Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

Overview
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication
Abdication
Abdication occurs when a monarch, such as a king or emperor, renounces his office.-Terminology:The word abdication comes derives from the Latin abdicatio. meaning to disown or renounce...

 in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 and his son Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 in 1556.

As the heir of three of Europe's leading dynasties—the House of Habsburg of the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

; the House of Valois-Burgundy
House of Valois-Burgundy
The term "Valois Dukes of Burgundy" is employed to refer to the dynasty which began after John II of France granted the Duchy of Burgundy to his youngest son, Philip the Bold...

 of the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

; and the House of Trastámara of Crown of Castile-León
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 & Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

—he ruled over extensive domains in Central, Western, and Southern Europe; and the Spanish colonies
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Charles was the eldest son of Philip the Handsome
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

 and Joanna of Castile
Joanna of Castile
Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

.
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Timeline

1516   The Treaty of Noyon between France and Spain is signed. Francis I of France recognises Charles's claim to Naples, and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor recognises Francis's claim to Milan.

1519   Charles V is elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1521   Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, opens the Diet of Worms.

1521   Martin Luther's first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the other estates of the empire.

1521   Battle of Villalar: King Charles I of Spain defeats the Comuneros.

1521   The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

1527   Spanish and German troops sack Rome; some consider this the end of the Renaissance. 147 Swiss Guards, including their commander, die fighting the forces of Charles V in order to allow Pope Clement VII to escape into Castel Sant'Angelo.

1532   Henry VIII and François I sign a secret treaty against Emperor Charles V.

1539   Treaty of Toledo signed by King Francis I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

1548   The city of Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace) was founded by Captain Alonso de Mendoza by appointment of the king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.

 
Encyclopedia
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication
Abdication
Abdication occurs when a monarch, such as a king or emperor, renounces his office.-Terminology:The word abdication comes derives from the Latin abdicatio. meaning to disown or renounce...

 in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 and his son Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 in 1556.

As the heir of three of Europe's leading dynasties—the House of Habsburg of the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

; the House of Valois-Burgundy
House of Valois-Burgundy
The term "Valois Dukes of Burgundy" is employed to refer to the dynasty which began after John II of France granted the Duchy of Burgundy to his youngest son, Philip the Bold...

 of the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

; and the House of Trastámara of Crown of Castile-León
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 & Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

—he ruled over extensive domains in Central, Western, and Southern Europe; and the Spanish colonies
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Charles was the eldest son of Philip the Handsome
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

 and Joanna of Castile
Joanna of Castile
Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

. When Philip died in 1506, Charles became ruler of the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

, and his mother's co-ruler in Spain upon the death of his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand the Catholic
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

, in 1516. As Charles was the first person to rule Castile-León and Aragon simultaneously in his own right, he became the first King of Spain (Charles co-reigned with his mother Joanna, which was however a technicality given her mental instability). In 1519, Charles succeeded his paternal grandfather Maximilian
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

 as Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria. From that point forward, Charles's realm, which has been described as "the empire on which the sun never sets
The empire on which the sun never sets
The phrase, "the Empire on which the sun never sets", has been used with variations to describe certain global empires that were so extensive that there was always at least one part of their territory in daylight....

", spanned nearly four million square kilometers across Europe, the Far East, and the Americas.

Much of Charles' reign was devoted to the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

 against the French
Early Modern France
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...

 king, Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

, and his heir, king Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

, which although enormously expensive, were militarily successful due to the undefeated Spanish tercio
Tercio
The tercio was a Renaissance era military formation made up of a mixed infantry formation of about 3,000 pikemen, swordsmen and arquebusiers or musketeers in a mutually supportive formation. It was also sometimes referred to as the Spanish Square...

and the efforts of his prime ministers Mercurino Gattinara
Mercurino Gattinara
Mercurino Arborio marchese di Gattinara was an Italian statesman and jurist. Gattinara was a Christian, humanist, imperialist, and conservationist. He was made a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in 1529.-Biography:...

 and Francisco de los Cobos y Molina
Francisco de los Cobos y Molina
Francisco de los Cobos y Molina was the secretary of State and Comendador for the kingdom of Castile under the rule of the Emperor Charles I of Spain.-Biographical data:...

. Charles' forces re-captured both Milan
Duchy of Milan
The Duchy of Milan , was created on the 1st of may 1395, when Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, purchased a diploma for 100,000 Florins from King Wenceslaus. It was this diploma that installed, Gian Galeazzo as Duke of Milan and Count of Pavia...

 and Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté the former "Free County" of Burgundy, as distinct from the neighbouring Duchy, is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France...

 from France after the decisive Habsburg victory at the Battle of Pavia
Battle of Pavia
The Battle of Pavia, fought on the morning of 24 February 1525, was the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–26.A Spanish-Imperial army under the nominal command of Charles de Lannoy attacked the French army under the personal command of Francis I of France in the great hunting preserve...

 in 1525, which pushed Francis to form the Franco-Ottoman alliance
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

. Charles' rival Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

 conquered Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages
The Kingdom of Hungary was formed from the previous Principality of Hungarywith the coronation of Stephen I in AD 1000. This was a result of the conversion of Géza of Hungary to the Western Church in the 970s....

 in 1526 after defeating the Christians at the Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

. However, the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 advance was halted after they failed to capture Vienna in 1529
Siege of Vienna
The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was the first attempt by the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. The siege signalled the pinnacle of the Ottoman Empire's power, the maximum extent of Ottoman expansion in central Europe, and was the result of a...

.

Aside from this, Charles is best known for his role in opposing the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

. In addition to the German Peasants' War
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, 1524–1526. At its height in the spring and summer of 1525, the conflict involved an estimated 300,000 peasants: contemporary estimates put the dead at 100,000...

 against the Empire, several German princes abandoned the Catholic Church and formed the Schmalkaldic League
Schmalkaldic League
The Schmalkaldic League was a defensive alliance of Lutheran princes within the Holy Roman Empire during the mid-16th century. Although originally started for religious motives soon after the start of the Protestant Reformation, its members eventually intended for the League to replace the Holy...

 in order to challenge Charles' authority with military force. Unwilling to allow the same religious wars to come to his other domains, Charles pushed for the convocation of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

, which began the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

. The Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 was established by St. Ignacio de Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

 during Charles' reign in order to peacefully and intellectually combat Protestantism, and continental Spain was spared from religious conflict largely by Charles' nonviolent measures. In Germany, although the Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 were personally defeated by Charles at the Battle of Mühlberg
Battle of Mühlberg
The Battle of Mühlberg was a large battle at Mühlberg in the Electorate of Saxony during the Protestant Reformation at which the Catholic princes of the Holy Roman Empire led by the Emperor Charles I of Spain and V of the Holy Roman Empire decisively defeated the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League of...

 in 1547, he legalized Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 within the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 with the Peace of Augsburg
Peace of Augsburg
The Peace of Augsburg, also called the Augsburg Settlement, was a treaty between Charles V and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League, an alliance of Lutheran princes, on September 25, 1555, at the imperial city of Augsburg, now in present-day Bavaria, Germany.It officially ended the religious...

. Charles also maintained his alliance with Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

, despite the latter splitting the Church of England from Rome
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 and violently persecuting Catholics
Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom
Institutional Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom has its origins in the English and Irish Reformations under Henry VIII and the Scottish Reformation led by John Knox...

.

In the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, Charles oversaw the Spanish colonization of the Americas
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

, including the conquest of both the Aztec Empire and the Inca Empire
Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire
The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. This historic process of military conquest was made by Spanish conquistadores and their native allies....

. The rapid Christianization
Christianization
The historical phenomenon of Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once...

 of New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 was attributed to the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe , also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is a celebrated Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary.According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego, a simple indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady...

. Uncomfortable with how his viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

s were governing the Americas vis-à-vis the Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

, Charles consulted figures such as Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria, OP was a Spanish Renaissance Roman Catholic philosopher, theologian and jurist, founder of the tradition in philosophy known as the School of Salamanca, noted especially for his contributions to the theory of just war and international law...

 and Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de Las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas O.P. was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians"...

 on the morality of colonization. He also provided five ships to Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was born in Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" ....

 and his navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano was a Basque Spanish explorer who completed the first circumnavigation of the world. As Ferdinand Magellan's second in command, Elcano took over after Magellan's death in the Philippines.-Early life:Elcano was born to Domingo Sebastián Elcano I and Catalina del Puerto...

, after the Portuguese captain was repeatedly turned down by Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

. The commercial success of Magellan's voyage (the first circumnavigation of the Earth) temporarily enriched Charles by the sale of its cargo of cloves and laid the foundation for the Pacific oceanic empire of Spain, and along with Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos was a Spanish explorer who sailed the Pacific from Mexico to establish a permanent foothold for Spain in the East Indies, which was near the Line of Demarcation between Spain and Portugal according to the Treaty of Saragossa in 1529...

, began Spanish colonization of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Though always at war, Charles was essentially a lover of peace, and all his wars were virtually defensive. "Not greedy of territory", wrote Marcantonio Contarini in 1536, "but most greedy of peace and quiet." Charles retired in 1556. The Habsburg Monarchy passed to Charles' younger brother Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

, whereas the Spanish Empire was inherited by his son Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century.

Heritage and early life


Charles was born in the Flemish
County of Flanders
The County of Flanders was one of the territories constituting the Low Countries. The county existed from 862 to 1795. It was one of the original secular fiefs of France and for centuries was one of the most affluent regions in Europe....

 city of Ghent
Ghent
Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

 in 1500. The culture and courtly life of the Burgundian Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 were an important influence in his early life. He was tutored by William de Croÿ
William de Croÿ
William II de Croÿ, Lord of Chièvres , later Duke of Sora and Arce, Baron of Roccaguglielma William II de Croÿ, Lord of Chièvres (1458 – 28 May 1521) (also known as: Guillaume II de Croÿ, sieur de Chièvres in French; Guillermo II de Croÿ, señor de Chièvres, Xevres or Xebres in Spanish;...

 (who would later become his first prime minister), and also by Adrian of Utrecht (later Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI , born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens, served as Pope from 9 January 1522 until his death some 18 months later...

). It is said that Charles spoke several vernacular languages: he was fluent in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, Flemish
Flemish
Flemish can refer to anything related to Flanders, and may refer directly to the following articles:*Flemish, an informal, though linguistically incorrect, name of any kind of the Dutch language as spoken in Belgium....

, later adding an acceptable Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 which was required by the Castilian
Old Castile
Old Castile is a historic region of Spain, which included territory that later corresponded to the provinces of Santander , Burgos, Logroño , Soria, Segovia, Ávila, Valladolid, Palencia....

 Cortes Generales
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

as a condition for becoming King of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

. An anecdote sometimes attributed to Charles is: "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse." But this quote has many variants and is often attributed instead to Frederick the Great.

From his Burgundian ancestors, he inherited an ambiguous relationship with the Kings of France. Charles shared with France his mother tongue and many cultural forms. In his youth, he made frequent visits to Paris, then the largest city of Western Europe. In his words: "Paris is not a city, but a universe" (Lutetia
Lutetia
Lutetia was a town in pre-Roman and Roman Gaul. The Gallo-Roman city was a forerunner of the re-established Merovingian town that is the ancestor of present-day Paris...

 non urbs, sed orbis
). But Charles also inherited the tradition of political and dynastic enmity between the Royal and the Burgundian Ducal lines of the Valois Dynasty
Valois Dynasty
The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, succeeding the House of Capet as kings of France from 1328 to 1589...

.

Though Spain was the core of his possessions, he was never totally assimilated and especially in his earlier years felt as if he were viewed as a foreign prince. He could not speak Spanish very well, as it was not his primary language. Nonetheless, he spent most of his life in Spain, including his final years in a Spanish monastery. Indeed, Charles' motto, Plus Ultra
Plus Ultra (motto)
Plus ultra is the national motto of Spain adopted from the personal motto of Charles I of Spain. Earl Rosenthal, author of The Palace of Charles V in Granada , has researched the origin of the motto...

('Further Beyond'), became the national motto of Spain.

Marriage and children



On 10 March 1526, Charles married his first cousin Isabella of Portugal, sister of John III of Portugal
John III of Portugal
John III , nicknamed o Piedoso , was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile...

, in Seville.

Their children included:
  • Philip II of Spain
    Philip II of Spain
    Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

     (1527–1598), the only son to reach adulthood.
  • Maria of Spain
    Maria of Spain
    Archduchess Maria of Austria was the spouse of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia and Hungary. She was the daughter of Emperor Charles V and twice served as regent of Spain.-Life:...

     (1528–1603), who married her first cousin Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
    Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
    Maximilian II was king of Bohemia and king of the Romans from 1562, king of Hungary and Croatia from 1563, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1564 until his death...

    .
  • Joan of Spain (1535–1573), who married her first cousin Infante John of Portugal, who was the heir of Portugal.


Isabella often administered Spain while Charles was in other lands. Due to Philip II being a grandson of Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 through his mother Isabella, Philip was in the line of succession to the throne of Portugal, and claimed it after Sebastian of Portugal
Sebastian of Portugal
Sebastian "the Desired" was the 16th king of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of Prince John of Portugal and his wife, Joan of Spain...

 was killed in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir
Battle of Alcácer Quibir
The Battle of Ksar El Kebir, also known as Battle of Three Kings, or "Battle of Oued El Makhazeen" in Morocco, and Battle of Alcácer Quibir in Portugal , was fought in northern Morocco, near the town of Ksar-el-Kebir and Larache, on 4 August 1578...

 in 1578, thus establishing the Iberian Union
Iberian Union
The Iberian union was a political unit that governed all of the Iberian Peninsula south of the Pyrenees from 1580–1640, through a dynastic union between the monarchies of Portugal and Spain after the War of the Portuguese Succession...

.

Charles also had several mistresses. Two of them gave birth to two future Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands
Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands
The Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands ruled the Habsburg Netherlands as a representative of the Duke of Burgundy .- Habsburg Netherlands :...

:
  • Johanna Maria van der Gheynst
    Johanna Maria van der Gheynst
    Johanna Maria van der Gheynst was in 1521 for a short time the mistress of the Emperor Charles V and bore him a daughter, Margaret of Parma, who was Governor of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567 and from 1580 to 1583.-Life:Johanna Maria van der Gheynst was the daughter of the...

    , a servant of Charles I de Lalaing
    Charles I de Lalaing
    Charles de Lalaing, baron and later 1st count of Lalaing, lord of Escornaix .-Life:Charles was born as the eldest son of Joost de Lalaing, from a family of landowners from Hainaut. He was married to Jacoba of Luxembourg, daughter of Jacob of Luxembourg and Maria of Berlaymont...

    , Seigneur de Montigny, daughter of Gilles Johann van der Gheynst and wife Johanna van der Caye van Cocamby, bore Margaret of Parma
    Margaret of Parma
    Margaret, Duchess of Parma , Governor of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567 and from 1578 to 1582, was the illegitimate daughter of Charles V and Johanna Maria van der Gheynst...

  • Barbara Blomberg
    Barbara Blomberg
    Barbara Blomberg was the mother of Don John of Austria.Blomberg was born in Regensburg, Germany, the eldest daughter of Wolfgang Plumberger or Blomberg, a burgher, and of his wife Sibilla Lohman. A singer, in 1546 she was for a short time the mistress of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who was...

     bore John of Austria.

Reign



Charles V (Spanish: Carlos I, German: Karl V., Italian: Carlo V, Dutch: Karel V, French: Charles Quint; 24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication
Abdication
Abdication occurs when a monarch, such as a king or emperor, renounces his office.-Terminology:The word abdication comes derives from the Latin abdicatio. meaning to disown or renounce...

 in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 and his son Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 in 1556.

As the heir of three of Europe's leading dynasties—the House of Habsburg of the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

; the House of Valois-Burgundy
House of Valois-Burgundy
The term "Valois Dukes of Burgundy" is employed to refer to the dynasty which began after John II of France granted the Duchy of Burgundy to his youngest son, Philip the Bold...

 of the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

; and the House of Trastámara of Crown of Castile-León
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 & Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

—he ruled over extensive domains in Central, Western, and Southern Europe; and the Spanish colonies
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Charles was the eldest son of Philip the Handsome
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

 and Joanna of Castile
Joanna of Castile
Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

. When Philip died in 1506, Charles became ruler of the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

, and his mother's co-ruler in Spain upon the death of his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand the Catholic
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

, in 1516. As Charles was the first person to rule Castile-León and Aragon simultaneously in his own right, he became the first King of Spain (Charles co-reigned with his mother Joanna, which was however a technicality given her mental instability). In 1519, Charles succeeded his paternal grandfather Maximilian
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

 as Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria. From that point forward, Charles's realm, which has been described as "the empire on which the sun never sets
The empire on which the sun never sets
The phrase, "the Empire on which the sun never sets", has been used with variations to describe certain global empires that were so extensive that there was always at least one part of their territory in daylight....

", spanned nearly four million square kilometers across Europe, the Far East, and the Americas.

Much of Charles' reign was devoted to the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

 against the French
Early Modern France
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...

 king, Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

, and his heir, king Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

, which although enormously expensive, were militarily successful due to the undefeated Spanish tercio
Tercio
The tercio was a Renaissance era military formation made up of a mixed infantry formation of about 3,000 pikemen, swordsmen and arquebusiers or musketeers in a mutually supportive formation. It was also sometimes referred to as the Spanish Square...

and the efforts of his prime ministers Mercurino Gattinara
Mercurino Gattinara
Mercurino Arborio marchese di Gattinara was an Italian statesman and jurist. Gattinara was a Christian, humanist, imperialist, and conservationist. He was made a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in 1529.-Biography:...

 and Francisco de los Cobos y Molina
Francisco de los Cobos y Molina
Francisco de los Cobos y Molina was the secretary of State and Comendador for the kingdom of Castile under the rule of the Emperor Charles I of Spain.-Biographical data:...

. Charles' forces re-captured both Milan
Duchy of Milan
The Duchy of Milan , was created on the 1st of may 1395, when Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, purchased a diploma for 100,000 Florins from King Wenceslaus. It was this diploma that installed, Gian Galeazzo as Duke of Milan and Count of Pavia...

 and Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté the former "Free County" of Burgundy, as distinct from the neighbouring Duchy, is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France...

 from France after the decisive Habsburg victory at the Battle of Pavia
Battle of Pavia
The Battle of Pavia, fought on the morning of 24 February 1525, was the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–26.A Spanish-Imperial army under the nominal command of Charles de Lannoy attacked the French army under the personal command of Francis I of France in the great hunting preserve...

 in 1525, which pushed Francis to form the Franco-Ottoman alliance
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

. Charles' rival Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

 conquered Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages
The Kingdom of Hungary was formed from the previous Principality of Hungarywith the coronation of Stephen I in AD 1000. This was a result of the conversion of Géza of Hungary to the Western Church in the 970s....

 in 1526 after defeating the Christians at the Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

. However, the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 advance was halted after they failed to capture Vienna in 1529
Siege of Vienna
The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was the first attempt by the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. The siege signalled the pinnacle of the Ottoman Empire's power, the maximum extent of Ottoman expansion in central Europe, and was the result of a...

.

Aside from this, Charles is best known for his role in opposing the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

. In addition to the German Peasants' War
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, 1524–1526. At its height in the spring and summer of 1525, the conflict involved an estimated 300,000 peasants: contemporary estimates put the dead at 100,000...

 against the Empire, several German princes abandoned the Catholic Church and formed the Schmalkaldic League
Schmalkaldic League
The Schmalkaldic League was a defensive alliance of Lutheran princes within the Holy Roman Empire during the mid-16th century. Although originally started for religious motives soon after the start of the Protestant Reformation, its members eventually intended for the League to replace the Holy...

 in order to challenge Charles' authority with military force. Unwilling to allow the same religious wars to come to his other domains, Charles pushed for the convocation of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

, which began the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

. The Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 was established by St. Ignacio de Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

 during Charles' reign in order to peacefully and intellectually combat Protestantism, and continental Spain was spared from religious conflict largely by Charles' nonviolent measures. In Germany, although the Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 were personally defeated by Charles at the Battle of Mühlberg
Battle of Mühlberg
The Battle of Mühlberg was a large battle at Mühlberg in the Electorate of Saxony during the Protestant Reformation at which the Catholic princes of the Holy Roman Empire led by the Emperor Charles I of Spain and V of the Holy Roman Empire decisively defeated the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League of...

 in 1547, he legalized Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 within the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 with the Peace of Augsburg
Peace of Augsburg
The Peace of Augsburg, also called the Augsburg Settlement, was a treaty between Charles V and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League, an alliance of Lutheran princes, on September 25, 1555, at the imperial city of Augsburg, now in present-day Bavaria, Germany.It officially ended the religious...

. Charles also maintained his alliance with Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

, despite the latter splitting the Church of England from Rome
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 and violently persecuting Catholics
Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom
Institutional Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom has its origins in the English and Irish Reformations under Henry VIII and the Scottish Reformation led by John Knox...

.

In the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, Charles oversaw the Spanish colonization of the Americas
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

, including the conquest of both the Aztec Empire and the Inca Empire
Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire
The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. This historic process of military conquest was made by Spanish conquistadores and their native allies....

. The rapid Christianization
Christianization
The historical phenomenon of Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once...

 of New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 was attributed to the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe , also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is a celebrated Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary.According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego, a simple indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady...

. Uncomfortable with how his viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

s were governing the Americas vis-à-vis the Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

, Charles consulted figures such as Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria, OP was a Spanish Renaissance Roman Catholic philosopher, theologian and jurist, founder of the tradition in philosophy known as the School of Salamanca, noted especially for his contributions to the theory of just war and international law...

 and Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de Las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas O.P. was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians"...

 on the morality of colonization. He also provided five ships to Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was born in Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" ....

 and his navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano was a Basque Spanish explorer who completed the first circumnavigation of the world. As Ferdinand Magellan's second in command, Elcano took over after Magellan's death in the Philippines.-Early life:Elcano was born to Domingo Sebastián Elcano I and Catalina del Puerto...

, after the Portuguese captain was repeatedly turned down by Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

. The commercial success of Magellan's voyage (the first circumnavigation of the Earth) temporarily enriched Charles by the sale of its cargo of cloves and laid the foundation for the Pacific oceanic empire of Spain, and along with Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos was a Spanish explorer who sailed the Pacific from Mexico to establish a permanent foothold for Spain in the East Indies, which was near the Line of Demarcation between Spain and Portugal according to the Treaty of Saragossa in 1529...

, began Spanish colonization of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Though always at war, Charles was essentially a lover of peace, and all his wars were virtually defensive. "Not greedy of territory", wrote Marcantonio Contarini in 1536, "but most greedy of peace and quiet." Charles retired in 1556. The Habsburg Monarchy passed to Charles' younger brother Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

, whereas the Spanish Empire was inherited by his son Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century.

Heritage and early life


Charles was born in the Flemish
County of Flanders
The County of Flanders was one of the territories constituting the Low Countries. The county existed from 862 to 1795. It was one of the original secular fiefs of France and for centuries was one of the most affluent regions in Europe....

 city of Ghent
Ghent
Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

 in 1500. The culture and courtly life of the Burgundian Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 were an important influence in his early life. He was tutored by William de Croÿ
William de Croÿ
William II de Croÿ, Lord of Chièvres , later Duke of Sora and Arce, Baron of Roccaguglielma William II de Croÿ, Lord of Chièvres (1458 – 28 May 1521) (also known as: Guillaume II de Croÿ, sieur de Chièvres in French; Guillermo II de Croÿ, señor de Chièvres, Xevres or Xebres in Spanish;...

 (who would later become his first prime minister), and also by Adrian of Utrecht (later Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI , born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens, served as Pope from 9 January 1522 until his death some 18 months later...

). It is said that Charles spoke several vernacular languages: he was fluent in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, Flemish
Flemish
Flemish can refer to anything related to Flanders, and may refer directly to the following articles:*Flemish, an informal, though linguistically incorrect, name of any kind of the Dutch language as spoken in Belgium....

, later adding an acceptable Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 which was required by the Castilian
Old Castile
Old Castile is a historic region of Spain, which included territory that later corresponded to the provinces of Santander , Burgos, Logroño , Soria, Segovia, Ávila, Valladolid, Palencia....

 Cortes Generales
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

as a condition for becoming King of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

. An anecdote sometimes attributed to Charles is: "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse." But this quote has many variants and is often attributed instead to Frederick the Great.

From his Burgundian ancestors, he inherited an ambiguous relationship with the Kings of France. Charles shared with France his mother tongue and many cultural forms. In his youth, he made frequent visits to Paris, then the largest city of Western Europe. In his words: "Paris is not a city, but a universe" (Lutetia
Lutetia
Lutetia was a town in pre-Roman and Roman Gaul. The Gallo-Roman city was a forerunner of the re-established Merovingian town that is the ancestor of present-day Paris...

 non urbs, sed orbis
). But Charles also inherited the tradition of political and dynastic enmity between the Royal and the Burgundian Ducal lines of the Valois Dynasty
Valois Dynasty
The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, succeeding the House of Capet as kings of France from 1328 to 1589...

.

Though Spain was the core of his possessions, he was never totally assimilated and especially in his earlier years felt as if he were viewed as a foreign prince. He could not speak Spanish very well, as it was not his primary language. Nonetheless, he spent most of his life in Spain, including his final years in a Spanish monastery. Indeed, Charles' motto, Plus Ultra
Plus Ultra (motto)
Plus ultra is the national motto of Spain adopted from the personal motto of Charles I of Spain. Earl Rosenthal, author of The Palace of Charles V in Granada , has researched the origin of the motto...

('Further Beyond'), became the national motto of Spain.

Marriage and children



On 10 March 1526, Charles married his first cousin Isabella of Portugal, sister of John III of Portugal
John III of Portugal
John III , nicknamed o Piedoso , was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile...

, in Seville.

Their children included:
  • Philip II of Spain
    Philip II of Spain
    Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

     (1527–1598), the only son to reach adulthood.
  • Maria of Spain
    Maria of Spain
    Archduchess Maria of Austria was the spouse of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia and Hungary. She was the daughter of Emperor Charles V and twice served as regent of Spain.-Life:...

     (1528–1603), who married her first cousin Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
    Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
    Maximilian II was king of Bohemia and king of the Romans from 1562, king of Hungary and Croatia from 1563, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1564 until his death...

    .
  • Joan of Spain (1535–1573), who married her first cousin Infante John of Portugal, who was the heir of Portugal.


Isabella often administered Spain while Charles was in other lands. Due to Philip II being a grandson of Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 through his mother Isabella, Philip was in the line of succession to the throne of Portugal, and claimed it after Sebastian of Portugal
Sebastian of Portugal
Sebastian "the Desired" was the 16th king of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of Prince John of Portugal and his wife, Joan of Spain...

 was killed in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir
Battle of Alcácer Quibir
The Battle of Ksar El Kebir, also known as Battle of Three Kings, or "Battle of Oued El Makhazeen" in Morocco, and Battle of Alcácer Quibir in Portugal , was fought in northern Morocco, near the town of Ksar-el-Kebir and Larache, on 4 August 1578...

 in 1578, thus establishing the Iberian Union
Iberian Union
The Iberian union was a political unit that governed all of the Iberian Peninsula south of the Pyrenees from 1580–1640, through a dynastic union between the monarchies of Portugal and Spain after the War of the Portuguese Succession...

.

Charles also had several mistresses. Two of them gave birth to two future Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands
Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands
The Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands ruled the Habsburg Netherlands as a representative of the Duke of Burgundy .- Habsburg Netherlands :...

:
  • Johanna Maria van der Gheynst
    Johanna Maria van der Gheynst
    Johanna Maria van der Gheynst was in 1521 for a short time the mistress of the Emperor Charles V and bore him a daughter, Margaret of Parma, who was Governor of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567 and from 1580 to 1583.-Life:Johanna Maria van der Gheynst was the daughter of the...

    , a servant of Charles I de Lalaing
    Charles I de Lalaing
    Charles de Lalaing, baron and later 1st count of Lalaing, lord of Escornaix .-Life:Charles was born as the eldest son of Joost de Lalaing, from a family of landowners from Hainaut. He was married to Jacoba of Luxembourg, daughter of Jacob of Luxembourg and Maria of Berlaymont...

    , Seigneur de Montigny, daughter of Gilles Johann van der Gheynst and wife Johanna van der Caye van Cocamby, bore Margaret of Parma
    Margaret of Parma
    Margaret, Duchess of Parma , Governor of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567 and from 1578 to 1582, was the illegitimate daughter of Charles V and Johanna Maria van der Gheynst...

  • Barbara Blomberg
    Barbara Blomberg
    Barbara Blomberg was the mother of Don John of Austria.Blomberg was born in Regensburg, Germany, the eldest daughter of Wolfgang Plumberger or Blomberg, a burgher, and of his wife Sibilla Lohman. A singer, in 1546 she was for a short time the mistress of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who was...

     bore John of Austria.

Reign



Charles V (Spanish: Carlos I, German: Karl V., Italian: Carlo V, Dutch: Karel V, French: Charles Quint; 24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication
Abdication
Abdication occurs when a monarch, such as a king or emperor, renounces his office.-Terminology:The word abdication comes derives from the Latin abdicatio. meaning to disown or renounce...

 in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 and his son Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 in 1556.

As the heir of three of Europe's leading dynasties—the House of Habsburg of the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

; the House of Valois-Burgundy
House of Valois-Burgundy
The term "Valois Dukes of Burgundy" is employed to refer to the dynasty which began after John II of France granted the Duchy of Burgundy to his youngest son, Philip the Bold...

 of the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

; and the House of Trastámara of Crown of Castile-León
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 & Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

—he ruled over extensive domains in Central, Western, and Southern Europe; and the Spanish colonies
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Charles was the eldest son of Philip the Handsome
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

 and Joanna of Castile
Joanna of Castile
Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

. When Philip died in 1506, Charles became ruler of the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

, and his mother's co-ruler in Spain upon the death of his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand the Catholic
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

, in 1516. As Charles was the first person to rule Castile-León and Aragon simultaneously in his own right, he became the first King of Spain (Charles co-reigned with his mother Joanna, which was however a technicality given her mental instability). In 1519, Charles succeeded his paternal grandfather Maximilian
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

 as Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria. From that point forward, Charles's realm, which has been described as "the empire on which the sun never sets
The empire on which the sun never sets
The phrase, "the Empire on which the sun never sets", has been used with variations to describe certain global empires that were so extensive that there was always at least one part of their territory in daylight....

", spanned nearly four million square kilometers across Europe, the Far East, and the Americas.

Much of Charles' reign was devoted to the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

 against the French
Early Modern France
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...

 king, Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

, and his heir, king Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

, which although enormously expensive, were militarily successful due to the undefeated Spanish tercio
Tercio
The tercio was a Renaissance era military formation made up of a mixed infantry formation of about 3,000 pikemen, swordsmen and arquebusiers or musketeers in a mutually supportive formation. It was also sometimes referred to as the Spanish Square...

and the efforts of his prime ministers Mercurino Gattinara
Mercurino Gattinara
Mercurino Arborio marchese di Gattinara was an Italian statesman and jurist. Gattinara was a Christian, humanist, imperialist, and conservationist. He was made a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in 1529.-Biography:...

 and Francisco de los Cobos y Molina
Francisco de los Cobos y Molina
Francisco de los Cobos y Molina was the secretary of State and Comendador for the kingdom of Castile under the rule of the Emperor Charles I of Spain.-Biographical data:...

. Charles' forces re-captured both Milan
Duchy of Milan
The Duchy of Milan , was created on the 1st of may 1395, when Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, purchased a diploma for 100,000 Florins from King Wenceslaus. It was this diploma that installed, Gian Galeazzo as Duke of Milan and Count of Pavia...

 and Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté the former "Free County" of Burgundy, as distinct from the neighbouring Duchy, is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France...

 from France after the decisive Habsburg victory at the Battle of Pavia
Battle of Pavia
The Battle of Pavia, fought on the morning of 24 February 1525, was the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–26.A Spanish-Imperial army under the nominal command of Charles de Lannoy attacked the French army under the personal command of Francis I of France in the great hunting preserve...

 in 1525, which pushed Francis to form the Franco-Ottoman alliance
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

. Charles' rival Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

 conquered Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages
The Kingdom of Hungary was formed from the previous Principality of Hungarywith the coronation of Stephen I in AD 1000. This was a result of the conversion of Géza of Hungary to the Western Church in the 970s....

 in 1526 after defeating the Christians at the Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

. However, the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 advance was halted after they failed to capture Vienna in 1529
Siege of Vienna
The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was the first attempt by the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. The siege signalled the pinnacle of the Ottoman Empire's power, the maximum extent of Ottoman expansion in central Europe, and was the result of a...

.

Aside from this, Charles is best known for his role in opposing the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

. In addition to the German Peasants' War
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, 1524–1526. At its height in the spring and summer of 1525, the conflict involved an estimated 300,000 peasants: contemporary estimates put the dead at 100,000...

 against the Empire, several German princes abandoned the Catholic Church and formed the Schmalkaldic League
Schmalkaldic League
The Schmalkaldic League was a defensive alliance of Lutheran princes within the Holy Roman Empire during the mid-16th century. Although originally started for religious motives soon after the start of the Protestant Reformation, its members eventually intended for the League to replace the Holy...

 in order to challenge Charles' authority with military force. Unwilling to allow the same religious wars to come to his other domains, Charles pushed for the convocation of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

, which began the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

. The Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 was established by St. Ignacio de Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

 during Charles' reign in order to peacefully and intellectually combat Protestantism, and continental Spain was spared from religious conflict largely by Charles' nonviolent measures. In Germany, although the Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 were personally defeated by Charles at the Battle of Mühlberg
Battle of Mühlberg
The Battle of Mühlberg was a large battle at Mühlberg in the Electorate of Saxony during the Protestant Reformation at which the Catholic princes of the Holy Roman Empire led by the Emperor Charles I of Spain and V of the Holy Roman Empire decisively defeated the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League of...

 in 1547, he legalized Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 within the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 with the Peace of Augsburg
Peace of Augsburg
The Peace of Augsburg, also called the Augsburg Settlement, was a treaty between Charles V and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League, an alliance of Lutheran princes, on September 25, 1555, at the imperial city of Augsburg, now in present-day Bavaria, Germany.It officially ended the religious...

. Charles also maintained his alliance with Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

, despite the latter splitting the Church of England from Rome
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 and violently persecuting Catholics
Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom
Institutional Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom has its origins in the English and Irish Reformations under Henry VIII and the Scottish Reformation led by John Knox...

.

In the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, Charles oversaw the Spanish colonization of the Americas
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

, including the conquest of both the Aztec Empire and the Inca Empire
Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire
The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. This historic process of military conquest was made by Spanish conquistadores and their native allies....

. The rapid Christianization
Christianization
The historical phenomenon of Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once...

 of New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 was attributed to the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe , also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is a celebrated Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary.According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego, a simple indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady...

. Uncomfortable with how his viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

s were governing the Americas vis-à-vis the Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

, Charles consulted figures such as Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria, OP was a Spanish Renaissance Roman Catholic philosopher, theologian and jurist, founder of the tradition in philosophy known as the School of Salamanca, noted especially for his contributions to the theory of just war and international law...

 and Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de Las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas O.P. was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians"...

 on the morality of colonization. He also provided five ships to Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was born in Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" ....

 and his navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano was a Basque Spanish explorer who completed the first circumnavigation of the world. As Ferdinand Magellan's second in command, Elcano took over after Magellan's death in the Philippines.-Early life:Elcano was born to Domingo Sebastián Elcano I and Catalina del Puerto...

, after the Portuguese captain was repeatedly turned down by Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

. The commercial success of Magellan's voyage (the first circumnavigation of the Earth) temporarily enriched Charles by the sale of its cargo of cloves and laid the foundation for the Pacific oceanic empire of Spain, and along with Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos was a Spanish explorer who sailed the Pacific from Mexico to establish a permanent foothold for Spain in the East Indies, which was near the Line of Demarcation between Spain and Portugal according to the Treaty of Saragossa in 1529...

, began Spanish colonization of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Though always at war, Charles was essentially a lover of peace, and all his wars were virtually defensive. "Not greedy of territory", wrote Marcantonio Contarini in 1536, "but most greedy of peace and quiet." Charles retired in 1556. The Habsburg Monarchy passed to Charles' younger brother Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

, whereas the Spanish Empire was inherited by his son Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century.

Heritage and early life


Charles was born in the Flemish
County of Flanders
The County of Flanders was one of the territories constituting the Low Countries. The county existed from 862 to 1795. It was one of the original secular fiefs of France and for centuries was one of the most affluent regions in Europe....

 city of Ghent
Ghent
Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

 in 1500. The culture and courtly life of the Burgundian Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 were an important influence in his early life. He was tutored by William de Croÿ
William de Croÿ
William II de Croÿ, Lord of Chièvres , later Duke of Sora and Arce, Baron of Roccaguglielma William II de Croÿ, Lord of Chièvres (1458 – 28 May 1521) (also known as: Guillaume II de Croÿ, sieur de Chièvres in French; Guillermo II de Croÿ, señor de Chièvres, Xevres or Xebres in Spanish;...

 (who would later become his first prime minister), and also by Adrian of Utrecht (later Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI , born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens, served as Pope from 9 January 1522 until his death some 18 months later...

). It is said that Charles spoke several vernacular languages: he was fluent in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, Flemish
Flemish
Flemish can refer to anything related to Flanders, and may refer directly to the following articles:*Flemish, an informal, though linguistically incorrect, name of any kind of the Dutch language as spoken in Belgium....

, later adding an acceptable Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 which was required by the Castilian
Old Castile
Old Castile is a historic region of Spain, which included territory that later corresponded to the provinces of Santander , Burgos, Logroño , Soria, Segovia, Ávila, Valladolid, Palencia....

 Cortes Generales
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

as a condition for becoming King of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

. An anecdote sometimes attributed to Charles is: "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse." But this quote has many variants and is often attributed instead to Frederick the Great.

From his Burgundian ancestors, he inherited an ambiguous relationship with the Kings of France. Charles shared with France his mother tongue and many cultural forms. In his youth, he made frequent visits to Paris, then the largest city of Western Europe. In his words: "Paris is not a city, but a universe" (Lutetia
Lutetia
Lutetia was a town in pre-Roman and Roman Gaul. The Gallo-Roman city was a forerunner of the re-established Merovingian town that is the ancestor of present-day Paris...

 non urbs, sed orbis
). But Charles also inherited the tradition of political and dynastic enmity between the Royal and the Burgundian Ducal lines of the Valois Dynasty
Valois Dynasty
The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, succeeding the House of Capet as kings of France from 1328 to 1589...

.

Though Spain was the core of his possessions, he was never totally assimilated and especially in his earlier years felt as if he were viewed as a foreign prince. He could not speak Spanish very well, as it was not his primary language. Nonetheless, he spent most of his life in Spain, including his final years in a Spanish monastery. Indeed, Charles' motto, Plus Ultra
Plus Ultra (motto)
Plus ultra is the national motto of Spain adopted from the personal motto of Charles I of Spain. Earl Rosenthal, author of The Palace of Charles V in Granada , has researched the origin of the motto...

('Further Beyond'), became the national motto of Spain.

Marriage and children



On 10 March 1526, Charles married his first cousin Isabella of Portugal, sister of John III of Portugal
John III of Portugal
John III , nicknamed o Piedoso , was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile...

, in Seville.

Their children included:
  • Philip II of Spain
    Philip II of Spain
    Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

     (1527–1598), the only son to reach adulthood.
  • Maria of Spain
    Maria of Spain
    Archduchess Maria of Austria was the spouse of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia and Hungary. She was the daughter of Emperor Charles V and twice served as regent of Spain.-Life:...

     (1528–1603), who married her first cousin Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
    Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
    Maximilian II was king of Bohemia and king of the Romans from 1562, king of Hungary and Croatia from 1563, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1564 until his death...

    .
  • Joan of Spain (1535–1573), who married her first cousin Infante John of Portugal, who was the heir of Portugal.


Isabella often administered Spain while Charles was in other lands. Due to Philip II being a grandson of Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 through his mother Isabella, Philip was in the line of succession to the throne of Portugal, and claimed it after Sebastian of Portugal
Sebastian of Portugal
Sebastian "the Desired" was the 16th king of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of Prince John of Portugal and his wife, Joan of Spain...

 was killed in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir
Battle of Alcácer Quibir
The Battle of Ksar El Kebir, also known as Battle of Three Kings, or "Battle of Oued El Makhazeen" in Morocco, and Battle of Alcácer Quibir in Portugal , was fought in northern Morocco, near the town of Ksar-el-Kebir and Larache, on 4 August 1578...

 in 1578, thus establishing the Iberian Union
Iberian Union
The Iberian union was a political unit that governed all of the Iberian Peninsula south of the Pyrenees from 1580–1640, through a dynastic union between the monarchies of Portugal and Spain after the War of the Portuguese Succession...

.

Charles also had several mistresses. Two of them gave birth to two future Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands
Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands
The Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands ruled the Habsburg Netherlands as a representative of the Duke of Burgundy .- Habsburg Netherlands :...

:
  • Johanna Maria van der Gheynst
    Johanna Maria van der Gheynst
    Johanna Maria van der Gheynst was in 1521 for a short time the mistress of the Emperor Charles V and bore him a daughter, Margaret of Parma, who was Governor of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567 and from 1580 to 1583.-Life:Johanna Maria van der Gheynst was the daughter of the...

    , a servant of Charles I de Lalaing
    Charles I de Lalaing
    Charles de Lalaing, baron and later 1st count of Lalaing, lord of Escornaix .-Life:Charles was born as the eldest son of Joost de Lalaing, from a family of landowners from Hainaut. He was married to Jacoba of Luxembourg, daughter of Jacob of Luxembourg and Maria of Berlaymont...

    , Seigneur de Montigny, daughter of Gilles Johann van der Gheynst and wife Johanna van der Caye van Cocamby, bore Margaret of Parma
    Margaret of Parma
    Margaret, Duchess of Parma , Governor of the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567 and from 1578 to 1582, was the illegitimate daughter of Charles V and Johanna Maria van der Gheynst...

  • Barbara Blomberg
    Barbara Blomberg
    Barbara Blomberg was the mother of Don John of Austria.Blomberg was born in Regensburg, Germany, the eldest daughter of Wolfgang Plumberger or Blomberg, a burgher, and of his wife Sibilla Lohman. A singer, in 1546 she was for a short time the mistress of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who was...

     bore John of Austria.

Reign



Burgundy and the Low Countries



In 1506, Charles inherited his father's Burgundian territories, most notably the Low Countries and Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté the former "Free County" of Burgundy, as distinct from the neighbouring Duchy, is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France...

, most of which were fiefs of the German empire, except his birthplace of Flanders which was still a French fief, a last remnant of what had been a powerful player in the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

. As he was a minor, his aunt Margaret acted as regent as appointed by Emperor Maximilian until 1515 and soon she found herself at war with France over the question of Charles' requirement to pay homage to the French king for Flanders, as his father had done. The outcome was that France relinquished its ancient claim on Flanders in 1528.

From 1515 to 1523, Charles' government in the Netherlands also had to contend with the rebellion of Frisian peasants
Arumer Zwarte Hoop
The Arumer Zwarte Hoop was an army of peasant rebels in Friesland fighting the Dutch authorities from 1515 to 1523....

 (led by Pier Gerlofs Donia
Pier Gerlofs Donia
Pier Gerlofs Donia was a Frisian warrior, pirate, and rebel. He is best known by his West Frisian nickname "Grutte Pier" , or by the Dutch translations "Grote Pier" and "Lange Pier", or, in Latin, "Pierius Magnus", which referred to his legendary size and strength. His life is mostly shrouded in...

 and Wijard Jelckama). The rebels were initially successful but after a series of defeats, the remaining leaders were captured and decapitated in 1523.

Charles extended the Burgundian territory with the annexation of Tournai
Tournai
Tournai is a Walloon city and municipality of Belgium located 85 kilometres southwest of Brussels, on the river Scheldt, in the province of Hainaut....

, Artois
Artois
Artois is a former province of northern France. Its territory has an area of around 4000 km² and a population of about one million. Its principal cities are Arras , Saint-Omer, Lens and Béthune.-Location:...

, Utrecht
Utrecht (province)
Utrecht is the smallest province of the Netherlands in terms of area, and is located in the centre of the country. It is bordered by the Eemmeer in the north, Gelderland in the east, the river Rhine in the south, South Holland in the west, and North Holland in the northwest...

, Groningen
Groningen (province)
Groningen [] is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen , in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea...

 and Guelders
Guelders
Guelders or Gueldres is the name of a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.-Geography:...

. The Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
The Seventeen Provinces were a personal union of states in the Low Countries in the 15th century and 16th century, roughly covering the current Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, a good part of the North of France , and a small part of Western Germany.The Seventeen Provinces were originally held by...

 had been unified by Charles' Burgundian ancestors, but nominally were fiefs of either France or the Holy Roman Empire. In 1549, Charles issued a Pragmatic Sanction
Pragmatic Sanction of 1549
The Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 was an edict, promulgated by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, reorganizing the Seventeen Provinces.It was his plan to centralize the administrative units of Holy Roman Empire. The Pragmatic Sanction transformed this agglomeration of lands into a unified entity, of which...

, declaring the Low Countries to be a unified entity of which his family would be the heirs.

The Low Countries held an important place in the Empire. For Charles V personally they were his home, the region where he was born and spent his childhood. Because of trade and industry and the rich cities, they also represented an important income for the treasury.

Spain





In the Castilian Cortes of Valladolid of 1506, and of Madrid of 1510 he was sworn as prince of Asturias, heir of his mother the queen Joanna
Joanna of Castile
Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

. On the other hand, in 1502, the Aragonese Cortes gathered in Saragossa, pledged an oath to his mother Joanna as heiress, but the Archbishop of Saragossa expressed firmly that this oath could not establish jurisprudence, that is to say, without modifying the right of the succession, but by virtue of a formal agreement between the Cortes and the King. So, with the death of his grandfather, the king of Aragon Ferdinand II on 23 January 1516, his mother Joanna inherited the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

, which consisted of Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

, Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, Valencia
Kingdom of Valencia
The Kingdom of Valencia , located in the eastern shore of the Iberian Peninsula, was one of the component realms of the Crown of Aragon. When the Crown of Aragon merged by dynastic union with the Crown of Castile to form the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Valencia became a component realm of the...

, Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

, Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

 and Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

; while Charles became Governor General. Nevertheless, the Flemings wished that Charles assume the royal title , and this was supported by his grandfather the emperor Maximilian I
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

 and the Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

, this way, after the celebration of Ferdinand II's obsequies on 14 March 1516, he was proclaimed as king of Castile and of Aragon jointly with his mother. Finally, when the Castilian regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros accepted the fait accompli, he acceded to Charles's desire to be proclaimed king and he imposed his statement along the kingdom. Thus, the cities were recognizing Charles as king jointly with his mother.
Charles arrived in his new kingdoms in autumn of 1517. His regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 Jiménez de Cisneros came to meet him, but fell ill along the way, not without a suspicion of poison, and died before meeting the King.

Due to the irregularity of assuming the royal title, when his mother, the legitimate queen, was alive, the negotiations with the Castilian Cortes in Valladolid (1518) proved difficult, and in the end Charles was accepted under the following conditions: he would learn to speak Castilian
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

; he would not appoint foreigners; he was prohibited from taking precious metals from Castile; and he would respect the rights of his mother, Queen Joanna
Joanna of Castile
Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

. The Cortes paid homage to him in Valladolid in February 1518. After this, Charles departed to the kingdom of Aragon. He managed to overcome the resistance of the Aragonese Cortes and Catalan Corts also, and finally he was recognized as king of Aragon jointly with his mother.

Charles was accepted as sovereign, even though the Spanish felt uneasy with the Imperial style. Spanish monarchs until then had been bound by the laws; the monarchy was a contract with the people. With Charles it would become more absolute, even though until his mother's death in 1555 Charles did not hold the full kingship of the country.

Soon resistance against the Emperor rose because of the heavy taxation (the money was used to fight wars abroad, most of which Castilians had no interest in) and because Charles tended to select Flemings for high offices in Spain and America, ignoring Castilian candidates. The resistance culminated in the Revolt of the Comuneros, which was suppressed by Charles. After this, Castile became integrated into the Habsburg empire, and provided the bulk of the empire's military and financial resources. The enormous budget deficit accumulated during Charles' reign resulted in Spain declaring bankruptcy during the reign of Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

.

Italy



The Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 inherited by Charles included the Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

, the Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

 and the Kingdom of Sardinia. Aragon also previously controlled the Duchy of Milan
Duchy of Milan
The Duchy of Milan , was created on the 1st of may 1395, when Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, purchased a diploma for 100,000 Florins from King Wenceslaus. It was this diploma that installed, Gian Galeazzo as Duke of Milan and Count of Pavia...

, but a year before Charles ascended to the throne, it was annexed by France
Early Modern France
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...

 after the Battle of Marignano
Battle of Marignano
The Battle of Marignano was fought during the phase of the Italian Wars called the War of the League of Cambrai, between France and the Old Swiss Confederacy. It took place on September 13 and 15, 1515, near the town today called Melegnano, 16 km southeast of Milan...

 in 1515. Charles succeeded in re-capturing Milan in 1522 when Imperial troops defeated the Franco-Swiss army at Bicocca. Yet in 1524 Francis I of France retook the initiative, crossing into Lombardy where Milan, along with a number of other cities, once again fell to his attack. Pavia alone held out and it was here that on February 24 1525 (Charles' twenty-fifth birthday), Charles' Imperial forces captured Francis and crushed his army, yet again retaking Milan and Lombardy. Spain successfully held on to all of its Italian territories, though they were invaded again on multiple occasions during the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

. In addition to this, Habsburg trade in the Mediterranean was consistently disrupted by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. A Holy League
Holy League (1538)
The Holy League of 1538 was a short-lived alliance of Christian states arranged by Pope Paul III at the urging of the Republic of Venice.In 1537 the Ottoman corsair and admiral Barbarossa Hayreddin, Pasha of Algiers, had nearly captured the Venetian stronghold of Corfu and ravaged the coasts of...

, which consisted of all the Italian states and Spain, was formed in 1538 to drive the Ottomans back, but was defeated at the Battle of Preveza. Decisive naval victory eluded Charles; it would not be achieved until after Charles' death, at the Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto
The Battle of Lepanto normally refers to the 1571 Holy League victory over the Ottoman fleet. There were also three earlier battles fought in the vicinity of Lepanto:*Battle of Naupactus in 429 BC, an Athenian victory during the Peleoponnesian War...

 in 1571.

America


During Charles' reign, the territories in New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 were considerably extended by conquistador
Conquistador
Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492...

es
like Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro, 1st Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century...

 and Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro
Francisco Pizarro González, Marquess was a Spanish conquistador, conqueror of the Incan Empire, and founder of Lima, the modern-day capital of the Republic of Peru.-Early life:...

, who caused the Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

 and Inca empires to fall in little more than a decade. Combined with the Magellan expedition's circumnavigation of the globe in 1522, these successes convinced Charles of his divine mission to become the leader of Christendom
Christendom
Christendom, or the Christian world, has several meanings. In a cultural sense it refers to the worldwide community of Christians, adherents of Christianity...

 that still perceived a significant threat from Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. The conquests also helped solidify Charles' rule by providing the state treasury with enormous amounts of bullion. As the conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo
Bernal Díaz del Castillo
Bernal Díaz del Castillo was a conquistador, who wrote an eyewitness account of the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards for Hernán Cortés, himself serving as a rodelero under Cortés.-Early life:...

 observed: "We came to serve God and his Majesty, to give light to those in darkness, and also to acquire that wealth which most men covet." In 1550, Charles convened a conference at Valladolid
Valladolid
Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales...

 in order to consider the morality of the force
Valladolid debate
The Valladolid debate concerned the treatment of natives of the New World. Held in the Colegio de San Gregorio, in the Spanish city of Valladolid, it opposed two main attitudes towards the conquests of the Americas...

 used against the indigenous populations of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, which included figures such as Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de Las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas O.P. was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians"...

.

Charles V is credited with the first idea of constructing an American Isthmus canal in Panama as early as 1520.

Holy Roman Empire


After the death of his paternal grandfather, Maximilian
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

, in 1519, he inherited the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

. He was also the natural candidate of the electors
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 to succeed his grandfather as Holy Roman Emperor. With the help of the wealthy Fugger
Fugger
The Fugger family was a historically prominent group of European bankers, members of the fifteenth and sixteenth-century mercantile patriciate of Augsburg, international mercantile bankers, and venture capitalists like the Welser and the Höchstetter families. This banking family replaced the de'...

 family, Charles was elected Emperor through a combination of threats and bribes to the electors. He defeated the candidacies of Frederick III, Elector of Saxony
Frederick III, Elector of Saxony
Frederick III of Saxony , also known as Frederick the Wise , was Elector of Saxony from 1486 to his death. Frederick was the son of Ernest, Elector of Saxony and his wife Elisabeth, daughter of Albert III, Duke of Bavaria...

, Francis I of France, and Henry VIII of England. The unanimous decision of the electors gave Charles the crown on 28 June 1519. In 1530, he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 by Pope Clement VII
Pope Clement VII
Clement VII , born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.-Early life:...

 in Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

, the last Emperor to receive a papal coronation.
Despite holding the imperial throne, Charles' real authority was limited by the German princes. Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 gained a strong foothold in the Empire's territories, and Charles was determined not to let this happen in the Netherlands. An inquisition
Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

 was established as early as 1522. In 1550, the death penalty was introduced for all heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

. Political dissent was also firmly controlled, most notably in his place of birth, where Charles, assisted by the Duke of Alva, personally suppressed the Revolt of Ghent in mid-February 1540.

Charles abdicated as Emperor in 1556 in favor of his brother Ferdinand; however, due to lengthy debate and bureaucratic procedure, the Imperial Diet did not accept the abdication (and thus make it legally valid) until 24 February 1558. Up to that date, Charles continued to use the title of Emperor.

France



Much of Charles's reign was taken up by conflicts with France, which found itself encircled by Charles's empire while it still maintained ambitions in Italy. The first war
Italian War of 1521
The Italian War of 1521–26, sometimes known as the Four Years' War, was a part of the Italian Wars. The war pitted Francis I of France and the Republic of Venice against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Henry VIII of England, and the Papal States...

 with Charles's great nemesis Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 began in 1521. Charles allied with England and Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

 against the French and the Venetians, and was highly successful, driving the French out of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 and defeating and capturing Francis at the Battle of Pavia
Battle of Pavia
The Battle of Pavia, fought on the morning of 24 February 1525, was the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–26.A Spanish-Imperial army under the nominal command of Charles de Lannoy attacked the French army under the personal command of Francis I of France in the great hunting preserve...

 in 1525. To gain his freedom, the French king was forced to cede Burgundy
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

 to Charles in Treaty of Madrid (1526).

When he was released, however, Francis had the Parliament of Paris denounce the treaty because it had been signed under duress
Duress
In jurisprudence, duress or coercion refers to a situation whereby a person performs an act as a result of violence, threat or other pressure against the person. Black's Law Dictionary defines duress as "any unlawful threat or coercion used... to induce another to act [or not act] in a manner...

. France then joined the League of Cognac
War of the League of Cognac
The War of the League of Cognac was fought between the Habsburg dominions of Charles V—primarily Spain and the Holy Roman Empire—and the League of Cognac, an alliance including France, Pope Clement VII, the Republic of Venice, England, the Duchy of Milan and Republic of Florence.- Prelude :Shocked...

 that Pope Clement VII
Pope Clement VII
Clement VII , born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.-Early life:...

 had formed with Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

, the Venetians, the Florentines, and the Milanese to resist imperial domination of Italy. In the ensuing war, Charles's sack of Rome (1527)
Sack of Rome (1527)
The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in Rome, then part of the Papal States...

 and virtual imprisonment of Pope Clement VII in 1527 prevented the Pope from annulling the marriage of Henry VIII of England and Charles's aunt Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

, with important consequences. In other respects, the war was inconclusive. In the Treaty of Cambrai (1529), called the "Ladies' Peace" because it was negotiated between Charles's aunt and Francis' mother, Francis renounced his claims in Italy but retained control of Burgundy.

A third war
Italian War of 1535
The Italian War of 1536-1538 between Charles V and Francis I of France began with the death of Francesco Maria Sforza, the duke of Milan. When Charles' son Philip inherited the duchy, Francis invaded Italy, capturing Turin, but failed to take Milan...

 erupted in 1535, when, following the death of the last Sforza Duke of Milan, Charles installed his own son, Philip
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, in the duchy, despite Francis's claims on it. This war too was inconclusive. Francis failed to conquer Milan, but succeeded in conquering most of the lands of Charles's ally the Duke of Savoy
Duchy of Savoy
From 1416 to 1847, the House of Savoy ruled the eponymous Duchy of Savoy . The Duchy was a state in the northern part of the Italian Peninsula, with some territories that are now in France. It was a continuation of the County of Savoy...

, including his capital, Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

. A truce at Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

 in 1538 on the basis of uti possidetis
Uti possidetis
Uti possidetis is a principle in international law that territory and other property remains with its possessor at the end of a conflict, unless otherwise provided for by treaty; if such a treaty doesn't include conditions regarding the possession of property and territory taken during the war,...

 ended the war, but lasted only a short time. War resumed in 1542, with Francis now allied with Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I and Charles once again allied with Henry VIII. Despite the conquest of Nice by a Franco-Ottoman fleet
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

, the French remained unable to advance into Juarez, while a joint Anglo-Imperial invasion of northern France, led by Charles himself, won some successes but was ultimately abandoned, leading to another peace and restoration of the status quo ante in 1544.

A final war erupted with Francis' son and successor, Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

, in 1551. This war saw early successes by Henry in Lorraine, where he captured Metz
Metz
Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

, but continued failure of French offensives in Italy. Charles abdicated midway through this conflict, leaving further conduct of the war to his son, Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 and his brother, Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

.

Conflicts with the Ottoman Empire


Charles fought continually with the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and its sultan, Suleyman the Magnificent. The great Hungarian defeat at the 1526 Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács
The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

 "sent a wave of terror over Europe." However, the Muslim advance in Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, was halted at Vienna
Siege of Vienna
The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was the first attempt by the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. The siege signalled the pinnacle of the Ottoman Empire's power, the maximum extent of Ottoman expansion in central Europe, and was the result of a...

 in 1529.

On the other hand, the contest between Charles and Suleiman for the mastery of the Mediterranean was decided in favour of the Sultan, in spite of Spanish victories such as the Conquest of Tunis
Conquest of Tunis
The Conquest of Tunis in 1535 was an attack on Tunis, then under the control of the Ottoman Empire, by the Spanish Empire.-Background:In 1533, Suleiman ordered Hayreddin Barbarossa, whom he had summoned from Algiers, to build a large war fleet in the arsenal of Constantinople...

 in 1535. The regular Ottoman fleet came to dominate the Eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

 after its victory at Preveza
Battle of Preveza
The naval Battle of Preveza took place on 28 September 1538 near Preveza in northwestern Greece between an Ottoman fleet and that of a Christian alliance assembled by Pope Paul III.-Background:...

 in 1538 and the loss of Djerba
Battle of Djerba
The naval Battle of Djerba took place in May 1560 near the island of Djerba, Tunisia in which the Ottomans under Piyale Pasha's command overwhelmed a large joint European fleet, chiefly Spanish forces, sinking half its ships.-Background:...

 in 1560 (shortly after Charles' death) which severely decimated the Spanish marine arm. At the same time, the Muslim Barbary corsairs, acting under the general authority and supervision of the Sultan, regularly devastated the Spanish and Italian coasts, crippling the Spanish trade and chipping at the foundations of Habsburg power.

In 1535 Charles created the recipe for soybean pudding
Douhua
Douhua or doufuhua is a Chinese dessert made with very soft tofu. It is also referred to as tofu pudding and soybean pudding.-History:...

 during the Conquest of Tunis. It was not until centuries later that his recipe was discovered by historian Stewart MacDonald, proof of the basis that Charles was the inventor.

In 1536 Francis I of France allied himself with Suleiman against Charles. While Francis was persuaded to sign a peace treaty in 1538, he again allied himself with the Ottomans in 1542 in a Franco-Ottoman alliance
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

. In 1543 Charles allied himself with Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and forced Francis to sign the Truce of Crépy-en-Laonnois. Later, in 1547, Charles signed a humiliating treaty with the Ottomans to gain him some respite from the huge expenses of their war, although it did not end there. However, the Protestant powers in the Imperial Diet often voted against money for his Turkish wars, as many Protestants saw the Muslim advance as a counterweight to the Catholic powers.

Charles V made overtures to the Safavid Empire to open a second front against the Ottomans, in an attempt at creating a Habsburg-Persian alliance
Habsburg-Persian alliance
A Habsburg-Persian alliance was attempted and to a certain extent achieved in the 16th century between the Habsburg Empire and the Persian Empire in their common conflict against the Ottoman Empire.-First contacts:...

. Contacts were positive, but rendered difficult by enormous distances. In effect however, the Safavids entered in conflict with the Ottoman Empire in the Ottoman-Safavid War (1532–1555), forcing it to split its military resources.

Protestant Reformation


As Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

, Charles called Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 to the Diet of Worms
Diet of Worms
The Diet of Worms 1521 was a diet that took place in Worms, Germany, and is most memorable for the Edict of Worms , which addressed Martin Luther and the effects of the Protestant Reformation.It was conducted from 28 January to 25 May 1521, with Emperor Charles V presiding.Other Imperial diets at...

 in 1521, promising him safe conduct if he would appear. Initially dismissing Luther's theses as "an argument between monks", he later outlawed Luther and his followers in that same year but was tied up with other concerns and unable to take action against Protestantism.

1524 to 1526 saw the Peasants' Revolt
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, 1524–1526. At its height in the spring and summer of 1525, the conflict involved an estimated 300,000 peasants: contemporary estimates put the dead at 100,000...

 in Germany and in 1531 the formation of the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League
Schmalkaldic League
The Schmalkaldic League was a defensive alliance of Lutheran princes within the Holy Roman Empire during the mid-16th century. Although originally started for religious motives soon after the start of the Protestant Reformation, its members eventually intended for the League to replace the Holy...

. Charles delegated increasing responsibility for Germany to his brother Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 while he concentrated on problems elsewhere.

In 1545, the opening of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

 began the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

, and Charles won to the Catholic cause some of the princes of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1546 (the year of Luther's natural death), he outlawed the Schmalkaldic League (which had occupied the territory of another prince). He drove the League's troops out of southern Germany and at the Battle of Mühlberg
Battle of Mühlberg
The Battle of Mühlberg was a large battle at Mühlberg in the Electorate of Saxony during the Protestant Reformation at which the Catholic princes of the Holy Roman Empire led by the Emperor Charles I of Spain and V of the Holy Roman Empire decisively defeated the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League of...

 defeated John Frederick, Elector of Saxony
John Frederick, Elector of Saxony
John Frederick I of Saxony , called John the Magnanimous, was Elector of Saxony and Head of the Protestant Confederation of Germany , "Champion of the Reformation".-Early years:...

 and imprisoned Philip of Hesse in 1547. At the Augsburg Interim
Augsburg Interim
The Augsburg Interim is the general term given to an imperial decree ordered on May 15, 1548, at the 1548 Diet of Augsburg, after Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, had defeated the forces of the Schmalkaldic League in the Schmalkaldic War of 1546/47...

 in 1548 he created an interim solution giving certain allowances to Protestants until the Council of Trent would restore unity. However, Protestants mostly resented the Interim and some actively opposed it. Protestant princes, in alliance with Henry II of France
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

, rebelled against Charles in 1552, which caused Charles to retreat to the Netherlands.

Health



Charles suffered from an enlarged lower jaw, a deformity which got considerably worse in later Habsburg generations, giving rise to the term Habsburg jaw. This deformity was caused by the family line's multiple years of inbreeding, which was very common in royal families of that era and was practiced in order to maintain dynastic control of territory. He struggled to chew his food properly and consequently experienced bad indigestion for much of his life. As a result, he usually ate alone.
He suffered from epilepsy
Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures. These seizures are transient signs and/or symptoms of abnormal, excessive or hypersynchronous neuronal activity in the brain.About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, and nearly two out of every three new cases...

 and was seriously afflicted with gout
Gout
Gout is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected . However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate...

. This was presumably caused by a diet consisting mainly of red meat. As he aged, his gout progressed from painful to crippling. In his retirement, he was carried around the monastery of St. Yuste
Yuste
Yuste Monastery is in the small village now called Cuacos de Yuste in the province of Cáceres in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain...

 in a sedan chair
Litter (vehicle)
The litter is a class of wheelless vehicles, a type of human-powered transport, for the transport of persons. Examples of litter vehicles include lectica , jiao [较] , sedan chairs , palanquin , Woh , gama...

. A ramp was specially constructed to allow him easy access to his rooms.

Abdication and later life



On Tuesday, 25 October 1555, Charles abdicated all his titles except the county of Charolais, giving his Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 (continental Spain, the Netherlands, Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Lombardy
Lombardy
Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

 and Spain's possessions in the Americas
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

) to his son, Philip
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

. His brother Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

, already in possession of the dynastic Habsburg lands
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

, succeeded as Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

. Charles retired to the monastery of Yuste
Yuste
Yuste Monastery is in the small village now called Cuacos de Yuste in the province of Cáceres in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain...

 in Extremadura
Extremadura
Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Its component provinces are Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal to the west...

, but continued to correspond widely and kept an interest in the situation of the empire. He suffered from severe gout
Gout
Gout is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected . However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate...

 and some scholars think Charles decided to abdicate after a gout attack in 1552 forced him to postpone an attempt to recapture the city of Metz, where he was later defeated. He lived alone in a secluded monastery, with clocks lining every wall, which some historians believe symbolizes his reign and his lack of time.

Charles died on 21 September 1558 from fatal malaria. Twenty-six years later, his remains were transferred to the Royal Pantheon of The Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
El Escorial
The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the king of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometres northwest of the capital, Madrid, in Spain. It is one of the Spanish royal sites and functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and...

.

Titles



  • 25 September 1506–16 January 1556: Titular Duke of Burgundy
    Duke of Burgundy
    Duke of Burgundy was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks...

     as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Duke of Brabant as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Duke of Limburg as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Duke of Lothier as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Duke of Luxemburg as Charles III
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Margrave of Namur
    Marquis of Namur
    Namur was a county of the Carolingian and later Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries. Its territories largely correspond with the present-day Belgian arrondissement Namur plus the northwestern part of the arrondissement Dinant....

     as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–5 February 1556: Count Palatine of Burgundy as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Count of Artois
    Counts of Artois
    The counts of Artois were the rulers over the County of Artois from the 9th century until the abolition of the countship by the French revolutionaries in 1790.-List of Counts of Artois:*Odalric...

     as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–21 September 1558: Count of Charolais as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Count of Flanders as Charles III
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Count of Hainault
    Counts of Hainaut
    The counts of Hainaut were the rulers of the county of Hainaut, a historical region in the Low Countries .-House of Reginar:...

     as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Count of Holland
    Count of Holland
    The Counts of Holland ruled over the County of Holland in the Low Countries between the 10th and the 16th century.-House of Holland:The first count of Holland, Dirk I, was the son or foster-son of Gerolf, Count in Frisia...

     as Charles II
  • 25 September 1506–25 October 1555: Count of Zeeland as Charles II
  • 12 September 1543–25 October 1555: Duke of Guelders
    Dukes of Guelders
    -House of Wassenberg:The first count of Guelders was Gerard IV, Lord of Wassenberg.During Reginald II's reign, the county of Guelders became a duchy.* before 1096–about 1129 : Gerard I* about 1129–about 1131 : Gerard II the tall, son of...

     as Charles III
  • 12 September 1543–25 October 1555: Count of Zutphen
    Count of Zutphen
    The title of Count of Zutphen historically belonged to the ruler of the Dutch province of Gelderland ....

     as Charles II
  • 14 March 1516–16 January 1556: King of Castile and Leon as Charles I (with Joanna
    Joanna of Castile
    Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

    , 14 March 1516 – 12 April 1555)
  • 14 March 1516–16 January 1556: King of Aragon and Sicily
    Kingdom of Sicily
    The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

     as Charles I (with Joanna
    Joanna of Castile
    Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

    , 14 March 1516 – 12 April 1555)
  • 14 March 1516–25 July 1554: King of Naples
    Kingdom of Naples
    The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

     as Charles IV (with Joanna III
    Joanna of Castile
    Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

    , 14 March 1516 – 25 July 1554)
  • : 28 June 1519–24 February 1530: King of the Romans
    King of the Romans
    King of the Romans was the title used by the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire following his election to the office by the princes of the Kingdom of Germany...

     as Charles V
  • : 24 February 1530–24 February 1558: Holy Roman Emperor
    Holy Roman Emperor
    The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

     as Charles V
  • 12 January 1519–1521: Archduke of Austria as Charles I

The titles of King of Hungary, of Bohemia, and of Croatia, were incorporated into the imperial family during Charles' reign, but they were held, both nominally and substantively, by his brother Ferdinand, who initiated a four-century-long Habsburg rule over these eastern territories.

The full Charles' titulature went as follows:

Charles, by the grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

, Holy Roman Emperor, forever August
Augustus (honorific)
Augustus , Latin for "majestic," "the increaser," or "venerable", was an Ancient Roman title, which was first held by Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus , and subsequently came to be considered one of the titles of what are now known as the Roman Emperors...

, King of Germany, King of Italy, King of all Spains, of Castile, Aragon, León, Navarra, Grenada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Sevilla, Cordova, Murcia, Jaén, Algarves, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, King of Two Sicilies, of Sardinia, Corsica, King of Jerusalem, King of the Western and Eastern Indies, Lord of the Islands and Main Ocean Sea, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Lorraine, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Limburg, Luxembourg, Gelderland, Neopatria, Württemberg, Landgrave of Alsace, Prince of Swabia, Asturia and Catalonia, Count of Flanders, Habsburg, Tyrol, Gorizia, Barcelona, Artois, Burgundy Palatine, Hainaut, Holland, Seeland, Ferrette, Kyburg, Namur, Roussillon, Cerdagne, Zutphen, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, Burgau, Oristano and Gociano, Lord of Frisia, the Wendish March, Pordenone, Biscay, Molin, Salins, Tripoli and Mechelen.

Ancestors





External links



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