Last Updated 31 Mar 2017

Louis XVI

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Louis XVI was born on August 23rd, 1754 in the Palace of Versailles. He was born Louis Auguste, duc de Berry to Louis, the Dauphin of France, and Marie-Joseph of Saxony.

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. He was a shy and overweight. After the death of his father in 1765, Louis became the new Dauphin of France. He received strict education from the Duc de La Vauguyon, which did not sufficiently prepare him to be king.

On May 16th,1770, at the age of fifteen, Louis married 14 year old Archduchess Marie Antoinette, the youngest daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa. This marriage signified an alliance between France and Austria. The royal couple failed to produce an heir, later discovered to be due to Louis's sexual dysfunction. In 1774, Louis inherited the throne at 20 years old and became King Louis XVI. Despite his title, he had no qualities of a ruler and was extremely unqualified for the job. Nonetheless, he was faced with a government in deep debt and a clamor for resentment against monarchy.

Louis XVI began by reinstating the parlements to gain the trust of his people. He was determined to be a good monarch. France however was an in an economic crisis. To deal with this, Louis appointed Jacques Necker as his financial advisor. Louis convoked the Estates General, but eventually removed them, causing great anger in the public. This caused the creation of the Third Estate, the National Assembly, and the Tennis Court Oath on June 20th that sparked the French Revolution. The Storming of the Bastille on July 14th confirmed the radical change in the mind of the masses towards the monarchy.

French involvement in the Seven Years War left France in a disastrous economic state. Louis XVI sought to seek revenge on Britain by aiding the Americans in the American Revolution. He was eventually convinced by American Ambassador Benjamin Franklin to secretly send supplies, ammunition, and weapons to the Americans. He personally sent Rochambeau and Admiral de Grasse to aid the cause, along with a large land and naval force. Louis XVI also wished to expel the British from India. In 1782, he sealed an alliance with the Peshwa Mandhu Rao Narayan.

This begun the French struggle to eliminate British control in India. On October 5th, 1789, an angry mob of Parisian working women marched on the Palace of Versailles and attempted to kill the queen. Her wasteful and extravagant lifestyle represented all that was despised about the Ancien Regime. The King and his family was then moved from Versailles to the Tuileries Palace in Paris. In June of 1791, Louis attempted to secretly flee with his family from Paris to the royalist fortress town of Montemedy on the northeastern border of France.

However, they were discovered in a small town in the country and immediately taken back to Paris and placed under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace. In August of 1792, Louis was officially arrested and sent to the Temple prison. On January 15th, 1793, the Convention, composed of 721 deputies, voted King Louis XVI guilty for colluding with the Austrian invaders whom France was at war with. On Monday, January 21st, 1793, Louis XVI was stripped of all titles and honorifics by the Republic Government. On the Place de la Revolution, Citoyen Louis Capet was executed by the "national razor," the guillotine.

On May 16th,1770, at the age of fifteen, Louis married 14 year old Archduchess Marie Antoinette, the youngest daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa. This marriage signified an alliance between France and Austria. The royal couple failed to produce an heir, later discovered to be due to Louis's sexual dysfunction. In 1774, Louis inherited the throne at 20 years old and became King Louis XVI. Despite his title, he had no qualities of a ruler and was extremely unqualified for the job. Nonetheless, he was faced with a government in deep debt and a clamor for resentment against monarchy.

Louis XVI began by reinstating the parlements to gain the trust of his people. He was determined to be a good monarch. France however was an in an economic crisis. To deal with this, Louis appointed Jacques Necker as his financial advisor. Louis convoked the Estates General, but eventually removed them, causing great anger in the public. This caused the creation of the Third Estate, the National Assembly, and the Tennis Court Oath on June 20th that sparked the French Revolution. The Storming of the Bastille on July 14th confirmed the radical change in the mind of the masses towards the monarchy.

French involvement in the Seven Years War left France in a disastrous economic state. Louis XVI sought to seek revenge on Britain by aiding the Americans in the American Revolution. He was eventually convinced by American Ambassador Benjamin Franklin to secretly send supplies, ammunition, and weapons to the Americans. He personally sent Rochambeau and Admiral de Grasse to aid the cause, along with a large land and naval force. Louis XVI also wished to expel the British from India. In 1782, he sealed an alliance with the Peshwa Mandhu Rao Narayan.

This begun the French struggle to eliminate British control in India. On October 5th, 1789, an angry mob of Parisian working women marched on the Palace of Versailles and attempted to kill the queen. Her wasteful and extravagant lifestyle represented all that was despised about the Ancien Regime. The King and his family was then moved from Versailles to the Tuileries Palace in Paris. In June of 1791, Louis attempted to secretly flee with his family from Paris to the royalist fortress town of Montemedy on the northeastern border of France.

However, they were discovered in a small town in the country and immediately taken back to Paris and placed under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace. In August of 1792, Louis was officially arrested and sent to the Temple prison. On January 15th, 1793, the Convention, composed of 721 deputies, voted King Louis XVI guilty for colluding with the Austrian invaders whom France was at war with. On Monday, January 21st, 1793, Louis XVI was stripped of all titles and honorifics by the Republic Government

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