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The young couple soon came to symbolize all of the excesses of the reviled French monarchy, and Marie Antoinette herself became the target of a great deal of vicious gossip. After the outbreak of the French Revolution inthe royal family was forced to live under the supervision of revolutionary authorities.

Inthe king was executed; then, Marie Antoinette was arrested and tried for trumped-up crimes against the French republic. She was convicted and sent to the guillotine on October 16, Four years later, Marie Antoinette and the dauphin were married by proxy in Vienna. They were 15 and 16 years old, and they had never met. On May 16,a lavish second wedding ceremony took place in the royal chapel at Versailles.

More than 5, guests watched as the two teenagers were married. Life as a public figure was not easy for Marie Antoinette. Her marriage was difficult and, as she had very few official duties, she spent most of her time socializing and indulging her extravagant tastes. For example, she had a model farm built on the palace grounds so that she and her ladies-in-waiting could dress in elaborate costumes and pretend to be milkmaids and shepherdesses.

Eighteenth-century colonial wars—particularly the American Revolutionin which the French had intervened on behalf of the colonists—had created a tremendous debt for the French state. Louis XVI and his advisers tried to impose a more representative system of taxation, but the nobility resisted. Inrepresentatives from all three estates the clergy, the nobility and the common people met at Versailles to come up with a plan for the reform of the French state, but noblemen and clergymen were still reluctant to give up their prerogatives.

At the same time, conditions worsened for ordinary French people, and many became convinced that the monarchy and the nobility were conspiring against them. Marie Antoinette continued to be a convenient target for their rage.

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In Octobera mob of Parisian women protesting the high cost of bread and other goods marched to Versailles, dragged the entire royal family back to the city, and imprisoned them in the Tuileries. This incident, it seemed to many, was proof that the queen was not just a foreigner: She was a traitor. However, many revolutionaries began to argue that the most insidious enemies of the state were not the nobles but the monarchs themselves.

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In Aprilpartly as a way to test the loyalties of the king and queen, the Jacobin radical revolutionary government declared war on Austria. The French army was in a shambles and the war did not go well—a turn of events that many blamed on the foreign-born queen. In August, another mob stormed the Tuileries, overthrew the monarchy and locked the family in a tower.

In September, revolutionaries began to massacre royalist prisoners by the thousands.

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The campaign against Marie Antoinette likewise grew stronger. In Julyshe lost custody of her young son, who was forced to accuse her of sexual abuse and incest before a Revolutionary tribunal. In October, she was convicted of treason and sent to the guillotine.

She was 37 years old. The story of revolution and resistance in 18th-century France is a complicated one, and no two historians tell the story the same way.

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She and the people around her seemed to represent everything that was wrong with the monarchy and the Second Estate: They appeared to be tone-deaf, out of touch, disloyal along with her allegedly treasonous behavior, writers and pamphleteers frequently accused the queen of adultery and self-interested. What Marie Antoinette was actually like was beside the point; the image of the queen was far more influential than the woman herself.

Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Marie Antoinette was born an Austrian princess. She was only 14 years old when she married the future She sought to return England to the Catholic It is a story whose characters and actions are so implausible that at times it seems like the wild invention of a work of fiction.

But the Diamond Necklace Affair was a scandal that was all too responsible for the eventual execution of Marie Antoinette—the last Queen of France The French Revolution was a watershed event in modern European history that began in and ended in the late s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte.

In that time, he transformed the monarchy, ushered in a golden age of art and literature, presided over a dazzling royal court at Few women in history have inspired as many myths as Marie-Antoinette, the last queen of France, typically portrayed as the embodiment of excess and debauchery.

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Many of those myths are based on the vicious and often pornographic Revolutionary propaganda that poured from French Live TV. This Day In History. History Vault. Recommended for you. Mary Chestnut. The Mary Celeste. Coroner's Report: Guillotine.

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Mary Todd Lincoln. How a Scandal Over a Diamond Necklace Cost Marie Antoinette Her Head It is a story whose characters and actions are so implausible that at times it seems like the wild invention of a work of fiction. French Revolution The French Revolution was a watershed event in modern European history that began in and ended in the late s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte.

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