Louis XVI

King of France

Scene of his execution
French Revolution Posters

Louis XVI is one of the noted figures in history, but not for the right reasons.

His fate - to be executed on the guillotine during the French Revolution - earned his place in books of learning, but other than that his 19-year reign was largely forgettable.

Louis XVI took power in 1774 after the death of his grandfather Louis XV.

His time in power was marked by wavering policies and domination by his Austrian wife, Marie-Antoinette.

France's economic state was parlous, almost bankrupted by the backing of the American rebels in their War of Independence against Britain.

After the revolutionaries brought him to trial on charges of treason, Louis refused to answer the court and was sentenced to death. He was guillotined on 21 January 1793.

Not a bad man, Louis was just a weak one.

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