Marie_Antoinette - Marie Antoinette Early Life Marie...

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Marie AntoinetteEarly LifeMarie Antoinette, the last queen of France, was born Maria Antonia Josepha Joanna onNovember 2, 1755, in Vienna, Austria. She was the 15th and second to last child of MariaTheresa, empress of Austria, and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I. Marie Antoinette lived arelatively carefree childhood. She received an education typical of an 18th century aristocraticgirl, focusing primarily on religious and moral principles, while her brothers studied moreacademic subject matter.With the conclusion of the Seven Years' War in 1763, the preservation of a fragile alliancebetween Austria and France became a priority for Empress Maria Theresa; cementing alliancesthroughmatrimonialconnections was a common practice among European royal families at thetime. In 1765, Louis, dauphin de France (also known as Louis Ferdinand), the son of Frenchmonarch Louis XV, died. His death left the king's 11-year-old grandson, Louis-Auguste, heir tothe French throne. Within months, Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste were pledged to marryeach other.MarriageIn 1768, Louis XV dispatched a tutor to Austria to instruct his grandson's future wife. The tutorfound Marie Antoinette "more intelligent than has been generally supposed," but added that since"she is rather lazy and extremelyfrivolous, she is hard to teach." Marie Antoinette was a child ofonly 14 years, delicately beautiful, with gray-blue eyes and ash-blonde hair. In May 1770, she setout for France to be married, escorted by 57 carriages, 117 footmen and 376 horses.
Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste were married on May 16, 1770. The young woman did notadjust well, however, to a married life for which she was obviously not ready, and her frequentletters home revealed intense homesickness. "Madame, my very dear mother," she wrote in oneletter, "I have not received one of your dear letters without having the tears come to my eyes."She alsobristledat some of the rituals she was expected to perform as a lady of the French royalfamily. "I put on my rouge and wash my hands in front of the whole world," she complained,

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Term
Fall
Professor
Michael Templeton
Tags
Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI of France, Francis I Marie Antoinette

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