Originally Posted by Denville
The French monarchy was a particularly disastrous one.. IMO, pretty much all of the Royal and Imperial families were not good for the country... and I don't believe it will ever be restored...
It depends on your POV. The Kingdom of France was for centuries one of the major European powers, in a way that the Republic probably never was. It also established an early colonial empire (in North America, India and the Caribbean) and was a great patron of architecture, and the arts and sciences. The French kings were relatively weak ( vis a vis the regional nobility for example) until the end of the 16th century at least and, even in the age of absolutism, they were no worse in their handling of foreign and domestic affairs than the kings of other European countries where the monarchy survived like Spain for example.
I agree that, compared to the success of the British monarchy in the 18th and 19th centuries ( the loss of the United States notwithstanding) , the French monarchy may now look “disastrous”, but, in context, it was hardly seen that way at the time. The fall of the monarchy was a consequence of its slow reaction to adapt / evolve coupled with unfortunate circumstances. I believe for example that the monarchy could have survived e.g. in 1792 and, later, after the fall of the Second Napoleonic Empire, if the Bourbons had been more flexible.