On This Day

Louis XVI

King of France Louis XVI

Profession: King of France


Biography: King of France at the time of the French Revolution, Louis presided over a time of financial crisis that directly contributed to the outbreak of revolution in 1789.

In that year he convened the Estates-General. Discontent among the upper and middle class led to a revolt against the monarchy. His flight to Varennes in 1791 significantly undermined the credibility of the monarchy as an institution.

In 1792 Louis was arrested after an insurrection in August. The monarchy was abolished the following year, a republic was proclaimed and he, along with his unpopular wife Marie Antoinette, were executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793.

Born: August 23, 1754
Birthplace: Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
Star Sign: Virgo

Died: January 21, 1793 (aged 38)
Cause of Death: Execution by guillotine

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Married Life

Historical Events

  • 1774-05-10 Louis XVI ascends to throne of France
  • 1778-07-10 American Revolution: Louis XVI of France declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain
  • 1781-12-28 Comte de Rochambeau and Nicolas Luckner are the last generals to be made Marshal of France by Louis XVI before the Revolution
  • 1785-08-01 French naval scientific expedition ordered by Louis XVI, led by La Pérouse, with 220 men departs Brest (lost in the Pacific 1888)
  • 1788-08-08 King Louis XVI calls French States & Generals together
  • 1789-01-24 Louis XVI of France issues an edict calling for the convocation of the Estates-General, a major event in the French Revolution
  • 1789-05-05 French Estates-General meets for the first time since 1614 at Versailles, summoned King Louis XVI
  • 1789-06-23 French King Louis XVI rejects the demands of the Third Estate, calling itself the National Assembly, during the opening stages of the French Revolution
  • 1789-06-27 French Revolution: King Louis XVI orders the nobility and clergy of the Estates-General to meet with the Third Estate, by then called the National Assembly
  • 1789-07-11 French King Louis XVI dismisses finance minister Jacques Necker, sparking riots in Paris
  • 1789-07-16 French King Louis XVI reinstates Jacques Necker as finance minister following riots at his dismissal
  • 1789-10-05 French Revolution: Women of Paris march to Versailles in the March on Versailles to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his court moved to Paris
  • 1789-10-06 French Revolution: Louis XVI returns to Paris from Versailles after being confronted by the Parisian women on 5 October
  • 1789-10-12 French Revolution: King Louis XVI writes secretly to the King of Spain about complaining of harsh treatment; the Count of Artois writes to the Austrian king requesting military intervention in France
  • 1790-07-14 The Fête de la Fédération, attended by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, is held across France on the first anniversary of the French Revolution
  • 1791-06-20 King Louis XVI and the French royal family are caught during an attempt to flee Paris during the French Revolution, severely undermining their credibility
  • 1791-06-21 Fleeing French King Louis XVI and family captured at Varennes-en-Argonne
  • 1791-09-13 France's King Louis XVI accepts constitution
  • 1792-06-13 King Louis XVI dismisses French government
  • 1792-08-10 A large scale insurrection against the French monarchy occurs in Paris
  • 1792-12-11 France's King Louis XVI goes on trial, accused of high treason and crimes against the state
  • 1792-12-26 Trial of French King Louis XVI, court hears the kings defense brought by Raymond Desèze
  • 1793-01-16 French King Louis XVI sentenced to death by the National Convention during the French Revolution
  • 1793-01-21 Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine in Paris, following his conviction for "high treason" by the newly created French Parliament (Convention nationale), during the French Revolution

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