Reign Of Louis The Xvi There is great mystery surrounding the death of Louis XVI. Many different events led up to this. His actions before, during, and after the French Revolution greatly affected his fate. The French Revolution was a very important time period in European history. However, the situation in France under Louis XVI, was a negative one. France had great financial problems and it was infested with plagues of all sorts.
A lot of the financial problems were because of the American Revolution, among many other wars. Because so much financial aid was given to armies in these wars, Louis XVI was forced to raise taxes on much of the nobility. The financial problems only got worse in the following years because the government went bankrupt. Much of the blame for this was placed on Louis XVI. He was described as a weak, stupid, and incapable king.
He was often more concerned with his own affairs than the affairs of his own people. He very rarely did his own work, much of the time leaving the work up to advisors and ministers. He used much of the people’s money for his own entertainment. He also spent a lot of money on his wife, Marie Antoinette. He listened to his wife a lot, which may not have been the best idea for him.
She convinced him to ignore the financial problems in France and spend all the money on her. She also told him to fire some chief advisors, important advisors that probably could have prevented the French Revolution for ever happening. He never attempted to pay back any of the debt, he kept spending more money, making the predicament worse. There became tensions between the social classes, often between nobility and the peasants. Living conditions were very poor. The nobles had all the right, while the peasants were stepped on by everybody.
Nobles had a say in public affairs, were entitled to a trail at special courts, and enjoyed financial advantages. They paid the basic tax once a year and that was it. Peasants and commoners made up 80 percent of the population. They struggled to survive and were heavily taxed. All the money peasants made went to taxes and bread. Peasant unemployment resulted in many homeless citizens, emigration, and death. People became homeless because they could not afford to pay taxes.
The crisis of Europe was felt the most in France. As population increased, inadequate agriculture productivity and bad harvests came along too. Soon the price of grain was more than the peasants wages. Also, the standard of living declined. Even though the whole situation was not Louis XVI’s personal fault, the decisions and choices he made, made the situation even worse.
During his reign he made some very poor decisions that could have influenced the end result of the French Revolution. He was influenced greatly by many people around him. One of these people was Finance Minister Jauques Necker. Throughout Louis XVI’s reign, he was often helped, supported, and even betrayed by Necker. Necker made a lot of the king’s decisions and persuaded him. He seemed to be on Louis’s side but then Necker published an account of the royal finances, which showed the heavy costs of the privileges and favoritism.
This action did not look good for the monarchy. Necker was soon fired. His wife influenced him to attend to the interests of Austria and ignore the financial crisis in France. It was also her idea to fire one of his most trusted advisors who may have been able to actually prevent the revolution. Her lifestyle and the fact that she was a foreigner made her very unpopular with the public. In the late 1780’s both classes were unhappy with the financial situation and wanted a change.
However, Louis never took advantage of this situation to create new reforms and gain the support of the people. Under pressure from nobility and other powers, Louis agreed to meet with the Estates-General. This provided more controversy and provided a stronger force against the French monarchy. European History.