The 18th century was a time of profound change for Paris, culminating in the seismic events of the French Revolution. Here are some key events and developments that helped shape the city during this period:

The Enlightenment: Paris was a major center of the Enlightenment, a movement that championed reason, liberty, and the scientific method. The city’s intellectual scene was vibrant, with philosophers like Voltaire, Rousseau, and Diderot contributing to the influential Encyclopédie.

Architectural Developments: The architectural style of this period, often referred to as the ‘Louis XV’ and ‘Louis XVI’ styles or ‘Rococo’ and ‘Neoclassicism,’ led to the construction of notable structures such as the École Militaire and Place de la Concorde.

Economic and Social Change: The 18th century saw Paris grow dramatically in population, becoming the largest city in Europe. This led to significant social problems, including overcrowding, poor sanitation, and social inequality, which contributed to the social unrest leading up to the French Revolution.

The French Revolution: The Revolution, which began in 1789, led to the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy and radically reshaped France’s political and social structures. Key events such as the storming of the Bastille, the Women’s March on Versailles, and the Reign of Terror unfolded in Paris, establishing the city as the epicenter of revolutionary activity.

Reign of Terror: From 1793 to 1794, Paris was the center of the Reign of Terror. The revolutionary government, facing internal and external threats, conducted a campaign of severe repression and mass executions.

The Creation of the First French Republic: Following the execution of Louis XVI in 1793, the First French Republic was proclaimed, marking a significant shift in the political structure of France.

Rise of Napoleon: The century closed with the rise to power of Napoleon Bonaparte following a coup in 1799. His reign as First Consul, and later Emperor, would bring a period of stability and centralization after the tumultuous years of the Revolution.