War in the Vendée


The War in the Vendée was a counter-revolutionary uprising that took place in the Vendée department of France from 1793 to 1796, during the French Revolution (1789-99). In response to the French Republic's attempts to impose conscription, the Vendeans rebelled and formed themselves into a Catholic and Royal Army. The ensuing civil war is primarily remembered for its excessive brutality.

More about: War in the Vendée


  • 12 Jul 1790
    The Civil Constitution of the Clergy is passed, making the French Catholic Church subordinate to the French government.
  • Feb 1793
    The French Republic calls for 300,000 new soldiers to be raised, by conscription if necessary, prompting revolt across the nation.
  • Mar 1793 - Jun 1793
    The War in the Vendée expands, as the rebel Royal and Catholic Army controls most of the Vendée region; a Grand Council of Vendée recognizes Louis XVII as France's king.
  • 11 Mar 1793
    First Massacre of Machecoul; over 500 Republic-sympathizing citizens are murdered by angry Vendean peasants; the War in the Vendée begins.
  • 29 Jun 1793
    The Battle of Nantes. The Vendean Catholic and Royal Army is defeated by the French Republic; General Cathelineau is mortally wounded.
  • 1 Aug 1793
    French revolutionary leader Bertrand Barère calls for the complete destruction of the rebellious Vendée region.
  • Nov 1793 - 23 Dec 1793
    The march of the surviving Vendean rebels, known as the Northwind Turn ends in failure, and the destruction of the Catholic and Royal Army at the Battle of Savenay.
  • Nov 1793 - Feb 1794
    Drownings at Nantes; between 1,100 and 4,000 Vendean rebels and Catholic clerics are drowned in the Loire River by French Republican soldiers.
  • Jan 1794 - Mar 1794
    The French Republic's 'infernal columns' wreak havoc, death, and destruction to the rebellious Vendée region; some 50,000 people are slaughtered.
  • 28 Jan 1794
    Vendean rebel general Henri de la Rochejaquelein is killed while on a reconnaissance mission, aged 21.
  • 29 Mar 1796
    François de Charette, one of the last remaining leaders of the Vendée rebellion, is executed by firing squad, bringing the War in the Vendée to an end.