Q/ How important was Louis XVI in the collapse of the Ancien Regime? King Louis xvi was an important factor in the collapse of the ancien regime in France during the year of 1789. Although the king not fully responsible he still played a small role in the ancien regimes collapse, this is attributed to his lack of experience, his irresponsibleness and lack of intelligence. The main reason for the collapse of the ancien regime was the widening gap between the rich and the poor of France. The rich people, comprising the king and church made up the first estate; whist the nobility made up the second estate. These two estates controlled most of positions of public office and paid no taxes. Peasants of which lived terrible lives; often in poverty and starvation dominated the third estate. The French government at this time was nearly bankrupt; this was a result of excessive court spending, low revenue razing and economic mismanagement. King Louis xvi was ill suited for the leadership of France and possessed a very complex personality. Although Louis seemed quite kind and generous by nature, his manner was most usually brusque, cold and formal, marked by fits of ill humor and sharp retorts. King Louiss keeper of the seals had said, I had never known anyone whose character was more contradicted by outward appearances. He was really good and tender hearted. You could never talk to him of disasters or accidents without seeing a look of compassion come over his face, yet his replies often hard, his tone harsh, and his manner unfeeling. Hesitant, reserved and ungainly, his appearance too was unprepossessing.1 Throughout his life he was often hesitant, undignified, clumsy, reticent and self-doubting. He appeared to people to have no will of his own and, only to act under pressure. Had the king have any choice in the matter of being king, he certainly wouldnt have: he once remarked to one of his ministers who relinquis…
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