Normally, in a monarchy, the successor is determined by bloodline. In a Republic, the successor is determined by an election. There are a number of people who seriously dislike monarchies, and then there are those who prefer it…they think it gives their nation stability and continuity. Be that as it may, when enough people decide to end a monarchy, they can get the job done. Such was the case in Revolutionary France, when the Legislative Assembly voted to abolish the monarchy and establish the First Republic.
Things had been going downhill for King Louis XVI and a year before the Legislative Assembly voted, he has no other choice but to approve a new constitution that stripped him of much of his power. This was the beginning of the end for King Louis XVI. Louis ascended to the French throne in 1774 as all monarchs do, by inheritance. From the start, he was unsuited to deal with the severe financial problems that he inherited from his predecessors, along with the throne. Unfortunately, not all those who would inherit the throne of a nation are suited for that leadership.
The situation continued to escalate, and in 1789, food shortages and economic crises led to the outbreak of the French Revolution. By August of 1792, things escalated to a boil. At that point, King Louis and his queen, Mary-Antoinette, were imprisoned and in September the monarchy was abolished. Soon after their imprisonment, evidence of Louis’ counterrevolutionary activity with foreign nations was discovered. He was put on trial for treason. I don’t know the details of the case for treason, but of course, he could not have been put on trial before the changes that were forced upon him in the changing of the constitution. It is also possible that there were no legitimate charges to used, until they forced the changing of the constitution. I’m sure there are opinions on both sides of the issue.
Louis was convicted and condemned to death by a narrow majority in January of 1793, and on January 21, 1793, he walked steadfastly to the guillotine and was executed. His head was held high, and he proclaimed his innocence to the very end. Nine months later, his queen, Marie-Antoinette followed him to the guillotine. Neither of them ever confessed to the crimes for which they were committed, and I don’t suppose we will ever know the truth about the matter.