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Great Individuals: Akbar The Great Vs. Louis Xiv

925 words - 4 pages

Many great individuals have existed throughout history, but there are also those people who were the exact opposite of “great”. Akbar the Great and Louis XIV were both significant figures in the period from 1450 to 1750. Akbar the Great of India was born on October 15, 1542, in India while his father, Humayun, was in exile and became emperor at the age of 14 after his father’s death, ruling over the Mughal Empire until his own death in 1605. Furthermore, Louis XIV of France was born on September 5, 1638, to the Hapsburg Spanish Queen Anne of Austria and Louis XIII, king of France. After his father died when he was four and a half, Louis XIV came to the throne and ruled under a mentor ...view middle of the document...

Part of the reason why Akbar was a great individual/leader and Louis XIV was not is the fact that great leaders make changes and rule to benefit their people. With this in mind, Akbar the Great of India saw the “light” in his exposure to other beliefs and religions along with the diversity in Indian society that caused him to feel the need to improve the treatment of his Hindu and other non-Muslim subjects. On the other hand, King Louis XIV of France saw the “light” as a result of the Fronde noble rebellion and his need to control and limit the power of the nobles in order to keep/protect his power. It is clear that while Akbar was enlightened to help his people and improve the lives of his subjects, Louis XIV took a very different and selfish approach in taking power away from others to help himself. Throughout his reign over Mughal India, Akbar worked towards religious tolerance and equality among his people as well as improvement in the overall society by marrying a Hindu princess, eliminating Hindu restrictions (poll tax) and allowing them to follow their own codes of law and participate in government, while also bringing multiple faiths together in Din-i-Ilahi and creating a fair tax system for the people. In contrast to the “journey” of Akbar, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, had the nobles stay at the Palace of Versailles with no real power, reduced the power of the medieval guilds, and forced the country into excessive wars. Unlike Akbar the Great, Louis XIV did everything except rule to benefit the people, and he ended religious tolerance instead of promoting it, which is why Akbar the Great was a great individual and Louis XIV was...

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