Primary Source

Image of the King on Trial

  • Engraving of King Louis XVI standing trial


When he was charged, the King could have simply refused to participate on the grounds that the extant Constitution promised his immunity. But this defense, he knew, was useless and he elected to stand on his record. Among his attorneys was the distinguished and able old regime administrator Chrétlen–Guillaume de Malesherbes. Yet in the end, political necessities and the King’s own actions led to the inevitable results: guilty and execution.

"Image of the King on Trial," 1792, Bibliothèque Nationale de France

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Image of the King on Trial in World History Commons,