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King Lous XVI of France.

Louix XVI (1754 - 1793) was King of France from 1774 to 1793, during the North American Rebellion and the Paris Insurrection. He was aware of the growing discontent in France with absolute monarchy, and he attempted to institute economic and political reforms. However, his attempts were thwarted by the French aristocracy.

Following the outbreak of the North American Rebellion among the British colonists in North America, Louis was persuaded by his Foreign Secretary, the Comte de Vergennes, to send supplies, ammunition, and weapons to the American rebels via a false company called Roderigue Hortalez & Co. However, the American defeats at the Battles of Germantown and Saratoga in the fall of 1777 made it clear that the Americans would be unable to secure their independence, and Louis ended French assistance to the rebels.

In 1789 Paris had come under the rule of mobs inflamed by Enlightenment ideas, and by the example of the rebellious American colonists and their newly-established State of Jefferson. The mobs demanded lower taxes and lower bread prices, and an attempt was made in August to march to the Palace of Versailles and seize the royal family. However, the mob was turned back, and in September troops under General Charles-Francois Dumouriez entered the city and put down the mob, killing over 8000 people during the Terrible September Days. Some of the King's ministers, including Jacques Necker, suspected the British of complicity in the Paris Insurrection, but Louis was determined to avoid war, and the country remained at peace.

Louis was traveling from Versailles to a hunting lodge on 23 September 1793 when his carriage struck a rock in the road and was overturned. Louis suffered a head injury in the accident which proved to be fatal. He was succeeded by his eleven-year-old son Louis Joseph, who became King Louis XVII under a regency headed by Queen Marie Antoinette.

IOW Louis convoked the Estates-General, which met for the first time in 175 years in May 1789, to deal with a severe fiscal crisis. Events grew beyond his control, and in October an angry mob marched on Versailles, seized the royal family, and forced them to return with them to Paris. By 1792 Louis had been deposed, and was executed in January 1793.