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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A 5 page essay on Charlemagne's only legitimate son. The writer posits that although Louis was a weak governor in many ways, which resulted in his failure to unite Germany, he instilled within all of the Germanic tribes the desire for study. Bibliography lists 2 sources.
5 pages (~225 words per page)
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Empire held by Charlemagne. Although after 814 Louis held one-third of Charlemagnes kingdom-he did not hold that which was held by his grandfather Pepin the Short, the first mayor
to become king of the Franks, or his father-a strong sense of government for the people. Still, he left behind one legacy of Charlemagnes-the thirst for knowledge.
Perhaps because he was his only legitimate son, his father entrusted him with a life very much like his-which was dedicated to reforming and civilizing
the barbarians-and, as James Allen Cabaniss points out, Louis was not up to this assignment-not because he did not inherit the temperament to tame the barbarian hordes in Germany, but
because he was interested in scientific pursuits. His weaknesses left him constantly battling the strong barbarians and even his own sons over problems caused by his weakness for study.
Cabaniss, translating from the original Latin documents, draws the portrait of a man destined to live in the shadow of his father.
His short-lived illegitimate brothers would fare better under the historians pen, but perhaps this is because their father gave them territories which he had, for the most part, already
begun to tame and over which he continued to reign until his death. This Charlemagne did not do for Louis. He gave Louis the barbarous Germany countryside to
tame, rather than France. "By the sword and the cross," Charlemagne (Charles the Great) became master of Western Europe ("Historical Charlemagne"). The
student researching this topic may recognize, however, that Louis was distracted from a similar campaign by the facts of life and personal ambitions that were not consistent with a ruler.