Throughout Western History there have been many rulers who have shaped the way curtain states are run. Some rulers, such as James I of England, Louis XIV of France, Frederick William (elector of Brandenburg), William III of Orange state-holder of the Netherlands, and Peter the Great of Russia actually formed these states. Without these people, Western History as we know it might have turned out completely different.
James I came to throne in England, having already been king in Scotland for 36 years. He tried to create a full governmental union, but he failed. He attempted to summon Parliament several times, once to create a “great Contract” that would require Parliament to pay a regular income to help meet government costs, his way of trying to settle royal finances. But this too failed, mostly because he felt a false security in this, believing he can spend as much as he’d like. He decided to make money by selling government offices and positions, taking it to extremes by not actually selling it to someone who can run the office, but merely someone who can afford it. James was a man of great ideas but he was just too lazy to carry them out.
Louis XIV was different than James I in that he wanted to rule alone, with no help from anyone. His rule became known as absolutism. He stabilized France during his reign and it became the ideal culture. Some refer to him as the ideal king because he done what many kings tried to do for centuries, making French cultures the best in the world.
Frederick Williams adopted Louis’ absolutist idea during his reign, even though he didn’t like the French court. Williams restored Hohenzollern after being destroyed during the Thirty Years’ war. This led to the foundation of a Prussian monarchy. His son succeeded him, continuing his reign the way he started it.
William III of Orange was first highly recognized when he stopped Louis XIV’s troops from invading the Dutch Republic. This began a lifelong rivalry between the two. He became the Dutch ruler and was soon asked by a group of suspicious Protestants to invade England in an attempt to take down James II. James fled and little blood was shed. William was then offered the throne by parliament, along with his wife Mary. They passed a “Bill of Rights” that gave Parliament shared power over the army and taxes. During this time constitutionalism overtook absolutism.
Peter the Great continued to use absolutism as he brought Russia to great power. He was very good at raising his army and created an army of 200,000 men. He was very disliked but his power scared people from defying him. He built St. Petersburg to show that Russia was opening to the west. He wanted it to be viewed as the break from Russia’s past but regardless of how hard he tried, after his death his succession didn’t continue.