the coastal plains in the north and west of the Atlantic and North Sea to the great mountain ranges of the Pyrenees in the south and the Alps in the east with the highest mountain peak of the Alps Mont Blanc, 4,808 meters. Inland, there are other mountain ranges such as the Central Massif, the Jurassic and the Vosges.

France was formed on the remnants of the Roman Empire, where a Germanic family called the Franks formerly ruled the country. Hence it came to be called France derived from the Frankish Empire.

Read more here about the history of France.


400,000 BCE – Some of the oldest settlements known in France are those found in the Terra Amata excavation in Nice, which is about 400,000 years old, where traces of the ancient man Homo heidelbergensis have been found.

98,000 BCE – Excavations in a cave in the Rhône Valley in southern France has revealed that a group of Neanderthals 100,000 years ago held a feast on six of their fellow species. The six Neanderthals have been slaughtered and parted in the same way as a number of hunting animals, whose bone remains were also scattered in the cave. Thus, archaeologists have obtained the best evidence to date that the Neanderthals, who lived 200,000 to 30,000 years ago, set out to eat each other. Researchers have previously suspected cannibalism among Neanderthals, as suspicious marks have been found on bones from Neanderthals. But it has previously been thought that the marks could have been set by animals, or that they had arisen during the excavations. At the new find, however, archaeologists have been extremely careful during the excavation work. And they have found well-preserved bone remains from six individuals who have clear cuts, there are exactly similar marks on deer bones found in the same cave. The flesh is cut from the bones with a flint weapon on both Neanderthals and animals, and both types of bones are broken over to get the marrow out. Finally, the skulls have been knocked open so the brains could be taken out and eaten. Finds of large amounts of animal bones in the cave do not indicate that the Neanderthals lacked prey, and therefore archaeologists do not know why the Neanderthals ate each other. Maybe it was about killing enemies, which was part of a ritual. Or perhaps the Neanderthals in the late winter desperately suffered from a lack of fat in order to survive. Brains, like bone marrow, have a high fat content. Probably the Neanderthals ate their fellow species raw. No evidence has been found that the meat has been cooked.

about 25,000 BCE – The oldest settlements of Homo sapiens that have been traced are approx. 25,000 years old. In Lascaux, cave paintings have been found which are dated to approx. 15,000 BC

1000 BCE – The Celticethnic group the Gauls began to populate the area which later became known as Gaul. Like other Celtic groups, the Gauls also had a strong clergy class, the Druids. The expansion of the Gauls was limited by internal battles, they fought as often among themselves as against other groups. Read more here about the grid wars.

59 BCE – Julius Caesar begins to meddle in Gallic affairs, leading to a Gallic revolt against the Romans in 52 BC. under the chief Vercingetorix. After the revolt was finally put down by Alesia, the pace of Latinization of Gaul increased. Northern Gaul was then subjugated to Rome, and the Latin language outperformed the Celtic languages.

3rd century – The Gallic Empire was founded in 260. Read more here about the culture.

5th century – In connection with the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, Gaul was invaded several times by Germanic tribes who not only migrated through the Gallic territory but also established small kingdoms in Gaul. Visigoths had established a Germanic-ruled kingdom in the south of France in the 5th century, while Burgundians had established kingdoms further to the northeast. In the north, a royal family of the Franks began to seize power.

912 – Rouen becomes the capital of Normandy.

1163 – Work on the Notre Dame de Paris church, located on the Ile de la Cité in Paris, begins and is not completed until 200 years later, in 1345.

1190 – The Colossal Museum of Paris, Louvre, is built by King Philip II on August 2 as a fortress to protect the city from attacks from the north. The castle was expanded in 1546, and the expansions continued until the 19th century. Parts of the castle already became a museum in 1793. After a major restoration in the 1980s, the entire castle was used as a museum from 1993. Most famous among the extensive art collections is Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, Mona Lisa, but there are also extensive ethnographic and historical collections..

1337-1453 – The Hundred Years’ War is a term for a series of armed conflicts between England and France in the late Middle Ages.

1348 – Black Death reaches France. The epidemic also wiped out large parts of the population here, and the population fell from approx. 18-20 million in 1328 to approx. 11 million 150 years later. The Black Death and the War also led to great social unrest, a peasant uprising broke out in 1358, led by the peasant Jacques Bonhomme. Jacquerie, as the uprising became known, was quickly overthrown by the nobility.

1431 – On May 30, Army Commander Jeanne d’Arc (also known as the ” Virgin of Orleans “) is burned at the stake during the final stages of the Hundred Years’ War as a heretic in Rouen. She was rehabilitated in 1456 and is a French national heroine. She blevkanoniseret ( canonized ) by the Catholic Church in 1920.

1436 – The French recapture Paris, Normandy in 1450, and Guyenne in 1453. Eventually, only the Calais area comes under English control.

1490 – France invents artillery.

1572 – Bartholomew’s Night (also the Paris Blood Wedding ) is the name given to the Huguenot massacre that took place in Paris on the night between 24 and 25 August ( St. Bartholomew’s Day). It is estimated that 70,000 people were killed during the massacre.

1664 – Louis XIV celebrates the Feast of the Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée (the delights of the enchanted island). The princes of Europe were astonished and impressed by the luxury which these pleasures expressed, and began to mimic increasingly the lifestyle of the French king (the baroque ). With this began the legend of the Sun King. The party was an introduction to promote the construction of the Palace of Versailles.

1670 – Champs-Élysées, the street in Paris that runs from the Place de la Concorde to the Place Charles-de-Gaulle, formerly the Place de l’Étoile, the Star Square where the Arc de Triomphe stands.

1792 – April 25. The French guillotine is first used in an execution. A highway robber strikes a chord.

1795 – Napoleon gains power over the French army. The Napoleonic Wars between France and Britain begin. The French conquer Holland, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange collapses. Denmark on Napoleon’s side. The Danish government is launching a campaign to get the residents of Lejredal northeast of Bergen in Norway to become conscripts.

1789-99 – The French Revolution, is the term for a period of political upheaval, which led to the fall of autocracy and the first major political push of the bourgeoisie. It also developed into a general European conflict, the aftermath of which lasted until 1815.

1792 – In August, Louis XVI is deposed and he and his family are subsequently imprisoned in Paris. On January 21, 1793, Louis was executed in the guillotine, and six months later, the former queen, Marie-Antoinette, was indicted for crimes against the French nation, for holding orgies at the Palace of Versailles, and for incest against the 8-year-old. Crown Prince (that accusation was dropped, however, after she tearfully appealed to all the mothers of France ). She was convicted on October 16 and executed.

1793-94 – Reign of Terror or the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution led by Robespierre. The terror was both political, economic and religious. The number of executed is estimated by historians at between 20,000 and 50,000.

1799 – Napoleon Bonaparte becomes France’s first consul from 1799 and French emperor under the name Napoleon I from May 18, 1804 – April 11, 1814 and again March 20 – June 22, 1815. He conquered and ruled most of western and central Europe.

1812-15 – In 1812, Napoleon started a campaign to break Russia once and for all. The campaign was a disaster, and almost the entire 600,000-man Grande Armée was lost. A large alliance of Great Britain, Sweden, Prussia, Austria and other German states mourned Napoleon’s defeat in the autumn of 1813 and the spring of 1814. Napoleon then had to abdicate and retreated to the island of Elba off Italy. In the autumn of 1815 Napoleon returned to France, where he quickly got the people with him and overthrew the new king Louis XVIII. After taking power in France, he quickly raised a new army to restore the wars with the other European powers. At the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, Napoleon met his final defeat, which led to his exile to the island of St. Helena where he died six years later.

1831 – Notre Dame Church sets the stage for Victor Hugo’s novel The Bell Ringer of Notre Dame.

1844 – The Three Musketeers is the title of a novel by Alexandre Dumas that has been filmed several times since the first film in 1921.

1844 – The Count of Monte-Cristo is a novel by Alexandre Dumas. It and the Three Musketeers are Dumas’ most popular novels, which have been filmed several times.

1889 – March 31. The Eiffel Tower in Paris is opened to visitors. The tower is the main attraction at the World’s Fair and is built of 7,000 tons of iron beams.

1914 – On August 3, Germany declares war on France.

1916 – February 21. The Battle of Verdun in northeastern France was one of the largest battles of World War I. The battle lasted from 21 February to 19 December 1916 and began as a German offensive, in which an attempt was made to make the French army bleed in the positions around the heavily fortified city of Verdun. But the French stubbornly defended themselves under General Philippe Pétain, who became famous for the successful defense of the city. Petain was replaced in May by General Robert Nivelle. The Germans had to stop the offensive in July, and a French offensive from October forced them to give up the conquered terrain, including the forts of Vaux and Douaumont. During the battle, a total of about half a million were wounded, and more than a quarter of a million people were killed. It was the longest battle in World War I and the bloodiest after the Battle of the Somme (1916). The battle has since become the very symbol of the monstrous and horrific way World War I took place.

1917 – The Battle of Cambrai is a battle of World War I, which takes place from November 20 to December 3, 1917. With this battle, tanks were effectively put into warfare for the first time in world history. With the attack, the British would try to see what the new weapon was like against the heavily protected German line of defense. After the English’s first success, however, the Germans succeeded in launching a counterattack that regained much of the lost territory. By December 7, the English had had to retreat to near their starting position. The battle thus ended in a draw and cost approx. 45,000 fallen on each side.

1918 – The Battle of Belleau Wood (Bois Belleau) takes place during World War I near the Marne River in France from June 1, 1918 to June 26, 1918. The battle is fought between the United States Second and Third Infantry Divisions and units of the French 6th. army and the British IX Corps against units from Germany’s 10th, 28th, 87th, 197th, and 237th Divisions. On the Allied side, the American Marines played a major role, with the General James Harbord excelled, the battle being the last major clash on the Western Front during World War I. The French later renamed the area where the fighting took place, Bois de la Brigade de Marine, in honor of the stubbornness of the well-fought American Marines and later awarded the Fourth Marine Brigade the Croix de Guerre.

1939 – On September 1, France declares war on Germany.

1940 – The Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, is the name given to the German invasion of France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, which
ended the Ghost War on May 10, 1940.

1944 – The liberation of Paris (also known as the Battle of Paris ) takes place from 19 August until the German garrison surrenders on 25 August. The French capital had been ruled by Nazi Germany since France surrendered in June 1940, when Vichy France was also established as the capital of the southern French city of Vichy.

1947 – Frenchman Marcel Griaule discovers the secrets of the Dogon tribe while visiting Mali.

1966 – July 2. France conducts its first nuclear test on Morura in the Pacific.

1973 – January 27. In Paris, a ceasefire in the Vietnam War is signed by the United States, South and North Vietnam, and the FNL. It is the end of US participation in the Vietnam War, as the United States undertakes to withdraw its troops.

2007 – February 2. The UN Climate Panel will present its report on the state of the planet at a press conference in Paris.

2015 – January 7. The editorial office of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, was attacked by two masked men who were armed with automatic weapons. They forced access to the premises, after which they shot around them while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great). They managed to escape from the crime scene after killing 13 and injuring 11 people.

2015 – November 13. Friday night at In 2130, several shootings and explosions took place in Paris. The latest reports say that there are 128 dead, about 200 wounded, 99 in critical condition, and 8 terrorists have died – 7 took their own lives with suicide belts, and one was shot and killed by the police.

France History Timeline

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