The French Revolution To What Extent Was Louis Xvi Responsible For The Revolution In France From 1789 To 1792?

1112 words - 4 pages

In 1789, France was under a revolution. It was ruled by absolute monarchy for centuries. Unfairness between Estates started to frustrate the people at the bottom of France. The French government was 4000 million livers in debt (Christopher Hibbert 1980 p.14). Besides the partial blames that Louis XVI deserved, the situation was quite out of his control. There were many other reasons that lead to this revolution and every single problem was connected with each other. The most important short term factors were the bankrupting of government and the Famine. As for the most important long term factors were the heavy taxes and the enlightenments. Though Louis XVI was partially responsible for the French Revolution, it wasn’t his entire fault, he just happened to be the scapegoat of some wrong deeds done by others.Louis XVI was famous for being weak and indecisive (Peter Mantin 1992 p. 5) and that was the main problem of his running of the country. He was popular and beloved at first by all people of France because of his kind-hearted and compassionate personality, but hated later as his weakness and conservatism in politics and economics slowly appeared (Christopher Hibbert 1980 p. 3). He was too weak that even the 1st and 2nd Estates tried to control over him and he wasn’t able to do strong decisive actions (Christopher Hibbert 1980 p. 3). He even preferred personal hobbies to politics interests (Peter Mantin 1992 p. 4). The Aristocrats and the Church refused to help him out with money respectively in 1787 and 1788 when the country was in a financial crisis (Mr A J Field 2007 Schoolhistory.co.uk). At last, Louis XVI lost all control over his troop and the people of France and was in a passive position afterwards. All these nonalignment between estates and failures were indeed because of him, however, it wasn’t his entire fault. After all, the 1st and 2nd Estate was the people who refused to help and there were other more important issues that contributed to the French Revolution.Firstly, the reason why the government was bankrupt in 1788 that caused even heavier taxes on 3rd Estate was because of the humongous lavish expenditures of Marie Antoinette and the league war with the British of Louis XV (Tiffany 2007 Franceattraction.com). Marie Antoinette spent a fortune on her favourite residence, The Petit Trianon; on her stable of three hundred horses; on her sessions at the gaming tables; and also on her clothes, which cost 100, 000 livers a year. Besides, she loved expensive jewelries; her earrings from Charles Boehmer, the crown jeweler, cost 400, 000 livres and her diamond braclets cost 100, 000 livres (Tiffany 2007 Franceattraction.com). How about those parties that she had all day? One would have cost 200, 000 livres, no wonder the government bankrupted and was 4000 millions livres in debt. At that time, 50, 000 livres per year was already a lavish income and great titled heads lived for a whole year off 50, 000 livres utmost...

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