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Charles V,1500–1558, Holy Roman emperor (1519–58) and, as Charles I, king of Spain (1516–56); son of Philip IPhilip I
(Philip the Handsome), 1478–1506, Spanish king of Castile (1506), archduke of Austria, titular duke of Burgundy, son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and Mary of Burgundy.
..... Click the link for more information. and JoannaJoanna
(Joanna the Mad), 1479–1555, Spanish queen of Castile and León (1504–55), daughter of Ferdinand II and Isabella I. She succeeded to Castile and León at the death of her mother.
..... Click the link for more information. of Castile, grandson of Ferdinand II of Aragón, Isabella of Castile, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and Mary of Burgundy.
Born at Ghent, Charles was brought up in Flanders by his aunt, Margaret of AustriaMargaret of Austria,
1480–1530, Hapsburg princess, regent of the Netherlands; daughter of Emperor Maximilian I. She was betrothed (1483) to the dauphin of France, later King Charles VIII, and was transferred to the guardianship of Louis XI of France (see Arras, Treaty of,
..... Click the link for more information. , who was regent for him in the Netherlands. She and his tutor, Adrian of Utrecht (later Pope Adrian VIAdrian VI,
1459–1523, pope (1522–23), a Netherlander (b. Utrecht) named Adrian Florensz; successor of Leo X. He taught at Louvain and was tutor of the young prince, later Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
..... Click the link for more information. ), were the chief influences in his youth. Charles inherited a vast empire. The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Artois, and Franche-Comté (or Free County of Burgundy) came to him on the death (1506) of his father. Aragón, Navarre, Granada, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, Spanish America, and joint kingship with his mother (who was insane) over Castile devolved upon him at the death (1516) of Ferdinand II.
Arriving in Spain in 1517, Charles was distrusted as a foreigner. His initial actions only heightened the resentment against him. He brusquely dismissed Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros, who was regent of Castile after Ferdinand's death, appointed Flemish favorites to high office, and increased taxation to finance his imperial ambitions. On the death (1519) of his grandfather Maximilian IMaximilian I,
1459–1519, Holy Roman emperor and German king (1493–1519), son and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. As emperor, he aspired to restore forceful imperial leadership and inaugurate much-needed administrative reforms in the increasingly
..... Click the link for more information. he inherited the Hapsburg lands in Austria. After bribing the electorselectors,
in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, the princes who had the right to elect the German kings or, more exactly, the kings of the Romans (Holy Roman emperors).
..... Click the link for more information. , he was chosen Holy Roman emperor in succession to his grandfather, and in 1520 he departed for Germany.
Struggle for Empire
Charles sought to become leader of a universal empire. His imperial dreams were encouraged by M. A. di GattinaraGattinara, Mercurino Arborio, marchese di
, 1465–1530, Italian statesman and jurist, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. After a distinguished legal career in his native Piedmont, he served Margaret of Austria as counselor.
..... Click the link for more information. , whose influence replaced that of Charles's Flemish advisers. The chief problems Charles faced were the Protestant ReformationReformation,
religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th cent. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church (see Roman Catholic Church) and ultimately led to the freedom of dissent (see Protestantism).
..... Click the link for more information. in Germany; the dynastic conflict with King Francis IFrancis I,
1494–1547, king of France (1515–47), known as Francis of Angoulême before he succeeded his cousin and father-in-law, King Louis XII. Wars with the Holy Roman Emperor
..... Click the link for more information. of France, particularly for supremacy in Italy; and the advance of the Ottoman Turks.
Shortly after his election Charles began his lifelong struggle with France (see Italian WarsItalian Wars,
1494–1559, series of regional wars brought on by the efforts of the great European powers to control the small independent states of Italy. Renaissance Italy was split into numerous rival states, most of which sought foreign alliances to increase their
..... Click the link for more information. ), which required immense expenditures. In 1520 he signed the Treaty of Gravelines with King Henry VIIIHenry VIII,
1491–1547, king of England (1509–47), second son and successor of Henry VII. Early Life
In his youth he was educated in the new learning of the Renaissance and developed great skill in music and sports.
..... Click the link for more information. of England, and in 1521 he invaded N Italy, then controlled by France. The fiscal onus for the war rested on Spain and provoked violent reaction, particularly in Castile, which resented Charles's high-handedness in obtaining funds from the Castilian Cortes. Toledo, Segovia, and other Castilian cities revolted in the brief war (1520–21) of the comuneros. Initially aimed at limiting the royal power, the uprising was later marked by violent class warfare. It was put down at the battle of Villalar; Juan de PadillaPadilla, Juan de
, c.1490–1521, Spanish revolutionary leader in the war of the comuneros [municipalities] against Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Charles's conduct and his foreign advisers offended Spanish national feeling and led to a rising in Toledo under Padilla's
..... Click the link for more information. and other leaders were executed. Charles later won the loyalty of his Spanish subjects.
In Germany, at the fateful Diet of Worms (see Worms, Diet ofWorms, Diet of,
1521, most famous of the imperial diets held at Worms, Germany. It was opened in Jan., 1521, by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. After disposing of other business, notably the question of the Reichsregiment, the diet took up the question of the recalcitrant behavior
..... Click the link for more information. ) in 1521, Charles secured a satisfactory compromise regarding the ReichsregimentReichsregiment
[Ger.,=government of the empire], imperial council created by the Diet of Augsburg in 1500. It was intended to form the executive branch of the government of the Holy Roman Empire.
..... Click the link for more information. but unyieldingly opposed the doctrines of Martin Luther. In his written opinion, Charles declared himself ready to stake his dominions, friends, blood, life, and soul on the extinction of heresy. Late in May, 1521, he signed the Edict of Worms, outlawing Luther and his followers. However, Charles's preoccupation with the war with France prevented him from checking the spread of Luther's doctrines. Also, Charles was not always supported by the popes, who were concerned with the threat to their temporal power and independence posed by imperial domination of Italy.
After the French defeat at Pavia (1525) and the capture of Francis I, Charles seemed triumphant in Italy; Francis signed (1526) the humiliating Treaty of Madrid, by which he renounced his Italian claims and ceded Burgundy to Charles. On his release, however, Francis repudiated the treaty and organized the anti-imperial League of Cognac. The pope, Venice, Milan, and Florence joined the league. Charles sent an imperial army to Italy composed mostly of German Lutherans. Led first by Georg von FrundsbergFrundsberg, Georg von
, 1473–1528, German commander in the service of Holy Roman emperors Maximilian I and Charles V. He was the principal organizer and commander of the imperial Landsknechte, a mercenary infantry.
..... Click the link for more information. and then by Charles de BourbonBourbon, Charles, duc de
, 1490–1527, constable of France and governor of Milan. He distinguished himself at the battle of Marignano (1515) in the Italian Wars between King Francis I and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
..... Click the link for more information. , the army defeated the league and then marched on Rome, where the force sacked (1527) the city and besieged Pope Clement VIIClement VII,
c.1475–1534, pope (1523–34), a Florentine named Giulio de' Medici; successor of Adrian VI. He was the nephew of Lorenzo de' Medici and was therefore first cousin of Pope Leo X.
..... Click the link for more information. . Although the "German Fury" was disavowed by Charles, he profited from the outrage, extorting large sums of money from the pope.
The Treaty of Cambrai (see Cambrai, Treaty ofCambrai, Treaty of,
called the Ladies' Peace,
treaty negotiated and signed in 1529 by Louise of Savoy, representing her son Francis I of France, and Margaret of Austria, representing her nephew Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
..... Click the link for more information. ) with France and the Peace of Barcelona with the pope (both 1529) confirmed Charles's position in Italy and secured his coronation as Holy Roman emperor at Bologna (1530). Charles was the last German emperor to be crowned by the pope. His brother Ferdinand, king of Bohemia and Hungary (later Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand IFerdinand I,
1503–64, Holy Roman emperor (1558–64), king of Bohemia (1526–64) and of Hungary (1526–64), younger brother of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
..... Click the link for more information. ), was elected king of the Romans, or German king, in 1531. Charles, who had awarded Ferdinand the Austrian duchies in 1521, delegated increasing authority to him in Germany, which was then torn by religious and social struggles. The rebellion (1522–23) of Franz von SickingenSickingen, Franz von
, 1481–1523, German knight. Placed under the ban of the Holy Roman Empire because of his profitable forays along the Rhine, he served King Francis I of France and then made peace with Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, whose service he entered.
..... Click the link for more information. was followed by the more serious Peasants' WarPeasants' War,
1524–26, rising of the German peasants and the poorer classes of the towns, particularly in Franconia, Swabia, and Thuringia. It was the climax of a series of local revolts that dated from the 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. (1524–26), and the Swabian League in 1531 made way for the Lutheran Schmalkaldic LeagueSchmalkaldic League
, alliance formed in 1531 at Schmalkalden by Protestant princes and delegates of free cities. It was created in response to the threat (1530) by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to stamp out Lutheranism.
..... Click the link for more information. . The Reformation progressed, and the breach between Catholics and Protestants widened.
Before dealing with the religious problem, Charles had to make peace abroad. Ottoman assaults in Austria and Hungary and along the Mediterranean coast posed a serious threat to the Hapsburg lands. In 1535, Charles launched a successful expedition against Tunis. In E Europe, Ferdinand attempted to hold back the Ottomans. In 1536, war broke out with Francis I over the succession to Milan. Intent on recouping in Italy, Francis allied himself with the Ottoman sultan, Sulayman ISulayman I
or Sulayman the Magnificent,
1494–1566, Ottoman sultan (1520–66), son and successor of Selim I. He is known as Sulayman II when considered as a successor of King Solomon of the Bible and Qur'an.
..... Click the link for more information. . Although a truce ended the fighting with Francis in 1538, the Ottomans continued their assaults on the Italian coast. A second expedition by Charles, this time to Algiers, was unsuccessful (1541). In 1542, Francis, again allied with Sulayman, renewed warfare. Charles joined (1543) with Henry VIII and in 1544 forced Francis to make peace at CrépyCrépy, Treaty of
, 1544, concluded by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and King Francis I of France at Crépy-en-Laonnois (formerly spelled Crespy), Aisne dept., N France.
..... Click the link for more information. .
A subsequent truce with the Ottomans, however humiliating, gave Charles and Ferdinand some respite. At last the way opened for the Counter Reformation, ardently desired by Charles and forwarded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, when the Council of Trent (see Trent, Council ofTrent, Council of,
1545–47, 1551–52, 1562–63, 19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, convoked to meet the crisis of the Protestant Reformation.
..... Click the link for more information. ) convened in 1545. Turning on the Protestant princes of Germany, Charles split their ranks by winning over MauriceMaurice,
1521–53, duke (1541–47) and elector (1547–53) of Saxony. A member of the Albertine branch of the ruling house of Saxony, he became duke of Albertine Saxony during the Protestant Reformation.
..... Click the link for more information. of Saxony and others, attacked the Schmalkaldic League in 1546, defeated (1547) John Frederick IJohn Frederick I,
1503–54, elector (1532–47) and duke (1547–54) of Saxony; last elector of the Ernestine branch of the house of Wettin. Like his father, John the Steadfast, whom he succeeded, John Frederick was a devout Lutheran.
..... Click the link for more information. of Saxony at Mühlberg, and imprisoned Philip of HessePhilip of Hesse
, 1504–67, German nobleman, landgrave of Hesse (1509–67), champion of the Reformation. He is also called Philip the Magnanimous. Declared of age in 1518, he helped suppress the Peasants' War.
..... Click the link for more information. . At the Diet of Augsburg (1547) he secured the incorporation of the Netherlands into the Hapsburg hereditary possessions and forced through the Augsburg Interim (1548), a compromise profession of doctrine that he then tried to impose on the Protestants with the help of Spanish troops. In 1552, Maurice of Saxony changed sides again, called in Henry II of France, Francis's successor, and even attempted to capture Charles at Innsbruck.
Withdrawal from Power
Balked in his efforts to recapture Metz, which had been seized by Henry II, and realizing the necessity of compromising with Protestantism, Charles preferred to empower Ferdinand to treat, and he left Germany, never to return. Ferdinand negotiated the religious Peace of Augsburg (see Augsburg, Peace ofAugsburg, Peace of,
1555, temporary settlement within the Holy Roman Empire of the religious conflict arising from the Reformation. Each prince was to determine whether Lutheranism or Roman Catholicism was to prevail in his lands (cuius regio, eius religio).
..... Click the link for more information. ), but war with France continued. It ended after Charles's death, with the Treaty of Cateau-CambrésisCateau-Cambrésis, Treaty of
, 1559, concluded at Le Cateau, France, by representatives of Henry II of France, Philip II of Spain, and Elizabeth I of England. It put an end to the 60-year conflict between France and Spain, begun with the Italian Wars, in which Henry VIII
..... Click the link for more information. (1559), a triumph for Spain.
In his remaining years Charles made a series of abdications that left the Hapsburg dominions divided between Austria and Spain. In 1554 he gave Naples and Milan to his son Philip, whom he married to Queen Mary I of England; in 1555 he turned over the Netherlands to Philip, and in 1556 he made him king of Spain and Sicily as Philip II. In 1556 also, he practically surrendered the empire to Ferdinand, and in 1558 he formally abdicated as emperor. Although he retired (1556) to the monastery of Yuste, he took an active interest in politics until his death. Two of his illegitimate children were Don John of AustriaJohn of Austria,
1545–78, Spanish admiral and general; illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He was acknowledged in his father's will and was recognized by his half-brother, Philip II of Spain. In 1569 he fought against the Morisco rebels in Granada.
..... Click the link for more information. and Margaret of ParmaMargaret of Parma,
1522–86, Spanish regent of the Netherlands; illegitimate daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. She was married (1536) to Alessandro de' Medici (d. 1537) and (1538) to Ottavio Farnese, duke of Parma.
..... Click the link for more information. .
During Charles's rule the Spanish Empire was tremendously expanded in the New World. In Italy, Spanish power had become paramount. Even England seemed about to fall to Spain through Philip's marriage, and Charles's own marriage with Isabella of Portugal brought the Portuguese crown to Philip in 1580. Yet Charles failed in his purpose to return the Protestants to the Roman Catholic Church, and the human and financial cost of constant warfare drained Spanish resources; moreover, Charles's hopes for a universal empire were thwarted by the political realities of Western Europe. His integrity, strength of will, and sense of duty were conspicuous. His appearance has been made familiar by two portraits by TitianTitian
, c.1490–1576, Venetian painter, whose name was Tiziano Vecellio, b. Pieve di Cadore in the Dolomites. Of the very first rank among the artists of the Renaissance, Titian was extraordinarily versatile, painting portraits, landscapes, and sacred and historical
..... Click the link for more information. .
The classic works on Charles V are the biography by K. Brandi (1937, tr. 1939, repr. 1968) and R. B. Merriman, The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and the New, Vol. III (1926, repr. 1972); see also biographies by G. von Schwarzenfeld (tr. 1957) and O. von Hapsburg (tr. 1970).
Charles V(Charles the Wise), 1338–80, king of France (1364–80). Son of King John IIJohn II
(John the Good), 1319–64, king of France (1350–64), son and successor of King Philip VI. An inept ruler, he began his reign by executing the constable of France (whose office he gave to his favorite, Charles de La Cerda) and by appointing dishonest and
..... Click the link for more information. , Charles became the first French heir apparent to bear the title of dauphin after the addition of the region of Dauphiné to the royal domain in 1349. Regent during his father's captivity in England (1356–60, 1364), Charles dealt successfully with the JacquerieJacquerie
[Fr.,=collection of Jacques, which is, like Jacques Bonhomme, a nickname for the French peasant], 1358, revolt of the French peasantry. The uprising was in part a reaction to widespread poverty during the Hundred Years War.
..... Click the link for more information. revolt, with the intrigues of King Charles IICharles II
(Charles the Bad), 1332–87, king of Navarre (1349–87), count of Évreux; grandson of King Louis X of France. He carried on a long feud with his father-in-law, John II, king of France, procuring the assassination (1354) of John's favorite, Charles de
..... Click the link for more information. of Navarre, and with the popular movement headed by Étienne MarcelMarcel, Étienne
, d. 1358, French bourgeois leader, provost of the merchants of Paris. In the States-General of 1355 he and Robert Le Coq bargained for governmental reforms with the French king, John II, who needed funds for the English war.
..... Click the link for more information. , who had armed Paris against the dauphin. Becoming king in 1364, Charles stabilized the coinage and took steps to rid France of the companies of écorcheurs, marauding bands of discharged soldiers. Aided by his great general, Bertrand Du GuesclinDu Guesclin, Bertrand
, c.1320–80, constable of France (1370–80), greatest French soldier of his time. A Breton, he initially served Charles of Blois in the War of the Breton Succession.
..... Click the link for more information. , he almost succeeded in driving the English from France. Charles and his ministers, the MarmousetsMarmousets
, [Fr.,=little fellows], ministers of King Charles V of France, so called by the great nobles, who were contemptuous of their humble origins. Olivier de Clisson was the most prominent Marmouset.
..... Click the link for more information. , strengthened the royal authority, introduced a standing army, built a powerful navy, and instituted reforms that put fiscal authority more firmly in the hands of the crown. A patron of the arts and of learning, he established the royal library and interested himself in the embellishment of the Louvre and in the construction of the palace at Saint-Pol. However, his love of pomp and his lack of economy put a severe economic burden on the country. In the last year of his life he sided with Pope Clement VII against Pope Urban VI at the beginning of the Great Schism (see Schism, GreatSchism, Great,
or Schism of the West,
division in the Roman Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. There was no question of faith or practice involved; the schism was a matter of persons and politics.
..... Click the link for more information. ). His son, Charles VICharles VI
(Charles the Mad or Charles the Well Beloved), 1368–1422, king of France (1380–1422), son and successor of King Charles V. During his minority he was under the tutelage of his uncles (particularly Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy), whose policies drained
..... Click the link for more information. , succeeded him.