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How far was the French monarchy responsible for their own downfall in 1793? Explain your answer.

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How far was the monarchy responsible for their own downfall in 1793? Explain your answer. The French monarchy were responsible for some of the events which contributed to their downfall, however it must be said that some factors, such as the Enlightenment and the harvests failing could not be blamed on them, and it was the way in which they reacted to these events which made them seem weak in the eyes of the French people. From the beginning of his reign it was clear that Louis XVI was ill suited for the role of king, and therefore it was inevitable that if an uprising did occur he did not have the necessary leadership qualities to stand against it. Though an intelligent man, Louis did not have the decisiveness nor the presence of mind to maintain France's prosperity when the nation began to mount vast international debts and financial crisis occurred. A more forceful man might have tried harder to make his views heard, and suggested ways of improving the situation, for example, setting up a national bank to take care of the country's money, but Louis was too weak-willed to stand against his advisors when they insisted that nothing should be done. The king had no confidence in his own abilities and was perfectly content to let others make his decisions for him, and as an absolute monarch he had no coordinated government to rely upon. ...read more.


After having absolutism and the divine right to rule drilled into his head from such a young age, the king was unable to accept the concept that perhaps he could not rule effectively on his own. When the Paris Parlement refused to register the reforms of Brienne in 1787, rather than attempting to compromise and listen to their reasons for not passing the reforms Louis exiled the parlement and denied them of their right to register decrees. This showed the whole of France that Louis was uncompromising and unwilling to listen to the views of his people. This idea was reinforced when the king called the Estates General in 1789 to discuss the need for extended taxation. The Estates General had not been summoned since 1614 and consequently nobody really knew how to go about organising the meeting. The third estate were pleased because they thought the king was finally listening to them and intending to do something about the unfair taxation system, but the king not only refused to consider Necker's idea of increasing the number of Third Estate representatives in proportion the distribution of the French population, but also refused to let the three estates meet as one, so the first and second estates still had the power to overrule the third estate. When the Third Estate arrived at the meeting they found they had been locked out of the room and were driven onto the tennis courts. ...read more.


He did so and passed it to La Motte; on receiving the necklace, she had it fenced in Paris and London. Before long, her deceit became apparent and a court case before the Parlement of Paris assured the celebrity of the scandal. Rohan's lawyer, Target, played on the sympathies of the public to portray his client as a victim of his kind nature and of royal absolutism. According to this account, the king had had Rohan imprisoned in the Bastille for his misplaced generosity. Target's defence implied that the Queen was the sort of woman who would make covert jewellery purchases and meet her admirers at midnight. 2 The Estates General was based around the three estates meeting seperatley and the voting on issues was done by order, this meant that there was a bias in favour of the clergy and nobles who could block the third order, the commoners. The third estate also felt that it was entitled to double representation because it was representing the largest section of society and it had to pay taxes to the state. 3 Deism is defined as: "[From Latin Deus, God. Deity] The doctrine or creed of a Deist, one who believes in the existence of a God or supreme being but denies revealed religion, basing his belief on the light of nature and reason. This common sense approach to God and a spiritual philosophy can not only bring a lasting profound sense of peace and happiness to the individual, but it also has the potential to go light years in eradicating religious fear, superstition and violence. ...read more.

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