Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

Overview
Maximilian I the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick the Peaceful KG was Duke of Austria as Frederick V from 1424, the successor of Albert II as German King as Frederick IV from 1440, and Holy Roman Emperor as Frederick III from 1452...

 and Eleanor of Portugal, was 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...

  (also known as King of the Germans) from 1486 and 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...

 from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky. He had ruled jointly with his father for the last ten years of his father's reign, from circa 1483. He expanded the influence of the House of Habsburg through war and his marriage in 1477 to Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy ruled the Burgundian territories in Low Countries and was suo jure Duchess of Burgundy from 1477 until her death...

, the heiress to the Duchy of 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...

, but he also lost the Austrian territories in today's Switzerland to the Swiss Confederacy.

By marrying his son Philip the Handsome
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

 to the future Queen 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...

 in 1498, Maximilian established the Habsburg dynasty in Spain
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...

 and allowed his grandson Charles
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 to hold the throne of both León-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...

 and Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

, thus making him the first de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

King of Spain.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor'
Start a new discussion about 'Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Maximilian I the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick the Peaceful KG was Duke of Austria as Frederick V from 1424, the successor of Albert II as German King as Frederick IV from 1440, and Holy Roman Emperor as Frederick III from 1452...

 and Eleanor of Portugal, was 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...

  (also known as King of the Germans) from 1486 and 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...

 from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky. He had ruled jointly with his father for the last ten years of his father's reign, from circa 1483. He expanded the influence of the House of Habsburg through war and his marriage in 1477 to Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy ruled the Burgundian territories in Low Countries and was suo jure Duchess of Burgundy from 1477 until her death...

, the heiress to the Duchy of 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...

, but he also lost the Austrian territories in today's Switzerland to the Swiss Confederacy.

By marrying his son Philip the Handsome
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

 to the future Queen 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...

 in 1498, Maximilian established the Habsburg dynasty in Spain
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...

 and allowed his grandson Charles
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 to hold the throne of both León-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...

 and Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

, thus making him the first de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

King of Spain. Having outlived his father Philip, Charles succeeded Maximilian as Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, and thus ruled both 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...

 and 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....

 simultaneously.

Background


Maximilian was born at Wiener Neustadt
Wiener Neustadt
-Main sights:* The Late-Romanesque Dom, consecrated in 1279 and cathedral from 1469 to 1785. The choir and transept, in Gothic style, are from the 14th century. In the late 15th century 12 statues of the Apostles were added in the apse, while the bust of Cardinal Melchior Klesl is attributed to...

 on 22 March 1459. At the time, the Dukes of 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...

, a cadet branch of the French royal family, with their sophisticated nobility and court culture, were the rulers of vast territories on the eastern and northern boundaries of modern-day France. The reigning duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, was the chief political opponent of Maximilian's father Frederick III. Frederick was concerned about Burgundy's expansive tendencies on the western border of his 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...

, and to forestall military conflict, he attempted to secure the marriage of Charles's only daughter, Mary of Burgundy, to his son Maximilian. After the Siege of Neuss
Siege of Neuss
The Siege of Neuss, from 1474–75, was part of the Burgundian Wars. The siege, led by Charles the Bold against the Holy Roman Empire city of Neuss, was unsuccessful...

 (1474–75), he was successful. The wedding between Maximilian and Mary took place on the evening of 16 August 1477.

Reign in Burgundy and The Netherlands


Maximilian's wife inherited the vast Burgundian domains in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the 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....

 upon her father's death in the Battle of Nancy
Battle of Nancy
The Battle of Nancy was the final and decisive battle of the Burgundian Wars, fought outside the walls of Nancy on 5 January 1477 between Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and René II, Duke of Lorraine...

 on 5 January 1477. Already before his coronation as the 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...

 in 1486, Maximilian decided to secure this distant and extensive Burgundian inheritance to his family, the House of Habsburg, at all costs.

The Duchy of 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...

 was also claimed by the French crown under Salic Law
Salic law
Salic law was a body of traditional law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the early Middle Ages during the reign of King Clovis I in the 6th century...

, with Louis XI, King of France
Louis XI of France
Louis XI , called the Prudent , was the King of France from 1461 to 1483. He was the son of Charles VII of France and Mary of Anjou, a member of the House of Valois....

 vigorously contesting the Habsburg claim to the Burgundian inheritance by means of military force. Maximilian undertook the defence of his wife's dominions from an attack by Louis XI and defeated the French forces at Guinegate
Battle of Guinegate (1479)
The First Battle of Guinegate took place on August 7, 1479. French troops of King Louis XI were defeated by the Burgundians led by Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg...

, the modern Enguinegatte
Enguinegatte
-History:Known as Guinegatte in medieval times, it is the site of several late 15th and early 16th century battles. The first was the Battle of Guinegate, the later and more famous, the Battle of the Spurs, in 1513. The village was largely destroyed in the Second World War.-References:* -External...

, on 7 August 1479.

The wedding contract between Maximilian and Mary stipulated that only the children of bride and groom had a right to inherit from each, not the surviving parent. Mary tried to bypass this rule with a promise to transfer territories as a gift in case of her death, but her plans were confounded. After Mary's tragic death in a riding accident on 27 March 1482 near the Wijnendale Castle, Maximilian's aim was now to secure the inheritance to one of his and Mary's children, Philip the Handsome.

Some of the Netherland provinces were hostile to Maximilian, and they signed a treaty
Treaty of Arras (1482)
The Treaty of Arras was signed at Arras on 23 December 1482 by King Louis XI of France and Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg as heir of the Burgundian Netherlands in the course of the Burgundian succession crisis....

 with Louis XI in 1482 that forced Maximilian to give up 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...

 and 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:...

 to the French crown. Maximilian continued to govern Mary's remaining inheritance in the name of Philip the Handsome. After the regency ended, Maximilian and Charles VIII of France exchanged these two territories for Burgundy and Picardy in the Treaty of Senlis
Treaty of Senlis
The Treaty of Senlis concerning the Burgundian succession was signed at Senlis, Oise in May of 1493 between Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and King Charles VIII of France....

 (1493). Thus a large part of the Netherlands (known as 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...

) stayed in the Habsburg patrimony.

Reign in the Holy Roman Empire



Elected King of the Romans 16 February 1486 in Frankfurt-am-Main at his father's initiative and crowned on 9 April 1486 in Aachen
Aachen
Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

, Maximilian also stood at the head 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...

 upon his father's death in 1493.

Italian and Swiss wars



As the treaty of Senlis had resolved French differences with the Holy Roman Empire, King Louis XII
Louis XII of France
Louis proved to be a popular king. At the end of his reign the crown deficit was no greater than it had been when he succeeded Charles VIII in 1498, despite several expensive military campaigns in Italy. His fiscal reforms of 1504 and 1508 tightened and improved procedures for the collection of taxes...

 of France had his borders secured in the north and turned his attention to Italy, where he made claims for 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...

. In 1499/1500 he conquered it and drove the Sforza regent Lodovico il Moro into exile. This brought him into a potential conflict with Maximilian, who on 16 March 1494 had married Bianca Maria Sforza
Bianca Maria Sforza
Bianca Maria Sforza was Holy Roman Empress as the second wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. She was the eldest legitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, by his second wife, Bona of Savoy....

, a daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Galeazzo Maria Sforza was Duke of Milan from 1466 until his death. He was famous for being lustful, cruel and tyrannical....

, duke of Milan. However, Maximilian was unable to hinder the French from taking over Milan. The prolonged 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...

 resulted, in Maximilian joining the Holy League to counter the French.

In the late 15th century the two kingdoms of Tyrol
County of Tyrol
The County of Tyrol, Princely County from 1504, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1814 a province of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

 and Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 went to war. Bavaria demanded money back from Tyrol that had been loaned on the collateral of Tyrolean lands. In 1490, the two nations demanded that Maximilian I step in to mediate the dispute. In response, he assumed the control of Tyrol and its debt. Because Tyrol had no law code at this time, the nobility freely expropriated money from the populace, which caused the royal palace in Innsbruck
Innsbruck
- Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...

 to fester with corruption. After taking control, Maximilian instituted immediate financial reform. In order to symbolize his new wealth and power, he built the Golden Roof
Golden Roof
The Golden Roof is a landmark in Innsbruck, Austria built in 1500. It was decorated with 2657 fire-gilded copper tiles for Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. The reliefs on the balcony show coats of arms, symbols and other figures in his life.-History:...

, a canopy overlooking the town center of Innsbruck, from which to watch the festivities celebrating his assumption of rule over Tyrol. It is made entirely from golden shingles. Gaining theoretical control of Tyrol for the Hapsburgs was of strategic importance because it linked the Swiss Confederacy to the Hapsburg-controlled Austrian lands, which facilitated some imperial geographic continuity.

The situation in Italy was not the only problem Maximilian had at the time. The Swiss won a decisive victory against the Empire in the Battle of Dornach
Battle of Dornach
The Battle of Dornach was a battle fought on 22 July 1499 between the troops of Emperor Maximilian I and the Old Swiss Confederacy close to the Swiss village of Dornach....

 on 22 July 1499. Maximilian had no choice but to agree to a peace treaty signed on 22 September 1499 in Basel
Treaty of Basel (1499)
The Treaty of Basel of 22 September 1499 was an armistice following the Battle of Dornach, concluding the Swabian War, fought between the Swabian League and the Old Swiss Confederacy. The accession of Basel to the confederacy in 1501 is a direct consequence of the treaty....

 that granted the Swiss Confederacy independence from 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...

.

Reforms



Within the Holy Roman Empire, Maximilian faced pressure from local rulers who believed that the King's continued wars with the French to increase the power of his own house were not in their best interests. There was also a consensus that in order to preserve the unity of the Empire, deep reforms were needed. The reforms, which had been delayed for a long time, were launched in the 1495 Reichstag
Reichstag (Holy Roman Empire)
The Imperial Diet was the Diet, or general assembly, of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire.During the period of the Empire, which lasted formally until 1806, the Diet was not a parliament in today's sense; instead, it was an assembly of the various estates of the realm...

 at Worms
Worms, Germany
Worms is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, on the Rhine River. At the end of 2004, it had 85,829 inhabitants.Established by the Celts, who called it Borbetomagus, Worms today remains embattled with the cities Trier and Cologne over the title of "Oldest City in Germany." Worms is the only...

. A new organ, the Reichskammergericht was introduced, and it was to be largely independent from the Emperor. To finance it, a new tax, the Gemeine Pfennig was launched. However, its collection was never fully successful. The local rulers wanted more independence from the Emperor and a strengthening of their own territorial rule. This led to Maximilian agreeing to establish an organ called the Reichsregiment, which would meet in Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

 and consist of the deputies of the Emperor, local rulers, commonoers, and the prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire. The new organ proved itself politically weak and its power returned to Maximilian again in 1502.

Due to the difficult external and internal situation he faced, Maximilian also felt it necessary to introduce reforms in the historic territories of the House of Habsburg in order to finance his army. Using Burgundian institutions as a model, he attempted to create a unified state. This was not very successful, but one of the lasting results was the creation of three different subdivions of the Austrian lands: Lower Austria
Lower Austria
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria...

, Upper Austria
Upper Austria
Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg...

, and Vorderösterreich..

Maximilian was always troubled by financial shortcomings; his income never seemed to be enough to sustain his large-scale goals and policies. For this reason he was forced to take substantial credits from Upper German banker families, especially from the families of Baumgarten, 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'...

 and Welser. Jörg Baumgarten even served as Maximilian's financial advisor. The Fuggers, who dominated the copper and silver mining business in Tyrol, provided a credit of almost 1 million gulden for the purpose of bribing the prince-elector
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...

s to choose Maximilian's grandson Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 as the new Emperor. At the end of Maximilian's rule, the Habsburgs' mountain of debt totalled 6 million gulden; this corresponded to a decade's worth of tax revenues from the their inherited lands. It took until the end of the 16th century for this debt to be repaid.

In 1508, Maximilian, with the assent of Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

, took the title Erwählter Römischer Kaiser ("Elected Roman Emperor"), thus ending the centuries-old custom that the 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...

 had to be crowned by the pope.

Tu felix Austria nube



As part of the Treaty of Arras, Maximilian betrothed his three-year-old daughter Margaret to the Dauphin of France (later Charles VIII
Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII, called the Affable, , was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. Charles was a member of the House of Valois...

), son of his adversary Louis XI. Under the terms of Margaret's betrothal, she was sent to Louis to be brought up under his guardianship. Despite Louis's death in 1483, shortly after Margaret arrived in France, she remained at the French court. The Dauphin, now Charles VIII
Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII, called the Affable, , was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. Charles was a member of the House of Valois...

, was still a minor, and his regent until 1491 was his sister Anne of France
Anne of France
Anne of France was the eldest daughter of Louis XI of France and his second wife, Charlotte of Savoy. Anne was the sister of King Charles VIII of France, for whom she acted as regent during his minority; and of Joan of France, who was briefly queen consort to Louis XII...

. Despite Margaret's betrothal and continued presence at the French court, Anne arranged a marriage between Charles and Anne of Brittany
Anne of Brittany
Anne, Duchess of Brittany , also known as Anna of Brittany , was a Breton ruler, who was to become queen to two successive French kings. She was born in Nantes, Brittany, and was the daughter of Francis II, Duke of Brittany and Margaret of Foix. Her maternal grandparents were Queen Eleanor of...

. The latter Anne, in turn, had been betrothed in 1483, and was actually married 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...

 to Maximilian himself in 1491, but Charles and his sister wanted her inheritance for France. The final result of all of these machinations was that Charles repudiated his betrothal to Margaret when he came of age in 1491, invaded Brittany, forced Anne of Brittany to repudiate her unconsummated marriage to Maximilian, and married her. Margaret remained in France until 1493, when she was finally returned to her father.

In 1493, Maximilian contracted another marriage for himself, this time to the daughter of the Duke of Milan, whence ensued the lengthy 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...

 with France. Thus Maximilian through his own marriages (and attempted marriage) sought to extend his sphere of influence against that of France. The marriages he arranged for both of his children more successfully fulfilled the same goal, and after the turn of the sixteenth century, his matchmaking focused on his grandchildren, for whom he looked opposite France towards the east.

In order to reduce the growing pressures on the Empire brought about by treaties between the rulers of France, Poland, Hungary, Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, and Russia, as well as to secure Bohemia and Hungary for the Habsburgs, Maximilian met with the Jagiellonian
Jagiellon dynasty
The Jagiellonian dynasty was a royal dynasty originating from the Lithuanian House of Gediminas dynasty that reigned in Central European countries between the 14th and 16th century...

 kings Ladislaus II of Hungary and Bohemia and Sigismund I of Poland
Sigismund I the Old
Sigismund I of Poland , of the Jagiellon dynasty, reigned as King of Poland and also as the Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1506 until 1548...

 at the First Congress of Vienna
First Congress of Vienna
The First Congress of Vienna was held in 1515, attended by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, and the Jagiellonian brothers, Vladislaus II, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia, and Sigismund I, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania...

 in 1515. There they arranged for Maximilian's granddaughter Mary to marry Louis
Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia
Louis II was King of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia from 1516 to 1526.- Early life :Louis was the son of Ladislaus II Jagiellon and his third wife, Anne de Foix....

, the son of Ladislaus, and for Anne
Anna of Bohemia and Hungary
Anna of Bohemia and Hungary, also sometimes known as Anna Jagellonica was, by marriage to Ferdinand I, King of the Romans and later Holy Roman Emperor, Queen of the Romans.-Family:She was the elder child and only daughter of king Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary and his third...

 (the sister of Louis) to marry Maximilian's grandson 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...

(both grandchildren being the children of Philip the Handsome, Maximilian's son, 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...

). The marriages arranged there brought Habsburg kingship over Hungary and Bohemia in 1526. Both Anne and Louis were adopted by Maximilian following the death of Ladislaus. These political marriages were summed up in the following Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 elegiac couplet
Elegiac couplet
The elegiac couplet is a poetic form used by Greek lyric poets for a variety of themes usually of smaller scale than the epic. Roman poets, particularly Ovid, adopted the same form in Latin many years later...

: Bella gerant aliī, tū fēlix Austria nūbe/ Nam quae Mars aliīs, dat tibi regna Venus, "Let others wage war, but thou, O happy Austria, marry; for those kingdoms which Mars gives to others, Venus gives to thee."

Succession


After it became clear that Maximilian's policies in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 had been unsuccessful, and after 1517 Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 reconquered the last pieces of their territory from Maximilian, the emperor now started to focus entirely on the question of his succession. His goal was to secure the throne for a member of his house and prevent 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...

 from gaining the throne; the resulting "election campaign" was unprecedenced due to the massive use of bribery. The 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 provided Maximilian a credit of 1 million gulden, which was used to bribe the prince-electors. At first, this policy seemed successful, and Maximilian managed to secure the votes from Mainz, Cologne, Brandenburg and Bohemia for his grandson Charles V. The death of Maximilian in 1519 seemed to put the succession at risk, but in a few months the election of Charles V was secured.

Death and legacy



In 1501, Maximilian fell from his horse, an accident that badly injured his leg and caused him pain for the rest of his life. Some historians have suggested that Maximilian was "morbidly" depressed: From 1514, he travelled everywhere with his coffin.
Maximilian died in Wels
Wels
Wels is the second largest city of the state of Upper Austria, located in the north of Austria, on the Traun River near Linz. It is not part of its surrounding Wels County , but a so-called Statutarstadt . However, Wels is the county seat of Wels-Land.- Geography :Wels is located in the...

, Upper Austria, and was succeeded as Emperor by his grandson Charles V, his son Philip the Handsome having died in 1506. Although he is buried in the Castle Chapel at Wiener Neustadt, a cenotaph
Cenotaph
A cenotaph is an "empty tomb" or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been interred elsewhere. The word derives from the Greek κενοτάφιον = kenotaphion...

 tomb for Maximilian is located in the Hofkirche, Innsbruck
Hofkirche, Innsbruck
The Hofkirche Innsbruck, Austria, is a Gothic church built 1553–1563 by Ferdinand I as a memorial to his grandfather Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor , whose cenotaph within boasts a remarkable collection of German Renaissance sculpture...

.

Maximilian was a keen supporter of the arts and sciences, and he surrounded himself with scholars such as Joachim Vadian
Joachim Vadian
Joachim Vadian , born as Joachim von Watt, was a Swiss Humanist and scholar and also mayor and reformer in St. Gallen.-Biography:...

 and Andreas Stoberl
Andreas Stoberl
Andreas Stoberl , known as Stiborius , was an Austrian astronomer, mathematician, and theologian. He was a member of a circle of humanists based in Vienna...

 (Stiborius), promoting them to important court posts. His reign saw the first flourishing of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 in Germany. He commissioned a series of three monumental woodblock prints
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

 - The Triumphal Arch (1512–18, 192 woodcut panels, 295 cm wide and 357 cm high - approximately 9'8" by 11'8½"), and a Triumphal Procession (1516–18, 137 woodcut panels, 54 m long) which is led by a Large Triumphal Carriage (1522, 8 woodcut panels, 1½' high and 8' long), created by artists including Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

, Albrecht Altdorfer
Albrecht Altdorfer
Albrecht Altdorfer was a German painter, printmaker and architect of the Renaissance era.-Biography:Altdorfer was born in Regensburg or Altdorf around 1480....

 and Hans Burgkmair
Hans Burgkmair
Hans Burgkmair the elder was a German painter and printmaker in woodcut.Burgkmair was born in Augsburg, the son of painter Thomas Burgkmair and his son, Hans the Younger, became one too. From 1488 he was a pupil of Martin Schongauer in Colmar, who died during his two years there, before Burgkmair...

.

Maximilian had a great passion for armour
Armour
Armour or armor is protective covering used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or a vehicle through use of direct contact weapons or projectiles, usually during combat, or from damage caused by a potentially dangerous environment or action...

, not only as equipment for battle or tournaments, but as an art form. The style of armour that became popular during the second half of his reign featured elaborate fluting and metalworking, and became known as Maximilian armour
Maximilian armour
Maximilian armour is a modern term applied to the style of early 16th-century German plate armour apparently first made for the Emperor Maximilian I...

. It emphasized the details in the shaping of the metal itself, rather than the etched or gilded designs popular in the Milanese style. Maximilian also gave a bizarre jousting helmet as a gift to King 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...

 - the helmet's visor featured a human face, with eyes, nose and a grinning mouth, and was modeled after the appearance of Maximilian himself. It also sported a pair of curled ram's horns, brass spectacles, and even etched beard stubble.

Maximilian had appointed his daughter Margaret as both Regent of the Netherlands and the guardian and educator of his grandsons Charles and 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...

 (their father, Philip, having predeceased Maximilian), and she fulfilled this task well. Through wars and marriages he extended the Habsburg influence in every direction: to the Netherlands, Spain, Bohemia, Hungary, Poland, and Italy. This influence would last for centuries and shape much of European history.

Ancestry





Titles


Maximilian I, by the grace of God elected 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...

, forever August, King of Germany, of Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, etc. Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Lorraine, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Limburg, Luxembourg, Gelderland, Landgrave of Alsace, Prince of Swabia, Count Palatine of Burgundy, Princely Count of Habsburg, Hainaut, Flanders, Tyrol, Gorizia, Artois, Holland, Seeland, Ferrette, Kyburg, Namur, Zutphen, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, the Enns, Burgau, Lord of Frisia, the Wendish March, Pordenone, Salins, Mechelen, etc. etc.

Marriages and offspring


Maximilian was married three times, of which only the first marriage produced offspring:
  • Mary of Burgundy
    Mary of Burgundy
    Mary of Burgundy ruled the Burgundian territories in Low Countries and was suo jure Duchess of Burgundy from 1477 until her death...

     (1457–1482). They were married in 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...

     on 18 August 1477, and the marriage was ended by Mary's death in a riding accident in 1482. The marriage produced three children:
  1. Philip the Handsome
    Philip I of Castile
    Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

     (1478–1506) who inherited his mother's domains following her death, but predeceased his father. He married 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...

    , becoming King-consort of Castile upon her accession in 1504, and was the father of the Holy Roman Emperors Charles V
    Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
    Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

     and 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...

  2. Margaret of Austria, (1480–1533), who was first engaged at the age of 2 to the French Dauphin (who became Charles VIII of France
    Charles VIII of France
    Charles VIII, called the Affable, , was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. Charles was a member of the House of Valois...

     a year later) to confirm peace between France and Burgundy. She was sent back to her father in 1492 after Charles repudiated their betrothal to marry Anne of Brittany
    Anne of Brittany
    Anne, Duchess of Brittany , also known as Anna of Brittany , was a Breton ruler, who was to become queen to two successive French kings. She was born in Nantes, Brittany, and was the daughter of Francis II, Duke of Brittany and Margaret of Foix. Her maternal grandparents were Queen Eleanor of...

    . She was then married to the Crown Prince of Castile and Aragon John, Prince of Asturias, and after his death to Philibert II of Savoy, after which she undertook the guardianship of her deceased brother Philip's children, and governed Burgundy for the heir, Charles.
  3. Francis of Austria, who died shortly after his birth in 1481.
    • Anne of Brittany
      Anne of Brittany
      Anne, Duchess of Brittany , also known as Anna of Brittany , was a Breton ruler, who was to become queen to two successive French kings. She was born in Nantes, Brittany, and was the daughter of Francis II, Duke of Brittany and Margaret of Foix. Her maternal grandparents were Queen Eleanor of...

       (1477–1514) — they were married by proxy in Rennes
      Rennes
      Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.-History:...

       on 18 December 1490, but the contract was dissolved by the Pope in early 1492, by which time Anne had already been forced by the French King, Charles VIII (the fiancé of Maximilian's daughter Margaret of Austria) to repudiate the contract and marry himself instead.
    • Bianca Maria Sforza
      Bianca Maria Sforza
      Bianca Maria Sforza was Holy Roman Empress as the second wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. She was the eldest legitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, by his second wife, Bona of Savoy....

       (1472–1510) — they were married in 1493, the marriage bringing Maximilian a rich dowry and allowing him to assert his rights as Imperial overlord of Milan. The marriage was unhappy, and they had no children.
    • By Margareta Von Edelsheim, Maximilian is alleged to have been the father of:
  4. Margareta (1480–1537) wife of Count Ludwig Von Helfenstein-Wiesentheid, was killed by peasants on 16 April 1525 in the Massacre of Weinsberg during 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...

    .
  5. George of Austria
    George of Austria
    George of Austria , was Prince-bishop of Liège between 1544 and 1557.He was an illegitimate son of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Margaretha of Edelsheim....

     (1505-1557), Prince-Bishop of Liège.
  6. Leopoldo de Austria (circa 1515 - 1557), Bishop of Córdoba, Spain (1541- 1557),with illegitimate succession.
  7. Anne Margerite of Austria (1517 - 1545) . She married François de Melun ( - 1547), 2nd count of Epinoy
    Épinoy
    Épinoy is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.-Geography:A farming village situated southeast of Arras at the junction of the N43 and D21 roads.-Population:-Places of interest:* Traces of an old castle....

    . Lady in waiting to Queen Maria of Hungary
    Maria of Hungary
    Maria or Mary of Hungary may refer to:* Maria of Hungary , Queen Consort of Naples* Margaret of Hungary , Byzantine Empress Maria* Mary of Hungary, reigning queen of Hungary, 1382-1395...

  8. Anne of Austria
    Anne of Austria
    Anne of Austria was Queen consort of France and Navarre, regent for her son, Louis XIV of France, and a Spanish Infanta by birth...

     (1519 - ). She married Louis d'Hirlemont

See also

  • Kings of Germany family tree. He was related to every other king of Germany.
  • Maximilian armour
    Maximilian armour
    Maximilian armour is a modern term applied to the style of early 16th-century German plate armour apparently first made for the Emperor Maximilian I...

  • Landsknechts

External links