Louis the Great

Contributor: Ryann Maginn. Lesson ID: 12401

Do you have a nickname? How would you like to be "the Great" or have a name that's a number? Europe's longest-reigning king had his ups and downs, not the least of which was the French Revolution!

categories

World

subject
History
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Which king is shown below? He held the longest reign in European history. What was so "great" about him?

Louis the Great

Louis XIV (XIV is the Roman numeral for 14), also known as Louis the Great, was France’s Sun King and reigned from 1643-1715.

This was the longest reign in European history. During France’s classical age, Louis XIV led an absolute monarchy.

Absolute monarchy means ruled by one person, typically a king or queen.

King Louis had several nicknames:

  • The Sun King
  • Louis the Great
  • Louis the Grand Monarch

Throughout his reign of power, Louis fought in four wars:

War of Devolution 1667-1668

King Louis XIV, 1668

Image by Musée de la Chartreuse de Douai, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.

Dutch War 1672-1678

Louis XIV crosses the Rhine at Lobith, 1672

Image by Adam Frans van der Meulen, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.

War of the Grand Alliance 1688-1697

Siege of Namur, 1692

Image by Jean-Baptiste Martin, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.

War of the Spanish Succession 1701-1714

Battle of Villaviciosa, 1710

Image by Jean Alaux, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.

King Louis XIV held a long and powerful reign in France. He fought many wars that led to higher taxes for his people. In addition, Louis lived a very luxurious lifestyle in his palace at Versailles. For these reasons, France went heavily into debt and became outraged towards their king, which ultimately led to a revolt that helped ignite the French Revolution.

Imagine one person holding so much power for most of his or her lifetime.

  • Given what you’ve learned so far about King Louis, how do you think he treated the people living in his country?
  • Do you think he was nice to people that were not part of the wealthy class?

Share your thoughts with your parents or teacher, then move on to the Got It? section, where you will watch a short video about King Louis’ reign.

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