Many worker spent half his daily wage on

Many people do great things to
impact society, Louis XVI was not one of those people.  As the King of France from 1774 to 1792, he
was the last reigning monarch. Since he was incapable of seeing the
revolutionary forces at work in France, he contributed to the collapse of the
monarchy. Due to various governing errors, Louis XVI brought the French
Revolution upon himself and his country. The French people viewed Louis XVI as
a tyrant and as a result he was executed in 1793. Louis XVI matters today
because his execution gave power to the people and brought an end to over one
thousand years of continuous rule by the French monarchy.

The seeds of the
French Revolution were planted in the Enlightenment, a period highlighting the
importance of wisdom, reason and the problems of the world. Enlightenment
thinkers promoted political ideas that stated God gave humans specific rights
and it is the responsibilities of governments to give these rights to their citizens.
For many years, the poor French majority were burdened by the totalitarian rule
of the monarchy and the First and Second Estates. The peasants labored to pay
taxes to the king, but they did not have a voice in their government. Each
Estate would meet individually and vote as a group with each Estate having only
one vote. The First and Second Estates would always work together to outvote
the Third Estate two to one. To make matters worse, poor crop harvests led to
widespread famine and high food prices. In addition, King Louis XVI increased
taxes to pull France out of bankruptcy from the American Revolution.  One of the mistakes that Louis XVI made that
led to his death was his failure to reform his country’s economy and pay
attention to the suffering of his population.    Before the French Revolution, France was in
a massive financial hole. Louis XVI was spending more money than he was being
paid in taxes. By 1786 he realized the debt that he was in, but he was already
too far in it by then. At this time there was immense poverty in France. People
could no longer feed their families “the average 18th-century worker spent half
his daily wage on bread. But when the grain crops failed two years in a row, in
1788 and 1789, the price of bread shot up to 88 percent of his wages” (Stock 1).
Taxes were high and so were prices, but the wages were low. For example, “All
the funds were empty, all public stocks were low, all circulation was
interrupted. Alarm was general and confidence destroyed.” (Paine 1) Unable to
provide for their families, the lower classes of France were in an economic
crisis, which was one of the things that drove them to revolt.

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