Machiavelli's suggestion that a ruler should rule like both a lion and a fox is exemplified to very different degrees with the monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, and Louis XI of France. Isabella and Ferdinand were strong, ferocious leaders who implemented local and state level authority impressively. They also cleverly established a guilded appearance as religious figures connected through diplomatic alliance to the Catholic church. They follow Machiavelli's suggestion to the T. Louis XI of France, tells a different tale. Although he was known as the “Spider King”, infamous of his scheming, he was cleverly created footholds in the capitalistic realm of his country. His greatest downfall was his lack of foresight, and sheepish tendencies toward reclusiveness and isolation.
Isabella and Ferdinand were supreme rulers. They established extreme, and savage local authorities that suppressed violence in their local city levels. They also brutally enforced the reconquista, the exile of Jews and Muslims. This gave them the appearance of being fierce, and proud. They were able to properly govern their people, protecting them from violence also keeping Catholicism at its prime.
Isabella and Ferdinand were also considerably sly and clever as well. They created the appearance that they were extreme religious fanatics, while in actuality they were not. This granted them support from their followers, and also allowed them to create alliances with the Catholic church. With such alliances like Pope Alexander, they were able to gain footholds with the choosing of the bishops not only in Spain, but also in the new American Hispanic territories.
It can alos be taken into consideration that Isabella and Ferdinand were able to also put the crown at the center of their government by training men of the middle class in Roman law, so that they were capable of ruling on a royal council, removing all outside nobility and aristocratic influence. Yet again, another...