French Revolution What Were The Causes Of The Downfall Of Louis Xvi?

2233 words - 9 pages

During 1780s to 1790s France was in total chaos. France was ruled by the Bourbon family King Louis XVI from 1754 to 1793, it was an absolute monarch and they had absolute power and did not share it with a legislature. The situation was already bad before Louis XVI began his reign, but situation got worse. In the end, there was a revolution in France and a vast amount changes to the society and the government of France. Louis XVI himself was executed and killed; while France was established as a democratic country. There were different reasons for Louis's downfall: social, economic, political conditions. Also reasons such as the Age of Enlightenment when some philosophers had new ideas of how the country should be ruled, the inequalities between estates, the bankruptcy of the government, the attitude and behaviour of Louis XVI, and the bad economic of France. All of these factors had caused the anger of the people. Although Louis XVI couldn't help with some of the cause that led to his downfall, he was partly responsible for his own destructions.Louis's family caused the bankruptcy of the government, and his indecisiveness, his act of treason and his attempt to escape, were all the causes that led to his own downfall. The income of the government mainly came from heavy taxation on the citizens and several incidences led to the bankrupt of government. One of the main reasons was Louis and his family, mainly due to his wife, Marie Antoinette, who spent a lot of money in luxuries such as clothes, jewelry, and gambling. She even spent lots of money in creating beautiful gardens structured like a real peasant village around her palace, in which many people found it pointless and silly. (Brooman, 1992, p.15,16, 19) Louis, as a king, was a bad decision maker and couldn't control the government and his people. His characters were not suitable to be a king. He preferred the leisure life of a king, especially hunting, instead of attending assemblies and governing the country. (Gilbert, 1995, p.7) Louis was unable to use force to crush the revolution, and he and his followers only accepted compromise when it was forced upon them, which angered the Assembly who became suspicious of the king's motives. (Gilbert, 1995, p.18) He angered more radical revolutionaries by repeatedly going back on his promises to accept important new reforms. (Gilbert, 1995, p.7) After people's protest in Bastille, Louis XVI considered sending his army into Paris to recapture it. But he considered that the soldiers would probably refuse his orders that he had up control of Paris and ordered his army back to its barracks. He allowed the people to set up their own military force, the National Guard; also formed a new local government, the Paris Commune. Towns and cities all over France followed the example of Paris. Rioting crowds attacked town halls, forced out the royal officials, and set up their own communes and National Guard units. (Brooman, 1992, P.33) Louis XVI and his family...

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