Unlike Leopold I, William III of England might be called more an ideological than a political opponent of Louis XIV, no matter his participation in various anti-French campaigns. In the frames of an eternal French-English confrontation, it was a rather curious battle of two chevaliers protecting their views.
William III, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of Holland, was a Protestant leader, known with his staunch religious position, that helped him to become the king of England. However, he was a perfect diplomat, interested in the total European peace. He regarded His Majesty as a mortal enemy and did all his best to oppose him and at the same time he established & fortified diplomatic contacts with France. For him Louis XIV was an enemy because His Majesty was the most powerful Catholic sovereign in Europe. Being a zealous Protestant, William could not accept any domination of that sort even in his worst nightmare. His friend Leopold I was a rather weak religious leader who had to balance between both religions in his own state. Besides his own faith was not as strong as William III’s one.
While Louis XIV regarded the Protestant England as a true peril for the whole Catholic world…and not without a reason. Having become the king of England, William III began spreading Protestantism & the religious toleration. Besides he did all possible to restrict the Roman Catholics’s liberty. The revocation of l’Edit de Nantes turned out to be profitable for William, as he opened gates of England for chased brothers in faith. He comprehended what a dangerous powers he gathered in his state and they would play their role in the next century when the time would come. Why? You will learn in the next post!
Vive le Roy! 🙂