On January 21, 1793, French King Louis XVI was executed by guillotine at the Place de la Revolution in Paris following a conviction of high treason by the National Convention. The execution was a direct result of the fall of the Bourbon monarchy and marked an important turn of events in the French Revolution.
Louis was born at Versailles in August 1754. In 1770, a royal marriage was arranged between Louis and Marie Antoinette, the daughter of the Emperor and Empress of Austria in an alliance that was intended to consolidate cordial relations between France and Austria. By 1774, Louis had ascended the throne previously held by his grandfather Louis XV as the King of France. By the time the excesses of the Bourbon royal family had not only gained the monarchy the displeasure of the people but also had nearly emptied the royal exchequer. Wars, extravagances, and fantastic constructions had led the economy to ruin and the rising costs had made basic items of necessity beyond the reach of an ordinary man. Failing crops and soaring unemployment fueled the rage of the French masses. Marie Antoinette became the cause for much contention, as the relations with Austria started to sour. …(Read more)