Marie Antoinette Online Forum

The Revolution
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Author:  Jean-François [ Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:04 am ]
Post subject:  The Revolution

Salut mes amis!
I am currently working on a research paper on the French Revolution for a college course and i was wondering what everyone's viewpoint on the revolution was. Do you all think the monarchy could have taken steps to prevent the revolution? If King Louis XVI had actually fired on the people of paris, could the Royal family have escaped imprisonment? Let me know what you all think! I'm excited to hear what you all have to say!!!

Merci Beaucoup

Author:  Pimprenelle [ Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

King Louis XVI certainly would not fire on his people, that's a word he kept on repeating. So, it's very difficult to imagine what would have happened if... But Napoleon considers that this revolution could have been calmed down should the king act firmly.

In my view, this was unavoidable, for too many hidden agendas converged to this. For long, princes as Provence or Orleans did all they could to destroy Louis' power and credibility. Others wanted to get some steps further, and to instal a republic instead of a monarchy.

So, in my opinion, some firings on the mob could calm down the situation for a while, but revolts would expode again.

Author:  Louis-Charles [ Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ah you are right Pimprenelle perfectly! :D

I also think that if Louis XVI had used the force and weapons , that could have been effective for a little period, but after the situation would have worsened even more.

To my mind Louis XVI could not escape from the revolution after 1789, the revolutionists wanting already his dismissal .

While avoiding using force, Louis XVI on the contrary proved that he loved french people, even if it was not reciprocal. :wink:

Author:  Therese [ Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:02 pm ]
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At the beginning of the Russian Revolution, the Tsar used some force and afterwards became known as "Bloody Nicholas." The use of violence became a propaganda tool for his enemies.

No one could EVER accuse Louis XVI of cruelty. He was greatly loved by many French people even up until his execution- many wept in the streets as he went to his death. He was condemned by one vote only, otherwise he would have been exiled or imprisoned instead of killed. Many French citizens were ready to fight for the royal cause, as was demonstrated in the Vendee.

Author:  Jules de Polignac [ Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:55 pm ]
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Louis-Charles wrote:
I also think that if Louis XVI had used the force and weapons , that could have been effective for a little period, but after the situation would have worsened even more.

I agree totaly with you, Louis-Charles! The Revolution, sooner or later would explode...The army wasn't loyal to the King so they could rebel themselfes...

Author:  Therese [ Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:06 pm ]
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An article about the massacre of the Swiss Guards. ... uards.html

Author:  Louis-Charles [ Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:12 pm ]
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Thank you Therese! :wink:
And in bonus the wonderful portrait by Lebrun...I love!! :D

Author:  Therese [ Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

You are welcome, Chou-Charles!

Author:  Jules de Polignac [ Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thank you to! :D

Author:  Monsieur Royale [ Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

thanks for posting that Therese

Somewhere I read that you could still see blood stains in the Tuilieres from August 10th 1792 before it burned down almost a hundred years later.....

Author:  baron de batz [ Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

I am currently reading Clery's description of life in the Temple prison. It really is impressive to see how this Royal family stuck together in adversity, helping each other and going about life as normally as possible, concentrating on the Dauphin's lessons or on giving him the physical exercise that he so needed as a young boy. And the princesses quietly reading or knitting and finding ingenious ways to convey messages. And to guard them the most uncouth and ignorant citizens, without humanity or compassion even for the children. This family must have lived something really unique in this time, having never before been together in such intimacy, and perhaps in this adversity they experienced a togetherness that helped them face up to many things. All the more reason why the separation of the family must have had a terrible effect on them, leaving the dauphin, who had the feeling that the had failed his father in not being able to prevent his execution, to die an abject death, pretty well abandoned to waste away, and Madame Royale with scars that would never heal and a persistent bitterness against those who had taken away all she loved.

Author:  baron de batz [ Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

Another fascinating print by Prieur at the Musée Carnavalet exhibition in Paris is one of the famous October 1st Swiss Guards banquet in the Opéra house at Versailles. Grétry's "Richard Ô mon roi" was heartily sang and the Queen moved to tears by the show of devotion. One can clearly see the guards standing with their glasses raised to toast the King and the wine must have flowed. The tables seem to have been placed in a three sides of a square formation on the stage of the Opera itself, in front of the orchestra. I couldn't see the King and Queen who must have just put in a late appearance from the one of the balconies, up to which one or two of the guards managed to climb. Prieur refers to this event as an "orgy"! He means no doubt the passionate side of the evening. However his presence there, a future member of the Communal Tribune, shows just how much better advised the Royal family would have been to be wary of revolutionary spies posted everywhere and observing. We were already working towards a Soviet style surveillance network!

Author:  alisa [ Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

Monsieur Royale wrote:
thanks for posting that Therese

Somewhere I read that you could still see blood stains in the Tuilieres from August 10th 1792 before it burned down almost a hundred years later.....

Wow...that's scary.
But I want to see it.

Author:  baron de batz [ Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:46 am ]
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I cannot recommend enough the diary of Cléry about the time spent at the Temple prison. He has a simple unaffected style and let's the reader's sensitivity, by his very understatement, do most of the work. It is quite frankly a choker because the emotions are so contemporary and could have been those of any family in such dire circumstances, their solidarity being forged in adversity. One sees so clearly the suffering of the King to see his family in such a predicament, and not being able to do anything about it, the efforts made by all to spare the Dauphin as much as possible the psychological scars of such an imprisonment, it is tough reading.

On the whole I would recommend to the less experienced MA/Louis XVI readers here, amongst which I count myself, to concentrate initially on the first hand accounts before moving to the biographies, and to make up their own opinion first, including any correspondence by Robespierre or other major revolutionary figures in order to get the other side of the picture. It is best to forge your own opinion before reading those of others, even if they are recognized scolars. The differing opinions expressed in the biographies prove how important it is to have formed one's own opinion based on first hand accounts, otherwise one is lost in a sea of contradiction. Of course even these first hand accounts have to be read with a certain degree of detachment, as they too can be biased. The writings I refee to are for the moment "Marie Antoinette's correspondence" by Lever, "The memoirs of Mme Campan" and "Cléry's diary" as well as that of "Madame Royale". I will add others I come across. Some of the opinions/replies on this forum do seem to me be rather assertive, if not slightly "schoolmistresslike", and I can only suggest that a subject as diverse as this is by necessity open to a degree of interpretation.

Author:  Pimprenelle [ Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:12 am ]
Post subject: 

I can't agree with relying so much on Madame Campan, Madame Royale and Clery... Madame Campan often has memory's troubles, Madame Royale wrote under Louis XVIII's correction and Clery could be questioned too.

That's why I think it is always interesting to cross your sources and to sometimes refer to modern historians, who make critical studies you could not.

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