What Were The Causes of The Downfall of Louis XVI- Is he fully responsible for his own downfall?

Essay by YiLeiTJunior High, 8th grade September 2006

download word file, 7 pages 3.0

Downloaded 41 times

As the tragic events of the French Revolution unfolded, King Louis XVI of France soon found himself in the centre of it and gradually became one of the victims. In the morning of Tuesday 21st January 1793, he was woken by his guards and taken to Place de la Revolution. "My people, I die an innocent man" were his last words to the crowd, and moments later, his head was held up to the crowd . However, what caused the end of monarchy? Was Louis XVI completely responsible for his own downfall? There is no questioning that Louis XVI is, in fact, partially responsible for his own downfall, but other factors, both short term and long term, also contributed to his downfall.

Awkward and timid, Louis XVI found himself on the throne at the age of twenty, succeeding his grandfather Louis XV. Soon, after 15 years, he found his crown being taken away.

His downfall is partially caused by his nature of being indecisive and lazy. Louis XVI's wife, Queen Marie-Antoinette, though she knew very little of state affairs, often interfered with in government. King Louis XVI was never able to oppose her for a long time. This was mainly because before their downfall, Queen Marie-Antoinette had quite a lot of power. Besides, the King was indecisive, allowing the Queen to take a lot of advantages from him. For example, in 1776, Marie-Antoinette managed to bring down Louis's reforming minister, Jacques Turgot, because he had offended one of the Queen's favourites---the Count de Guines. The arrogant Queen not only wanted Louis XVI to demote him, but to also send him into prison at the Bastille . King Louis XVI could be viewed as a lazy King, because he never truly cared about his country, France. Instead of using his...