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The Balance of Power in Europe History Essay Sample

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“The Conflict between Louis XIV and William III

The balance of power in Europe is a belief in international relations that apply both in the historical and current nations that constitute Europe. In the periods in between the 16th and 17th centuries, the English foreign policy was instituted strategically so as to prevent the emergence of a single universal Monarch in Europe1. King Louis XIV and King William of England are known to have contributed immensely to shaping of the political landscape in Europe. Both of these monarchs had a unique policy as regards international affairs. This paper will look at the actions of Louis XIV towards international aims and how King William III of England undermines his plans.

King Louis XIV gained notoriety for using wars to achieve his policies. Throughout his reign as King of France, Louis XIV fought numerous wars. These wars were fought to advance the policies that aimed at expanding his domination all over Europe. The general trend of the wars fought by Louis’ forces was long, bloody and less successful. Louis main aim was to reclaim the natural borders of France.

To further his international agenda, King Louis used bribery and coercion to force countries into allying with his kingdom1. He achieved this end by giving financial rewards and incentives to monarchies that willingly agreed to be used by him as his puppets However, Louis tact in warfare and diplomacy lacked at some points. Unlike his predecessors, King William was non compliant, he refused to cooperate with the King of France. This occasioned the withdrawal of the support Louis was getting from England. Instead of fighting alongside the King of France, King William III fought against him. The King of England was highly opposed to Lois’ agenda of forming a single sovereign monarchy. To frustrate Louis foreign policy, William of Orange marshaled his troops behind Louis enemies and fought him bitterly. This action ensured that Louis XIV was contained and his plans thwarted.

International Relations in Europe

Louis tried to apply an ill informed foreign policy to fight the Dutch. This move was ill advised by a deep hatred, resentment and content that he held against the Dutch. This move was not taken lightly by King William. Being a Dutch himself, King William could not stand aside and let Louis XIV plunder his motherland. King Louis made a point of making a public spectacle of his enemies.3 King Louis XIV invasion of the province of Orange in France was taken to mean that he was attacking King William who had derived his name “William of Orange” from the Province. The Battle of Boyne led to the signing of the Peace Treaty of Ryswick between Louis XIV and William III in 16971. This treaty affected France’s ambition because it expressly prohibited King Louis from ever attacking or subverting the government of England.”

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