King Louis XVI

Birth: 1754

Death: 1793

King Louis XVI ascended the throne in 1774. He survived the first part of the French Revolution (1789-1792), during which he was forced to adapt to a new constitutional arrangement that stripped the French monarchy of much of its pre-Revolutionary power. He was then deposed during the Insurrection of 10 August 1792. After France became a Republic that September, he was tried for crimes against the Revolution. He was executed on 21 January 1793.

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Appears in these Letters:

1788

13 December: Pre-Revolutionary Political Tensions

This extract covers the first two paragraphs of the first surviving Letter from the duchess's notebook series. We are in the period known as the...

1789

10 February: Pre-Revolutionary Violence

Although many of the Letters focus on Paris, they also show that the duchess made considerable efforts to stay informed about events elsewhere in the...

9 May: The Opening of the Estates General

The Estates General was the national representative body called by Louis XVI to solve the state’s financial problems. It was set up with ornate...

22 July: Revolutionary Paris in July 1789

The duchess reflects on events in the Revolution so far and the rising power of Paris's new municipal government. She castigates a...

14 October: A King Imprisoned? The October Days

On 5-6 October 1789, a Parisian crowd led by thousands of women marched out to demonstrate at Versailles and forced the royal family to relocate to...

1790

15 April: The Riddle of Louis XVI

Although a staunch royalist, the duchess, like many nobles, feared that the king might be tempted to enter an alliance with influential members of the...

29 December: The Duchess Reflects

The duchess takes stock of the Revolution thus far, and considers what it has meant for her and for the country. Her decision to begin this review...

1791

30 June: Capture at Varennes: The Humiliation of a King

Here the duchess sifts through the wreckage of the royal family's thwarted attempt to escape Paris in June 1791. Before leaving on what would become...

1792

14 August: The August Revolution: The Fall of the Monarchy

The summer of 1792 was a perfect storm for the French monarchy, with rising demands for a Republic amid military defeats and the lasting resentment...

4 September: Revolutionary Massacre: Paris in September 1792

At the start of September 1792 Revolutionary tensions boiled over in the capital in the wake of the fall of the monarchy and news of...

15 December: The Criminality of Revolutionary France

The deposed king Louis XVI is going on trial for crimes against the Revolution and the duchess regards this as further evidence of Revolutionary...

1793

21 January: The Execution of Louis XVI

The deposed king's trial before the nation's elected representatives in the National Convention began on 11 December 1792. A guilty verdict was never...

5 June: Reflections on Political Repression

The duchess explains how the balance of political power in the capital has recently shifted in a more radical direction, and considers the...

31 July: Revolutionary Justice in the summer of 1793

The duchess offers news and personal reflections on recent developments in the French Revolution (as seen from her home in the heart of the capital)...

22 October: The Execution of Marie-Antoinette

The execution of the former queen Marie-Antoinette on 16 October 1793, after a highly politicised show trial at the Paris Revolutionary Tribunal, was...

[Source: Wikipedia]