Today in World History: September 16th

King Louis XVIII of France, Napoleon’s successor, died on this day in 1824. Following the French Revolution, in which Louis’ brother Louis XVI was executed by French rebels, Louis XVI’s son was proclaimed by the French royal family as XVII, before he died in the dungeons of the Revolutionaries. What followed was a decade of trouble and chaos, ended only by Napoleon’s coronation as Emperor of France in 1804. The Napoleonic Wars started soon after, and following the end of Napoleon’s first reign French citizens began to call for the restoration of the monarchy. Louis XVIII was chosen as the successor to the throne, and began his first reign on April 11 1814, before the interruption of Napoleon’s second reign caused a break in Louis’ rule. He was re-instituted as King in July of 1815, and remained King until his death, when he was succeeded by his younger brother, Charles X. His rule was uneventful and largely insignificant, as he himself relinquished many of his duties, and by 1824 was suffering from obesity, gout, and gangrene, and was the last King of France to die while ruling.


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