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Maximilien de Robespierre, a ruthless tyrant during the French Revolution who was the leader of the Committee of Public Safety (they did all of the terror), stated that “The King must die so that the country can live”, and I agree with him. King Louis XVI was a bad leader, an unworthy and terrible king who put his own needs above those of France.

First of all, King Louis XVI was a bad ruler due to the fact that he tried to escape to another country leaving his country all alone when his people needed him the most. There were a lot of riots and uprisings, his job as a king was to stop them and make a safe environment, yet the only thing he did was turn his back on them when France needed him the most. Louis left a radical letter behind that opposed revolutionary ideas, this showed that he loathed the revolution. King Louis XVI had intentions of conquering his country back with Prussia and Austria. This would be committing treason to the country of France.

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He also did not tax the first and second estate, he only taxed the third estate. The third estate barely had enough money to survive, not even because the price of food and goods was so high at that time. They only had 15% of their income for themselves, and they didn’t earn a lot of money. The worst of all is that with 15% of the income they had to buy food which was very expensive back then because they were running low on it and they also had to provide shelter with the same money. The other 75% of their income was used to pay a lot of taxes and money to their landowner. Some argue that the homes of the ‘peasants’ as the third estate was called were breeding houses for diseases because they lived in such bad conditions. Half of the ‘peasants’ didn’t even live until 15 years. Now, how is it fair to only tax these people? Louis was a materialist, he thought the third estate was dirt! He only cared about himself and his rich friends. He proved that by only taxing the poorest of the poorest (third estate) while his rich friends he could watch them suffer. There was a rumor that a messenger told Louis’ wife, Marie Antoinette, that the people didn’t have any bread left. Antoinette supposedly said the famous sentence “Then give them cake”. Alone that the wife of a king would say something, or that it even comes to a rumor like that, shows that something is going wrong here. They shouldn’t reign, they are just not made for the throne. 98% of the French countryside was made of the third estate, and King Louis XVI didn’t care about them, not in the slightest way. This shows how careless he was towards France because he cherry-picked the people to suffer, he did that so he could profit the most possible. He should make sure that France could profit the most possible, not himself. If he cared about France the way he claims to, he would tax everyone so it’s fair and would make sure that ‘his country’ is the best it can be.

King Louis spent a lot of money and increased the debt of France. He lived an extravagant lifestyle, he had 10,000 workers in his palace, while France had severe financial issues. He also used so much money to build his Palace of Versailles. He fought a lot of wars and uselessly spent money, for example, giving financial aid to American patriots who were about to start a revolution. This is useless because France didn’t benefit from that at all. That just shows careless spending. He also didn’t want any help since he fired Jacques Necker, who was in charge of monitoring the king’s spending. Necker got fired for advising him not to spend so much. Louis XVI also spent a lot of money on buying presents for his wife Marie Antoinette, which is unacceptable if your country is in debt already. As for a king, this shows carelessness.

Some may say that King Louis XVI tried his best to solve France’s financial problem by hiring Jacques Necker, yet he fired him after Necker gave him some advice on his wrongful spending. Others might say that he had to leave since things were getting out of control, yet things were getting out of control only because he let it go so far and because he was an unfair ruler. All in all, we can agree that Robespierre was right that “The King must die so that the country can live”. Louis XVI was a bad leader because he did not tax the first and second estates, he only taxed the third estate, tried to escape to another country leaving his country all alone, and spent a lot of France’s money and increased France’s debt. I never want France to have a ruler like Louis XVI again.

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