When the King Took Flight

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When the King Took Flight In June 1791, King Louis XVI and his family snuck out of Paris during the night, hoping to escape from the French Revolution and its violence. He planned to escape the country and return with foreign assistance to reclaim control of France, but the people of Varennes stopped and detained him until authorities arrived and sent him back to Paris. Louis’ attempted escape, in addition to the letter he left behind denouncing the Revolution, “profoundly influenced the political and social climate of France” (223). His escape outraged many people and left the administration in shambles, and this caused tensions to break out. To control the situation, the people of France quickly organized their own authoritative forces. Timothy Tackett argues in When the King Took Flight that Louis XVI’s escape is significant because it destroyed faith in the monarch and amplified the violence of the Revolution but at the same time instilled a new sense of unity among the French. King Louis XVI’s failed escape upset many people because they had invested so much trust and affection for him. Despite his indecisiveness, chubbiness, and lack of royal grace, they respected him and therefore tolerated his flaws. On June 23 for instance, Louis stood by the nobility and denounced the existence of the National Assembly, but many patriots forgave him and instead blamed his advisors. The French still respected their king and thus forgave him despite his denial of the National Assembly. Instead, they shifted the blame from Louis to his advisors and this provided him with a chance to redeem himself, which he did. At the Festival of Federation, Louis swore to abide by the National Assembly’s constitution. In response, people rejoiced knowing that with the support of the monarch, the Revolution is ensured to succeed (37). He easily won back the love of his people with this

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