The 16th and 17th centuries, times of great change, were lived through by some of the most influential leaders known today. Two of which were Louis XIV and Peter the Great. These monarchs, different as the separate continents they lived on, shared only minor similarities such as absolutism and territorial expansion.
Louis XIV was for the flair, fun, and fancy, focusing on the fact that he was the ‘sun’ of France. A patron of the arts, Louis’ policies mainly focused on improving his own social standing and power over his nobility, making sure they were all wrapped around his little finger. He let Colbert and Mazarin do the rest. One of Louis’ main goals was to bear whiteness or be the cause of the destruction of the Hapsburgs who were now declining in power. Louis also made sure that the church of France didn’t mess with his idea of divine right, bullying anyone who stood out against it by throwing them in jail or killing them. Another difference between the two monarchs was the state of the nobility. Louis’ French nobles inherited titles based on their family and their money. Peter the Great’s Russia had a few of the same bases but the two monarchs themselves were completely different. Like Louis, Peter had nobility called Junkers, but unlike him, these people earned their titles by their merit and their service to the emperor (Peter). Also, Peter always had his absolute monarchy due to the fact that Russia was still living in a medieval living style. Peter’ main goal in his life was to basically copy everything from Louis, or rather, Western Europe, making people dress, talk, and act like Westerners. Peter was also very militaristic, like Louis, fighting the Great Northern War against Sweden in order to obtain land on which to build a warm water port (St. Petersburg), but Louis didn’t personally torture his war prisoners and enemies. Peter also wanted to adopt mercantilist policies so as to bring more western culture into Russia. Even with their differences,...
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