Louis XIV Essay

First Examination Essay Choose One

The First Exam will have 3 parts. The 1st is a section of words for you to identify briefly (18 points). The 2nd is a series of short answer questions (60 points). The 3rd part is this essay, worth 22 points. It must be typed and handed in with the exam booklet on exam day. Grammar, spelling and presentation count.  Deal with software/hardware/printer problems well in advance. No excuses accepted/acceptable.

For Unit I, youve read 6 documents, which historians call primary sources written by people who lived in the time we are studying. Now you will write a secondary source in effect, doing what historians do, which is reading primary sources and writing about their content, meaning, significance.  

So – budding historians – you will write an essay based on your reading of the selections we already read and discussed in Unit I. Choose one question below for your First Exam Essay to insert into the Blue Book upon completion of the exam.

Essay One: Louis XIVs Brand of Kingship

Explain Louis XIVs understanding of what it means to be a King, as he described in his Memoires, and then how he actually lived it based on Primi Viscontis and Saint-Simons description of life at Court.

Then answer this question – would Louis way of being a king and way he lived his life match up in any ways with Bossuets description of the 4 characteristics of royal authority? Demonstrate your position by quoting from the three documents directly in the essay.

Essay Two: Louis XIVs Brand of Living

Drawing upon Madame, Madame de Sevigns letters, Primi Viscontis observations, and Saint-Simon, explain how Louis XIV tamed the nobility (his personality, his daily activities, and Versailles itself). Did he successfully put into practice the resolutions of his Memoires made as a young man in March 1661? Demonstrate your position by quoting from these three documents directly in the essay.


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