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*Includes famous art depicting King Louis XVI and important people, places, and events in his life.*Explains his reign and role in the American Revolution and French Revolution*Analyzes his execution and legacy.*Includes a Table of ContentsI die perfectly innocent of the so-called crimes of which I am accused. I pardon those who are the cause of my misfortunes. Louis XVIA lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of historys most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors French series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of Frances most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. Louis XVI is one of the most famous Kings of France, but for reasons he would have much rather avoided. Coming of age in the wake of the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV, and his father, Louis XV, Louis XVI initially intended to be one of Frances most enlightened Kings. Instead, he was destined to be the only French King ever executed. Indeed, it is his death and his role in fomenting the French Revolution (along with his infamous Queen, Marie Antoinette) that continue to play the central role in Louis XVIs legacy. The abrupt demise of Louis XVI and his reign capped a tumultuous but important historical period for both France and the rest of the world. It was Louis XVIs wish to reform France in the mold of the Enlightenment and his failure to push those reforms against a reluctant aristocracy that emboldened and spurred those who would rebel against him. At the same time, his support for the American cause during the American Revolution in the 1770s was integral in securing that nations freedom and further adding to Frances financial woes. Ironically, Frances role in assuring the success of the American Revolution provided a hopeful example for those who would overthrow him less than 15 years later. The same cautious conservatism that marred his reign in the eyes of so many ultimately led to the chain of events that made him a victim of the guillotine. With French society in open revolt by the late 1780s, the King appeared indecisive at a number of crucial moments, including during a famous attempted escape that was thwarted at Vergennes, and he had to literally run for his life when a mob stormed the royal palace at Tuileries. Soonafter he was stripped of his dignity and his royal name, convicted of high treason in a sham trial as Citizen Louis Capet. Ironically, in death, some historians have asserted that his execution and the sympathy it engendered helped bring about the Restoration a generation later. French Legends: The Life and Legacy of King Louis XVI looks at the life and reign of one of historys most famous Kings, explaining his role in two of historys most famous revolutions and analyzing his legacy. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Louis XVI like you never have before, in no time at all.

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