In the time from 1500ad to 1800ad there were a few countries with powerful leaders. Spain, France, England, Russia and a few smaller countries of central Europe. They may not be well known but they were there.
Phillip II was the ruler of Spain. He lived from 1527 to 1598. Because he was the defender of Catholicism he was the most powerful ruler in Europe at the time. Phillip demanded reports from his advisers and would conduct discussions in his office. His empire went across the world and used it aggressively. When the pope wanted to stop the Muslims of Ottoman in 1571 Phillip sent his army like a true crusader. His army was huge 50,000 solders. Thanks to all the gold and silver brought to Phillip he could afford such a powerful army. Phillip inherited Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and the American colonies from his dad Ferdinand. Ferdinand got his stuff from Charles V, who happened to be his brother. Charles divided his empire of Spain after being at war with Germany and the Turks.
Henry IV ruler of France got into power after his dad Henry of Navarre and his brothers died. Henry IV gave up Protestantism and became a Catholic. He devoted his time in rebuilding France after the Huguenots and the Catholics fought eight spiritual wars. Henry's son Louis XIII was a weak leader so he got help from Cardinal Richelieu. Richelieu was the leader of the Catholics in France and made sure no one would cross him. He forbade walls around cities so no one could rebel against the king. He worried of Hapsburg gaining power so he involved France in the Thirty Year War. Louis XIV became king in 1643 and was Richelieu's successor. He tried to keep France strong and keep it from rebellions.
Maria Theresa became ruler of all the Hapsburg territories. She got into power from her father who was Charles VI. He spent most of his time in power trying to get his daughter in power. Maria...