BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 10139

Was Louis XVII a significant cause of the Revolution?

Was Louis XVII a significant cause of the Revolution?

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Key Info
  • Was Louis XVII a significant cause of the Revolution?
  • Duration: 01:25
  • What kind of person was the King of France in the 1780s? Was he the great leader that arists portrayed around the Palace of Versailles? Arthur Young visited the Palace of Versailles in 1787 and was able to witness, at close hand, the political actions of the most powerful man in France – the King. Young, though, finds a king whom he describes as being in the perfect position to make changes for his people but without the intellect or ability to succeed. Young foresees the problems the king will face and actually describes his predicament as a 'disaster... where events will soon ferment into a motion of their own'.
  • Subject:




  • Keywords: King, France, French, Revolution, Bastille, Calet, oppression, citizenship, rights, rights of man, King of France, Louis XVII, Marie Antoinette, prison, witness, Versailles, grandeur, palace
Ideas for use in class
  • As part of studies into the causes of the French Revolution of 1789, students could use this clip to consider the extent to which the King himself, his actions and abilities were key causes of the public breakdown in July 1789. How far was the king a short- or mediumterm cause of the revolution? Extension: research the witness, 'Arthur Young', and evaluate the weight of his evidence and its usefulness to the historian studying the key causes of the revolution of 1789. Extension: Teachers can print out paragraphs of his witness statements and students can convert them into 30 second news statements as though they were reporters in France in 1789.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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