The major turning points of the Revolution are the following:
- July 14, 1789 - The Storming of the Bastille, considered the beginning of the Revolution.
- August 27, 1789 - the issuance of the Declaration of the Rights of Man by the newly formed National Assembly, and an attempt to establish a limited monarchy.
- January, 1793 - The conviction and condemnation of Louis XVI for Treason.
- Spring, 1793 - the ideological dispute between the Jacobins and Gerondins divided the entire country, and the revolution was in danger. In response to this threat, Maximilien Robespierre and the Committee on Public Safety instituted the Reign of Terror in which thousands were guillotined with the intent of preserving the Revolution. If finally ended with the execution of Robespierre himself.
- October 5, 1795, when the Directory, the latest ruling body, called in Napoleon Bonaparte to put down a royalist uprising. This was the famous "whiff of buckshot."
There were other events along the way, of course, many of great importance; however these were the events which marked the major turning points in the Revolution. It began with the storming of the Bastille and ended with the advent of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Here are some of the turning points of the French Revolution, from 1789 - 1794:
- The Storming of the Bastille: this occurred July 14, 1789, when an angry stormed a Parisian prison called the Bastille. This expression of popular discontent is so important that it is still celebrated annually by French people.
- The September Massacres: between September 2 and September 6, 1792, over one thousand prisoners were murdered amid fears that they would rise up against the state. Historians often refer to this bloody period as the "First Terror" of the French Revolution.
- The First French Republic is declared: on September 21, 1792, the National Convention declared France a republic. This, combined with the execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, on January 21 and October 16, 1793, made a strong political statement. Specifically, that the old political order was dead and that France was truly a Republic.
I would add, as a main turning point against monarchy the 10th of August 1792, when the royal family was emprisoned and later judged and executed in 1793 (21st of January for the king and 16th of October for the queen).