Decree - Louis XVI of France - 1791 - Department of the War | Portrait of Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette (1757-1834)
Decree of the National Assembly with a large woodcut vignette dated 27 Avril 1791. Original document printed on watermarked laid paper by AIMÉ de la ROCHE at Lyon in 1791.
This historical document is composed of these 2 documents mounted under passepartout :
Decree - French Revolution - 1791 - Department of the War
Portrait of Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette (1757-1834)
Louis XVI, born August 23, 1754 in Versailles and died guillotined on January 21, 1793 in Paris, was King of France and Navarre from May 10, 1774 to November 6, 1789, then King of the French until September 21, 1792. He was the last king of France of the so-called Ancien Régime period.
Son of the Dauphin Louis of France and Marie-Josèphe of Saxe, he became Dauphin upon the death of his father. Married in 1770 to Marie-Antoinette of Austria, he ascended the throne in 1774, at the age of nineteen, on the death of his grandfather Louis XV. The coronation of the king took place on June 11, 1775, in the cathedral of Reims.
Among the major events of Louis XVI's reign was his signing of the Edict of Versailles on 7 November 1787, which was registered in the parlement on 29 January 1788. Granting non-Roman Catholics – Huguenots and Lutherans, as well as Jews – civil and legal status in France and the legal right to practice their faiths, this edict effectively nullified the Edict of Fontainebleau that had been law for 102 years. The Edict of Versailles did not legally proclaim freedom of religion in France – this took two more years, with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789 – however, it was an important step in eliminating religious tensions and it officially ended religious persecution within his realm.
Passionate about geography and maritime science, Louis XVI commissioned Jean-François de La Pérouse to travel around the world and map the Pacific Ocean, which was still little known at the time, despite the voyages of Cook and Bougainville. The king is behind the entire expedition.
Louis XVI is best known for his role in the French Revolution. It began in 1789 after the summons of the states-general to refinance the state. Third Party MPs, who claim the support of the people, proclaim themselves "National Assembly" and end the absolute monarchy of divine right. First, Louis XVI had to leave the Palace of Versailles for Paris, and seemed to accept becoming a constitutional monarch.
The agitation of the Parisian people is at its peak following the dismissal of Jacques Necker and the presence of mercenary troops in the vicinity of the city. The capture of the Bastille, which took place on Tuesday 14 July 1789 in Paris, is one of the inaugural and emblematic events of the French Revolution.
The National Convention succeeds the Legislative Assembly and establishes the First Republic. At its first sitting on 21 September 1792, it decreed that the royalty was abolished in France and that the Year I of the French Republic would be abolished on 22 September 1792. Louis XVI then lost all his titles.
On 11 December, the deposed king was brought from the Temple to stand before the Convention and hear his indictment, an accusation of high treason and crimes against the State. The trial of the former king, tried as an ordinary citizen and now called Citoyen Capet, began on December 11, 1792, the court being the Convention itself.
Louis XVI was guillotined on Monday, January 21, 1793 in Paris, Place de la Revolution (current Place de la Concorde). He is buried in the cemetery of Madeleine in a mass grave and covered with lime. On 18 and 19 January 1815, Louis XVIII had his remains and those of Marie-Antoinette exhumed and buried at the Basilica of Saint-Denis on 21 January. In addition, he had the Chapelle expiatoire built in their memory at the site of the cemetery of the Madeleine.
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