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Louis XVI, king of France, . Ascending the throne in 1774, Louis inherited a realm driven nearly bankrupt through the opulence of his predecessors Louis XIV and XV. After donning the crown, things only got worse. The economy spiraled downward (unemployment in Paris in 1788 is estimated at 50%), crops failed, the price of bread and other food soared. The people were not happy. He married Austrian Marie Antoinette targeted as prime source of the problems.