Council of Advisors to King Louis XVI: French Revolution
1787 | versailles
The year is 1787 and the French monarchy is riddled with political and financial troubles. In the wake of France’s participation in the Seven Years War, the country is heavily saddled with debt, and is in need of immediate financial reforms so that the crown can maintain its funding. Furthermore, France’s support of the newly formed United States in its war against Great Britain has created a contentious political and financial situation in the country, with dangerous ideas of democracy infiltrating the population, spurred by the progressive thinking of the Enlightenment. The country, as it stands, is divided into three socioeconomic groups: the First, Second, and Third Estates. The First and Second Estates, composed of the clergy and nobility, respectively hold the majority of wealth, land and power in the country, but as of late, there have been rumblings of revolution among the Third Estate (the rest of the population). As such, King Louis XVI has called a council of France’s most important statesmen, nobles and clergy to advise him on the many issues plaguing his rule, and help him find a way to resolve the problems and solidify his reign.
Topics of Debate
The committee will begin by addressing important financial questions, such as a reformation of the tax system, France’s international debts, and the policies of the Church regarding tithes and land holding. As time progresses, the committee will have to deal with increasingly political crises related to the Revolution, democracy, and the abolishment of the monarchy.