Louis XVI

(1754-1793)
   king of France
   The king of France from 1774 to 1792, Louis XVI was born at Versailles, the son of the dauphin (the son of louis XV) and Marie-Josèphe of Saxony. He was raised with a strictly religious education and was of middle intelligence, with an indecisive but virtuous character. He took some interest in the natural sciences and geography and in the locksmiths' craft to which he devoted his spare time. In 1770, he married marie Antoinette of Austria (the marriage was arranged by the chief minister Etienne de choiseul in the interests of an Austrian alliance), and they had four children. Immediately upon his accession to the throne, and aided by capable ministers such as ann-robert turgot, chrétien de malsherbes, and charles, count de vergennes, Louis XVI undertook a fiscal and tax reform that had to be reversed because of opposition from the ruling classes and the court. In 1776, Turgot was replaced by jacques necker. After the French government gave financial aid to the American colonies (1776-81), Necker proposed a drastic taxation program for the French nobility. He was forced to resign in 1781 and was replaced as finance minister by charles de calonne (1783), who borrowed money from the court until 1786, when the limit was reached. Heavy taxation, however, along with the financial excesses of the court, caused popular discontent, resulting in Necker's recall. But he could not prevent the bankruptcy of the government. In 1788, Louis was forced to call a meeting of the estates general. Once in session, the Estates General (later the National Assembly) assumed power and instituted reforms that Louis was incapable of accepting (see revolution of 1789). On July 14, 1789, the bastille was taken by a Parisian crowd, and shortly after, the king and the royal family were imprisoned in the Tuileries. In 1791, they attempted to escape but were captured and brought back to Paris. Louis XVI swore allegiance to the new constitution but continued to communicate with the émigré community and with counterrevolutionaries. In 1792, the National Convention declared France a republic and condemned the king as a traitor, although many defended him at his trial. He was executed in the Place de la Révolution (now Place de la Concorde) in Paris on January 21, 1793. Louis XVI is considered more a victim of circumstances than a despot like his immediate predecessors. Lacking the qualities of an effective ruler, he preferred to pursue his pastimes while allowing his wife and others at the court to influence him unduly.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Louis XVI — de France Louis XVI …   Wikipédia en Français

  • LOUIS XVI — (1754 1793) roi de France (1774 1792) Petit fils de Louis XV, fils du Dauphin et de Marie Josèphe de Saxe, Louis Auguste devient dauphin lui même à douze ans par la mort de son père (il sera orphelin de mère à treize ans). De son père, qu’il n’a… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Louis XVI — bezeichnet: Louis XVI. (1754–1793), König von Frankreich, siehe Ludwig XVI. Louis seize, die nach ihm benannte Stilrichtung in Architektur und Inneneinrichtung Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Louis XVI — LOUIS XVI: Toujours dire : «Cet infortuné monarque…» …   Dictionnaire des idées reçues

  • Louis XVI — (1754 93) the King of France from 1774 to 1792. He and his wife ↑Marie Antoinette were put in prison during the French Revolution, and were killed by having their heads cut off by the ↑guillotine …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Louis XVI — 1754 93, king of France 1774 92 (grandson of Louis XV and husband of Marie Antoinette). * * * born Aug. 23, 1754, Versailles, France died Jan. 21, 1793, Paris Last king of France (1774–92) in the Bourbon line preceding the French Revolution. In… …   Universalium

  • LOUIS XVI —    the grandson of the preceding and his successor; had in 1770 married Marie Antoinette, the youngest daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria, and a woman young, beautiful, and accomplished, in high esteem for the purity of her character; his… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Louis XVI — n. Louis the sixteenth (1754 1793), king of France from 1774 who was deposed in 1792, last king of France before the French Revolution, executed by guillotine in 1793 together with his wife Marie Antoinette …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Louis XVI — /ˈlui/ (say loohee) noun 1754–93, king of France from 1774; grandson of Louis XV; deposed in 1792, guillotined, with his wife Marie Antoinette, in 1793 …   Australian English dictionary

  • Louis XVI — noun king of France from 1774 to 1792; his failure to grant reforms led to the French Revolution; he and his queen (Marie Antoinette) were guillotined (1754 1793) • Instance Hypernyms: ↑King of France * * * 1754 93, king of France 1774 92… …   Useful english dictionary

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