Today in World History: October 16th

Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was executed on this day in 1793, at the age of thirty-six. Following the abolition of the French monarchy, Marie Antoinette and her family were captured by French Revolutionaries who advocated for their executions. The newly instituted French Republic placed the royal family under trial, first questioning previous French King Louis XVI, who was found guilty and executed on January 21st, 1793. Marie Antoinette fell into a deep depression following her husband’s death, and was only comforted by the notion that their son, Louis XVII, would one day succeed his father to throne and become the next King of France. However, the Revolutionaries placed her under arrest, and turned Louis XVII against her. In her trial on October 14th, 1793, she was accused of treachery, organizing the mass killing of the Swiss guards, and, in a claim presented by Louis himself, of sexually abusing her son. She was sentenced to death, and although she was shocked by the sentence, she maintained her composure until her execution by guillotine at 12:05 PM, on October 16th, in 1793.

“I was a queen, and you took away my crown; a wife, and you killed my husband; a mother, and you deprived me of my children. My blood alone remains: take it, but do not make me suffer long.”

-Marie Antoinette
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