Emperor Charles V


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Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

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Charles V ruled an empire comprised of part of Europe and South America. The nobility had to adapt themselves to the national modern state. Spain’s hegemony in the 16th century was maintained thanks to the riches coming from America because these allowed to defray the costs of wars.

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An education in the court of Burgundy Charles’ parents were Joanna I of Castile and Philip the Handsome. He was born in Ghent (Flanders), where he lived until the death of Ferdinand II the Catholic. Philip Joanna

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He was only 17 when he first arrived in Spain. He could not speak Spanish and was not familiarised with national affairs. His Flemish counsellors took over power, which earned him the antipathy of many noblemen.

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Charles’ Family Tree

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Revolt of the Comuneros: War of the Communities of Castile In 1519, Charles’ grandfather, emperor Maximilian I, died leaving a vacancy for the imperial crown. Charles was chosen as the new emperor, at great expense for Castile’s public finance. Before leaving for his coronation ceremony, Charles entrusted regency to Adrian of Utrecht.

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Charles was only 20 when he became the new emperor

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Juan de Padilla had stood out against Charles previously. His demands included: No foreigners should be appointed as peple in authority. Charles’s mother, Joanna the Mad, should be recognised as the legitimate queen. Charles should reside in Spain and learn to speak Spanish.

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Padilla’s uprising in Toledo unleashed a series of revolts led by Juan Bravo and Francisco Maldonado in other cities of Castile .

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The comuneros were defeated in the Battle of Villalar in 1521. Padilla, Bravo and Maldonado were beheaded, but Charles made the following concessions: Foreigners would not be appointed as people in authority anymore. Foreigners would lose their priviledges. Charles made a vow to reside in Spain. From that moment onwards, Castile was loyal to the king.

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The Comuneros Joanna did not support the revolt The execution of comunero leaders Padilla, Bravo and Maldonado

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Revolt of the Brotherhoods A social revolt broke out in Valencia after an infectious epidemic swept through the region. Authorities fled to avoid being infected. Guilds had been provided with arms due to fear of an impending Turkish attack on the coast. Craftsmen united in a brotherhood called germanía and took control of the city.

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Craftsmen and peasants rose against the nobility and the bourgeoisie. This social movement inspired a related revolt in the island of Majorca. The rebellion was put down in both regions.

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Agermanats being received by Adrian of Utrecht

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Guilds: A guild is an organization of people who do the same job or who have the same occupation. Guilds were comprised of apprentices, officials and masters. Only the latter were allowed to set up a workshop.

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CHARLES’ FOREIGN POLICY Charles and his wife, Isabella of Portugal

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Charles channeled his efforts to maintain Catholic Europe united. He fought continually with the Ottoman Empire and outlawed Martin Luther and his followers. Charles V, by Titian

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Wars against France Much of Charles’ reign was taken up by conflicts with France and King Francis I. The reasons for this rivalry were: Francis I of France

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1. Francis I of France had been a candidate to the Imperial crown, which eventully went to Charles. 2. The territories of the Duchy of Burgundy that Francis had incorporated to his kingdom. He had judged that they belonged legitimally to France because of their language and the will of their inhabitants. The County of Roussillon was in dispute too. Milan

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The wars against France The first war finished after the Battle of Pavía. The French were defeated and Francis was captured. Charles and Francis signed the Treaty of Madrid. Francis would regain his freedom and cede Burgundy to Charles

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Battle of Pavía. Francis making his entrance in Valencia

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Second war: In 1526, the League of Cognan was signed by Pope Clement VII and Francis I. The alliance was meant to drive Charles from Italy, so when his army sacked Rome, France took action. Soldiers sacking Rome

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The Treaty of Cambrai, signed by Louise of Savoy and Margaret of Austria in 1529, removed France from the war. Spain ceded Burgundy to France and Francis renounced his claims in Italy. Loise of Savoy and Margaret of Austria

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The third war erupted when Francis invaded the Duchy of Savoy. After a brief truce signed in Nice, war resumed when Francis allied with the Ottoman sultan Suleiman I. Then Charles allied with the King of England, Henry the VIII. Peace was restored in 1544.

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The fourth war was put to an end by the Treaty of Crepy. The accord implied that Francis would assist Charles in the fight against protestantism. A final war with France erupted in 1551 with Francis’ son, Henry II. However Charles abdicated midway to this conflict.

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Conflicts with the Ottoman Empire The Emperor fought the Ottoman Empire and its sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, whose fleet advanced through the Mediterranean and Danube rivers.

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Suleiman I had built an extensive empire, and he was trying to capture Vienna. However, the advance of his troops in central Europe was halted in 1529. Suleiman showed blatant support for Barbary corsairs, who captured European ships and raided coastal towns. This ignited the hostility between Charles and the sultan. Charles conquered Tunis, but not Algiers. The Ottoman Empire had eventually gained mastery of the Mediterranean.

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Protestant Reformation As Holy Roman Emperor, Charles tried to stop the spread of Protestantism. He defeated the Schmalkaldic League, an alliance of Lutheran princes, in the Battle of Mühlberg. Charles in the Battle of Mühlberg, Titian

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Some years later, Charles delegated responsibility to his brother Ferdinand. He promoted the Peace of Augsburg, a treaty signed by the Emperor and the Schmalkaldic League which ceased the struggle between religious groups. From then on, princes were allowed to choose either Catholicism or Protestantism.

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Abdication In 1556, Charles abdicated and retired to the monastery of Yuste.

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Abdication Itinerant court Retirement in the monastery of Yuste

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Charles gave Spain, American territories, The Netherlands and Italy to his son Philip. The Empire passed on to Charles’ brother, Ferdinand.

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Philip continued the wars against France, the Ottoman Empire and Protestantism.

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