The King of France, Louis XVI was overthrown in a popular rebellion, caused in part by the rise of a middle class no longer controllable by the old regime, by ideological changes brought about by such authors as Voltaire, Denis Diderot, A. R. J. Turgot, and other theorists of the Enlightenment, and most proximately by the financial disarray of the government resulting in sharply higher taxes.
The storming of the Bastille prison is commemorated today as Bastille Day.
Unfortunately, unlike the American Revolution, which bought about a republic, the French revolution resulted in a condition of general civil war known as the Reign of Terror, culminating in the rise to power of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Somebody PLEASE RE-NEW this article for the sake of Jimbo Wales!!! :) ;(
see also French Revolutionary Calendar