Louis XVI and the French Revolution

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About the Book

Louis XVI was a gentle and unassuming man who did not want to be king but attempted to work for the welfare of his people—until his government was engulfed by the violent upheavals of the French Revolution. Facing the rapidly changing desires of his subjects, he gave way to the policies they demanded. Few rulers have acquiesced to such startling changes of government within such a brief span of time.
Louis XVI lacked the charisma of Marie Antoinette, but he is remarkable for the courage he exhibited when facing violent armed men only a few feet away. The quiet dignity with which he approached his execution has been praised by countless people, including Albert Camus and Victor Hugo. This biography traces the painfully exciting events involving Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and their two children. The royal family was first taken by a violent mob from Versailles to Paris. They attempted an escape but it failed when they had almost reached safety. A year later the king and queen were guillotined.

About the Author(s)

Alison Johnson lives in midcoast Maine.

Bibliographic Details

Alison Johnson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: chronology, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7355-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0243-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

 1. Youth and Marriage 5

 2. Early Years of Reign 14

 3. Marie Antoinette’s Lifestyle 25

 4. Deteriorating Financial Situation 37

 5. The Necklace Affair 44

 6. Attempts to Avoid Bankruptcy 50

 7. Composition of the ­Estates-­General 55

 8. Opening of the ­Estates-­General 60

 9. Fall of the Bastille 66

10. Accommodating the Revolutionaries 72

11. Mob Takes Royal Family Captive 79

12. Life of the Royal Family in Paris 86

13. Bastille Anniversary Celebration 92

14. Civil Constitution of the Clergy 97

15. Flight to Varennes 102

16. Final Steps Toward a Constitutional Monarchy 115

17. Acceptance of the Constitution 121

18. Invasion of the Tuileries Palace 129

19. Attacks by Austrian and Prussian Forces 136

20. Insurrectional Commune Seizes Power in Paris 142

21. Battle at the Tuileries Palace 149

22. The Royal Family in Prison 156

23. September Prison Massacres 161

24. French Military Successes 173

25. Trial of the King 178

26. King Condemned to Death 189

27. Final Hours and Execution 196

Epilogue 201

Chronology 205

Chapter Notes 207

Works Cited 215

Index 219