Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette was the wife of King Louis XVI of France. She was born in
1755 in France and was the daughter of the Great Emperor Francis I and Maria
Theresa of Austria. Because here parents came from two countries at war with
each other, their marriage formed a peace treaty. Marie was very spoiled and
grew up with an extravagant lifestyle. She herself became the wife of the
next heir to the French throne to further keep the peace. The heir was Louis
XVI, who was a very dull and unsociable person. She was the opposite. She was
beautiful, vivacious and bent on pleasure. She became very insensitive to the
plight of poor people. When she was queen, her spending only aggravated the
difficult economic crisis of the country. She didn\'t seem to care. A famous
story about Marie has to do with a court official coming to her to tell her that
the people didn\'t have any bread to eat. She laughed and just said, "Let them
eat cake, then!". Whether or not she really said this, the truth of the matter
was that this story portrayed the way she really thought. She was either
completely naive about the problems of the common people, or she thought that
they were of no value.

In 1774, Louis XV died, and his son Louis XVI became the true King. People
were dying of starvation and most of the people were blaming it on the Queen
Mari Antquonette. On Oct, 5 during the French revolution, thousands of people
marched from Paris to Versailles (The Palace) to present there food demands to
the king. They some how forced the royal family to come with them back to Paris.

After spending months in the Parisian Palace as prisoners, the Queen and
King tried to escape to the eastern border. Unfortunately, they did not make it.
They were recognized and forced back. On August 10, 1972, revolutionaries
stormed the Palace of Tuileries and killed all of the Swiss Guards. The Royal
family was imprisoned. On September 22, France was proclaimed a republic and on
October 14, Louis XVI was beheaded and on Jan 21, The queen was sentenced to
Treason and became a victim to the Guillotine.

Marie Antoinette is very famous, but not for any good deeds. She is well
known for her selfishness and self indulgence. This story shows that even
powerful royalty is useless without followers. It shows how the poorest people,
with so little power, can overthrow a great monarchy. Marie Antoinette was the
last straw for the people. Even though she didn\'t exactly cause the
Revolution, she was a great target for hatred which fanned the fire of
revolution. Even if she wasn\'t such an insensitive person, she probably would
have been killed anyway, since she represented the authority.

Marie\'s big mistake was that while she was prisoner, she might havee
rallied the people to a new constitutional monarchy similar to England\'s.
Instead Marie convinced her weak-willed husband to refuse tributes to the people,
and seeked military aid from the other rulers of Europe.

Category: Social Issues