The French Revolution

Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette
Revolutionary Tradition and Les Mis
Revolution 1789
--The Monarchy
--Tennis Court Oath
--Fall of the Bastille
--October Days
--Declaration of War
--Palace Invaded
--Louis XVI
--Reign of Terror
-- Fall of Robespierre
--At war
1789 in Les Miserables
--The Terror
--The People
--The Students
--The Monarchy
--Place de Concord
--Notre Dame
Daily Sites
--Street Names
--Children's Names and Games
Works Consulted



  •   This is a painting of Louis XVI by Duplessis, the Franch monarchy's court painter. This work was probably completed in the mid 1780s, before the French Revolution. Louis is clothed resplendantly, and his pose recalls portraits of his powerful predecessor Louis XIV. Notice that he is looking into the distance; the King is aloof and superior.
  • Louis became king of France when he was twenty years old. History has generally deemed him an incompetent king (Spielvogel, 637).
  • According to Dowd, "He did not understand people, and his lack of judgement led him to rely on untrustworthy counselors. He found it difficult to concentrate on the dull business of government, and when a decision was forced on him, he frequently wavered (12)."
  • Louis was the first French king to give bend to the will of the people, and was actually a constitutional monarch before the monarchy was abolished in 1792. The monarchy was involved in several of the events that shaped the French Revolution. For more information on Louis's involvement, visit these pages:
  • The October Days
  • The Flight to Varennes
  • The Fall of the Monarchy
  • The Trial of Louis XVI
  •  This portrait of Marie Antoinette is one of many painted by Marie Vigee-Lebrun. This painting was probably completed in the early 1780s. Maire is more accessible in this portrait than she ever was as a queen. She gazes diresctly at the viewer, and holds in her hand a document of some sort. She looks industrious in this picture, which is unusual because she had a reputation ofr being a frivolous and idle woman.
  • She was nicknamed Madame Deficit by the people of France because of her love of extravagance. Soon after her marriage ot Louis she became the leader of fashion in France, and her taste added to France's already burdened treasury.
  • After she had children, Marie-Antoinette turned to meddling in affairs of state. She persecuted her enemies successfully, and it appeared that she had her husband completely henpecked. She never made a secret of her preference for her country of birth (Austria), and so she was resented by the French people. They often blamed her for Louis's blunders. For more information on the monarchy and the French Revolution visit these pages:
  • The October Days
  • The Flight to Varennes
  • The Fall of the Monarchy

For information about the Monarchy and Les Miserables click here.


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