Nothing now can hurt me. Some of them met with the disapproval of the older generation, such as the abandonment of heavy make-up and the popular wide-hooped panniers. Collection Marie-Antoinette November 3 2015, Paris Sale 11749. During the Revolution, she became known as Madame Déficit because the country's financial crisis was blamed on her lavish spending and her opposition to the social and financial reforms of Turgot and Necker. [85], Around this time, pamphlets describing farcical sexual deviance including the Queen and her friends in the court were growing in popularity around the country. Lafayette, one of the former military leaders in the American War of Independence (1775–83), served as the warden of the royal family in his position as commander-in-chief of the Garde Nationale. One of the most important was Necker, the Prime Minister of Finances (Premier ministre des finances). [10] At the age of 10 she could not write correctly in German or in any language commonly used at court, such as French or Italian,[4] and conversations with her were stilted. Some think that he invented it altogether. [30], Upon the death of Louis XV on 10 May 1774, the Dauphin ascended the throne as King Louis XVI of France and Navarre with Marie Antoinette as his Queen. Marie-Antoinette, born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen (2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793), an Archduchess of Austria, was the fifteenth and second youngest child of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor and Empress Maria Theresa. Marie Antoinette pleaded with her husband for the French to intercede on behalf of Austria. The purchase of Saint-Cloud thus damaged the public's image of the queen even further. Her health also began to deteriorate, thus further reducing her physical activities. [150][151] At the meeting, Mirabeau was much impressed by the queen, and remarked in a letter to Auguste Marie Raymond d'Arenberg, Comte de la Marck, that she was the only person the king had by him: La Reine est le seul homme que le Roi ait auprès de Lui. She learned to play the harp, the harpsichord and the flute. Her first official appearance in Paris on 8 June 1773 was a resounding success. [198][199], Marie Antoinette was tried by the Revolutionary Tribunal on 14 October 1793. At this point, the tide against royal authority intensified in the population and political parties, while Marie Antoinette encouraged the king to veto the new laws voted by the Legislative Assembly in 1792. At the end of 1791, ignoring the danger she faced, the Princesse de Lamballe, who was in London, returned to the Tuileries. The escape attempt destroyed much of the remaining support of the population for the king. [181] In August 1791, the Declaration of Pillnitz threatened an invasion of France. It did not pass any reforms and, instead, fell into a pattern of defying the king. Unlike her husband, who had been taken to his execution in a carriage (carrosse), she had to sit in an open cart (charrette) for the hour it took to convey her from the Conciergerie via the rue Saint-Honoré thoroughfare to reach the guillotine erected in the Place de la Révolution (the present-day Place de la Concorde). In her new role and with increasing political power, the queen tried to improve the awkward situation brewing between the assembly and the king. June 17, 2020, Marie Antoinette’s Husband – King Louis XVI. On 19 April the wedding took place by proxy in Vienna, marrying the Dauphin and future Louis XVI, the grandson of Louis XV, to Marie-Antoinette, the youngest daughter of Maria-Theresa of Habsburg.On 16 May, the young Archduchess arrived at Versailles. But the patriotic French citizens found deep faults in the relationship. In June 1791, they made an unsuccessful escape attempt. Several events were linked to Marie Antoinette during the Revolution after the government had placed the royal family under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace in October 1789. The French alliance with Austria pushed France into the fruitless Seven Years War which saw the British & Prussians tear down France. [227], In addition to her biological children, Marie Antoinette adopted four children: "Armand" Francois-Michel Gagné (c. 1771–1792), a poor orphan adopted in 1776; Jean Amilcar (c. 1781–1793), a Senegalese slave boy given to the queen as a present by Chevalier de Boufflers in 1787, but whom she instead had freed, baptized, adopted and placed in a pension; Ernestine Lambriquet (1778–1813), daughter of two servants at the palace, who was raised as the playmate of her daughter and whom she adopted after the death of her mother in 1788; and finally "Zoe" Jeanne Louise Victoire (1787-? [179][180], Marie Antoinette's actions in refusing to collaborate with the Girondins, in power between April and June 1792, led them to denounce the treason of the Austrian comity, a direct allusion to the queen. Marie Antoinette was the last queen of France before the French Revolution. [224], In the United States, expressions of gratitude to France for its help in the American Revolution included naming a city Marietta, Ohio in 1788. One that was actually hers, to then have the authority to bequeath it to "whichever of my children I wish"; choosing the child she thought could use it rather than it going through patriarchal inheritance laws or whims. [80] De Mercy wrote to the Empress: "It is almost unexampled that in so short a time, the royal favor should have brought such overwhelming advantages to a family". It was en vogue at the time for nobles to have recreations of small villages on their properties. World History Edu © 2020. On the urging of the queen, Louis XVI dismissed Calonne on 8 April 1787. Occupation: Queen of France Born: November 2, 1755 in Vienna, Austria Died: October 16, 1793 in Paris, France Best known for: The last Queen of France who was beheaded during the French Revolution Biography: Where was Marie Antoinette born? By the end of May, the Girondins had been chased from power. [56] Courtiers at Versailles noted in their diaries that the date of the child's conception in fact corresponded perfectly with a period when the king and the queen had spent much time together, but these details were ignored amid attacks on the queen's character. [16][17] The couple's longtime failure to consummate the marriage plagued the reputations of both Louis-Auguste and Marie Antoinette for the next seven years. At the outset, the new queen had limited political influence with her husband, who, with the support of his two most important ministers, Chief Minister Maurepas and Foreign Minister Vergennes, blocked several of her candidates from assuming important positions, including Choiseul. [223] This phrase originally appeared in Book VI of the first part of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's autobiographical work Les Confessions, finished in 1767 and published in 1782: "Enfin Je me rappelai le pis-aller d'une grande Princesse à qui l'on disait que les paysans n'avaient pas de pain, et qui répondit: Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" ("Finally I recalled the stopgap solution of a great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who responded: 'Let them eat brioche'"). [100] The majority of Marie Antoinette's and Louis XVII's biographers believe that the young prince was the biological son of Louis XVI, including Stefan Zweig and Antonia Fraser, who believe that Fersen and Marie Antoinette were indeed romantically involved. Over the objections of Lafayette and his allies, the king was given a suspensive veto allowing him to veto any laws for a period of four years. Marie-Antoinette, in full Marie-Antoinette-Josèphe-Jeanne d’Autriche-Lorraine (Austria-Lorraine), originally German Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna von Österreich-Lothringen, (born November 2, 1755, Vienna, Austria—died October 16, 1793, Paris, France), Austrian queen consort of King Louis XVI of France (1774–93). [137][138], In the days following the storming of the Bastille, for fear of assassination, and ordered by the king, the emigration of members of the high aristocracy began on 17 July with the departure of the comte d'Artois, the Condés, cousins of the king,[139] and the unpopular Polignacs. On the other hand, those opposed to the alliance with Austria had a difficult relationship with Marie Antoinette, as did others who disliked her for more personal or petty reasons. Finally, the queen was able to obtain her brother's support against Great Britain in the American Revolution and she neutralized French hostility to his alliance with Russia. [209] She maintained her composure, despite the insults of the jeering crowd. It was also significantly smaller and less intricate than many other nobles'. As consort to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette was beheaded nine months after her husband by order of the Revolutionary tribunal. [91] Around this time she accumulated a library of 5000 books. They rode on his incompetence to cause confusion and eliminate him. A marriage between the two royal houses had been planned since the early 1760s, but only came about in 1770. [219] The people of France saw her death as a necessary step toward completing the revolution. On the advice of Mercy, Marie Antoinette opened secret negotiations with him and both agreed to meet privately at the château de Saint-Cloud on 3 July 1790, where the royal family was allowed to spend the summer, free of the radical elements who watched their every move in Paris. In September 1792, the French monarchy was thrown into the gutters by the National Convention — the French Republic had been birthed. Worldhistoryedu is not responsible for the content of external sites. Marie Antoinette (born Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna von Österreich-Lothringen; November 2, 1755–October 16, 1793) was an Austrian noble and French Queen Consort whose position as a hate figure for much of France helped contribute to the events of … A new Constitution was drafted — Louis had no option than to accept it. [112] This change of the queen's position signaled the end of the Polignacs' influence and their impact on the finances of the Crown. Died in childhood on the very day the Estates General convened. [193] In April 1793, during the Reign of Terror, a Committee of Public Safety dominated by Robespierre was formed, and men such as Jacques Hébert began to call for Marie-Antoinette's trial. Religion played an important role in the life of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, both raised in the Roman Catholic faith. Louis XVI allowed Marie Antoinette to renovate it to suit her own tastes; soon rumors circulated that she had plastered the walls with gold and diamonds. After the death of her brother Joseph in 1790, his successor, Leopold,[174] was willing to support her to a limited degree. [59][60], Meanwhile, the queen began to institute changes in court customs. [164][165], Marie Antoinette's first Lady of the Bedchamber, Mme Campan, wrote about what happened to the queen's hair on the night of 21–22 June, "...in a single night, it had turned white as that of a seventy-year old woman." Rousseau ascribes these words to a "great princess", but the purported writing date precedes Marie Antoinette's arrival in France. He also wanted to be a minister and was not immune to corruption. Marie Antoinette was an Austrian archduchess who wed the heir apparent years before the French Revolution began, when she was just 14. [45][46], Amidst the atmosphere of a wave of libelles, the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II came to France incognito, using the name Comte de Falkenstein, for a six-week visit during which he toured Paris extensively and was a guest at Versailles. This gave the impression, partially justified, that the queen had sided with Austria against France. [72], A second visit from Joseph II, which took place in July 1781 to reaffirm the Franco-Austrian alliance and also to see his sister, was tainted by false rumours[56] that Marie Antoinette was sending money to him from the French treasury. Lafayette's reputation never recovered from the event and, on 8 October, he resigned as commander of the Garde Nationale. She blamed him for his support of the Revolution and did not regret his resignation in 1790.[147][148]. In 1793, Louis and his wife then faced executions for their treasonable crimes. As to Fersen, despite the strong restriction imposed on the queen, he was able to see her a final time in February 1792.[175]. [citation needed] On 18 April, as the royal family prepared to leave for Saint-Cloud to attend Easter mass celebrated by a refractory priest, a crowd, soon joined by the Garde Nationale (disobeying Lafayette's orders), prevented their departure from Paris, prompting Marie Antoinette to declare to Lafayette that she and her family were no longer free. [172][173], Marie Antoinette continued to hope that the military coalition of European kingdoms would succeed in crushing the Revolution. The June 1791 attempted flight to Varennes and her role in the War of the First Coalition had disastrous effects on French popular opinion. The Assembly then passed a series of laws concerning the Church, the aristocracy, and the formation of new national guard units; all were vetoed by Louis XVI. Many French people were beginning to blame her for the degrading economic situation, suggesting the country's inability to pay off its debt was the result of her wasting the crown's money. On 19 September 1774 she appointed her superintendent of her household,[43][44] an appointment she soon transferred to her new favourite, the duchesse de Polignac. Their enmity continuing, Marie Antoinette played a decisive role in defeating him in his aims to become the mayor of Paris in November 1791. [228] Armand and Zoe had a position which was more similar to that of Ernestine; Armand lived at court with the king and queen until he left them at the outbreak of the revolution because of his republican sympathies, and Zoe was chosen to be the playmate of the Dauphin, just as Ernestine had once been selected as the playmate of Marie-Therese, and sent away to her sisters in a convent boarding school before the Flight to Varennes in 1791. Je ne l’ai pas fait exprès" or "Pardon me, sir, I did not do it on purpose", after accidentally stepping on her executioner's shoe. Find out what it was on the next page. [176] In addition, at the insistence of his wife, Louis XVI vetoed several measures that would have further restricted his power, earning the royal couple the nicknames "Monsieur Veto" and "Madame Veto",[177][178] nicknames then prominently featured in different contexts, including La Carmagnole. [79] The entire Polignac family benefited greatly from royal favor in titles and positions, but its sudden wealth and lavish lifestyle outraged most aristocratic families, who resented the Polignacs' dominance at court, and also fueled the increasing popular disapproval of Marie Antoinette, mostly in Paris. and could not return to France. As a daughter of France's enemy, Marie Antoinette was an unpopular pick for queen. ­ The false accusations of the Affair of the Diamond Necklace damaged her reputation further. [145] She also played an important political, albeit not public, role between 1789 and 1791 when she had a complex set of relationships with several key actors of the early period of the French Revolution. [55][56], In the middle of the queen's pregnancy two events occurred which had a profound effect on her later life: the return of her friend and lover, the Swedish diplomat Count Axel von Fersen[57] to Versailles for two years, and her brother's claim to the throne of Bavaria, contested by the Habsburg monarchy and Prussia. On the one hand, the Dauphine was beautiful, personable, and well-liked by the common people. [146] Despite her dislike of him, she played a decisive role in his return to the office. Your email address will not be published. In 1774, she took under her patronage her former music teacher, the German opera composer Christoph Willibald Gluck, who remained in France until 1779. The Royal family were stripped from their titles and referred to as the family “Cadet.” She learned to play the harp,[10] the harpsichord and the flute. [63] In 1780 she began to participate in amateur plays and musicals in a theatre built for her by Richard Mique at the Petit Trianon. [citation needed] The result of these two nominations was that Marie Antoinette's influence became paramount in government, and the new ministers rejected any major change to the structure of the old regime. If the secret expenses of the queen were taken into account, court expenses were much higher than the official estimate of 7% of the state budget. His relationship with the king was more cordial. Died in childhood; no issue. While from late 1787 up to his death in June 1789, Marie Antoinette's primary concern was the continued deterioration of the health of the Dauphin, who suffered from tuberculosis,[123] she was directly involved in the exile of the Parlement, the May Edicts, and the announcement regarding the Estates-General. The following are two major reasons that contributed to King Louis XVI’s downfall: When a 19-year-old Louis climbed the French throne, his ideas were about religious freedom, establishing foreign connections and trying to please people. [115] Brienne was unable to improve the financial situation, and since he was the queen's ally, this failure adversely affected her political position. )[166], After their return from Varennes and until the storming of the Tuileries on 10 August 1792, the queen, her family and entourage were held under tight surveillance by the Garde Nationale in the Tuileries, where the royal couple was guarded night and day. [221], Long after her death, Marie Antoinette remains a major historical figure linked with conservatism, the Catholic Church, wealth, and fashion. [31][32] The queen did play a decisive role in the disgrace and exile of the most powerful of Louis XV's ministers, the duc d'Aiguillon. [78] This decision met with disapproval from the court as the duchess was considered to be of too modest a birth to occupy such an exalted position. She and her husband had four children — Marie-Thérèse Charlotte, Louis-Joseph, Louis-Charles (Louis XVII), and Sophie — with only Marie-Thérèse Charlotte growing to adulthood. It inspired Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, which premiered in Vienna on 1 May 1786. [205] In the hours left to her, she composed a letter to her sister-in-law, Madame Élisabeth, affirming her clear conscience, her Catholic faith, and her love and concern for her children. Marie Antoinette, whose life was as much in danger, remained with the king, whose power was gradually being taken away by the National Constituent Assembly. Despite his dislike of the queen—he detested her as much as she detested him and at one time had even threatened to send her to a convent—he was persuaded by the mayor of Paris, Jean Sylvain Bailly, to work and collaborate with her, and allowed her to see Fersen a number of times. Oct 19, 2016 - Marie Antoinette with a bust of her husband Louis XVI. Upon her arrival in France, she adopted the French version of her name: Marie Antoinette. [217], For many revolutionary figures, Marie Antoinette was the symbol of what was wrong with the old regime in France. The estimated number of those killed varies between 12 and 50. It was publicly suggested that her supposed behavior was learned at the court of the rival nation, particularly lesbianism, which was known as the "German vice". [128] Her role was decisive in urging the king to remain firm and not concede to popular demands for reforms. Eventually, Marie Antoinette's reputation was no better than that of the favorites of previous kings. The Peace of Teschen, signed on 13 May 1779, ended the brief conflict, with the queen imposing French mediation at her mother's insistence and Austria's gaining a territory of at least 100,000 inhabitants—a strong retreat from the early French position which was hostile towards Austria. [228] The new Duc d'Orléans publicly protested the king's actions, and was subsequently exiled to his estate at Villers-Cotterêts. Marie Antoinette Meets Her Husband, The Dauphin Louis On 14th May 1770, about a month after their proxy wedding, the new Dauphine Marie Antoinette finally met her husband, Louis. He even went as far as exiling the Duke of Orléans, who was accused by the queen of fomenting trouble. She had played a decisive role in the disgrace of the reformer ministers of finance, Turgot (in 1776), and Jacques Necker (first dismissal in 1781). Mme de La Motte was sentenced for life to confinement in the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, which also served as a prison for women. The assembly was held for the purpose of initiating necessary financial reforms, but the Parlement refused to cooperate. She was born into Royalty as the daughter of Empress Marie Theresa and Francis I, the Holy Roman Emperor, who together ruled over the Hapsburg Empire.. During the famine of 1787, she sold the royal flatware in order to provide grain to families who were struggling. On 15 July Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette was named commander-in-chief of the newly formed Garde nationale. [94], On 27 April 1784, Beaumarchais's play The Marriage of Figaro premiered in Paris. This resulted in the queen being viewed as an enemy, although she was personally against Austrian claims to French territories on European soil. [73][74], Despite the general celebration over the birth of the Dauphin, Marie Antoinette's political influence, such as it was, did greatly benefit Austria. Some of her contemporaries, such as Thomas Jefferson, attributed to her the start of the French Revolution. [18][19], The initial reaction to the marriage between Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste was mixed. "[196] This was the most difficult period of her captivity. After many delays, the escape was ultimately attempted on 21 June 1791, but the entire family was arrested less than twenty-four hours later at Varennes and taken back to Paris within a week. [39] In her correspondence, Marie Antoinette's mother, Maria Theresa, expressed concern over her daughter's spending habits, citing the civil unrest it was beginning to cause.[40]. [47] In a letter to his brother Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Joseph II described them as "a couple of complete blunderers. [162][163], Upon learning of the capture of the royal family, the National Constituent Assembly sent three representatives, Antoine Barnave, Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve and Charles César de Fay de La Tour-Maubourg to Varennes to escort Marie Antoinette and her family back to Paris. (Tea at Trianon a blog by Elena Maria Vidal). [88] Its creation, however, caused another uproar when its cost became widely known. Their reaction comforted her since these women were not otherwise sympathetic to her. [157][158][159] Fersen and Breteuil, who represented her in the courts of Europe, were put in charge of the escape plan, while Marie Antoinette continued her negotiations with some of the moderate leaders of the French Revolution.[160][161]. [76][77], In 1782, after the governess of the royal children, the princesse de Guéméné, went bankrupt and resigned, Marie Antoinette appointed her favorite, the duchesse de Polignac, to the position. Dumouriez resigned and refused a post in any new government. [152] An agreement was reached turning Mirabeau into one of her political allies: Marie Antoinette promised to pay him 6000 livres per month and one million if he succeeded in his mission to restore the king's authority. She became … Still, Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI were more like friends than a married couple. Marie-Antoinette was a music-lover. Louis XVI was executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793. "[48] He disclosed to Leopold that the inexperienced—then still only 22-year-old—Louis XVI had confided in him the course of action he had been undertaking in their marital bed; saying Louis XVI "introduces the member," but then "stays there without moving for about two minutes," withdraws without having completed the act and "bids goodnight. Marie Antoinette's four live-born children were: Marie Antoinette began to abandon her more carefree activities to become increasingly involved in politics in her role as Queen of France. [169], As her correspondence shows, while Barnave was taking great political risks in the belief that the queen was his political ally and had managed, despite her unpopularity, to secure a moderate majority ready to work with her, Marie Antoinette was not considered sincere in her cooperation with the moderate leaders of the French Revolution, which ultimately ended any chance to establish a moderate government. 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