By Tim Lambert

6,000 BC Farming begins in France

c. 4,500 BC Menhirs (standing stones are erected in France)

2,000 BC Bronze is used in France

900 BC Celtic people migrate to France

600 BC The Greeks found Marseilles

121 BC The Romans conquer Provence

58 BC Julius Caesar begins to conquer the rest of France (Gaul)

52 BC Vercingetorix leads a rebellion against the Romans but is defeated

48 AD Gauls are allowed to become Roman senators

250 AD St Denis is beheaded

406 Germanic tribes invade France

481-511 Clovis rules the Franks

507 Clovis makes Paris his capital

732 Charles Martel wins the battle of Tours

751 Pepin the Short becomes king

800 Charlemagne is crowned emperor

838-877 Charles the Bald is king

911 Charles the Simple grants Normandy to the Viking chief, Rollo

987 Hugh Capet becomes king of France

1150 Paris University is founded

1204 The French king takes Normandy from the English

1225-1270 Louis IX rules France

1337 The Hundred Years War begins between England and France

1340 The English win the battle of Sluys

1346 The English win the battle of Crecy

1348 The Black Death reaches France

1356 The English win the battle of Poitiers

1358 French peasants rebel but are defeated

1396 Charles VI becomes insane

1415 The English win the battle of Agincourt

1429 The French win the battle of Orleans

1453 The English are driven out of France apart from Calais

1482 Provence is absorbed into France

1523 Jean Valliere becomes the first Protestant martyr in France

1539 French is made the language of official documents instead of Latin

1562-1598 France is torn by a series of religious wars

1572 Thousands of French Protestants are murdered by Catholics in the St Bartholomews Day Massacre

1610 King Henry IV is assassinated by a fanatical Catholic

1624 Cardinal Richlieu becomes principal minister of France

1627 La Rochelle rebels

1628 La Rochelle surrenders

1642 Cardinal Richlieu dies

1635 France enters the Thirty Years War

1643 Louis XIV becomes king of France

1648-1652 A series of uprisings called the Fronde take place in France

1661 An academy of dance is founded

1666 An academy of sciences is founded

1682 Louis XIV moves to a new palace at Versailles

1685 Louis XIV revokes the Edict of Nantes, which gave Protestants toleration

1693-94 France suffers famine

1707-1710 Famine strikes again

1715 Louis XIV dies

1720 onward Trade in France grows rapidly. The middle class increase in numbers and wealth.

1763 After the Seven Years War France loses Canada and India

1778 France goes to war with Britain to support the American colonies who are rebelling

1788 The king calls the Estates-General

5 May 1789 The Estates-General meets

20 May 1789 Members take the tennis court oath

14 July 1789 The Bastille falls

4 August 1789 The feudal privileges of the nobility are abolished

26 August 1789 The declaration of the rights of man

6 October 1789 The king moves from Versailles to Paris

June 1791 The king attempts to flee from France

September 1791 A new constitution is introduced in France

April 1792 France goes to war with Austria

May 1792 France goes to war with Prussia

September 1792 A new government, the National Convention meets

January 1793 The king is beheaded

February 1793 Conscription is introduced in France

March 1793 The Vendee rises in revolt

April 1793 The Committee for Public Safety is formed

September 1793 The Great Terror begins. Thousands are executed over the next 9 months.

October 1793 Marie Antoinette is beheaded

December 1793 Captain Napoleon Bonaparte recaptures Toulon from the British

June 1794 The French defeat the Austrians at Fleurus

28 July 1794 Robespierre is executed

August 1794 A new constitution is drawn up

1795 Napoleon gives the Paris mob a 'whiff of grapeshot'

1799 Napoleon becomes First Consul of France

1804 Napoleon becomes Emperor of France

1807 Napoleon is at his peak

1813 Napoleon is defeated at the battle of Leipzig

1815 Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo

1820 The Duc de Berry is assassinated

1824 Charles X becomes king

1830 A revolution takes place. Louis Philippe becomes king of France.

1848 Another revolution takes place and Louis Philippe abdicates. France becomes a republic. In December Louis Napoleon is elected president.

1851 Louis Napoleon stages a coup. He becomes Napoleon III.

1854-56 France fights Russia

1859 France fights Austria

1867 Napoleon makes his regime more liberal

1870 France is defeated by Prussia and Napoleon is forced to abdicate

1871 Paris rebels but the army crushes the revolt

1875 The Third Republic is created

1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus is convicted to treason

1906 Dreyfus is exonerated

1918 The First World War leaves France exhausted

1932 The Depression begins to affect France

1936 The left-wing Popular Front government is formed

1940 France surrenders to Germany

1944 France is liberated

1947 A new constitution is drawn up

1957 France helps to found the EU

1958 De Gaulle takes power in France. He draws up a new constitution.

1968 Rioting across France

1969 De Gaulle resigns

1981 Francois Mitterand becomes president of France

1995 Jacques Chirac becomes president

1999 France joins the Euro

2005 Riots take place in France

A History of France

A Timeline of Germany

A Timeline of Italy

A Timeline of Spain

A Timeline of Paris