A chronology of key events:1789 – French Revolution ends rule of monarchy going back to 9th century; followed by establishment of the First Republic.1799 – Napoleon Bonaparte leads coup to overthrow government; consolidates position with new constitution.1804-1814 – Napoleon crowns himself emperor of First French Empire; series of military successes brings most of continental Europe under his control.1815 – Napoleon defeated in Battle of Waterloo; monarchy re-established.1848 – Fall of King Louis-Philippe; Louis-Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, proclaimed president of Second Republic.1852-1870 – Louis-Napoleon takes title of Napoleon III in Second Empire.1870-71 – Franco-Prussian War, ending in French defeat, loss of Alsace-Lorraine and end of the Second Empire; Third Republic lasts until 1940.1877 – Republicans win general elections, ending hopes of a monarchist revival.1914-18 World War I – Massive casualties in trenches in north-east France; 1.3 million Frenchmen are killed and many more wounded by the end of the war.1918 – Anglo-French offensive – backed by fresh American troops – forces Germany to an armistice on 11 November.1919 – Peace Treaty of Versailles. France regains Alsace-Lorraine; Germany agrees to reparations.1936-38 – Rise of the Popular Front, an alliance of left-wing forces.1939-45 – World War II – Germany occupies much of… Read full this story
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