Marie Antoinette Online
  • FORUM
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:27 am



Reply to topic  [ 62 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 Why exactly was Marie Antoinette hated among the French? 
Author Message
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:21 am
Posts: 1545
Location: paris
Post 
I wanted to do a post entitled "MA - did she end up hating the French?" but I couldn't be bothered to ask permission so I'm going to turn this one it's head which will do the trick!

I am intrigued by a number of elements of our Queen's magnificent and fascinating psychology, including her relationship to France as an Austrian. One thing that I have not seen mentioned so far in the biographies I have read is the influence on MA of her formative years spent outside of France. We know them to be happy, that she adored her father who died when she was young, that she revered and almost feared her mother, and that the monarchy in Austria seemed to have a strong and respected foundation. She was then projected into the most important court in Europe at the age of fifteen, but into a monarchy with a more troubled reputation with its' subjects even then...we know that upon arrival she tried so hard to please and fit in. However she was soon surprized and somewhat disgusted by the behaviour of Louis XV and by the ridiculous etiquette imposed upon her, which she soon rejected at least in part and which her brother himself derided during his famous visit. We have to remember that the Austrian court prided itself on a more simple natural lifestyle. This is surely reflected by MA's love of simplicity and her attraction to Rousseau's ideas in later life. And then there were her mother's letters instructing her to remain a good German and to show her difference, to be a shining example of a foreign court and its' values. All this I believe affected MA. She admittely always tries to show a genuine love for her adopted country, she refuses to speak German at any stage, and when she becomes mother to the future King of France she feels at last that she really belongs...which is what she wanted, to be loved and to belong. But the honeymoon is shortlived....when things start turning sour, the pamphlets, the necklace affair, the revolution, the murder of the Guards on the 6th October and the attempt on her own life, she starts in my opinion to harbour a real distrust for the French. This distrust is importantly shared with only one other person, Fersen, himself also a foreigner and the one perhaps best placed to understand what she feels. She writes in 1791: "...au moins gagnerons nous du temps et c'est tout ce qu'il faut. Quel bonheur si peux redevenir assez pour prouver à tous ces gueux que je n'étais pas leur dupe!" Again on the 19/10/1791 she writes: ...les français sont atroces de tous les côtés!" or on the 9/12/1791 she writes: "...mais pour cela il faut une force éxtérieure et étrangère mais quand vous croyez que les français réfléchissent et qu'ils sont capables de suivre un systême, vous leur faites trop d'honneur, et je vous assure que pour le seul plaisir de changer ils reviendront aussi vite qu'ils ont été violents pour le nouvel ordre."

How right she was, look at the restoration just twenty year afterwards! How contemporary these comments are of France, it is still the case today, watch closely the French elections. The French are genetically unstable, and the more dramatic the change, the more they feel temporarily reassured by this very change, but they hunger always for the next change. There's something Latin about it. So there we had a Latin temperament and two Nordic temperaments clashing (Fersen, who felt the same about them) and MA. And I feel that this cultural collusion between them is under-estimated or not talked enough about. I would welcome views hereon.

_________________
"Fidelité et constance, sans espoir de récompense."


Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:04 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:27 am
Posts: 337
Location: Vermont USA
Post 
I think M.A. felt betrayed by the French. I believe that she did find forgiveness for them before her death.


Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:21 pm
Profile
Marquis/Marquise
Marquis/Marquise

Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:27 pm
Posts: 89
Post MA and the French
long before the revolution you see her making snide comments about the French - whether or not she liked them, she had little respect for them as a nation. at some point she thanked her mother for her patience with those people.
I think one of the bad services Maria Teresa and Mercy did for her before she came was to give her a negative impression of the people in her new country - seeing the french as frivolous and untrustworthy.
As a side note, about Louis XV behavior - Marie Antoinette probably did not know that, but her father also had his mistresses. At the time she came to France, Louis XV was an aged monarch with one mistress. Being disgusted with that seems to me very naive with a royal, and especially for someone who came from a court where the same kinds of liaisons went on.


Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:36 pm
Profile YIM
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
MA's dislike of Madame du Barry was instilled in her by the aunts, and by the fact that Madame du Barry belonged to the opposing court party that had brought MA to France.

MA may have known of her father's mistress and the pain it caused her mother which is another reason why she was opposed to mistresses.

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:00 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:21 am
Posts: 1545
Location: paris
Post 
I would value your comments Thérèse on the possible particular cultural collusion I talked about with Fersen, two foreigners talking together about the French. Do you feel that she felt more free to criticize the French with him because he was a foreigner like her in this respect? What do you feel she felt for the French in later life?

_________________
"Fidelité et constance, sans espoir de récompense."


Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:47 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
As she herself said, she came to see herself as a Frenchwoman. She even forgot how to speak German. She preferred her daughter to marry a French prince rather than have her marry abroad because she saw France as the greatest country on earth. She lived in France longer than she lived in Austria; she was only in Austria for fourteen years, after all.

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:53 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:21 am
Posts: 1545
Location: paris
Post 
That answer is a little too simple for me, and seems a little biased. How do you explain the citations I put in my post from her letters to Fersen? It is easy for her to say that France is the greatest country on earth, although I don't know when she said that, but opinions change with time and it was only natural for her to want her child to marry a Frenchman as this was her adopted country and she didn't want out of the system, she wanted the system to accept her. Likewise she certainly didn't want the same fate for her children that she suffered herself, sent miles from home never to see her mother again. I feel that she suffered from this. She subconsciously wanted them close to her.

_________________
"Fidelité et constance, sans espoir de récompense."


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:02 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
Sorry, baron, I am really busy today. I don't have time for long answers. maybe later. I don't see what I could add, anyway, it has all been said.

Of course, she had been treated as an outsider, and so it comforted her to say "I am glad that I am a good German," and confide her consternation about her French subjects to Fersen. Yes, she wanted her children to stay with her but she also wanted one of them on the throne of France, which is why she married her daughter to Angouleme, who was fifth in line or so.

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:16 pm
Profile
Marquis/Marquise
Marquis/Marquise

Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:27 pm
Posts: 89
Post Marie Therese's marriage
wasn't the real decision on Marie Therese's marriage made after the revolution, After MA's death? As far as I remember, she was not betrothed to Angouleme in childhood.


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:21 pm
Profile YIM
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
Yes, she was betrothed to Angouleme in childhood. At Petit Trianon, there was a ceremony.

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:38 pm
Profile
Marquis/Marquise
Marquis/Marquise

Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:27 pm
Posts: 89
Post 
thanks!


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:40 pm
Profile YIM
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post 
Quote:
She even forgot how to speak German

I have always considered this with the greatest suspicion... How could you forget your mother tongue ? :roll: I think that Marie Antoinette pretended to have forgotten about German to seem more assimilated and accepted by those French who did not want her for queen...

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:42 pm
Profile
Marquis/Marquise
Marquis/Marquise
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:03 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Denmark
Post 
Dear Baron de Batz - would you, or someone else, be so kind to translate the following into english? It might be a lot to ask, but I'm so curious about what it says. By the way - I quite agree with you that Fersen, being a foreigner too, made a special bond between the two of them. And also that I still believe in the special love between them - but we won't wan't to go there again... :lol:

"...au moins gagnerons nous du temps et c'est tout ce qu'il faut. Quel bonheur si peux redevenir assez pour prouver à tous ces gueux que je n'étais pas leur dupe!"

Again on the 19/10/1791 she writes: ...les français sont atroces de tous les côtés!"

or on the 9/12/1791 she writes: "...mais pour cela il faut une force éxtérieure et étrangère mais quand vous croyez que les français réfléchissent et qu'ils sont capables de suivre un systême, vous leur faites trop d'honneur, et je vous assure que pour le seul plaisir de changer ils reviendront aussi vite qu'ils ont été violents pour le nouvel ordre."

I also agree that Marie Antoinette might have changed her views about the french people, especialy after October 6th. She never understood the shanging moods of the french... One minute they would yell and scream for her head - that very next moment they shouted "Vive la Reine".
She must have felt so torn in the middle. Her husband was french, and she loved him. Her children was french, and she obviously loved them too. She loved her friends and her sanctuary Hameau. She became french herself, but she never forgot for one moment that she was an Austrian auchduchess of the house of Habsburg.
I think that it is very human if she near the end couldn't help measure many french people by the same yardstick, after seeing what they did to Lamballe, the behavior of Hébert and Chaumette and so on. But luckily - one of the most kindhearted people towards the end was french - I'm thinking of Rosalie Lamarliére.

_________________
"It is through adversity we truly learn who we are"


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:44 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post 
Quote:
Of course, she had been treated as an outsider, and so it comforted her to say "I am glad that I am a good German," and confide her consternation about her French subjects to Fersen.

I agree with that. Marie Antoinette was, in the same time, Austrian and French, she constantly refers to her two countries : "ma patrie" (my homeland) and "ce pays-cy" (this country). Till the very end, she remained Austrian by nature, by birth and by blood. Writing to Mercy, she refers to Marie Therese's blood running in her son's veins. Facing those French full of hate, she die an Habsburg.

Quote:
Yes, she wanted her children to stay with her but she also wanted one of them on the throne of France, which is why she married her daughter to Angouleme, who was fifth in line or so.

I also agree with that.

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:47 pm
Profile
Marquis/Marquise
Marquis/Marquise
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:03 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Denmark
Post 
I agree Pimprenelle!! She loved her mother and Austria dearly - and exactely - how can one forget ones mothertong :)

_________________
"It is through adversity we truly learn who we are"


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:47 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 62 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.