His shyness kept him distant from her and his fear of her manipulation made him cold to her in public. When word spread and reached Empress Maria Theresa in 1777, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI had not yet practiced their marriage, Maria Theresa immediately send her son, Joseph II, to France to act like a marriage counselor. Apparently his wise words helped.

A year later, Marie Antoinette gave birth to a daughter, Marie-Thérèse. Eventually, the couple had four children: Marie-Thérèse, Louis-Joseph, Louis-Charles and Sophie-Beatrix. Now, it was the time for Louis to take on responsibilities and do what a King is supposed to do.  At the age of 20, Louis XVI was immature and required self-confidence.

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He desired to be a good king, but he faced colossal debt and rising resentment towards an absolute monarchy. His failure to victoriously address serious financial problems would pursue him for most of his reign. Louis lacked enough strength of character and decisiveness to fight the influence of court or give support to advocates in their attempt to improve France’s government. But, Marie Antoinette was not much of help for Louis.

In the 1780, Marie Antoinette began spending more time at her private castle, the Petit Trianon, which was on the Palace of Versailles and obviously  almost always without  Louis. Also she was wasting money on gowns and gambling. Around this time the first rumors appear about her relationship with Swedish diplomat Count Axel von Fersen. During the 1780s, with the French government falling into financial problems and poor intake of grain prices across the country, the extravagant lifestyle of  Marie Antoinette rapidly became the topic of popular annoyance. Endless pamphlets accused the queen of ignorance, extravagance and adultery, some with indecent cartoons and others calling her “Madame Deficit.”But there was a bigger problem for Louis, the French Revolution.

After years of feudal abuse and fiscal failure the revolution was triggered. Looking at a descending economy in the late 1700s, Louis XVI gathered many financial advisors to review their horrible situation. All of the advisors had the same conclusion; France needed a profound change in the way it taxed the public, but Louis did not care and he expelled  all of the advisors. Because of the attitude that Louis took regarding the taxes, France was not getting any better.

Someone had to come up and do something about it. France was divided in three social classes called estates. The first class was the clergy, the second one were the noblemen and rich people and lastly the third estate that was composed by urban lower class, bourgeoisie and peasants which were the 98 percent of the entire country. The first and second estate were against enlightenment ideas, because they did not wanted to change their way of thinking, while the third estate supported those enlightenment ideas, meaning that they wanted a change. Since the third estate wanted a change, they proposed general voting rules in the estates in order to have a fair vote and more change to participate and have a vote.

A man of the third estate, Emmanuel Joseph, took charge of the revolution and named the third estate as the National Assembly. He gathered this group of people in order to have a voice and start revolution. Three days later, the general assembly was locked out in a tennis court and promised not to go out until the constitution is done.

After that they went to Bastille, a castle where they stored all the arms, they attacked Bastille so they could get all the arms and start revolution. In August 4th, 1789, the higher classes finally made speeches declaring love, liberty and equality, also the declaration of independence stated that “men are born, and remain free and equal in rights.” Obviously, women rights were rejected since at that time all women were not counted as citizens. Noticing that the nobles were going down, Louis and Marie Antoinette tried to escape France with the help of Count Axel von Fersen,in June 1791, but they were captured and returned to Paris. In September of that year,  Louis finally agreed to promote  a new constitution drafted by the National Assembly in return for keeping at least his symbolic power.The fact that Louis XVI was not prepared for the position and that his wife, Marie Antoinette, was a terrible support and hated by the people, had an impact on the Revolution.

Economic problems were the dilemma that started all. This economic problems started before King Louis XVI came to the power, so all this problems left a huge debt to Louis XVI. I think that if Louis would have listen to the financial advisors and not let Marie Antoinette spent most of the money on irrelevant things, the situation may have been different.


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