Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
King Louis XVI was the King of France from 1774 to 1792. He was the last king before the monarchy fell during the French Revolution and before the French First Republic’s declaration. He was found guilty of treason and was executed by guillotine in 1793.
See the fact file below for more information on the King Louis XVI or alternatively, you can download our 24-page King Louis XVI worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Loius-Auguste de France, better known as King Louis XVI, was born on August 23, 1754, and was given the title Duc de Berry, making him a junior member in the French Court.
- He was the second son of the Dauphin of France and the grandson of Louis XV of France. His mother was Marie-Josephe of Saxony, daughter of Frederick Augustus II, the King of Poland.
- He excelled in his studies, favoring Latin, history, geography, and astronomy, and became proficient in Italian and English. He also enjoyed physical activities such as hunting and rough play with his younger brothers.
- He did locksmithing as a hobby and was fascinated by science
- His parents favored his older brother, the heir apparent, and mostly ignored him. Louis-Auguste was a timid child; his tutors encouraged it, saying that this was a sign of strong character in monarchs. When his brother died in 1761 at age 9, he became the third-in-line to the throne.
- On December 20, 1765, his father died of tuberculosis; the 11-year-old Louis-Auguste replaced his father as Dauphin. His mother grieved the loss of her husband and followed him on March 13, 1767.
- His tutors failed to teach him good interpersonal skills, making him look indecisive and lacking self-confidence. They trained him not to let others read his mind. His imminent inheritance of the throne came when his grandfather, Louis XV, died in 1774. He was only 20 years old.
HIS MARRIAGE TO MARIE ANTOINETTE
- Louis-Auguste married the Habsburg Archduchess Maria Antonia, more widely known as Marie Antoinette, her French name, on May 16, 1770.
- It was an arranged marriage for the 15-year-old dauphin and 14-year-old archduchess to foster an alliance between Austria and France.
- It was met with hostility from the French public as it was Austria that pulled the country into the tragic Seven Years’ War.
- Aside from the alliance, the French public disliked the archduchess and accused her of being recklessly extravagant, promiscuous, and connected to Austria. She was rumored to be the mistress of Axel von Fersen, a Swedish nobleman.
- There were also intrigues and mockeries, written in libelles or political pamphlets about Louis XVI and the archduchess’ infertility. It stopped when, after eight years, Marie Antoinette was finally pregnant. She bore two sons and two daughters.
BECOMING A KING
- King Louis XVI assumed the throne in 1774. France was deeply in debt, and the resentment for monarchs was growing stronger. The country was on the verge of a revolution. The King was sincere in wanting to be loved by his people. His actions always intended to benefit people.
- He signed the Edict of Versailles or the Edict of Tolerance on November 7, 1787, which granted non-Roman Catholics civil and legal status in France and the legal right to practice their faith.
- He also eradicated serfdom on all land under the royal control, hoping that the other landowners would follow him.
- He founded a school of medicine, now known as Université Paris Descartes.
- Louis XVI ordered the abolition of torture to extract confessions, also known as “la question preparatoire”, on August 24, 1780. Eight years later, he abolished “torture prealable” or torture used before executions to get accomplices’ names.
- He put an end to labor tax, where French peasants were required to do 14 days of forced labor to build and repair the country roads, and replaced it with land tax. This angered the nobles of the French Court.
- When France suffered from poor harvests, King Louis XVI tried to make the tax system bearable by making the nobility pay much higher taxes. The nobles refused and the tax reform did not materialize.
- He supported the Americans’ fight for independence against Great Britain. This decision, however, worsened France’s financial situation.
- He refused to raise taxes. His finance minister Jacques Necker, who convinced him to support the American Revolution, took out large international loans. In addition, the first-ever public statement of the French crown expenses became public.
- His inability to address France’s financial problem angered the people, setting the French Revolution in motion. He was also accused of living a lavish lifestyle with his wife while their people went hungry.
FRENCH REVOLUTION SETTING IN
- France was near bankruptcy in the mid-1780s. Its King offered no solution and became austere and uncommunicative.
- In 1789, when the situation was rapidly deteriorating, he convened the Estates General, an advisory assembly of different socioeconomic classes including the clergy, nobility, and the commoners, to address the fiscal crisis. It did not go well.
- By June, the Third Estate proclaimed itself the National Assembly and set out to develop a constitution.
- The King resisted the National Assembly at first, calling it null and void. But when the uprising grew and a National Guard was formed to fight the King’s actions, he accepted the National Assembly’s authority.
- On July 14, crowds stormed the Bastille, a prison that became the symbol of the Bourbon monarchs, which marked the beginning of the French Revolution.
- The King refused to surrender his title. He appointed Breteuil to act as a diplomat and deal with foreign leaders to bring about a counterrevolution.
- Axel von Fersen helped Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette try to escape to the eastern frontier in June 1791 with their children hoping that they would raise an “armed congress” with the help of the emigres and other nations to recapture France. They were captured and brought back to Paris.
- They were viewed as traitors and were placed under tight house arrest.
LOUIS XVI’S EXECUTION
- On August 13, 1792, Louis was sent to the Temple, an ancient fortress in Paris used as a prison.
- Louis was stripped of all his titles and honors when the National Assembly declared France as a Republic on September 21. He was officially called Citizen Louis Capet.
- By November, an iron chest was found in Louis XVI bedroom containing proofs of Louis XVI counter-revolutionary plans and secret dealings.
- The former King was brought to a trial and was found guilty of treason.
- On January 21, 1793, Louis XVI was guillotined in the Place de la Révolution. His wife, Marie Antoinette, suffered the same fate 9 months later.
King Louis XVI Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the King Louis XVI across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use King Louis XVI worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about King Louis XVI who was the King of France from 1774 to 1792. He was the last king before the monarchy fell during the French Revolution and before the French First Republic’s declaration. He was found guilty of treason and was executed by guillotine in 1793.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- King Louis XVI Facts
- The King’s Childhood
- An Unfit King?
- The King’s Married Life
- The King’s Inquiry
- Until His Death
- King Louis XVI’s People
- The King’s Decisions
- Learning French
- The King’s Speech
- The King and the Nobles
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as King Louis XVI Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 25, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.