Louis XVI

Article

July 5, 2022

Louis XVI (French Louis XVI; 1754 — 1793), grandson of Louis XV, king of France 1774 — 1792. He inherited a country in disarray. Tried unsuccessfully to implement a series of reforms. During the great bourgeois revolution of 1789, he lost his throne and was guillotined. In May 1770, he married the Austrian Archduchess Maria Antoinette (Maria Antonia), daughter of the Austro-Hungarian Queen Maria Theresa. He ascended the throne on May 10, 1774 as a 20-year-old heir. The first decision of the new king was to restore the right to parliament, which his predecessor had banned near the end of his reign due to fear of possible rebellions. That decision brought the new king instant popularity that he would later pay dearly for. The age of his coronation is, on the other hand, the age of the great inherited debts of his predecessors and the general European hatred against England, which changes alliances as easily as some change trousers. The outbreak of the American rebellion (1775-1783) against the hated superpower becomes a reason for the compliant king to enter into an unnecessary and expensive war from which nothing good will come out for him. With the Second Paris Peace Treaty of 1783, the American colonies got independence, and France got nothing but debts. The catastrophic financial situation at the end of the eighties of the eighteenth century convinced the king of the necessity of monetary reform, for which he needed the session of the national assembly for the first time after 1614. The first day of the assembly session was on May 5, 1789, and the very next day there was a blockade and a fight between the representatives of different layers of society. Realizing his mistake Louis XVI. decides first on attempts to dissolve the session, and after failure on June 20. throws the assembly out into the street only to, frightened, revoke that decision 7 days later. That original assembly first became constitutional on July 7, and after the conquest of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, it represented the real power in the state, although it was still formally in the hands of the king. Legally speaking, since the summer of 1789, Louis XVI was the constitutional king. His decision in June 1791 to flee the country of which he was the king manages to destroy the popular image of him as a good but incompetent king. After that he becomes a traitor whose life is constantly hanging in the balance. The beginning of the war with Austria in April 1792 definitely destroys the image of the king because of his hated Austrian wife Maria Ant�