The Royalty of France

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Marie Antoinette

painting Marie Antoinette
Queen Marie Antoinette, painting by Vigee LeBrun 

In the early years as Queen, was flighty and irresponsible. She spent huge amounts on clothes, buying a new dress nearly every other day. Being Austrian, she was terribly unpopular in France and had few friends.

King Louis XVI

Lois XVI

Louis XVI was an awkward, clumsy man who had a good heart but was able to relate on a personal level with very few. He often appeared unfeeling and gruff. He was insecure and seems to have disliked being King of France. When one of his ministers resigned, he was heard to remark, "Why can't I resign too?"

The King and Queen of France lived in luxury and splendor at the magnificent Palace of Versailles outside of Paris. The government of France, however, was bankrupt and was facing a serious financial crisis.

The crisis came about primarily because of an inefficient and unfair tax structure, outdated medieval bureaucratic institutions, and a drained treasury which was the result of aiding the Americans during the American Revolution, long wars with England, and overspending.

coverMarie Antinnette, the Last Queen of France
by Evelyne Lever

Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

Part of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité: The French Revolution a HistoryWiz Exhibit

The French Revolution

The French Revolution Primary Sources

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