Why did Louis XVI fail to satisfy the demands of the revolutionaries in France during the period 1789-1793?
Political power during Louis XVI's era consisted of attitudes that embellished the rich and reduced the middle class and the peasantry as burdens of the court. The aristocracy and the clergy controlled the country, and the people had no voice in the government or laws. The people felt victimized and reduced to servitude. The people were taxed through feudal taxes but had no voice. They began to develop ideas of freedom and liberty with a government that would allow them to participate in decisions that affected them. Louis XVI ascended to the throne in 1774. The people were starving and did not have bread to eat. Poor crop yields, high taxes, and unrealistic expectations coupled with the lack of concern for the needs of the people served as a catalyst leading to the revolution. Louis and his court ignored the peasants and continued with the rituals and ceremonies of the aristocrats.
Louis XVI refused to entertain the requests and demands of the people. He ignored the increasing dissatisfaction that they were experiencing. As new ideas spread among the people, hope and anger arose. The French citizens wanted equal taxation, representation in the government, justice in the laws, the banning of feudal dues, and food sources for the people. Louis XVI did not meet the people’s demands. As the peasants began to revolt, he applied military intervention, leading to a full revolution. The people tired of an inherited monarchy. They wanted to have someone in the highest position of their country through their choosing. As a political leader, Louis XVI was weak. His unity with Austria and bringing Marie Antoinette to the court further enraged the people. He appeared to side with other governments more than he demonstrated concern for his people. Eventually, his failure to recognize that people can only be pushed so far led to his execution.