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Louis XIV: the "Sun King"

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Louis XIV: the "Sun King". By: Ms. Susan M. Pojer Edited by Amy Elmore. Bell Ringer. Louis XIV and Absolutism. King Louis XIV and French Exploration What is an Absolute Monarch? Generate 2-3 hypotheses to this question:

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Louis XIV:


"Sun King"

By: Ms. Susan M. Pojer

Edited by Amy Elmore

louis xiv and absolutism
Louis XIV and Absolutism
  • King Louis XIV and French Exploration
  • What is an Absolute Monarch?
  • Generate 2-3 hypotheses to this question:
    • How was King Louis XIV able to maintain absolute power in France?
data set 1
Data Set 1
  • King Louis XIV created a whole bureaucracy, known as intendents. This bureaucracy was composed of people who were not from the hereditary, upper class of aristocracy.
  • Many of the intendents were tax collectors in France during the reign of Louis XIV. They were given these high ranking positions based on merit and work instead of on heredity.
data set 2
Data Set 2
  • Louis XIV limited the intendents’ terms to 2 years. Intendents who remained loyal to the king were allowed to remain in office.
  • The continuation of their high status in society depended on the stability of the government. The intendents were not appointed to oversee their own communities.
date set 3
Date Set 3
  • When viewing the paintings of Louis XIV, pay close attention to the King’s clothing and posture. Keep in mind that the majority of the population of France would never actually see the king in person. Instead they would see statues and paintings of the king, much like these.

L’ etat c’est moi!


date set 4
Date Set 4
  • Because of its great sixe, the King’s Palace at Versailles was like a small royal city. Its rich decoration and furnishings clearly showed Louis's wealth and power to everyone who came to the palace.
  • Hear, the entire French nobility was expected to take residence and to participate in elaborate ceremonies, festivals, and dinners. The elaborate ceremonies there impressed the king’s subjects and aroused the admiration and envy of all other European monarchs.

Versailles Statistics

  • 2,000 acres of grounds
  • 12 miles of roads
  • 27 miles of trellises
  • 200,000 trees
  • 210,000 flowers planted every year
  • 80 miles of rows of trees
  • 55 acres surface area of the Grand Canal
  • 12 miles of enclosing walls
  • 50 fountains and 620 fountain nozzles
  • 21 miles of water conduits
  • 3,600 cubic meters per hour: water consumed
  • 26 acres of roof
  • 51,210 square meters of floors
  • 2,153 windows
  • 700 rooms
  • 67 staircases
  • 6,000 paintings
  • 1,500 drawings and 15,000 engravings
  • 2,100 sculptures
  • 5,000 items of furniture and objects d'art
  • 150 varieties of apple and peach trees in the Vegetable Garden

The King’s Bed

The Queen’s Bed

data set 5
Data Set 5
  • King Louis XIV’s reign epitomized European absolutism, in which one person(generally a monarch) holds all power. This is supported by the political theory known as the divine right of kings, that is, the belief that the monarch’s authority is God-given and that to question that authority is to question God.
  • Louis reported to have boated “I am the state.” In his view, he and the state were one and the same.
data set 6
Data Set 6
  • Under Louis XIV, France was the most powerful country in Europe. The French Army, numbering 100,000 in peacetime and 400,000 in wartime, was far ahead of the other states’ armies in size, training, and weaponry.
  • Not since Augustus of Rome had there been a monarch who aided the arts as much as Louis. Under Louis, the chief purpose of art was no longer to glorify God, as it been in the Middle Ages. Now the purpose of are was to glorify the king and promote values that supported Louis’ absolute rule.
  • Write a one page response detailing at least three of the competing hypotheses for why Louis XIV was able to maintain effective absolute rule.
      • Include which hypothesis you agree with the most and why.
      • Remember there is not right or wrong answer as long as you support your ideas.