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To what extent was the failure of the constitutional monarchy caused by the French declaration of war in 1792?

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Introduction

To what extent was the failure of the constitutional monarchy caused by the French declaration of war? The constitutional monarchy which came into being in September 1791 was short lived. Although in 1789 there had been a majority in support of a constitutional monarchy, and a near non-existent support for a republic, these were tumultuous times and the people were ideologically fickle enough to be swayed by several key events/factors. On October 1st, there was held the first meeting of the Legislative assembly, due to self-denying ordinance there was a total replacement of the national assembly?s personnel. In general these new ministers were more radical, and monarchien?s in particular came out badly from the election. This led to a much more hostile body than the National Assembly, and Louis would have a much tenser relationship with this new governing body. Louis had been effectively forced to sign the Constitution and was prisoner in his own capital. However he still held a power, greatest in the form of his suspensive veto, and his ability to appoint ministers. ...read more.

Middle

There was a variety of opinions as to what should be done with the royals, Verginaud wanted to save the constitutional monarchy, Brissot called for the removal of the monarch but for Louis to be kept alive as a bargaining chip, although there were many that called for the execution of Louis. Without the declaration of war there would never have been the added pressure that escalated the situation so quickly. It was the nearing threat of Austria and Prussian troops that caused such an impromptu attack on the Tuileries. However I do believe that the failure of the constitutional monarchy was inevitable. A more important reason than the declaration of war was Louis himself. Both his actions and his personality would play a decisive role in the ending of monarchy in France. Fundamentally he did not believe in the constitutional monarchy that he had been forced to accept. He believed that he lacked power in the new regime and was insulted by his new role. This dissatisfaction was what cause him to plea to fellow monarchs and nobles for support and the war was a repercussion of this. ...read more.

Conclusion

This really began at the flight to Varennes but was strengthened by events such as the massacre of the Champ de Mars. This was also aided by Louis himself, by his appointing of the Brissotin ministry, in order to cause war, they were given the opportunity to show how the government would be run by republicans. There were periods after Varennes, when Louis had his functions and prerogatives removed where ?it was as if there was no king in Paris? and things ran smoothly. The election of the legislative assembly brought in a more radical group of men calling for a republic, but even by then the king?s relationship with the people was breaking down. The popularity of Jacobin clubs increased an atmosphere of antimonarchism in the capital and a rise in propaganda. In conclusion Frances declaration of war did play an important role in deciding when the constitutional monarchy would end. However I believe more importantly than this was the response of Louis to changing events and his alienation of his own support. Which was supplemented by the changing atmosphere in Paris, and rise of radical support. ...read more.

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