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 Term Paper 
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I'm in grade twelve and I decided to write my western civilization term paper on Marie Antoinette and her connections to the french revolution. I believe that marie was placed into a very difficult situation and I don't regaurd her to be a terrible person. I just need help writing a firm thesis statement. I was thinking of writing about either:
a) how her reputation was ruined by the media (more specifically the cartoons).
b) how the people arround her affected her actions and in the end, her demise. Here i would discuss her mother, and their relationship. Her relationship with the king (louis father). And also her husband. I could also dicuss her relationships with madame du barry.


Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:26 pm
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Post Re: Term Paper
Interesting - and sophisticated - bunch of questions for 12th grade.

In terms of the cartoons (caricatures), one thing to be aware of is that many were grossly pornographic. Maybe a bit much for high school.

The "media" was still being invented at the time. The Cardinal de Rohan became a key player in the Affair of the Diamonds partially because he had spent so much time slandering MA and was trying to get back in her good graces. So you'd need to focus on court gossip as well as anything in print in trying to trace the assaults on her image. Her difficulties in getting pregnant played a large part in the decline of her image as well. Much of what was most vicious in portrayals of her came from her own milieu - it would have been very dangerous for the press, until the Revolution, to print such things.

In terms of those relations, each one is a huge subject in itself. Maybe the simplest, and most promising, is the one with her mother. That's a book in itself. The issues with Du Barry are also issues of the differences between the two courts and of MA getting used to France, among other things. Again, a rich, but very large, subject. I know less about her interactions with Papa Louis, but certainly worth exploring, yes.

I'd pick just one though. And I think the relations angle would be easier to research in a short period than the immense subject of public image in this period.

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Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:16 pm
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In my opinion you should focus on her wardrobe choices if you take the public's view as your thesis. If you can get your hands on Caroline Weber's book "Queen of Fashion: What MA Wore to the Revolution" you would have all your questions answered in why she was both loved and hated. She had little to no relationship with Mme du Barry as she found her to be beneath her class and simply a whore. Her relationship with Louis XV was one of a father/daughter. He adored her and probably if truth be told wished she could have been his bride! She was able to get away with so much and he found no fault in her at all.
So if you’re going for public opinion, look at her wardrobe choices throughout her reign. They made a HUGE impact on her fate. Taking the relationship angle would be rather huge as she was affected by so many people, her friends Lamballe and Polignac to be the most influential. Even though her mother was just a letter away, she still had influence on her decisions but MA became independent after a few years of being at Versailles.


Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:13 am
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Post Re: Term Paper
bebeduchesse wrote:
She had little to no relationship with Mme du Barry as she found her to be beneath her class and simply a whore.

True as far as it goes, but the fact is the whole tale of how she did her best to avoid her, was pressured by others to acknowledge her and finally did - just barely - is a bit more complex than that implies. It can be taken in fact as a pivotal moment in her political education. Not to mention that the whole concept of a royal mistress - that is, an enshrined object of adultery - was probably foreign to her and thus a particularly illuminating example of the difference between the Austrian and French courts.

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Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:32 am
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In one of my books I am reading by Vincent Cronin it says..
" ...much more serious was a full-scale attempt to wreck Louis's and Antoinette's marriage. ... It was known, by contrast , that Louis had not yet consummated his marriage. The anti-Austrian party, grouped aroung Madame Du Barry and now allied with Procence's circle, sought to keep Lousi and Antoinette apart, and eventually to secure a dissolution of their marriage on grounds of nullity."

So i am just wondering if she is even worth looking at.


Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:55 pm
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