Lesson Plan - Get It!
Which king is shown below? He held the longest reign in European history. What was so "great" about him?
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
Image by Musée de la Chartreuse de Douai, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.
Dutch War 1672-1678
Image by Adam Frans van der Meulen, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.
War of the Grand Alliance 1688-1697
Image by Jean-Baptiste Martin, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.
War of the Spanish Succession 1701-1714
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.