Louis XVI Biography
Louis XVI was born on August 23rd, 1754 in the Palace of Versailles. He was born Louis Auguste, duc de Berry to Louis, the Dauphin of France, and Marie-Joseph of Saxony. Louis was neglected as a child in favor of his older brother, Louis, duc de Bourgogne, until he died at age seven. He was a shy and overweight. After the death of his father in 1765, Louis became the new Dauphin of France. He received strict education from the Duc de La Vauguyon, which did not sufficiently prepare him to be king. On May 16th,1770, at the age of fifteen, Louis married 14 year old Archduchess Marie Antoinette, the youngest daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa. This marriage signified an alliance between France and Austria. The royal couple failed to produce an heir, later discovered to be due to Louis's sexual dysfunction.
In 1774, Louis inherited the throne at 20 years old and became King Louis XVI. Despite his title, he had no qualities of a ruler and was extremely unqualified for the job. Nonetheless, he was faced with a government in deep debt and a clamor for resentment against monarchy. Louis XVI began by reinstating the parlements to gain the trust of his people. He was determined to be a good monarch. France however was an in an economic crisis. To deal with this, Louis appointed Jacques Necker as his financial advisor. Louis convoked the Estates General, but eventually removed them, causing great anger in the public. This caused the creation of the Third Estate, the National Assembly, and the Tennis Court Oath on June 20th that sparked the French Revolution. The Storming of the Bastille on July 14th confirmed the radical change in the mind of the masses towards the monarchy.
French involvement in the Seven Years War left France in a disastrous economic state. Louis XVI sought to seek revenge on Britain by aiding the Americans in the American Revolution. He was eventually convinced by American Ambassador Benjamin...
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