21.9.07

Louis XVI a short biography




History has not been kind to Louis XVI; in fact, history is rarely kind to the losers. He is painted as vain, unintelligent, and ineffectual, so clueless that on the day the Bastille was seized by revolutionaries, he wrote in his diary, "Rien," "Nothing happened."

It is difficult, however, to really assign any blame. The Revolution itself was an extraordinarly complicated affair; it was principally lit by the antagonisms between the first two and the Third Estate, antagonisms rooted in decades of abuse and frustration. It is certain that Louis XVI failed to maintain the centralization of power; all the forces in France were conspiring to fragment power away from the monarchy.

Louis ascended the throne at the age of twenty; he was of average intelligence, but was not overly concerned with the running of the country. In the French imagination, he was seen as representing everything that the Estates opposed: centralized government, wealth, indifference. His wife, Marie Antoinette, was vilified by all the members of the Estates as indifferenct and calculating. The reality, however, was probably much different. Like most noblewomen, she was raised in an isolated atmosphere; her life at the French court was, like Louis's, utterly isolated from the non-aristrocratic world. The Revolution took her and Louis by surprise; while she was vilified and hated by the Revolutionaries and the Third Estate, she had no part in any of the abuses of the government or the nobility which precipitated the Revolution. Her portrait, painted by Elisabeth Vigee-Le Brun, in fact displays none of the distance typical of royal portraits. more...

1 comment:

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam said...

very true! very very True!
what you said is the truth. I have written abook called "From Hell with love" which deals with how the Freemasonry forced the belief of the 'beauties of democracy' onto us, but the devil is the one who has had the last laugh, you can find the book on www.wordclay.com
I would love to send you a free copy but have recently given out a few already and they cost me quite an amount of money! So sorry about it...