To what extent was Louis XVI to blame for the problems in France?

Essay by latina1991Junior High, 8th grade May 2006

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One of the several obstacles that caused problems for Louis XVI and that wasn't in any way his own fault was his wife. He was married to one of Maria Theresa's daughters, Marie Antoinette, who came from a very wealthy family so she was very spoiled and wanted to live a life full of luxury (such as always buying herself unnecessary things), and this angered the people of France. This caused Louis XVI to be less popular mostly in the Third Estate, where everyone had to experience the unfairness of France's money distribution, and later on really suffer because of it. France was already in financial problems anyway because of the War of American Independence that they supported, so now they were not only in bankruptcy but many people were not even able to pay taxes.

There is no way Louis XVI is to blame fully for all the problems there were in France, mainly because some of those problems were inherited such as the taxation.

The taxation system (which included only the Third Estate paying taxes, and not clergy or nobility, so this was the same as asking for money only from the poorest people of France, who might have not even been able to pay them) was already there when Louis XVI became king, but he could have tried to make at least the nobles pay. He did ask them to at one point, but he just let it go and didn't keep insisting when they refused, which was quite obviously going to happen. This also shows how Louis was not very strong a not a good leader, because when he wanted something and didn't get it, he didn't even insist on it or use force, so he didn't have any type of a leader's spirit that...