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LOUIS XVI MARIE-ANTOINETTE 1774-1792. His character was unsuited to provide the leadership needed to control the complex social and political conflict.

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Presentation on theme: "LOUIS XVI MARIE-ANTOINETTE 1774-1792. His character was unsuited to provide the leadership needed to control the complex social and political conflict."— Presentation transcript:




4 His character was unsuited to provide the leadership needed to control the complex social and political conflict smoldering in France Shy, dull, and corpulent, Louis preferred the hunting field and his locksmith's workshop to the council chamber; He was very indecisive and this made him subject to the poor advice of his intimates

5 Court Etiquette Life at the court was narrowly regulated by court etiquette. Etiquette became the means of social advancement for the court. King Louis XIV required everyone at the court to take ballet lessons Louis XIVs elaborate rules of etiquette included the following: People who wanted to speak to the king could not knock on his door. Instead, using the left pinkie finger, they had to gently scratch on the door, until they were granted permission to enter. As a result, many courtiers grew that fingernail longer than the others;

6 A lady never held hands or linked arms with a gentleman. Besides being in bad taste, this practice would have been impossible because a womans hooped skirts were so wide. Instead, she was to place her hand on top of the gentlemans bent arm as they strolled through the gardens and chambers of Versailles; When a gentleman sat down, he slid his left foot in front of the other, placed his hands on the sides of the chair and gently lowered himself into the chair. There was a very practical reason for this procedure. If a gentleman sat too fast, his tight trousers might split;

7 Women and men were not allowed to cross their legs in public; When a gentleman passed an acquaintance on the street, he was to raise his hat high off his head until the other person passed; A gentleman was to do no work except writing letters, giving speeches, practicing fencing, or dancing. For pleasure he engaged in hawking, archery, indoor tennis, or hunting. A gentleman would also take part in battle and would sometimes serve as a public officer, paying the soldiers;

8 Ladies clothing did not allow them to do much besides sit and walk. However, they passed the time sewing, knitting, writing letters, painting, making their own lace, and creating their own cosmetics and perfumes



11 Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, ninth child of the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, was born at Vienna, on the 2nd of November She was brought up very simply knowing from a very early age that she was to marry the French Dauphin, arranged by Maria Theresa. Dauphin=French word for the Crown Prince Her marriage with the Dauphin, which took place at Versailles on the 16th of May 1770, was intended to confirm the alliance between Austria and France. This fact, combined with her youth and the extreme corruption of the French court, made her position very difficult. Madame du Barry, who was the mistress of Louis XV, formed the center of a powerful anti-Austria party, seriously threatened the stability of the Austrian alliance.


13 Thus the young princess was surrounded by enemies both at court and in the Dauphin's household. She came to rely almost entirely upon the Austrian ambassador, chosen by her mother, the Empress Maria Theresa to act as her mentor At the same time Maria Theresa demanded that she be kept informed of all that concerned her daughter, so that she might at once advise her and safeguard the alliance.

14 Marie Antoinette

15 Marie Antoinette soon won the affection and confidence of the dauphin and endeared herself to the king (Louis XV), but her position was still precarious. Maria Theresa had continually to urge her to conquer her violent dislike for the Madame du Barry (Louis XVs mistress) and try to conciliate her.

16 The accession of the young king and queen on the death of Louis XV (May 10, 1774), was met with great enthusiasm. But her first steps brought Marie Antoinette into open hostility with those who were anti-Austrian. She was given the nickname of "lAutrichienne" by Mesdames, the king's aunts. At the same time her undisguised impatience with court etiquette shocked many people, and her taste for pleasure led her to seek the company of some questionable people. But the greatest weakness in her position lay in her unsatisfactory relations with her husband.

17 The king, though affectionate, was cold and apathetic, and After seven years of marriage there was still no sign of her bearing an heir for France. This fact naturally decreased her popularity, and as early as September 1774, was made the subject of offensive pamphlets. The King suffered from a physical disability that could be cured by very minor surgery, but His Majesty was terrified of it.

18 Eventually His Majesty was persuaded to undergo this minor surgery et voila! Four children were born to their Majesties =two daughters and two sons. Sadly only one daughter would survive the French Revolution dying in 1851.


20 COUNT AXEL FERSEN Alleged lover of Marie Antoinette Swedish Count, Lt. General in Swedish Army Diplomat & statesman Met Marie when both were 18 Historians dispute claims that they were actually lovers Helped royal family in their escape attempt from Paris

21 Princess Lamballe Married one of the richest men in France Went to court and became a close confidante of Marie Antoinette Arrested in Sept and tried as an enemy of the revolution She refused to swear allegiance to the revolution and express her hatred of the royal family Murdered by the Paris mob – beheaded & disemboweled

22 Duchesse de Polignac French duchess and favorite of Marie Antoinette Earned many enemies for her extravagance Louis XVI commanded many of the court favorites to leave France after the Bastille She lived in Switzerland until her death in 1793 probably from cancer not long after the execution of Marie

23 Louis Stanislas ( ) – brother of Louis XVI Becomes Louis XVIII upon the restoration of the Bourbon Monarchy after the overthrow of Napoleon (1814)

24 Charles-Philippe, youngest brother of Louis XVI Ruled France(as Charles X) upon the death of his brother, Louis XVIII, from 1824 to 1830 Was removed from the throne in 1830 during the July Revolution which replaced him with another Bourbon relative from a minor branch of his family

25 Marie-Therese Charlotte Madame Royale Oldest child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette Survived the Revolution Born 1773; Died in 1851 Married the Duc dAngouleme, son of Louis XVIs younger brother and her cousin


27 Louis Josephe Xavier Francois Born 1781; died 1789 Eldest son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette Suffered from a series of fevers caused by the onset of tuberculosis and curvature of the spine

28 Louis Charles ( ) Titular King of France ascending the throne upon the death of his father, Louis XVI, as Louis XVII Imprisoned during the Revolution from 1792 until his death in 1795

29 Sophie Helene Beatrice Died from convulsions at the age of 11 months

30 Painted by Vigee- LeBrun 1787


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