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 The king 

How do you consider the king Louis XVI?
awkward and influenced by the queen but with good purposes (victime) 22%  22%  [ 10 ]
a person who couldn't care less as regards the need of his people (guilty) 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
good and generous, ready to sacrifice his life for his people (he was called Louis the good man for his simplicity!!) 76%  76%  [ 34 ]
Total votes : 45

 The king 
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Yes, Jan, you make an excellent point. Much of the history of the French Revolution we are taught today is the Marxist interpretation, the starving peasants rising up against the evil and decadent queen and stupid, indifferent king. One does not need to dig very deep to find what a false view has been perpetuated; just reading first hand accounts and books such as de Toqueville's. Then there is Simon Schama's masterpiece "Citizens" which shows the whole thing for what it really was, a struggle for political power that had nothing to do with helping the peasants. Louis XVI was a very conscientious monarch who planned upon taxing the wealthy nobles in order to spare the poor people, and the aristocrats rebelled, and so it all began.

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Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:01 pm
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It really was a revolution to keep the rich rich and the poor poor...thats why It failed...

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Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:31 pm
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Actually, I am afraid nobody really cares for the poor during revolutions... :?

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Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:12 am
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That is so true; people were starving in the streets because those who usually fed the poor had been killed or arrested.

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Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:01 pm
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I chose of course the third option.

I do not think there is an incompatibility between being a good man and being a good king. If Louis was a bit softer than he should have been – after all, it was not his fault: he did not receive any military formation like his ancestors, I believe no one else could have faced such a Revolution. Similar mimetic movements, for keeping Girard's terminology, are totally irrational and always end, alas, with the sacrifice of an innocent victim/scapegoat. It is perhaps more blatant in the case of Marie-Antoinette however it is another subject. French people recognized this collective guilt during the Restauration thru, notably, the construction of the Expiatory Chapel in Paris but Louis XVI stays nowadays far from any form of true rehabilitation in the French memory. Thanks to generations of « History » books written by the « Hussards noirs » (devoted teachers) of the Republic presenting Louis in the best case as an idiot impassioned by clockworks and in the worst case as a coward traitor.


Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:40 pm
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I agree with you, Darcy. Yes, and although Louis XVI did not have military training, as Dauphin he drilled the regiments of which he was honorary commander, so he did have some basic knowledge of miliatry procedure. Also he did a lot to build up the French army and reform it.

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Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:10 pm
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Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were at the bad place and the bad time.

The poor Louis XVI became King in 1774 whereas the situation of France was not spectacular ...
But he would not have to do the war of America and to point out the Parliaments that Louis XV had removed...These are his 2 principal errors, that much King would have do :wink:

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Fri Sep 01, 2006 2:20 pm
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Yes, he probably should not have helped the Americans; the queen was against it. Without the aid of France under Louis XVI, the colonies would surely have been defeated by England, and perhaps George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have been hung as traitors. No USA - the world would certainly be a different place today.

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Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:17 pm
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National debt was an ongoing problem.
The other thing, France had been humiliated by its war with England during the French and Indian War (as it's known here in the US) and saw an opportunity to get back at England by helping the American colonies.


Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:04 pm
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Exactly, Arietta. And that is why Louis XVI went through with it....

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Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:08 pm
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An article on the reforms of Louis XVI.

http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... s-xvi.html

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Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:55 pm
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Splendid! You are subscribed with this site Therese? :lol:

This article is a very good summary of the governmental actions of Louis XVI! It makes it possible to recall that he was a King who wanted to advance the things in the good direction, and who did not remain as passive as some say!

Thank you Therese! I keep this article! :D

(Et ce portrait... :wink: )

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Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:04 pm
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You are very welcome, dear Chou-Charles. :wink: Yes, there is a way one can subscribe to the blog feed of this site. :P

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Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:08 pm
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Didn't someone post on Louis XVI's reforms here earlier? I remember reading it.


Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:35 am
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Yes, Arietta, I hope it's Ok to have it posted in more than one place.

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Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:22 am
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