Marie Antoinette - Opulence or Innocence

Essay by AzraelCollege, UndergraduateB+, June 2009

download word file, 8 pages 5.0

Marie Antoinette - Opulence or Innocence

Marie Antoinette was born Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna in 1775 on November 15th. She was the youngest daughter of Maria Thérèse of Austria and the Holy Roman Emperor, Francis I, thus making her an Archduchess of Austria. Marie Antoinette was raised in the Austrian court which was so very different from the opulent French court. Marie and her husband, Louis XVI, were victims of the time they lived in and they were both ill-fated before they came to power due to Louis XV's horrendous spending habits. The last Queen of France was executed with a horrifically false reputation (About).

France and Austria were "traditional enemies," meaning they were enemies even though they had no true grievances with each other, just opposite views. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI's death on October 20, 1740 led to the succession of Maria Thérèse and the beginning of the Seven Years' War.

Legally, Maria Thérèse was Empress because of her father's strategic negations with much of Northern Europe. Her husband, Francis I, received the title of Holy Roman Emperor as the hereditary ruler was female.

The imperial family of Austria attempted to keep court and family life separated by publicity and privacy. Even then, the Austrian court was lax in dress code, as well, as mannerisms and ritual. Marie Antoinette did not live a life of over exaggerated decadence and opulence until she moved to live as the French Dauphine with her young husband, Louis-Auguste.

After the Seven Years' War, Empress Maria Thérèse and King Louis XV made tentative arrangements for Maria Antonia and Louis-Auguste to be married. This political marriage secured an alliance between the two powerful countries and ensured they would be allies in times of war. At the age of fourteen Maria Antonia Josepha...