To understand why Marie Antoinette was so despised in France before, during, and after the Revolution of 1789, Zweig, Fraser, Lever, Dunlop, and Amand provide their ideas. These historians will argue that they disliked Louis XVI's Austrian wife for various reasons. They may also be used to gauge the level of hatred directed against Marie Antoinette and its impact on the Ancien Regime's stability in France. In addition to her traits and flaws, political, social, and economic considerations probably influenced Marie Antoinette's actions.
The evaluation of the reasons will go beyond whether Marie Antoinette was despised in France only because she was Austrian and urged her impoverished subjects to eat cakes instead of bread. Above all, the arguments will show whether her hatred was justified or based on incorrect conceptions of her effect on events and function within the monarchy. Marie Antoinette's marriage to Louis XVI was a diplomatic and dynastic union meant to keep France and the Habsburg Empire at peace. No royal family in the 18th century believed their destiny hinged on public opinion or if their Queen was despised.
Marie Antoinette, according to Zweig, became a loathed person by influencing royal and hence government policies. In this scenario, the general impression of her impact outweighed her real influence. Because prior Queens have very no effect. Louis XVI was more susceptible to his wife's influence than previous French Kings, and it did not endear the Queen to her subjects, especially those seeking reform. Marie Antoinette's political meddling was well-intentioned but ultimately devastating for the French monarchy. Many assumed Marie Antoinette would only interfere with benefiting her own or Austria's interests. People were more willing to take that Marie Antoinette's activities in the administration were either ineffective or blatantly hostile to French interests as resistance to the monarchy grew. Not as regularly or as well as her opponents claimed. After her children were born, she desired to focus on her job as a mother, but her status as Queen prevented her (Zweig, 1932, p. 144).
Marie Antoinette should have followed her mother's counsel and acted properly, obeying her husband and avoiding controversy and gossip. Marie Theresa felt avoiding scandal would keep her daughter popular and prevent her from becoming a hate figure. The Empress thought Marie Antoinette might better serve the Habsburg interests if she was popular. He also urged her not to become too close to her future people, or they would lose respect for her and the French monarchy. But her propensity for getting herself into trouble or offending others without a meaning did add to her demise. Although Marie Theresa was partly to blame for her daughter's shortcomings, Marie Antoinette's lack of education impacted her capacity to be a good Queen. She couldn't always act like a Queen or cope with complex political matters. She came to France ignorant of politics and royal intrigues (Fraser, 2001, p. 46).
According to Fraser, De Rohan was duped into buying a necklace for the Queen, and her reputation suffered as a result. The Paris Parliament sentenced the conspirators, but their testimony harmed Marie Antoinette's image, despite her innocence (Fraser, 2001, p.225). The nobility despised Marie Antoinette because she was responsible for the monarchy's financial problems. However, Fraser maintains that the Queen was not to fault for the budget cuts and reduced court jobs (Fraser, 2001, p.236).
Evelyn Lever portrays Marie Antoinette positively, especially while explaining why the Queen was despised in France. According to Lever, Marie Antoinette became a loathed figure by misbehaving at the Court of Versailles. The future Queen had tried to ignore Louis XV's mistress Madame Du Barry, only to be warned to desist by her mother. She also enraged strong, noble families by not respecting them (Lever, 2000, pp. 42-43). Before she became Queen, Marie Antoinette was admired in Paris for her beauty and wit (Lever, 2000, p.52).
Because his book was published in 1891, Amanda’s claims on Marie Antoinette's unpopularity and hostility are considered more traditional than the others. Unlike the other historians, Amanda’s biography only covers 1792-1793. Amand argued that Marie Antoinette's hatred was a significant factor in the fall of the French monarchy. Years of nasty gossip and propaganda about the Queen fuelled that hate. It was partly due to the Queen's flaws and the revolutionary movement's success in inciting people against her. During this period, the French populace's hatred for their Queen reached a boiling point. The fact that France was at war with Marie Antoinette's home Austria enraged the French revolutionary elements. She was widely seen as a traitor, making her an even more despised figure. Marie Antoinette might lose her throne, fortune, and titles yet remain an Austrian (Amand, 1891).
There are many reasons why Marie Antoinette was despised in France. Her Austrian heritage was always going to be a problem. Because France and the Habsburgs had a long History of conflict and hostility, the royal family, aristocracy, and French people did not always trust her. Opponents of the monarchy used mistrust of the Queen's motives and commitment to France to criticize Marie Antoinette and raise her unpopularity. She was disliked and subsequently despised because she was perceived to be supporting Austria's interests rather than France's. Marie Antoinette tried to influence French foreign policy to suit the Habsburg goals, but she was inept, as Vienna frequently complained. Of course, once revolutionary France was at war with Austria, the Queen was much more despised. The worry that Marie Antoinette would use her familial connections to undo the revolution worked well for radical forces. The royal family's failed escape effort made them much more despised. Accusations of betrayal and dishonesty made the Queen despise it. Opponents of the monarchy considered Marie Antoinette a danger to change or revolt. It was done through propaganda like booklets. Her private life allowed them to circulate various rumours, mostly baseless except for Freshen. In a time of grain scarcity and rising bread prices, she was supposed to have responded, 'let them eat cake.
Finally, Zweig, Fraser, Lever, Dunlop, and Amand discuss why Marie Antoinette was despised. They all blame the Queen's unpopularity on her flaws. Zweig tries to explain Marie Antoinette's flaws by claiming she was an average lady who, by chance, became Queen of France during a difficult moment for the monarchy. Fraser, Dunlop, and Lever blame the Queen's failures on her lack of education for her positions. Dunlop believes that events conspired against Marie Antoinette. Fraser, Lever, and Zweig are harsher on her yet sympathetic. Amand contended that the war against Austria, Prussia, and Britain fuelled resentment of Marie Antoinette in 1792-1793. She was despised for trying to stop the revolution from hurting her family, even though she failed. All historians agreed that Marie Antoinette was despised owing to rumours and propaganda. Before the process, the state sought to suppress them. After the revolution, the revolutionary government attacked Marie Antoinette. After Louis XVI's death, Marie Antoinette became a greater political danger. Her trial focused on her foreign birth, avarice, immorality, and betrayal since settling in France.