Posts Tagged ‘French Revolution

04
Oct
10

Marie-Antoinette – Queen Consort of King Louis XVII (1 of 2)

Queen Consort of King Louis XVII

Marie Antoinette was born on November 2, 1755 in Vienna and died on October 16, 1793 in Paris.  Queen consort of King Louis XVI of France (ruled 1774-93); by refusing to accept the constitutional restrictions imposed on her husband during the early years of the French Revolution, she contributed to the popular unrest that let to the overthrow of the monarchy in August 1792.

The 11th daughter of the Holy Roman emperor Francis I and Maria Theresa, Marie-Antoinette was married in 1770 to the dauphin Louis, grandson of France’s King Louis XV (ruled 1715-74).  The match was designed to strengthen France’s alliance with Austria, but the anti-Austrian prejudices current in France prevented Mari-Antoinette from winning acceptance in her adopted country.  The timid, uninspiring Louis proved to be an inattentive husband; and by the time he ascended the throne in 1774, Mari-Antoinette had withdrawn into the companionship of a small circle of frivolous court favorites.

At first the Queen was interested in politics only as a means of securing favors for her friends; the efforts she made to advance Austrian interests were blocked by the King and his ministers.  Her extravagant court expenditures contributed—although to a minor degree—to the huge debt incurred by the French state in the 1770s and 1780s, and her close associations with the more dissipated members of the court aristocracy prompted her enemies to circulate slanderous report of her alleged extramarital affairs.  These vilifications culminated in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace (1785-86), in which the Queen was unjustly accused of having formed an immoral relationship with a cardinal.  The scandal discredited the monarchy and encouraged the nobles to oppose vigorously (1787-88) all the financial reforms advocated by the King’s ministers.

During these crises, as in those to come, Marie-Antoinette proved to be stronger and more decisive than her husband.  By the time the Revolution broke out in 1789, she was exerting a powerful influence in the royal councils.  After a crowd stormed the Bastille on July 14, the Queen failed to convince Louis to take refuge with his army at Metz.  In August-September, however, she successfully prodded him to resist the attempts of the revolutionary National Assembly to abolish feudalism and restrict the royal prerogative. – The New Encyclopedia Britannica

04
Dec
09

Alexandre Lameth (-Theodore-Victor), comte de

Alexandre Lameth

He was born on October 28, 1760, in Paris and died on March 18, 1829, noble who was a leading advocate of constitutional monarchy in the early stages of the French Revolution of 1789.  Lameth and his brothers, Charles and Theodore, fought for the colonists in the American Revolution (1775-83).  On returning of  France, he was appointed colonel of a cavalry regiment (1785).

Lameth was elected a representative for the nobility to the States General that convened on May 5, 1789, but on June 25 he joined the unprivileged Third Estate, which had declared itself a revolutionary National “Assembly.  He helped draft the Assembly’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (August 1789), and he supported measures abolishing feudalism and restricting the hitherto absolute powers of King Louis XVL.  In September, Lameth and his two close associates, Antoine Barnave and Adrien Duport—the “triumpvirate”—blocked legislation that would have created a separate legislative chamber for the mobility.

Nevertheless, by the spring of 1791 Lameth and his friends felt that continuation of the “Revolution might endanger the monarchy and private property.  They then became secret advisers to the royal family, which subsidized their paper, the Logographe.  Lameth secured legislation excluding “passive citizens” (those who could not meet the property qualification for voting) from membership in the national guard, and he sought to curb the popular press, which was agitating for democratic reforms.

Louis XVI’s abortive attempt to flee from France in June 1791, however, discredited the new system of constitutional monarchy.  In an attempt to consolidate their forces, Lameth and his associates withdrew from the Jacobin club and formed the Club of the Feuillans.  The triumvirs were ineligible to sit in the Legislative Assembly, which convened on Oct. 1, 1791, but they directed the Feuillants of the Assembly in their unsuccessful struggle against the Jacobins.

When France went to war with Austria in April 1792, Lameth became an officer in the Army of the North.  He emigrated with the marquis de Lafayette after the fall of the monarchy on Aug. 10, 1792.  Interned for more than three years in Austria, Lameth settled in Hamburg in 1796.  After napoleon came to power in France, Lameth returned to his homeland (1800) and served as a prefect from 1802 until 1815.  He was a member of the liberal parliamentary opposition during the reigns of kings Louis XVII and Charles X.

29
Nov
09

(Hughes-)Felicite(-Robert de) Lamennais

(Hughes-)Felicite(-Robert de) Lamennais

He was a priest and philosophical and political writer who attempted to combine political liberalism with Roman Catholicism after French Revolution.  He was born on June 19, 1782, at Saint-Malo, France.  He died on February 27, 1854, at Paris.  Born to a bourgeois family whose liberal sympathies had been chastened by the French Revolution,  he and his elder brother, Jean early conceived the idea of a revival of Catholicism as the key to social regeneration.  After Napoleon’s restoration of the French Church, the brothers sketched a program of reform in Reflexions sur l’etat de l’eglise en France pendant le 18e  siècle et sur sa situation actuelle (1808; “Reflections on the State of the Church in France During the Eighteenth Century and Her Present Situation”).  Five years later, at the height of the Emperor’s conflict with the papacy, they produced a defense of Ultramontanism (a movement supporting papal prerogatives, in contrast to Gallicanism).  Ordained a priest in 1816, Lamennais published in the following year the first volume of his Essai sur l’indifference en matiere de religion (“Essay on Indifference Toward Religion”).  Appealing to tradition rather than private judgment, it won immediate fame.  But his position began to shift.  Although he attacked the Gallicanism of the bishops and the monarchy in his book Des progress de la revolution et de la guerre contra legalize (1829; “On the Progress of the Revolution and the War Against the Church”), the work showed his readiness to combine Catholicism with political liberalism in France.

After the July, Revolution in 1830, Lamennais founded Leavened with Henri Lacordaire, Charles de Montalembert, and a group of enthusiastic liberal Catholic writers.  The paper, which advocated democratic principle and church-state separation, antagonized both the church and the state in France and despite its Ultramontanism found little favor in Rome, for Pope Gregory XVI had no wish to assume the revolutionary role designed for him.  Publication of the paper was suspended in November 1831, and after a vain appeal to the Pope its principles were condemned in the encyclical Mirari Vos (August 1832).  Lamennais then attacked the papacy and the European monarchs in Paroles d’ un croyani (1834), provoking the encyclical Singulari Nos (July 1834), which lead to his severance from the church.  He continued to write philosophical and literary works, including Le Livre du people (1838);  “The Book of the People”), and he served in the constituent assembly after the Revolution of 1848.  But his hopes were again defeated when the coup d’etat set the seal on Louis-Napoleon’s dictatorship.  Having refused to be reconciled to the church, Lamennais was buried in a pauper’s grave.  His life and works are discussed in A.R. Vidler’s Prophecy and Papacy:  A Study of Lamennais, the Church and the Revolution (1954).

 

22
Oct
09

Marie-Therese Lamballe – Louise de Savoie-Carignan, Princess De

 

Marie-Therese

Marie-Therese

Lamballe, Mari-Therese-Louise de Savoie-Carignan, princesse de 

(Birth: September 8, 1749, Turin, Piedmont, now in Italy—Death: September 3, 1792, Paris), the intimate companion of Queen Marie-Antoinette of France; she was murdered by a crowd during the French Revolution for allegedly participating in the Queen’s counter revolutionary intrigues. 

The daughter of Prince Louis-Victor de Savoie-Carignan, she was married in 1767 to Louis-Alexander-Stanislas de Bourbon, prince de Lamballe, who died the following year.  She went to live at the royal court at Versailles upon the marriage (1770) of the dauphin Louis to Marie-Antoinette, and, by the time Louis ascended the throne as King Louis XVI in 1774, Marie-Antoinette had singled her out as a confidante.  The following year she became superintendent of the Queen’s household. 

In October 1789, several months after the outbreak of the ‘revolution, Mme Lamballe accompanied the royal family to Paris, where her salon became the meeting place for Marie-Antoinette’s secret intrigues with royalist sympathizers of the revolutionary National Assembly.  Mme Lamballe was also popularly suspected of abetting the Queen’s private dealings with France’s Austrian enemies.  After the overthrow of the monarchy of August 10. 1792, she was imprisoned with the Queen in the Temple prison but was transferred to La Force prison on August 19.  Having refused to take an oath against the monarchy, Mme Lamballe was on September 3 delivered over to the fury of the populace, who cut off her head and carried it on a pike before the windows of the Queen. 

A.  Sorel’s La Princesse de Lamballe was published in 1933. 

 

Visual source:  allposters



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