Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette ruled at a time when France was unstable, and when the French Revolution took place. They were openly ridiculed because of their inability to produce an heir to the throne. People’s anger was also focused on the fact that the royal family lived in Versailles, showing alienation from the citizens of France. At this point in France, the debt was already large enough that the country was giving most of its revenue to pay off debt, but the newly crowned King did not do anything to help this, but instead worsen it. A regressive tax system was implemented to help the country from going bankrupt after a meeting in the Estates General in which the poor now had to pay even more money. The Estates General was the meeting of all three estates, allowing them to vote on different problems in France. The Diamond Necklace Affair destroyed the Queen’s reputation when the French people believed she took part in a crime. The March to Versailles took place when the Parisian women demanded the royal family move back to Paris. The Flight to Varennes was an event during which the royal family attempted to escape Paris and travel to Austria, but was caught by the townspeople in Varennes (“French Revolution”). With the debt, Estates General, Diamond Necklace Affair, March to Versailles, and Flight to Varennes, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette’s reputations were destroyed, ultimately leading to the French Revolution and their demise.
Part II: Background Information
Louis XVI, the grandson of Louis XV, was born in the Palace of Versailles on August 23, 1754. At age 11, Louis became the dauphin of France, due to his father’s death of tuberculosis. In 1774, after he took heir to the throne as a king, people...
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... France (Shusterman, 51-53). When Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were caught in Varennes and brought back to the Tuileries Palace, absolutism is basically abolished, and there is now a reason to kill the king (Jordan, 24-27).
This affected the rest of Europe because they, too, fought in the French Revolution to try to restore the Absolute Monarchy. There were revolutionaries from France’s surrounding countries and others. Austria was affected in a big way because this is the country that Marie Antoinette is from. They tried to do everything they could to protect the royal family, including a threatening document that stated if the revolutionaries were to hurt the king or queen, Austria would kill the townspeople. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were a couple of the most important people in French history, and a significant part of European history as a whole.
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