1774 Louis XVI placed Turgot in charge of finances and introduced free circulation of grain. Founded School of Medicine in Paris.
1775 Droits d'octroi were reduced, prison reform begun, and the death penalty for deserters was abolished.
1776 The king signed the six edicts of Turgot comprising the abolition of the corvee. The parlements resisted the edicts, preventing them from becoming law. In the same year he reduced his household.
1778 More taxes reduced.
1779 The king abolished servitude and other reforms were made.
1780 Further reductions in the Royal household were made, hospital reform was begun, prison reform continued, most torture was abolished.
1784 Relief given to Jews.
1786 More hospital reform, aid to the deaf, and provisions made for lost children.
1787 Steps taken towards the total abolition of the corvee, more reductions in royal household, civil rights accorded to Jews and Protestants.
1788 All forms of torture were abolished, greater freedom given to press, steps towards abolition of lettres de cachet.
All of the above is taken from Nesta Webster's Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette during the Revolution, but it is a matter of public record. Anyone who thinks Louis XVI was a lazy, sluggish, do-nothing king need only examine the six volumes of laws passed during his reign. He wanted to reform the feudal tax system, which is why he called the Estates-General. If all the nobles and wealthy clergy had been minimally taxed, there would have been no deficit.
The enemies of the king were determined his plans were not to succeed. They had been planning for years. As Marie-Antoinette wrote to her brother Leopold II in August 1790 about the society she had once thought to be innocuous: Be well on your guard where you are with regard to all associations of Freemasons. You must already have been warned that it is by this means that all the monsters here count on attaining the same end in every country. Oh, God, preserve my fatherland and you from such misfortunes. Share