Big and significant things that could broadly impact the course of history are planned ahead of time. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so details should be prepared ahead of time to ensure that the execution and outcome would be as desired. However, Isaac Newton also said that any action has an opposite and equal reaction. While referring to the laws of motion, the same principle could be applied in life: Every little effort could change the world, and sometimes small actions could cause massive changes that massively affect the course of history. Here were some last-minute decisions that seemed small at the time, but changed the course of history.

Queen Marie Antoinette’s Fancy Carriage

Marie Antoinette Josèphe Jeane was born an archduchess of Austria and was the daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I. She became the dauphine of France at 14 after her marriage to Louis-Auguste, the heir to the French throne and the reason she became a queen.

Marie-Antoinette, 1775 (After Jean-Baptiste André Gautier-Dagoty , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Known for her ignorance and sympathies for her native Austria, one of France’s perceived enemies, she became one of the reasons for the French Revolution. Not only that, but her lavish lifestyle angered the struggling working class.

When they were trying to escape from the angry mob, the Swedish Axel von Fersen urged them to use two light carriages to make it quicker for them to reach their 200-mile journey from Montmedy. There were claims that Louis and Marie-Antoinette decided to use a heavy, conspicuous coach drawn by six horses because they did not want to split the royal family up. However, some said that she wished for a fancier one. Whichever it was, the last-minute decision resulted in a slower journey, and as a result, the mob caught up to them, and they were captured and soon executed.