Reign of Louis XVI of France

(314 words)

Historical Context Note

The son of the Dauphin Louis and Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, he became king on the death of his grandfather, Louis XV, in 1774. A fat man with simple tastes, timid like his grandfather, but scrupulous, he had good intentions and little intelligence. He was at first advised by Maurepas, who recommended the restoration of the “parlements” suspended by his grandfather. This earned him popular approval. In 1774 he called upon Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot to act as Controller-General of Finance, but Marie-Antoinette conspired with the nobility to have him sacked in 1776. The Genevan banker Jacques Necker (1776-81) then presided over finances during the French support for the American war of independence and unwisely decided not to raise …

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Clark, Robert. "Reign of Louis XVI of France". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 December 2007
[, accessed 01 December 2015.]