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Charles VII, Holy Roman emperor
Charles VII, 1697–1745, Holy Roman emperor (1742–45) and, as Charles Albert, elector of Bavaria (1726–45). Having married a daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I, he refused to recognize the pragmatic sanction of 1713 by which Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (his wife's uncle) reserved the succession to the Hapsburg lands for his daughter, Maria Theresa. On Charles VI's death (1740) he advanced his own claim and joined with Frederick II (of Prussia), France, Spain, and Saxony to attack Maria Theresa (see Austrian Succession, War of the). In 1742 he was elected Holy Roman emperor, but Bavaria was overrun by Austrian troops. Shortly before his death he regained his territories. Francis I, husband of Maria Theresa, was elected emperor to succeed him.
Charles VII, king of France
Charles VII (Charles the Well Served), 1403–61, king of France (1422–61), son and successor of Charles VI. His reign saw the end of the Hundred Years War. Although excluded from the throne by the Treaty of Troyes, Charles took the royal title after his father's death (1422) and ruled S of the Loire, while John of Lancaster, duke of Bedford, who was regent for King Henry VI of England, controlled the north and Guienne (Aquitaine). Vacillating and easily influenced by corrupt favorites, particularly Georges de La Trémoille, Charles waged only perfunctory warfare against the English. He was prodded into action by the siege of Orléans (1429) in which Joan of Arc helped save the city from the English. After the capture of Orléans, Charles was crowned (1429) at Reims. He reverted to his earlier inactivity until 1433, when La Trémoille was replaced by more scrupulous and energetic advisers, such as the comte de Richemont (later Arthur III, duke of Brittany) and the comte de Dunois. In 1435, Charles agreed to the Treaty of Arras, which reconciled him with the powerful duke, Philip the Good of Burgundy, who had been an ally of the English. He recovered Paris the following year. In 1440, Charles suppressed the Praguerie, and in 1444 a truce was signed with England, which lasted until 1449. By the battle of Formigny and the capture of Cherbourg (1450) the English were expelled from Normandy, and the battle of Castillon (1453) resulted in their withdrawal from Guienne. Charles, although dominated by his mistress, Agnès Sorel, proved an able administrator. He reorganized the army and remodeled French finances, established heavy taxation, particularly through the taille, a direct land tax. In 1438, Charles issued the pragmatic sanction of Bourges, which established the liberty of the French Roman Catholic Church from Rome. In his reign commerce was expanded by the enterprise of Jacques Cœur. The end of Charles's rule was disturbed by the intrigues of the dauphin, who succeeded him as Louis XI.
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1. 1403--61, king of France (1422--61), son of Charles VI. He was excluded from the French throne by the Treaty of Troyes, but following Joan of Arc's victory over the English at Orléans (1429), was crowned
2. 1697--1745, Holy Roman Emperor (1742--45) during the War of the Austrian Succession
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005