Phillip Ii and Louis Xiv Essay

653 Words3 Pages
Autocratic leaders have exercised authority over their countries and the lives of their people throughout history. Countries and their people have been both helped and hurt by the actions of autocratic leaders. Phillip II of Spain and Louis XIV of France are examples of such leaders. Historically, autocratic leaders have both helped and hurt their countries and their people over their authority. Phillip II of Spain was a shy, serious, very religious, and a very hard working ruler. Phillip II wouldn’t allow anyone to help him. Phillip II seized the Portugal kingdom when the king died in 1580 without an heir, and he was his nephew. He had and empire circling the globe after he seized Portugal. American mines supplied Spain with gold. His empire provided him with 339,000 pounds of gold by 1600. 16,000 tons of silver bullion was unloaded from Spanish galleons in 1550 and 1650. The king of Spain claimed between 1/4th and a 1/5th of every shipload of treasure as his royal share. Spain was able to support a large standing army of about 50,000 soldiers (Army and Navy). Philip believed it was his duty to defend Catholicism against the Muslims of the Ottoman Empire and the Protestants of Europe. In 1571, the pope called on all Catholic princes to take up arms against the mounting power of the Ottoman Empire. More than 200 Spanish and Venetian ships defeated a large Ottoman fleet at a fierce battle near Lepanto. In 1588, Phillip launches the Spanish Armada in an attempt to punish Protestant subjects who had rebelled against Phillip, but this fleet was defeated. Historically, autocratic leaders have both helped and hurt their countries and their people over their authority. Louis XIV was the most powerful ruler in French history. In his view, he and the state were one and the same. “L’etat c’est moi.” means I am the state, which he stated. Louis weakened power of the nobles

More about Phillip Ii and Louis Xiv Essay

Open Document