The role of the king to the public during the reigns of Louis XIV of France and Philip II of Spain were not predetermined, so each king created for himself what he thought monarchy ought to be. Louis XIV and Philip II were both absolutists, and believed that they should be the supreme rulers of France and Spain, respectively. However, Louis XIV did not want to be a national symbol serving no legitimate purpose. He wished to control the military, economy, foreign affairs, and the administration of the kingdom and of justice. He believed that the king of France should be the best that France has to offer- being served by even the most powerful lords of France. Conversely, Philip II thought of himself as Catholic first, and king of Spain second. Opposite to Louis XIV, Philip II preferred to sit in the Escorial and pray, pour over records, and live more as a monk than as Louis XIV's conception of a king. Philip II never wanted to take much of an active part in the administration of... [continues]
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