Louis XVI gained power to the France in 1774 and immediately was unprepared to deal with the financial problems that were passed on to him from King Louis XV, his grandfather. In 1789, in an attempt to resolve his country’s financial problems, Louis XVI assembled the States-General. This is a national assembly and it represents the three estates of the French people, which are the nobles, clergy, and the Commons. The States-General had not been assembled for over 100 years, the last time was 1614. The Commons saw opportunity in this and decided to make themselves the National Assembly, which resulted in the start of the French Revolution.
Louis XVI decided to not take the advice of those telling him to reform the monarchy in order to save it. Instead, he and his Queen, Marie Antoinette, were forced from Versailles when an angry mob made up of the third estate marched in. The royal couple moved to Tuileries, and then were eventually driven out all the way to Austria. During the trip, Marie and Louis were brought back to Paris where Louis XVI was forced to sign the constitution, which limited his power greatly. In 1792, both Marie and Louis were arrested by the sans-cullottes, and later that year the National Convention abolished the French monarchy. Eventually, evidence of Louis XVI’s “counterrevolutionary intrigues” with Austria and other nations were discovered and he was put on trial for treason by the National Convention. The next year, Louis and Marie were both executed via guillotine.
How will the change of power change France as a whole moving forward into the 1800s?
What will become of the third estate, will they gain power or be even lower than before?
What can we expect the people to do to help the government with financial problems?