Louis could no longer be considered a hostage or as leverage in negotiations with the invading forces. Louis XVI has been the subject of novels as well, including two of the alternate histories anthologized in If It Had Happened Otherwise (1931): "If Drouet's Cart Had Stuck" by Hilaire Belloc and "If Louis XVI Had Had an Atom of Firmness" by André Maurois, which tell very different stories but both imagine Louis surviving and still reigning in the early 19th century. Necker supported the American Revolution, and he carried out a policy of taking out large international loans instead of raising taxes. Louis XVI was the king of France from May 1774 until his execution in January 1793. His desire to be loved by his people is evident in the prefaces of many of his edicts that would often explain the nature and good intention of his actions as benefiting the people, such as reinstating the parlements. He thought only a small number of radicals in Paris were promoting a revolution that the people as a whole rejected. Arnault Laporte, who was in charge of the Civil list, collaborated with both Montmorin and Mirabeau. As Louis XVI mounted the scaffold, he appeared dignified and resigned. ———— Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were guillotined on January 21 and October 16, 1793. June 10, 1789 The hot issue of how voting powers … The Constitution of 1791 limited King Louis XVI's authority by. [42] He left behind (on his bed) a 16-page written manifesto, Déclaration du roi, adressée à tous les François, à sa sortie de Paris,[43] traditionally known as the Testament politique de Louis XVI ("Political Testament of Louis XVI"), explaining his rejection of the constitutional system as illegitimate; it was printed in the newspapers. Louis XIV King of France and Navarre In Power May 14, 1643 – Sept. 1, 1715 Born Sept. 5, 1638 Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France Died Sept. 1, 1715 (at age 76) Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France Nationality French Religion Catholicism Louis XIV rose to power when he was only five years old. His uncle, the future. Reminder: * Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Madame Elisabeth were siblings. At that time he was still immature, lacking in self-confidence, austere in manner, and, because of a physical defect (later remedied by an operation), unable to consummate his marriage. In the same year Louis was persuaded by Pierre Beaumarchais to send supplies, ammunition, and guns to the rebels secretly. 31 "The Revolution" or "La Paix", Mov. The French expeditionary force arrived in North America in July 1780. Louis attempted to work within the framework of his limited powers after the women’s march but won little support, and he and the royal family remained virtual prisoners in the Tuileries. This time period was exemplary in its demonstration of an institution's deliberation while in their last standing moments.[38]. He himself felt woefully unqualified to resolve the situation. Why did Louis XVI's decision to … Junior Varsity at Versailles. In 1780, France sent Rochambeau and Grasse to help the Americans, along with large land and naval forces. Thenceforward he seems to have been completely dominated by the queen, who must bear the chief blame for the court’s subsequent political duplicity. 1774. He extended France’s eastern borders at the expense of the Habsburgs and secured the Spanish throne for his grandson. What did Louis XVI do, seeing the power of his revolting subjects? By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Like his mother and father, he thought that the Austrians were treacherous and the Prussians were overly ambitious. It was around this time, that Louis XVI and his family were imprisoned in the Tuileries Palace in Paris following the march of Parisian women to Versailles. Louis was stripped of all of his titles and honors, and from this date was known as Citoyen Louis Capet. Louis xiv maintained his authority by saying his power came from God, he also distracted the nobles of France with courtlife: parties, chatting, hunting, and even sex. He had an enormous responsibility, as the government was deeply in debt, and resentment of despotic monarchy was on the rise. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. However, his indecision, many delays, and misunderstanding of France were responsible for the failure of the escape. Louis XIV (1638-1715) was king of France from 1643 to 1715. This led to the convening of the Estates-General of 1789. Members of the Commune and the most radical deputies, who would soon form the group known as the Mountain, argued for Louis's immediate execution. Initially, he had looked on the Revolution with equanimity. This convocation was one of the events that transformed the general economic and political malaise of the country into the French Revolution. Between 1816 and 1826, a commemorative monument, the Chapelle expiatoire, was erected at the location of the former cemetery and church. As a last-ditch attempt to get new monetary reforms approved, Louis XVI convoked the Estates-General on 8 August 1788, setting the date of their opening on 1 May 1789. Whatever can be said of Louis XVI's performance during his reign and the early parts of the French Revolution, there can be no doubt he died bravely and like a king. The Girondins were partial to keeping the deposed king under arrest, both as a hostage and a guarantee for the future. [47] The king's flight in the short term was traumatic for France, inciting a wave of emotions that ranged from anxiety to violence to panic. He and the royal family remained virtual prisoners in the Tuileries, a royal and imperial palace in Paris that served as the residence of most French monarchs. More recently, he was depicted in the 2006 film Marie Antoinette by Jason Schwartzman. When Louis XVI acceded to the throne in 1774, he was nineteen years old. Like his grandfather, Louis XVI has very pacifist ideas and is not fond of wars but he also places a great importance in the prestige that France once had and should have. Contrary to its intended purpose of strengthening Louis XVI's position against the revolutionaries, the Brunswick Manifesto had the opposite effect of greatly undermining his already highly tenuous position. Louis XVI was the King of France from 1774 until 1792, when the monarchy was abolished during the French Revolution. The French Revolution began in 1789 as a popular movement to reform the 'absolute' rule of the monarch, Louis XVI. Louis's formal style before the revolution was "Louis XVI, par la grâce de Dieu, roi de France et de Navarre", or "Louis XVI, by the Grace of God, King of France and of Navarre". The reason as to why many biographers have not elaborated extensively on this time in the king's life is due to the uncertainty surrounding his actions during this period, as Louis XVI's declaration that was left behind in the Tuileries stated that he regarded his actions during constitutional reign provisional; he reflected that his "palace was a prison". He could declare war and make peace. The protest was a reaction to the decadence of French monarchists while the people were starving. Radical financial reforms by Turgot and Malesherbes angered the nobles and were blocked by the parlements who insisted that the King did not have the legal right to levy new taxes. As authority dissipated from him and reforms were clearly becoming unavoidable, there were increasingly loud calls for him to convoke the Estates-General, which had not met since 1614 (at the beginning of the reign of Louis XIII). Louis XVI (Louis-Auguste; French pronunciation: ​[lwi sɛːz]; 23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) was the last king of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. [54] 361 of the deputies voted for Louis's immediate execution. A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Henriette Marie, Queen of England, Ireland and Scotland, Anne Marie Louise, Duchess of Montpensier, Marguerite Louise, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Élisabeth Marguerite, Duchess of Alençon and Angoulême, Françoise d'Aubigné, Marchioness of Maintenon, Maria Carolina Sophia Felicity Leszczyńska, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth, Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, List of people associated with the French Revolution, Provisional Government of the French Republic, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Louis_XVI&oldid=999765704, French people executed by guillotine during the French Revolution, People executed for treason against France, Heads of government who were later imprisoned, Legitimist pretenders to the French throne, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Articles needing additional references from January 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2009, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2019, Articles with Encyclopædia Britannica links, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with RKDartists identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 21 September 1792 – 21 January 1793: Citizen Louis Capet, Baecque, Antoine De. May 10th: The death of King Louis XV. After the situation had been defused by Lafayette, head of the Garde nationale, the king and his family were brought by the crowd to the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the reasoning being that the king would be more accountable to the people if he lived among them in Paris. Desperate, he made his abortive flight to Varennes in June 1791. mob storms and takes Bastille . His education was entrusted to the duc de La Vauguyon (Antoine de Quélen de Caussade). 2- On 4 August 1789, the Assembly passed a decree abolishing the feudal system of obligations and taxes. France's alliance with Austria had pulled the country into the disastrous Seven Years' War, in which it was defeated by the British and the Prussians, both in Europe and in North America. He brought the French monarchy to its peak of absolute power and made France the dominant power in Europe. Louis-Auguste de France, who was given the title Duc de Berry at birth, was born in the Palace of Versailles. Worried about his family safety and dismayed by the direction the Revolution was taking, King Louis XVI decided to flee with his family from Paris to the Austrian border in June 1791. Louis XVI and his family were taken back to Paris where they arrived on 25 June. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Louis was the fourth son of the dauphin Louis, the son of Louis XV, and received the title comte de Provence; after the death of his two elder brothers and the accession of his remaining elder brother as Louis XVI in 1774, he became heir presumptive. [55] The next day, a roll-call vote was carried out to decide upon the fate of the former king, and the result was uncomfortably close for such a dramatic decision. On 26 December, his counsel, Raymond Desèze, delivered Louis's response to the charges, with the assistance of François Tronchet and Malesherbes. At dawn, they infiltrated the palace and attempted to kill the queen, who was associated with a frivolous lifestyle that symbolized much that was despised about the Ancien Régime. Larmuseau et al. According to Madame Campan, Marie Antoinette's lady-in-waiting, the queen also suffered two miscarriages. At the same time, he encouraged the Girondin faction in the Legislative Assembly (which had succeeded the National Assembly in September 1791) in their policy of war with Austria, in the expectation that French military disaster would pave the way for the restoration of his authority. It was taken by many to be the final proof of collusion between the king and foreign powers in a conspiracy against his own country. [27][33] Suffren became the ally of Hyder Ali in the Second Anglo-Mysore War against British rule in India, in 1782–1783, fighting the British fleet along the coasts of India and Ceylon. Everyone realized that war was imminent. His unsuccessful flight to Varennes in June 1791, four months before the constitutional monarchy was declared, seemed to justify the rumors that the king tied his hopes of political salvation to the prospects of foreign intervention. Necker concealed the crisis from the public by explaining only that ordinary revenues exceeded ordinary expenses, and not mentioning the loans. ", McGill, Frank N. "Execution of Louis XVI" in, Gabrielle Angelique, Duchess of La Valette and Epernon, This page was last edited on 11 January 2021, at 21:16. As a consequence, Bussy moved his troops to the Isle de France (now Mauritius) and later contributed to the French effort in India in 1783. His son, the future Louis XVI, becomes heir to the French throne. [citation needed] The Madeleine cemetery was closed in 1794. His overthrow and execution ended a monarchy that was over 1,000 years old, although he was not the last French king. In 1776, Louis XIV saw an opportunity to humiliate Britain and recover the lost French territories in the Seven Years’ War by supporting the United States in the American Revolutionary War. Louis XVI's time in his previous palace came to an end on 5 October 1789, when an angry mob of Parisian working men and women was incited by revolutionaries and marched on the Palace of Versailles, where the royal family lived. The ensuing debt and financial crisis contributed to the unpopularity of the Ancien Régime. In 1701, the year after his grandson became king of Spain, French companies won the monopoly to supply Spanish colonies in South America with African slaves. Louis and his wife were the famous targets of the 1789 Women’s March on Versailles. The French Revolution 19 ; Question 15. "Dictionary of World Biography". In 1785, he appointed La Pérouse to lead a sailing expedition around the world. He levied taxes and spent Louis XVI's attempts to control it resulted in the Tennis Court Oath (serment du jeu de paume), on 20 June, the declaration of the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July, and eventually to the storming of the Bastille on 14 July, which started the French Revolution. Louis-Auguste was overlooked by his parents who favored his older brother, Louis, duc de Bourgogne, who was regarded as bright and handsome but who died at the age of nine in 1761. Hardman, John. Louis XVI (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) was the King of France from 1774 until 1792, when the monarchy was abolished during the French Revolution.His overthrow and execution ended a monarchy that was over 1,000 years old, although he was not the last French king.. Louis came from the House of Bourbon.He became the king at the age of 20, after the death of his grandfather Louis XV. Louis XVI was in absolute monarchy and had power over many subjects, although there were reasons that no amount of power could have discontinued. Describe how abolition of slavery became possible in France. Early in 1778 he signed a formal Treaty of Alliance, and later that year France went to war with Britain. After 1778, Great Britain switched its focus to the West Indies, as defending the sugar islands was considered more important than trying to recover the thirteen colonies. Though it is certain that Louis XVI failed to maintain the centralization of power; people were under the false impression that he was a vain, obtuse, and inadequate monarch, so clueless that on the day the Bastille was seized by revolutionaries, he wrote in his diary, “Rien,” “Nothing happened.”. This degree of planning reveals Louis's political determination, but it was for this determined plot that he was eventually convicted of high treason. In a context of civil and international war, Louis XVI was suspended and arrested at the time of the Insurrection of 10 August 1792. On 21 September, the National Assembly declared France to be a Republic, and abolished the monarchy. The great fear. The monarchy was abolished on September 21, 1792; later Louis and his queen consort, Marie-Antoinette, were guillotined on charges of counterrevolution. In Start the Revolution Without Me, Louis XVI is portrayed by Hugh Griffith as a laughable cuckold. Louis was officially arrested on 13 August 1792 and sent to the Temple, an ancient fortress in Paris that was used as a prison. Learn how and when to remove this template message, Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789, French involvement in the Seven Years' War, Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick. 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