What does King Louis XVI do or not do to safeguard his Throne during the french revolution?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are so many mistakes that Louis XVI did prior to the taking of the Bastille that it would take a whole book to write each down. I can offer the ones that stand out the most.

First, after the coup the etat was declared, the first thing that he did wrong was he tried to escape when he became a prisoner of the new Estate. There is a problem when you, as king, try to escape from your own people. The reason is that it is implied that you are escaping to plan with another country to declare war on your own so that the people would obey you. Meaning, you are a traitor.

Second, he had the nerve to fire some of the most people-friendly military leaders who came with the purpose of combining the forces of the people and the new constitution with those of the King. The King was already disliked, had zero personality and a very detested wife (Marie Antoinette), so for him to fire people that were connected to the newly-changed country is an act of political suicide.

The third one I'll offer is that he became too confident. In what would have been his most successful escape with his wife and children, he insisted on making a stop in the countryside disguised as a peasant. When he was recognized by another peasant (who showed him reverence with a curtsy), Louis thought that everyone really did love him and that the factionists were just a small group of loud people.  Little did he know that the other bunch of peasants around who recognized him immediately told on him and, embarrassingly, he was sent back again to Paris as a prisoner of L'Etat.