Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor

Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor

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Charles VI was the penultimate Habsburg sovereign of the Habsburg Empire
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 succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph I , Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, King of the Romans was the elder son of Emperor Leopold I and his third wife, Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg....

, 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...

, King of Bohemia (Charles II), Hungary
King of Hungary
The King of Hungary was the head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 to 1918.The style of title "Apostolic King" was confirmed by Pope Clement XIII in 1758 and used afterwards by all the Kings of Hungary, so after this date the kings are referred to as "Apostolic King of...

 and Croatia (Charles III), Archduke of Austria, etc., in 1711. He unsuccessfully claimed the throne of Spain as Charles III following the death of its ruler, and Charles's relative, Charles II of Spain
Charles II of Spain
Charles II was the last Habsburg King of Spain and the ruler of large parts of Italy, the Spanish territories in the Southern Low Countries, and Spain's overseas Empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies...

, in 1700. He married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was Princess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary; and Archduchess of Austria by her marriage to Emperor Charles VI. She was renowned for her delicate beauty and also for being the mother of Empress...

, by whom he had his two children: Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma...

, born 1717, the last Habsburg sovereign, and Maria Anna, born 1718, Governess of the Austrian Netherlands.

Four years before the birth of Maria Theresa, due to his lack of male heirs, Charles provided for a male-line succession failure with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713
Pragmatic Sanction of 1713
The Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 was an edict issued by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI to ensure that the throne of the Archduchy of Austria could be inherited by a daughter....

. The Emperor favoured his own daughters over those of his elder brother and predecessor, Joseph I, in the succession, ignoring the decree he had signed during the reign of his father, Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

. Charles sought the other European powers' approval. They exacted harsh terms: England demanded that Austria abolish its overseas trading company
Ostend Company
The Imperial Ostend Company was an Austrian private trading company established in 1717 to trade with the East and West Indies. For a few years it provided strong competition to the traditional colonial trading companies...

. In total, Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

, 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...

, Saxony
Electorate of Saxony
The Electorate of Saxony , sometimes referred to as Upper Saxony, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire. It was established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356...

-Poland
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

, the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

, Spain, Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

, States of the Church
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

, Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

, Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, Denmark, Savoy-Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

, Bavaria
History of Bavaria
The history of Bavaria stretches from its earliest settlement and its formation as a stem duchy in the 6th century through its inclusion in the Holy Roman Empires to its status as an independent kingdom and, finally, as a large and significant Bundesland of the modern Federal Republic of...

, and the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire  recognised the sanction. France, Spain, Saxony-Poland, Bavaria and Prussia later reneged. Charles died in 1740, sparking the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

, which plagued his successor, Maria Theresa, for eight years.

Early years



Archduke Charles (baptised: Carolus Franciscus Josephus Wenceslaus Balthasar Johannes Antonius Ignatius), the second son of the Emperor Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

 and of his third wife, Princess Eleonor Magdalene of the Palatinate, was born on 1 October 1685. His tutor was Anton Florian, Prince of Liechtenstein.

Following the death of Charles II of Spain
Charles II of Spain
Charles II was the last Habsburg King of Spain and the ruler of large parts of Italy, the Spanish territories in the Southern Low Countries, and Spain's overseas Empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies...

, in 1700, without any ostensible heir, Charles declared himself King of Spain—both were members of the House of Habsburg. The ensuing War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

, which pitted France's candidate, Philip, Duke of Anjou
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

, Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

's grandson, against Austria's Charles, lasted for almost 14 years. The Kingdom of Portugal
Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was Portugal's general designation under the monarchy. The kingdom was located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe and existed from 1139 to 1910...

, Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

, Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 and the majority 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...

 endorsed Charles's candidature. Charles III, as he was known, disembarked in his kingdom in 1706, and stayed there for five years, only being able to exercise his rule in 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...

, until the death of his brother, Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph I , Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, King of the Romans was the elder son of Emperor Leopold I and his third wife, Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg....

; he returned to Vienna to assume the emperorship. Not wanting to see Austria and Spain in personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 again, the new Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 withdrew its support from the Austrian coalition, and the war culminated with the Treaties of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

 and Rastatt
Treaty of Rastatt
The Treaty of Rastatt of 7 March 1714, ended hostilities between France and Austria at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. It complemented the Treaty of Utrecht, which had, the previous year, ended hostilities with Britain and the Dutch Republic...

 three years later. The former, ratified in 1713, recognised Philip as King of Spain, however, 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 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...

, the Austrian Netherlands and the Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

 -- all previously possessions of the Spanish—were delegated to Austria. To prevent a union of Spain and France, Philip was forced to renounce his right to succeed his grandfather's throne. Charles was extremely discontented at the loss of Spain, and as a result, he mimicked the staid Spanish Habsburg
Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries , when Spain was ruled by the major branch of the Habsburg dynasty...

 court ceremonial, adopting the dress of a Spanish monarch, which, according to British historian Edward Crankshaw
Edward Crankshaw
Edward Crankshaw , was a British writer, translator and commentator on Soviet affairs.Born in London, Crankshaw was educated in the Nonconformist public school, Bishop's Stortford College, Hertfordshire, England. He started working as a journalist for a few months at The Times...

, consisted of "a black doublet and hose, black shoes and scarlet stockings".

Charles's father and his advisors went about arranging a marriage for him. Their eyes fell upon Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was Princess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary; and Archduchess of Austria by her marriage to Emperor Charles VI. She was renowned for her delicate beauty and also for being the mother of Empress...

, the eldest child of Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg ruled over the Wolfenbüttel subdivision of the duchy from 1731 until his death....

. She was held to be strikingly beautiful by her contemporaries. On 1 August 1708, in Barcelona, Charles married her by proxy
Proxy marriage
A proxy wedding or is a wedding in which the bride or groom is not physically present, usually being represented instead by another person...

. She gave him two daughters that survived to adulthood, Maria Theresa and Maria Anna.

Imperial reign


Elisabeth Christine's inability to produce male heirs irked Charles and eventually led to the promulgation of the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713
Pragmatic Sanction of 1713
The Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 was an edict issued by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI to ensure that the throne of the Archduchy of Austria could be inherited by a daughter....

, a document which abolished male-only succession (hitherto effective in all the Habsburg realms) and declared his lands indivisible. The Emperor favoured his own daughters over those of his elder brother and predecessor, Joseph I, in the succession, ignoring the Mutual Pact of Succession
Mutual Pact of Succession
The Mutual Pact of Succession was a succession device secretly signed by Archdukes Joseph and Charles of Austria, the future Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, in 1703....

 he had signed during the reign of his father, Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

. Charles sought the other European powers' approval. They exacted harsh terms: England demanded that Austria abolish its overseas trading company
Ostend Company
The Imperial Ostend Company was an Austrian private trading company established in 1717 to trade with the East and West Indies. For a few years it provided strong competition to the traditional colonial trading companies...

. In total, Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

, 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...

, Saxony
Electorate of Saxony
The Electorate of Saxony , sometimes referred to as Upper Saxony, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire. It was established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356...

-Poland
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

, the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

, Spain, Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

, States of the Church
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

, Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

, Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, Denmark, Savoy-Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

, Bavaria
History of Bavaria
The history of Bavaria stretches from its earliest settlement and its formation as a stem duchy in the 6th century through its inclusion in the Holy Roman Empires to its status as an independent kingdom and, finally, as a large and significant Bundesland of the modern Federal Republic of...

, and the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire recognised the sanction. France, Spain, Saxony-Poland, Bavaria and Prussia later reneged.

For a moment, however, it seemed that the Pragmatic Sanction was gratuitous, when Elisabeth Christine gave birth to a baby boy in 1716. Unfortunately, he died soon after. A year later, Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma...

, his elder surviving child, was born. At her baptismal ceremony, contemporaries wrote that Charles, despite his best efforts, appeared upset at the child's sex. The next year saw the arrival of another girl, Maria Anna.

Charles waged a productive conflict against 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...

 from 1716 to 1718. Austria came out of it with sizeable gains in Serbia and Royal Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, extending its empire to the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

. Another war, that of Quadruple Alliance
War of the Quadruple Alliance
The War of the Quadruple Alliance was a result of the ambitions of King Philip V of Spain, his wife, Elisabeth Farnese, and his chief minister Giulio Alberoni to retake territories in Italy and to claim the French throne. It saw the defeat of Spain by an alliance of Britain, France, Austria , and...

, soon followed. It too ended in an Austrian victory; by the Treaty of The Hague
Treaty of The Hague (1720)
The Treaty of The Hague was signed on February 17, 1720. The treaty ended the War of the Quadruple Alliance, a conflict that arose between King Philip V of Spain and an alliance of Great Britain, France, Austria and the Dutch Republic.Philip was confirmed king of Spain by the Treaty of Utrecht in...

, Charles swapped Sardinia, which went to the Duke of Savoy, Victor Amadeus
Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia
Victor Amadeus II was Duke of Savoy from 1675 to 1730. He also held the titles of marquis of Saluzzo, duke of Montferrat, prince of Piedmont, count of Aosta, Moriana and Nizza. Louis XIV organised his marriage in order to maintain French influence in the Duchy but Victor Amadeus soon broke away...

, for Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, which was more difficult to defend from foreign aggression than Sardinia. The treaty also recognised Philip V of Spain
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

's son, Don Carlos
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

, as the heir to the Duchy of Parma
Duchy of Parma
The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul III's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma....

 and Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence...

; Charles had prior endorsed the succession of the incumbent Grand Duke's
Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo III de' Medici was the penultimate Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany. He reigned from 1670 to 1723, and was the elder son of Grand Duke Ferdinando II. Cosimo's 53-year long reign, the longest in Tuscan history, was marked by a series of ultra-reactionary laws which regulated prostitution and...

 daughter, Anna Maria Luisa, Electress Palatine
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici was the last scion of the House of Medici. A patron of the arts, she bequeathed the Medici's large art collection, including the contents of the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and the Medicean villas, which she inherited upon her brother Gian Gastone's death in 1737, and her...

.

In 1722, Charles founded the Ostend Company
Ostend Company
The Imperial Ostend Company was an Austrian private trading company established in 1717 to trade with the East and West Indies. For a few years it provided strong competition to the traditional colonial trading companies...

 to augment Austria's trade with the East Indies
Indies
The Indies is a term that has been used to describe the lands of South and Southeast Asia, occupying all of the present India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and also Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, the Philippines, East Timor, Malaysia and...

, West Indies
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 and Africa. The charter was for a period of thirty years. The Austrian exchequer was to receive between 3 to 6 percent of its annual surplus. The company was unpopular with the British and the Dutch; and he was forced to dissolve the company in 1731, by means of the Treaty of Vienna
Treaty of Vienna (1731)
The Treaty of Vienna was first signed on 16 March 1731 by Count Finzendorf and the Earl of Chesterfield. This treaty marked the collapse of the Anglo-French Alliance , the beginning of the Anglo-Austrian Alliance and the birth of the legend of the natural enmity between the Kingdom of France and...

, in exchange for Britain's recognition of the Pragmatic Sanction.

Peace in Europe was shattered by the War of the Polish Succession
War of the Polish Succession
The War of the Polish Succession was a major European war for princes' possessions sparked by a Polish civil war over the succession to Augustus II, King of Poland that other European powers widened in pursuit of their own national interests...

 (1733–1738), which started as a dispute over the throne of the Poland between Augustus of Saxony
Augustus III of Poland
Augustus III, known as the Saxon ; ; also Prince-elector Friedrich August II was the Elector of Saxony in 1733-1763, as Frederick Augustus II , King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1734-1763.-Biography:Augustus was the only legitimate son of Augustus II the Strong, Imperial Prince-Elector...

, the previous King's elder son, and Stanisław Leszczyński. Austria supported the former, France the latter; thus, a war broke out. The Treaty of Vienna
Treaty of Vienna (1738)
The Treaty of Vienna or Peace of Vienna was signed on November 18, 1738. It ended the War of the Polish Succession. By the terms of the treaty, Stanisław Leszczyński renounced his claim on the Polish throne and recognized Augustus III, Duke of Saxony. As compensation he received instead the...

 concluded it in 1738; the Austrian candidate ascended the throne, however, Charles was obliged to surrender 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...

 to Don Carlos
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

 of Spain, in exchange for the minuscule Duchy of Parma
Duchy of Parma
The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul III's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma....

.

The issue of his elder daughter's marriage was raised early in her childhood. She was first engaged to be married to Léopold Clément of Lorraine
Léopold Clément, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine
Léopold Clément, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine was heir apparent to the throne of the sovereign Duchy of Lorraine....

, who was supposed to come to Vienna and meet Maria Theresa in 1723. Instead, news reached Vienna that he had died of smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

, which upset Maria Theresa. Léopold Clément's
Léopold Clément, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine
Léopold Clément, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine was heir apparent to the throne of the sovereign Duchy of Lorraine....

 younger brother, Francis Stephen
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
Francis I was Holy Roman Emperor and Grand Duke of Tuscany, though his wife effectively executed the real power of those positions. With his wife, Maria Theresa, he was the founder of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty...

, was invited to Vienna, but Maria Theresa's father considered other possibilities (such as marrying her to the future Charles III of Spain
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

) before announcing the engagement of the couple. France demanded that Maria Theresa's fiancé surrender his ancestral Duchy of Lorraine
Lorraine (province)
The Duchy of Upper Lorraine was an historical duchy roughly corresponding with the present-day northeastern Lorraine region of France, including parts of modern Luxembourg and Germany. The main cities were Metz, Verdun, and the historic capital Nancy....

 to accommodate Stanisław Leszczyński, the deposed King of Poland. Maria Theresa's father compelled Francis to renounce his rights to Lorraine and told him: "No renunciation, no archduchess".
They married in February 1736, and Lorraine devolved to France in July 1737.

In 1737, the Emperor embarked on another Turkish War with Russia. Unlike the previous confrontation, it ended in a decisive Austrian defeat. The territorial advances made in the last Turkish War, under Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy , was one of the most successful military commanders in modern European history, rising to the highest offices of state at the Imperial court in Vienna. Born in Paris to aristocratic Italian parents, Eugene grew up around the French court of King Louis XIV...

, in Bosnia
History of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1463–1878)
The arrival of the Ottoman Turks marked a new era in Bosnian history.-Ottoman Rule:The Turks had conquered Slavonia and most of Hungary by 1541. In the next century, most of the Bosnian province wasn't a borderland and developed in relative peace...

, Serbia and Oltenia
Oltenia
Oltenia is a historical province and geographical region of Romania, in western Wallachia. It is situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt river ....

 (Lesser Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

), were obliterated. Popular discontent at the costly war reigned in Vienna. As a result, Francis of Lorraine, Maria Theresa's consort, was daubed a French spy by the Viennese.

Death and legacy


At the time of his death, the Habsburg lands were saturated in debt; the exchequer contained a mere 100,000 florins; and desertion was rife in Austria's sporadic army, spread across the Empire in small, ineffective barracks. Contemporaries expected that Austrian-Hungary would wrench itself from the Habsburg yoke upon his death.

The Emperor died on 20 October 1740 at the Favorita Palace
Palais Augarten
Palais Augarten is a Baroque palace in the district of Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria. Despite extensive damage suffered during World War II, the palace has been maintained almost in its original appearance, and many of the original furnishings can still be found there.The Palais Augarten is the...

, Vienna. There is some evidence that Charles' death was caused by consuming a meal of death cap
Death cap
Amanita phalloides , commonly known as the death cap, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Widely distributed across Europe, A. phalloides forms ectomycorrhizas with various broadleaved trees. In some cases, death cap has been introduced to new regions with...

 mushrooms. Charles' life opus, the Pragmatic Sanction, was ultimately in vain. Maria Theresa was forced to resort to arms to defend her inheritance from the coalition of Prussia, Bavaria, France, Spain, Saxony and Poland—all party to the sanction—who assaulted the Austrian frontier weeks after he died. The result: Maria Theresa lost the mineral-rich Duchy of Silesia
Duchy of Silesia
The Duchy of Silesia with its capital at Wrocław was a medieval duchy located in the historic Silesian region of Poland. Soon after it was formed under the Piast dynasty in 1138, it fragmented into various Duchies of Silesia. In 1327 the remaining Duchy of Wrocław as well as most other duchies...

 to Prussia, and the Duchy of Parma
Duchy of Parma
The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from that part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul III's illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, centered on the city of Parma....

 to Spain.

Emperor Charles VI has been the main motif of many collectors' coins and medals. One of the most recent samples is high value collectors' coin the Austrian Göttweig Abbey commemorative coin, minted in 11 October 2006. His portrait can be seen in the foreground of the reverse of the coin.

Ancestors





Titles


Full titles of Charles as the emperor and ruler of Habsburg lands as well as a pretender to the Spanish throne went as follows: Charles, by the grace of God elected Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, King in Germany, of Castile, Aragon, Leon, both Sicilies, Jerusalem, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Rama, Serbia, Galitia, Lodomeria, Cumania, Bulgaria, Navarra, Grenada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Sevilla, Sardinia, Cordova, Corsica, Murcia, Jaen, the Algarve, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, the islands of India and Mainland of the Ocean sea, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Milan, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Limburg, Luxemburg, Gelderland, Württemberg, the Upper and Lower Silesia, Calabria, Athens and Neopatria, Prince of Swabia, Catalonia, Asturia, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, of Burgau, Moravia, the Upper and Lower Lusatia, Princely Count of Habsburg, Flanders, Tyrol, Ferrette, Kyburg, Gorizia, Artois, Landgrave of Alsace, Margrave of Oristano, Count of Goceano, Namur, Roussillon, Cerdagne, Lord of the Wendish March, Pordenone, Biscay, Molina, Salins, Tripoli and Mechelen, etc.

Titles and succession



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