Obverse: Draped and uniformed bust of Louis XVI left, privy mark (roman temple) below. Legend: LUD . XVI . D . G . FR . . ET . NA . REX . Reverse: Crown above oval with three fleur de lis inside, flanked by olive branches. Legend: SIT NOMEN . DOMINI (I) BENEDICTUM (privy mark) 1780
Louis XVI or Louis-Auguste de France (Versailles, 23 August 1754 - Paris, 21 January 1793) ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1793. Suspended and arrested during the Insurrection of 10 August, he was tried by the National Convention, found guilty of treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793. He was the only king of France to be executed.
Although Louis was beloved at first, his indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to eventually view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Regime. After the abolition of the monarchy in 1793, the new republican government gave him the surname Capet, a reference to the nickname of Hugh Capet, founder of the Capetian dynasty, which the revolutionaries wrongly interpreted as a family name. He was also informally nicknamed Louis le Dernier (Louis the Last), a derisive use of the traditional nicknaming of French kings. Today, historians and French people in general have a more nuanced view of Louis XVI, who is seen as an honest man with good intentions, but who was probably unfit for the herculean task of reforming the monarchy, and who was used as a scapegoat by the revolutionaries.
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