Spanish and French Monarchial Beliefs - the Escorial and Versailles

1725 words 7 pages
The palace of Versailles was built by Louis XIV of France (1643-1715), and the Escorial was built by Philip II of Spain (1556-1598). By examining the aerial and frontal facades of these two palaces, it may be seen that there were many similarities and differences between the two kings' perception and practice of monarchy. Each king set his own goals for his life, and concluded as to how a monarch ought to behave. Both Louis XIV and Philip II had religious duties to pay attention to, organized the distribution of power in their respective kingdoms, communicated with other countries and entities through war and diplomacy, raised militaries, and made plans for the expansion of their own beliefs, thoughts and practices. Aside from these …show more content…

On the other hand, Philip II did not receive many emissaries or diplomats. He sent them out when need be, in order to prevent any unneeded wars, but never made much of an attempt at making alliances- at least in the quantities obtained by the French.
<br>In some ways the two kings' purpose for their militaries were strikingly similar. Both were created to expand the thoughts and beliefs of their chief commander (i.e. Louis XIV and Philip II, respectively), and to protect the people from whence the military came. Nonetheless, the purpose of the two militaries were also quite different. Louis XIV multiplied the number of the French men-at-arms, centralized the military and forbade anyone but the king to have a military, thus preventing war between nobles. This made the French military a very effective offensive and defensive force. Philip II, however, only bothered with his military because it was his key to the re-Catholicization of Europe. Thus, the Spanish military as more of a offensive force than a defensive force.
<br>The expansion of Louis XIV and Philip II's thoughts and beliefs was essential to the aspirations of each monarch. Louis XIV wished to make France appear great to all of Europe, and to establish an almost universal monarchy by obtaining the entire Spanish