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Glossary of the French Revolution

This is a glossary of the French Revolution. It generally does not explicate names of individual people or their political associations; those can be found in List of people associated with the French Revolution.

The terminology routinely used in discussing the French Revolution can be confusing, even daunting. The same political faction may be referred to by different historians (or by the same historian in different contexts) by different names. During much of the revolutionary period, the French used a newly invented calendar that fell into complete disuse after the revolutionary era. Different legislative bodies had rather similar names, not always translated uniformly into English. This article is intended as a central place to clarify these issues.

Table of contents
1 The Three Estates
2 Social Classes
3 Constitutions
4 Governmental structures
5 Political Groupings
6 Ancien régime taxes
7 Months of the French Revolutionary Calendar
8 Events commonly known by their Revolutionary dates
9 War
10 Symbols
11 Religion
12 Other terms

The Three Estates

Social Classes


Governmental structures

Political Groupings

Ancien régime taxes

Months of the French Revolutionary Calendar

See main article
French Revolutionary Calendar. Under this calendar, the Year I or "Year 1" began September 22, 1792 (the date of the official abolition of the monarchy and the nobility).

Events commonly known by their Revolutionary dates


See also main article
French Revolutionary Wars.



Cockades (Fr: cocardes) were rosettes or ribbons worn as a badge, typically on a hat.
Other countries and armies at this time typically had their own cockades.


Other terms