Benjamin December 2017 Louis XVI Biography Many people

Benjamin Petrison

Ms. Dobrzynski

Global 10/Period 8

4 December 2017

Louis
XVI Biography

                Many
people do great things to impact society, Louis XVI was not one of those
people.  As the King of France from 1774
to 1792, he was the last ruling monarch. Since he was incapable of seeing the
revolutionary forces at work in France, he contributed to the collapse of the
monarchy. Due to various governing errors, Louis XVI brought the French
Revolution upon himself and his kingdom. The French people viewed Louis XVI as
a tyrant and as a result he was executed in 1793. Louis XVI matters today
because his execution gave power to the people and brought an end to over one
thousand years of continuous rule by the French monarchy.

The seeds of the
French Revolution were planted in the Enlightenment, an age underlining the
importance of wisdom, reason and the problems of the world. Enlightenment
thinkers promoted political ideas that stated God gave humans specific rights
and it is the responsibilities of governments to give these rights to their citizens.
For many years, the poor French majority were burdened by the totalitarian rule
of the monarchy and the First and Second Estates. The peasants labored to pay
taxes to the king, but they did not have a voice in their government. Each
Estate would meet individually and vote as a group with each Estate having only
one vote. The First and Second Estates would always work together to outvote
the Third Estate two to one. To make matters worse, poor crop harvests led to
widespread famine and high food prices. In addition, King Louis XVI increased
taxes to pull France out of bankruptcy from the American Revolution.  One of the mistakes that Louis XVI made that
led to his death was his failure to reform his country’s economy and pay
attention to the suffering of his population. Before the French Revolution,
France was in massive financial trouble. Louis XVI was spending more money than
he was being paid in taxes. By 1786 he realized the debt that he was in, but he
was too far in it by then to do anything. At this time there was immense
poverty in France. People could no longer feed their families “the average
18th-century worker spent half his daily wage on bread. But when the grain
crops failed two years in a row, in 1788 and 1789, the price of bread shot up
to 88 percent of his wages” (Stock 1). Taxes were high and so were prices, but
the wages were low. For example, “All the funds were empty, all public stocks
were low, all circulation was interrupted. Alarm was general and confidence
destroyed.” (Paine 1) Unable to feed their families, the lower classes of
France were in an economic crisis, which was one of the things that drove them
to revolt.

                During
the French revolution Louis XVI became very important for a few reasons. The first
of which is government control. By building the palace at Versailles he was
able to control everything in France.

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