To what extent should King Louis XVI be held accountable for treason?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

King Louis XVI should not be held accountable for treason. King Louis XVI was very similar to other kings in terms of how he lived his life. He lived a very lavish lifestyle at the expense of the people of France. It was not uncommon for kings or queens to live lavishly and expect the common people to pay for this lifestyle with very high taxes. Treason refers to committing crimes against your country. King Louis XVI did not commit crimes against France or its people. While he may be faulted for making poor decisions, this is not treason. King Louis XVI didn’t (and probably couldn’t) use common sense. He should have toned down his lifestyle and reduced his spending to ease the tax burden on his people. While King Louis XVI may have been guilty of foolishness or unwise ruling, in no way, shape, or form was this an example of treason. If treason included poor decision-making, all rulers would be in trouble at some time during their political life. King Louis XVI was not guilty of treason.

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