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Marie-Antoinette Marie-Antoinette, (Marie-Antoinett-Josphe-Jeanne d'Autriche-Lorraine) (1755-1793) Queen of France, the forth daughter of Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria and

Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I. In 1770, when she was only 14, she was married to the Dauphin (Crown Prince) of France, afterwards Louis XVI. Louis then was 15; he was fat, shy, and openly preferred hunting and his locksmith shop to royal duties. Young and inexperienced, she aroused criticism by her rebellious behavior; she refused to follow the royal etiquette, refused to wear clothes not chosen by herself, disregarded conventions, and wasted big sums on her whims. On becoming queen, in 1774, she soon deepened the dislike of her subjects by her devotion to the interests of Austria, as well as by her opposition to all the measures for relieving the financial distress of France. She was called the "Austrian Whore" and "Madame Deficit." All miseries of France became identified with her extravagance, for which even her mother, Maria Theresa rebuked her: "a queen can only degrade herself by this sort of heedless extravagance in difficult times." Marie Antoinettes unpopularity was also aggravated by the fact that the royal couple did not have children for 7 years. The public blamed the queen for this, though the problem was with the king, who had to undergo a surgery to be able to impregnate his wife. Their first child, Marie Therese Charlotte, called Madame Royale, was born 1778. Marie Antoinette settled down and became a devoted wife and mother, though this did not save her reputation and did not stop the evil and dirty rumors about her. She was abused in pornographic songs, pictures and pamphlets; even a fake autobiography, in which the queen confessed her debauchery, was published.

Louis XVI Louis XVI, 175493, king of France (177492), third son of the dauphin (Louis) and Marie Josphe of Saxony, grandson and successor of King Louis XV. In 1770 he married the Austrian archduchess Marie Antoinette. His early attempts to enact reforms and to appoint competent and upright ministers met with general approval, but his character was unsuited to provide the leadership needed to control the complex social and political conflict smoldering in France. Shy, dull, and corpulent, he preferred the hunting field and his locksmith's workshop to the council chamber; indecisiveness made him subject to the poor advice of his intimates.

Louis XIV King of France, b. at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 16 September, 1638; d. at Versailles, 1 September, 1715; was the son of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, and became king, upon the death of his father, 14 May 1643. Until 1661 the real master of France was Cardinal Mazarin, under whose government his country, victorious over Austria (1643-48) and Spain (1643-59), acquired by the Treaties of Westphalia (1648) and the Pyrennes (1659) Alsace, Artois, and Roussillon, which had already been occupied by French troops since the days of Richelieu. As a result of the marriage between Louis XIV and Maria Theresa of Austria, Louis XIV also acquired rights over the Low Countries. When Louis's personal government began (1661), France was the arbiter of Europe: she had re-established peace among the Powers of the North (Sweden, Brandenburg, Denmark, and Poland); she protected the League of the Rhine; and her authority in Germany was greater than the emperor's. At

that period the power of France, established upon the firmest foundations, was perhaps less imposing, but was assuredly more solid, than it became during the most glorious days of Louis XIV's personal government.