Louis XV and Louis XVI

RonPaulCurriculum History Essay Week 33

Louis XV was the great-grandson of King Louis XIV, and succeed the throne in 1715 at the age 5.

A regent reign until Louis XV gained maturity in 1723.

During his reign, the monarchy had its last major military success in the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745.

Louis XV returned the area of Austrian Netherlands to Austria in 1748. He also gave up  New France in North America to the British in 1763, which is now called, Canada.

Louis XV was known as “Louis the Beloved” by his subjects, but was not a very successful monarch. During his 60 years reign he weaken the treasury, discredited the absolute monarchy standard in France, and helped lead the French Revolution.

Louis XV outlived his son (also another Louis), so his grandson became Louis XVI.

Louis XVI reign from 1774-1792.

Like James II, Louis XVI found his subjects no longer interested in a strong monarchy.

Louis XVI was known as the Restorer of French Liberty, but many of his actions he tried were counteracted by the nobility.

He wanted to end serfdom, which was a system of slavery that they had, remove the “taille” land tax,  and he increased religious freedom.

He also supported the Americans during their rebellion against Great Britain, in 1776.

But the reforms led to debt and financial crisis that made the monarchy in France unpopular.

The tensions led to the deposition of King Louis XVI in 1792, which marked the beginning of the French Revolution.


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