Sang-won Kim10-11-09IB European History HL 1French Revolution Essay
Prompt: Explain why the assembling of the Estates General in 1789led to the overthrow of Louis XVI.
The Estates General met together in 1789 for the first time since 1614.Louis XVI called for the assembly because he wanted to strengthen his powerand collect more taxes. However, it actually led to the opposite result, whichwas the weakening of his power and his overthrow in 1792. This was due tothree events that came forth as a result of the meeting of the EstatesGeneral. These events were: the public display of Louis XVI’s indecisivenessand incompetence, the formation of the National Assembly, and theStorming of the Bastille. The loss of public support that resulted from theseevents was crucial to the overthrow of the monarchy.Louis XVI inherited the throne of France at the young age of twenty.He was unfit for the Herculean task of managing a nation of 27 millionpeople. Although this was not obvious to the French people at the time, hisindecisiveness and general incompetence showed its true colors at theassembly of the Estates General. One of the issues raised at the EstatesGeneral was the decision of whether the votes would be counted by order orhead. Louis struggled to make a quick decision, and in doing so, he infuriatedthe 3
estate, who read his actions as disregard for the 3
estate. Heexacerbated this by treating the 3
estate with cold indifference by forcingthem to wear black attire, while the other estates wore colorful andextravagant clothing. Another fatal move was the mobilizing of the RoyalArmy toward Versailles and Paris. The people saw this event as a blatantaction against the people, and their hearts turned away from the king.Due to the cold attitude that Louis XVI had against the 3
estate, the3rd estate felt that they could no longer be a part of the Estates General. They separated themselves and they formed a new group called the National