To What Extent Was Marie Antoinette Responsible for Her Bad Reputation

Maria Antonia was born November 2, 1755 to Maria Theresa the archduchess of Austria and the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I in Vienna. She led a happy childhood in the royal household of Hapsburg.
In the 18th century France was the most powerful nation in the world. Yet the new arising power that was Great Britain was starting to cause it problems. France and Britain were becoming natural enemies and rivals, mainly in the battle for overseas empires.   Another developing powerhouse was Prussia in the north of Europe. Both of these prospering countries were starting to put France in an endangered position, creating competition for older European powers.
The final call for action came when Great Britain and Prussia made a pact and became allies. This was a move that France could not stand ignorant to and had to take action. The natural thing to do in that case was to make alliance with another great European power against the newly made pact between Prussia and Britian.
It happened that the next greatest power in the 18th century Europe was the vast empire that was Austria, an old, powerful dynasty. The archduchess came from a very famous and important royal family that reigned in Austria for a considerable amount of time. However Austria happened to be one of Frances oldest and traditional enemies, they fought wars and always remained mutually hostile. Yet that was the best option and regardless of their traditions and the past the alliance was sealed in a typical for 18th century manner:   marriage between the concerning nations. Louis XV, who was at the time the reigning King of France made an arrangement with Maria Antonia’s mother, the Austrian Empress that his grandson who was next in line to the throne would marry one of her daughters to cement the newly formed alliance.
The marriage was hence a completely arranged one, something that was not uncommon in those times, especially amongst royalty where it was the children’s duty to protect their country and...