October 16 - 1793 - The Execution of Marie Antoinette
By 1793, Marie Antoinette had gone from Queen of France and Navarre to the widow Capet. She was born an Austrian princess, married the heir to throne of France as a teenager, and then ascended to become Queen upon his succession as Louis XVI. Yet in 1789, the French Revolution broke out. The key concern was the fact the nation was bankrupt, which many people blamed on the free-spending queen. Swiftly, the royal family would be taken from the Palace of Versailles to Paris' Tuileries Palace in Paris. Marie Antoinette became, if possible, more hated. She attempted to flee with her family to Austria, and her influence on her husband was seen as blocking reforms. Many of these factors led to the declaration of the French Republic in 1792. Immediately, King Louis XIV, now addressed as Citizen Capet based on his dynastic name, was charged with treason. Louis would be executed in January 1793. Marie Antoinette's life did not seem threatened initially. The Revolutionary Tribunal, however, was seeking charges against her. They received help from eight year old Louis, Marie Antoinette's son. In a quick trial, she was found guilty of treason, sentenced to die, and taken to the guillotine at Place de la Revolution.