GIVE A HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITIES OF A ONE TIME KING IN FRANCE AS WELL AS THE OVERTHROW OF THAT MONARCHY
The monarchs of France ruled from the start of the Frankish Kingdom in 486 to 1870. During most of its history, France was ruled by kings. Four Carolingian monarchs were also Roman Emperors and the Bonapartes were Emperors of the French. The title “King of the Franks” was in use until the reign of Philip II. During the short time when the French Constitution of 1791 was in effect (1791–1792) and after the July Revolution in 1830, the style “King of the French” was used instead of “King of France (and Navarre)”.
In addition to the Kingdom of France, there were also two French Empires. The First French Empire was from 1804–1815. It was founded and ruled by Napoleon I. The Second French Empire was from 1852–1870. It was founded and ruled by his nephew Napoleon III.
KING LOUIS XVI
Louis XVI was born Louis-Auguste at Versailles on August 23, 1754. Following the death of his grandfather Louis XV, he ruled as King of France. Although introverted and apparently not very interested either in governing or his wife Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI enjoyed a political honeymoon due to public disaffection with the oversexed Louis XV in the final years of long reign.
However, the twenty-year-old king inherited a government deeply in debt, and a society in which entrenched privilege made it difficult if not impossible to effect the social, economic, and political reforms that were necessary both to solve the monarchy’s financial problems and to keep up with a rapidly changing society and economy. In 1789 he convened the Estates-General for the the first time in almost 200 years to address these problems. But when the representatives of France’s traditional three estates (the clergy, the nobility, and everybody else) gathered in Versailles that spring, they proved unwilling or unable to agree even upon how the deliberations should take place and votes should be counted. Out of the ruins of the Estates General the representatives of theThird Estate claimed power as the National Assembly, forced the King to order the other representatives to join them, and the French Revolution had begun.
WHAT LED TO HIS OVER THROW
The French enlightenment and the revolutions led to this over throw. Louis XVI reluctantly agreed to much of the revolutionaries’ agenda, hoping in this way to retain his throne in a constitutional monarchy, not unlike that of England across the Channel. But over time the Revolution became more militant and the King, urged on by the Queen and her family in Austria, less accommodating. Eventually the King, who was known formally simply as “France,” was at odds with that other France, the citizens and their representatives. Once France was declared a republic in 1792, “France” had lost all claims to represent the people whose will he had embodied for the previous 18 years.
Execution of Louis XVI in the Place de la Révolution
Along with the rest of the royal family, Louis XVI was forced to leave Versailles in October 1789, under escort of a crowd of Parisian women and men who led them in triumph to the Tuileries Palace in the heart of Paris. After a failed escape attempt to Austria in June 1791, the royal family was returned to Tuileries and placed under house arrest. In August 1792, the King was suspended, and the following month, the monarchy itself was abolished when France was declared a republic. Found guilty of treason by the National Convention, he was executed on January 21, 1793.