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Biography of Charles V | His life and achievements.


Developed by dynastic hazards in the most powerful King of his time, consecrated its efforts to establish a universal Christian Empire.

The Spanish Mystic San Juan de la Cruz, in a letter preserved in the file of Simancas, Juana the mad, daughter of Isabel the Catholic and mother of the future Carlos V, saying things such as "a Civet CAT had eaten to his mother and was going to eat it to it" has, strange fantasies of a mysterious woman. About Regal madness of Joan have wielded the most whimsical hypothesis, since it says that not he suffered from no alienation, but an intolerable Protestantism cruelly punished with the apartment, until the release of more common intends to, according to the thesis of Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo, "the madness of Doña Juana was madness of love, they were jealous of her husband well founded and prior to Lutheranism. Nor historians have ceased to condemn his son Carlos I of Spain and V of Germany, to whom the circumstances became the most refined defender of Catholicism of his time, of being guilty of heterodoxy, and this under the process that the Pope Paulo VI sent form to the emperor as factor of heretics and schismatic.

Charles V (portrait of Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen, c. 1530)
But that was an episode due to malicious political interests, whose reasons complain evil with righteousness of the religious feelings of the Emperor, who, in his retreat at Yuste, confessed to the friars: "much erred in not to kill Luther, and even though I left it as not to break the safe-conduct and Word was given, thinking other way remedy that heresy" I erred, because I was not compelled to save him the word, as the guilt of heresy against another Lord mayor, who was God, and so I had not nor should save Word, but avenge the insult made to God." Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo adds that "the man who thought so may qualify you fan, but never of heretic".
The 24 February 1500, date in that Flemish States celebrated their day at Prinsenhof, near Ghent, Archduke Felipe el Hermoso and Archduchess Joan, later called la Loca, paid homage to the new King of France, Luis XII, despite the anger of the Emperor Maximilian and the Catholic monarchs. In the middle of the ceremony, Juana ran to the nozzle (Special toilets) and locked in it without that Felipe inmutara is. At the end of an excessive waiting bridesmaids, alarmed, did knock down the door, and Juana showed the reason for its closure. Alone and unaided had given birth to her second child. Baptized with the name of Carlos in honor to Carlos the bold, great-grandfather of the child.

The family of Emperor Maximilian; in the Centre,
his grandson Carlos V (portrait of Bernhard Strigel)
As a son of Felipe el Hermoso and Juana la Loca, became a vast and heterogeneous heritage, that much had to see the combination of dynastic marriages and a series of premature deaths of the direct heirs of various Thrones at the hands of Carlos V. By his paternal grandfather, the Emperor Maximiliano de Habsburgo, received the hereditary States of the House of Austria, in the southeast of Germany; by her paternal grandmother, Mary obtained the Burgundian Duchy, which however was held by France, and also the Netherlands, Franche-Comté, Artois and the counties of Nevers and Rethel. From his maternal grandfather, Fernando the Catholic, received the Kingdom of Aragon, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia and its overseas possessions; and her maternal grandmother, Isabel the Catholic, Castilla and the Spanish conquests in North Africa and Indies.

A fabulous and troubled legacy

The real problem would reside in the lack of cohesion in all these domains, by what Carlos was proposed during all his reign overcome the feudal concept of the Empire and give a new dynamic through a common ideal that would justify the meeting of disparate territories under a single Crown. The figure of the Empire came before him as the ideal political entity to agglutinate the different domains and found them on a religious universality. The common ideal was Christianity, and according to the same, Carlos erected in the "keeper of Christianity", in moments in which the unity of belief that the medieval world had closed were about to break. According to Menéndez Pidal, Carlos V assumed the role of Coordinator and guide to the Christian princes against the infidels "to achieving the universality of the European culture", so the idea of Christianity became a political reality. However, this was not an easy task in a century as the 16th, where national sentiments opposed the universalism and the Christian princes sought to consolidate, when not widen, your living space in the old continent.
Carlos was formed intellectually with Adriano de Utrecht, who would be promoted to pontificate with the name of Adriano VI, and Guillaume de Croÿ, Señor de Chièvres, character on which lie the accusations of greed and bravado. He spent his childhood in the Netherlands, and in their studies always showed great interest in languages, mathematics, geography and, above all, history. At the same time, their educators not forgot that a man named as high designs had to have a sturdy body that stimulated the physical exercises of young Carlos, who excelled in riding and hunting, at the time that he was singularly adroit handling of the crossbow. The firmness of his character, a trait which gave ample samples in the course of his life, seems to be called into question in its early years, then called to govern Flanders in 1513, was actually his guardian, Lord of Chièvres, who took the reins of the State. But this fact is understood easily when dropped into the account that Carlos had by then only thirteen years.

Juana la Loca with his sons Fernando and Carlos
In 1516, with the death of his grandfather Fernando el Católico, became Carlos I of Spain, despite opposition from the supporters of his brother, Prince Fernando, educated in Spain. While Castilla gave its consent to the appointment of Charles as King of Spain, Aragon put as a condition that the new King swore its Constitution in Zaragoza, which meant that the monarch was transferred from Flanders to Spain. His trip was delayed in unjustified way for several months, and during this interregnum the Jiménez Cardinal de Cisneros had exercised the highest judiciary in Spain. The latter undertook the journey, to receive him, to the beaches of Asturias, but fell ill and had to take refuge in the monastery of San Francisco de Aguilera, where he received the news of the arrival of the King with a foreign following. September 18, 1517, after a difficult crossing, Carlos V landed in the Asturian port of Villaviciosa. It was accompanied by his sister Eleanor, the Lord of Chièvres, Chancellor of Burgundy and many noble flamingos. A few days earlier, on 31 October, a German monk named Luther had pronounced ninety proposals against trade in indulgences that would stand against the Roman Catholic Church reform movement.
Cisneros sent urgently a recommendation the monarch begging you language to his entourage, fearful, and rightly so, that this would only irritate the courtiers Spaniards. Disregarding such prudent advice, Carlos remained by his side his friends and went to Cork, where his mother was held. She earned her that abdicate in his favour, formality without which would have been impossible to govern. Before coming to Valladolid, Charles received the news of the death of Cisneros. The Cardinal had died without being able to meet with the mozo flamenco and troubled by an imminent future which he, better than anyone else, provided conflicting.

King of Spain

Of all the countries that inherited, Spain was the most difficult of consolidating under your domain. Carlos proposed rule with the exclusive support of their compatriots, distributing among them perquisites and senior officials, which greatly incensed the local nobility. The party formed around his brother Fernando, foreign and ignorance of Castilian weighed against her. The obstacles began immediately after the city of Valladolid received with great hospitality, parties, jousts and tournaments the foreign monarch. In February 1518, during the first meeting of the Castilian cortes, were required to the King respect for the laws of Castile and that to learn Spanish. Carlos did not hesitate to accept these demands, but instead asked and obtained a substantial credit of 600,000 ducats. The courts of Aragon were delayed until January of the following year to recognize him as King, and did so with his mother. He was also awarded a loan of 200,000 ducats.
At the cortes of Catalonia the negotiations were more difficult. The King was still in Barcelona when he received the news that June 28 had been elected emperor with the name of Carlos V. The imperial title was essential to carry out the Government's numerous possessions under the sign of the unit. His paternal grandfather, Emperor Maximilian, Crown was not hereditary but elective, and the diet gathered in Frankfurt, following the resignation of Federico the prudent, made fall the designation on his person. To get it, Carlos had invested a million florins, half of which was financed by the Fugger bankers, who saw in it the key to the economic development of Europe.

A young Carlos V (portrait of Bernard van Orley)
Carlos returned to Castile in order to prepare the imperial coronation and apply for a new credit. The existence of a strong opposition to grant, that was headed by Toledo, it led him to summon the cortes in Santiago and to continue them in La Coruña. The multiplication of opportunities provided by subsequent postponements of the session and the itinerant course of them paved the reluctance to create the suitable climate that allowed representatives of the cities were pressured and bribed for the cause of the King. After violent arguments, prosecutors betrayed the mandate of their cities and gave the new loan. After this vote, the majority did not return to their cities, and those who did were executed. Carlos left Spain leaving behind of himself to the Castilian realm plunged into the 'war of the communities'. Never collected the money from the loan.
The contempt that the Flemish advisers of the King showed by the Spaniards, favouritism in the appointment of foreigners to carry out public positions of importance, the large amounts of money taken from the Kingdom and the designation of Adriano de Utrecht as Regent during the absence of the King, were some of the causes of the revolt of the comuneros. This was initially a real revolt against landowner aristocracy and Royal despotism. It was primarily a defence of the dignity and the Castilian interests born in the municipality as a bourgeois movement.
However, before the defeat of the last rebels at Villalar, on April 23, 1521, the uprising had degenerated into an incoherent revolt, most identified with the feudal traditions than with economic and political demands of the bourgeoisie. Also the Kingdom of Valencia revolted by then. The movement was encouraged by the germanías (associations of craftsmen) of Valencia and Mallorca, which threw the aristocracy recruited militias to deal with Pirates of the Mediterranean. Carlos could not less than supporting the aristocracy in its repressive action. The germanías were defeated in 1523 and his supporters harshly punished.

Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

Meanwhile, until the King was directed to Germany in order to be crowned, he visited his uncles Enrique VIII and Catherine of Aragon to enlist the support of England vs. Francisco I de France. In those moments, the Spanish fleet commanded by Hugo of Moncada crushed the Turks, who were thus expelled from the Mediterranean. This action was critical to the plans of the monarch, as he held commercial avenues of the Fugger and saldaba debt owed to bankers to bribe the voters who named him emperor. On 23 October 1520, Carlos V was crowned Emperor in the city of Aachen. In a ceremony of great pomp, the chasuble of Charlemagne was placed him and received his legendary sword Joyeuse, Crown, Scepter and globe. In his twenties he was the head of Christendom.

The Emperor Carlos V (detail of a)
Portrait of Jakob Seisenegger)
Meanwhile, the recent invention of the printing press was used both to spread the old as new ideas, and the Protestant doctrine had reached great popularity in Germany. Lutheran theses had transformed not only in religious criticism but in the germ of a political movement for purposes of territorial emancipation and secularization of church property. Carlos, educated among humanists, coincided with the Lutherans to criticise the structures of the Church. He believed that it was this, and not the faith, which should be the object of a deep reform; I had put an end to the corruption of the bishops, the lust for wealth, the interference in public affairs and the scandalous trade in indulgences. The Pope himself had come to empower women signing contracts of indulgences that then their husbands had to pay.
Charles V was considered appropriate to be above these disputes, and for years tried to reconcile the more radical positions. It remained the teachings of Erasmo de Rotterdam, which postulated the simplicity of primitive Christianity, the rejection of Formalisms and pageantry rituals and superstitions, and a religious piety "in spirit". But in 1521, after the diet of Worms, the Emperor found that the rapprochement of the positions of Martín Luther and the Church of Rome was impossible, and the differences, indomitable. Their actions are then went to settle these disputes as soon as possible, to resolve the internal affairs of their kingdoms, to put an end to banditry and to strengthen his Government to unite Christianity and turn it against Islam. This was the moment that Francisco I de France, decided to put an end to the dominance of the Habsburgs, took the opportunity to launch a war which was considered inevitable.
The action of Francisco I, allied with Pope Clement VII, forcing Carlos V to respond vigorously. His army defeated the French troops and made prisoner to the French King in Pavia, on March 10, 1525. Two years later, Carlos attacked the Pope and his army entered Rome. Spanish and German troops looted the city for a week. Soon after, the defection of Andrea Doria of France gave Carlos a powerful fleet and forced the Pope to meet him in Rome. The peace of Cambrai, signed August 3, 1529, Francisco I forced to recognize the sovereignty of the Emperor on Milan, Genoa and Naples.

Charles V (detail of a portrait by Rubens)
Momentarily resolved the military clashes, Carlos V thought it was an opportunity to peacefully resolve doctrinal disputes. For this purpose he summoned the diet of Augsburg, even with the papal opposition, in 1530. The attempt was futile, since neither Lutherans and Roman Catholics wanted to compromise on their positions. The conciliatory influence of Erasmus had lost strength. Then began a long civil war that pitted the imperial army with the Lutheran princes, allies of Francisco I, who in turn had agreed with the Turks. Peace would not be signed until 1555 in Augsburg. According to it, Carlos V recognized the Protestants religious freedom and ownership of the property expropriated the Church before 1552.

The Organization of the Empire

Charles V returned to Spain in 1522, suffocated after the revolt of the comuneros, and remained in the country for the next seven years. During this period he made a great effort to understand the Spanish character and approach to the concerns of his subjects. He learned to speak Spanish and made the language of the Court. The political steps in this period tended to ingratiate themselves with the Spaniards, while there was no longer a real threat to the Crown. Your wedding in 1526 with her cousin Elizabeth, daughter of King Manuel I of Portugal, was well received. Also the future was, the following year, the birth of the eldest son, Felipe II. The Spaniards began to recognize Carlos a King with moral authority, which gradually and willingly accepted the muteness of the imperial administration.

Isabel of Portugal
Carlos ruled their domains as the highest exponent of a dynastic organization, and in each State appointed a Regent or a Viceroy, the times member of the Habsburg family or chosen of the Spanish nobility. In each country of the monarchy, as his contemporaries called the Empire of Carlos V, had a Viceroy in Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Sicily, Sardinia, Naples and Navarra. In the Netherlands had a Governor general, who was his aunt Margarita de Austria (until his death in 1530) and subsequently, until 1558, his sister María de Hungría. German domains had been left in the hands of his brother Fernando. His thought was based on the idea that family was the best support for their vast Empire. Also India, Peru and new Spain were ruled by Viceroys.
Both in Spain and in its other realms, the Government of Carlos V was a personal monarchy exercised through centralized, but not unified institutions. Thus was the monarch, rather than King of Spain, Castile, Aragon, etc., and his power was conditioned by local laws. Carlos availed herself of the Royal Council, inherited from their grandparents, the Catholic monarchs, and reorganized it in special Councils, according to various administrative tasks. There were two types of Councils, the State and who were members of the administrative body itself. The modernization of government bodies, in accordance with the criteria of the Emperor, required the progressive exclusion of the advice of members of the nobility and the clergy, including into place advisors from the class media and lawyers. As a developer, at the cortes of Toledo in 1538 were expelled nobles and churchmen on the pretext of his opposition to the armhole, tax direct on the consumption of meat, flour and other food.
In practice, Carlos V had contact with councils through their secretaries, reason why the figure of these gained great importance during his reign. Like other governing bodies, secretariats settled on national and not imperial. Between the mass of Secretaries of Carlos, Francisco de los Cobos and Nicholas Perrenot, Lord of Granvelle were. Carlos had always fully aware of the power and the erroneus of Secretaries. Thus, when in 1543, he left his son Philip as Regent of Spain, sent you the famous secret instructions of Charles V to Felipe II, true compendium of tips for governing an empire, which showed him how to avail themselves of the rivalries of the advisors and his personal ambitions. Also, they recommended his son that does not provide significant charge whatsoever to any grande of Spain; You should only use them for military affairs.
Much of the effort developed by the complex bureaucratic body of Carlos V was meant to resolve the financial problems arising from the wars on different fronts. Castilla took the brunt of the expenses of the Empire, although the domains that mattered you most were not Europeans but of America. From there came the shipments of gold and silver, at the time are widening a pathway of trade of vital importance to the development of the Kingdom. Finance marked from the beginning the Empire of Carlos V. They were the Fugger, German bankers, who led to the election of Carlos and who on several occasions sought loans to finance the ongoing Imperial wars. But it was not until 1540 when it began the real financial difficulties of the Crown. The situation became extreme so severe that ordinary tax revenues were spent in advance when it is charged, and until Indian revenues were committed. The bells of Algiers and the wars against France and the Lutheran Princes esquilmaron the Royal coffers. In 1541, unsuccessful for the second time the African crusade against the Turkish, the economic crisis deepened.

A defeated dream

The main objective of the French policy was to resist the power of the Habsburgs, allying with both the Germans and the Turks. Charles V had a powerful enemy by land and sea in the Ottoman Empire. While in 1529 Carlos helped stop the hosts of Soliman, the Turkish Emperor, at the very gates of Vienna, the Christian army should yield in Algiers. The maritime power of the Turks was felt in the Mediterranean: taking Bizerte and Tunisia in 1534 required the Emperor a personal effort for their conquest, which was produced the following year.

Charles V to the Pope announces the conquest of Tunisia
The expedition against Tunisia, which brought four hundred twenty boats and about thirty thousand soldiers, left the port of Barcelona on May 30, 1535, and terrible shock with its adversary also bulky forces occurred in June. The fighting gave test Carlos great ardor and recklessness, always attending to the enclaves of greatest danger and grappling, throws at the ready, against the enemy horsemen. Finally, after the general assault on the fortress of the schooner (June 14, 1535), taken to the city of Tunisia, where put in escape the pirate Barbarossa, Soliman arm. Before entering the Citadel some Commissioners reached the emperor to give you the keys and ask for his protection, but Carlos could not hold the violence of his rough troops, which were delivered to all sorts of abuses and outrages. However, Barbarossa would continue to ravage from Algiers Balearic and Levante coasts. In 1538 Andrea Doria, commanded by the (much more powerful than the Turkish) Christian fleet, was defeated in the coast of Epirus. It was the beginning of the Christian defeat that culminated in 1554 with the loss of Béjaïa in the Algerian coast.
Defeated on this front, Carlos V also was forced, the following year, to sign the peace of Augsburg with the Lutheran Princes and to cede much of their claims. Before the turn taken by events, Emperor Philip had directed his political testament to his son already in January 1548, and two years later began to write his memoirs. Throughout his life, the Emperor had given ample samples of heroism in multiple battles, such as for example when its troops disembarked at Algiers on October 13, 1541, and the next day a terrible storm scattered the ships of his Squadron, destroyed tents and caused the deaths of many soldiers. On that occasion, Carlos sold their magnificent horses to help his men into something, and the retreating fought on foot. As his soldiers were afraid to abandon them, the Emperor embarked on the last galley so that everyone could see it. But in 1555 his mood was definitely shot and suffered from terrible headaches because of the drop. Hold his colossal empire had exhausted his forces.

The abdication of Carlos V
October 25, 1555, in an emotional speech before the Assembly of the States General meeting in Brussels, Charles abdicated in favour of Philip, who would reign as Felipe II, the sovereignty of the Netherlands. Three months later he ceded the Crown of Castilla y León, Aragón and Catalonia, Navarra and the Indies. Did the same with the Kingdom of Naples, in Sardinia, the Crown of Sicily and the Duchy of Milan. In the month of September 1556 ceded the Empire to his brother Fernando I and, leaving Felipe in Brussels, embarked for Spain. He had understood that the imperial title had no value without the sustenance of weapons and therefore had not hesitated to divide their domains among which was considered the most important heads of his dynasty: his brother Fernando and his son Felipe.
Obsessed by death, fear of God and religious angst, lived the last two years of his life in monastic retirement. The chosen resting place was the austere monastery of Yuste, in the Spanish province of Caceres, located in an open Valley and surrounded by beautiful oak trees and large chestnut trees. There, he joined the 3 February 1557, but it continued to maintain strong communication with Felipe II, which often required his advice, and did not ever be interested in public affairs.

Charles V at Yuste (1837), by E. Delacroix
It took that paragraph place your precious furniture, his silver tableware, its magnificent costumes and fifty servers. Once installed, occupied his time in long discussions about religion with the Jesuit Francisco de Borja, who had been the great Duke of Gandia, and could again devote itself to his hobbies, mathematics and mechanics, and even build some watches. In fact, their ambassadors abroad, aware of his weakness for them, sent more precious and artistic watches from various European countries, unique in its kind that entertained his time. He collected also painting of the great artists of the era, such as Titian, and the primitive Italians and Flemings. He read history and pious books (mostly to Julio Caesar, Tacitus, Boethius and St. Augustine), sang with the choir monks and organized a solemn funeral for his soul darkly witnessed in the Church of the monastery.
After receiving the last rites, he died in the early hours of September 21, 1558, leaving three legitimate sons from his marriage with Doña Isabel de Portugal (Felipe II, Maria, Queen of Bohemia, and Juana, Princess of Portugal), in addition to several bastards, among which the most famous would be don Juan de Austria, conceived by the buxom campesina Barbara Blomberg in 1545. Young of overwhelming sympathy, Juan of Austria would command, years later, the Spanish forces against the Turks in the battle of Lepanto, and went on to become Governor of the Netherlands.
His ambition to revive the Holy Roman Empire, founded in religious unity, had failed. Had created, on the other hand, the first modern colonial empire, the Empire that never became the Sun. The most beautiful portraits of the Emperor, who does not dislike posed for painters, are preserved in the Museo del Prado of Madrid and are the work of the great Venetian painter Tiziano Vecellio. In which had the opportunity to perform in 1533 in Bologna, model sumptuous costume which was crowned by the Pope Clement VII and hold with the left hand a hound collar. The most majestic shows a horse as he appeared at the battle of Mühlberg, pompously covered with armor, wielding a long spear and touched with tufted helmet. Although this is fifteen years later, in both the genius of Titian knew how to reveal in the eyes of Carlos V the most accused of his character traits: his unquenchable sadness, his persistent melancholy.

Chronology of Charles V

1500Born in Ghent (Flanders) on 24 February.
1516His grandfather Fernando el Católico dies and he is proclaimed King of Spain with the name of Carlos I.
1519Is elected Emperor of the Holy Empire with the name of Carlos V.
1520He was crowned Emperor in the city of Aachen.
1521Revolt of the comuneros, suffocated after the battle of Villalar.
1522He returned to Spain, where he remained for seven years.
1523Harshly suppressed the revolt of the germanías of Valencia and Mallorca.
1525Spanish victory at Pavia, where Francisco I de France falls prisoner.
1526She marries Isabella of Portugal. The following year was born the eldest son, the future Felipe II.
1527Sack of Rome.
1529Signing of the peace of Cambrai between France and Spain.
1534The Turkish fleet take Bizerte and Tunisia.
1535He personally directed the expedition against Tunisia, which recovers after taking the schooner.
1538The Turks defeated the Christian fleet on the coast of Epirus. Signature of the truce of Nice, between France and Spain.
1543Leaves his son Philip as Regent of Spain.
1547Victory over the German Protestant princes at Muhlberg.
1554Signing of the Treaty of Crépy.
1555Signing of the peace of Augsburg, which recognizes the Protestants religious freedom and ownership of the property expropriated the Church before 1552.
1555He abdicated in favour of his son Felipe II, receiving the sovereignty of the Netherlands, Castilla y León, Aragón and Catalonia, Navarre, the Kingdom of Naples, Sardinia, the Crown of Sicily, the Duchy of Milan and the Indies.
1556Yields the Holy Roman Empire to his brother Fernando I.
1557He retired to the monastery of Yuste.
1558He died on 21 September in Yuste.

Reign of Charles V

The link between Joan, the daughter of the Catholic monarchs, and Felipe el Hermoso, the son of the Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg and Burgundy María, was one more that Isabel and Fernando wove for her son John and daughters Catherine and Isabel as a strategy to encircle France politically in the countless wars of Italy. But random changed destination: death of Prince John did relapse inheritance to his sister Juana, whose mental instability disabled it to reign. When her husband, Felipe el Hermoso died in 1506, a year of governing in Castile, the inheritance went to the son and grandson of the Catholic monarchs, the Carlos Fleming, who was born in Ghent in 1500 and was destined to reign as Charles I of Spain and V of Germany.

The legacy of Carlos V
The Spanish monarchy went through low hours during the Regency of Fernando el Católico in Castile (1507-1516). There was the possibility of the birth of a son of Fernando el Católico and his second wife Germaine of Foix, who had broken the dynastic union. Finally, this remained, but under a crisis situation: no insurance could be made until the demise of the elder Fernando and until his grandson Carlos I, after reaching the age of majority, came to Spain, in 1517.

The crisis of the communities and the germanías

Charles I of Spain appeared before his subjects Spanish as a young beardless, unfamiliar language and Hispanic cultures and accompanied by a large procession of expoliadores flamingoes. In addition, he soon wanted to return to their land of origin to adhere as Carlos V the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, after his election at Frankfurt in 1519. This was the straw that broke the glass of a restless Castilla, whose economic, social difficulties and policies (clashes between traders of wool and textile manufacturing, among aristocratic classes and antifeudales peasants monarchic authoritarianism and parliamentary courts) exploded in the communities of the Kingdom who wanted to prevent the March of the King, stop the tax rates and, in case of one administer the country under the binomial of a Spanish governor general along with a Kingdom in courts. But the opposite occurred, and the immediate response was the rise of communities, with Padilla, Bravo and Maldonado to the front. During the revolt, which lasted just two years, the villagers wanted to control the country and even tried to liberate the Queen Juana la Loca, locked in Tordesillas. At the end, the battle of Villalar (1521) gave triumph to the imperial, Burgos, stately, authoritarian and repressive side.

Charles V (oil on canvas by Titian)
The germanías Valencia and Mallorca also assumed a revolt, even though it was much more social than policy here, because the explosion, even in its moderate phase, there was both against the King, which is even aspired to attract, and the aristocratic classes and the urban patriciate of cities. The revolt, transformed into a popular revolution, generated a backlash and the germanías Valencia and Mallorca, between 1520 and 1523 principles, were drowned in blood, being executed all its radical leaders: Vicente Peris, Valencian; the brothers Colom, Mallorca...

The political reorganization

Between 1522 and 1529, in the course of the longest stay of the Emperor in the Peninsula, the King strengthened his Government. And he did it not only to surrounding his Administration's good collaborators, in front of which stood a Francisco de los Cobos, but reorganized it by councils (synods), i.e., small committees of specialists in different political and territorial areas of Government that advised him.
At the top of this structure the Council of State, was primarily in foreign policy and also in others, even though it was never set up as the Supreme instance of power despite the wishes of his Grand Chancellor Mercurino Gattinara. After the Council of finance, the Council of the Inquisition and the Council of military orders, all of them of general sign, lined up while territorially the Council of Castile, Aragon Council and the Council of the Indies were distributed the Affairs of those lands, leaving open also the door to the creation of new bodies.

Francisco de los Cobos
Between the councils and the King, one growing number of Secretaries (members of the nobility and above all, each time more, plebeian University training) attended the intense bureaucratic activity generated by the management of the Empire: it took note of the meetings, copying letters and memorials, issued documents, and served as a link between different areas of Government provided there was among them a good understanding and harmony.

The conquest of the Indies: Mexico and Peru

In 1522 Hernán Cortés, conqueror of the Aztec Empire, addressed thus by letter to the King Carlos v "your Highness is can style back of it, and with the title Emperor and not less merit than of Germany". Thirty years after the arrival of Columbus to the new world, there had been major Indies changes: Ojeda, Bastidas and Nicuesa had made a series of journeys under by the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America; Núñez de Balboa had discovered the isthmus of Panama and the South Sea; the expedition of Juan Díaz de Solís had come to the estuary of the Plata; and Magellan and Elcano completed the first voyage of circumnavigation around the world.
But the most significant changes came with the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés (1519-1522) and Peru by Francisco Pizarro (1536); one and another took both his daring and unusual cruelty and the early division of the Aztec and Inca peoples. Finally and ultimately Moctezuma and Cuahtemoc, on the one hand, were victims of constant uprisings of those who wanted to put an end to the hegemony of Tenochtitlan, as in Cajamarca and Cusco fratricidal struggles of Atahualpa and Huascar facilitated the dominance of the "Viru" road. New conquests meant for the conquerors much more wealth than that achieved with the lands of Coaba, Hispaniola and Panama. But this colony, which had decimated years before the Caribbean Islands increased on Indian exploitation.
The conquest, which is would be continued by Chile (with Almagro and Valdivia), Bogotá and the countries of the Plata, I had to continue the consolidation of a political dependent administration of royalty, the establishment of the social structure of conquerors and conquered and evangelization and Christian religion strengthening. Even if something was done under Carlos V (the action of father Bartolomé de Las Casas, the promulgation in 1542 of the new laws of Indies, the creation of the first hearings and viceroys), true stabilization of an indiana company will not arrive until after his reign.

The economic difficulties

The structural imbalances of the Spanish economy demanding urgent action; or was soon a replacement by that expansion, still uncertain under Carlos V, became a stable growth of all productive sectors, or the crisis, despite the generous contribution of wealth resulting from the operation of the American continent, is adueñaría in a few years of an unpredictable future. It was difficult to get your hands on these reforms, and could do little Carlos V, stuck as it was for the cost of their wars. Loans that he was forced to ask for funding them had interests that came up to 56% of the sums, always waged to the annual arrival of indiana fleet and its supply of precious metals, so massive as mortgaged. In any case, if someone is si alguien se enriquecia enriched was not certainly neither the Spanish monarchy nor most of his subjects, but the large international bankers (Germans and Genoese). In this way, the reign of Carlos V saw reaches the value of the debts.

Charles V (portrait of Christoph Amberger, 1532)
At the end of the reign of Carlos V, the suspension of payments of the State and the first finance crisis of Castile seemed next, and peninsular Economic Outlook was little rosy. Life is affected in Spain than in Europe; during the first half of the 16th century the average annual rate of cumulative inflation came to 2.8 percent. If the Indies covered of gold and silver to the metropolis, it seemed clear that this wealth bath drowned the peninsular world. Without having still the absolute certainty of the causes of the problem, suspected that this was the so-called "price revolution", i.e., in the uncontrolled increase in its index. The massive entry of precious metals aggravated the problem, since, while from America came easily, they spend with greater ease, causing a tension rising that strong demand consumerist pushed over an offer unable to follow it. The rise in the price level was not just the arrival of Indian metals, but above all the poor infrastructure of the peninsular, basically Spanish economy: agriculture imbalance with respect to livestock and textile manufacturing.

The universal empire

Wars, on the other hand, were not only the cause of economic efforts, but also the consequences of the political conflicts of the reign of Carlos V. It was difficult to accept under his person a universal empire with territories and cultures as diverse as the Burgundian Netherlands, patrimonial domains in the Austria and the imperial crown, the Spanish monarchy, Indian and continental and island land of the Italian Mezzogiorno.
Therefore, its excessive power aroused the national susceptibilities of the kingdoms which, like France, were away from its orbit. But it pleased neither the Papacy, fearful of a possible caesaropapism just when German Lutheranism and other subsequent evangelismos forced to the Church of Rome to a continued effort conciliar, ecumenical and political. Meanwhile, in the Eastern Mediterranean and in all its North African southern façade, turco-islamicas connections were a new workhorse for the emperor.
Too many problems for Carlos V, which saw its ambitions destroyed in successive stages. Thus it happened already in the 1920s despite its victory against Francisco I in Milan, which welded the two large blocs of his empire. But the French resistance was stubborn and the opposition of the Pope, victim of the sack of Rome (1527), incorruptible.
Between the crowning of Aachen (1519) and the peace of Cambrai (1529) the universal empire dreamed by Carlos V had to make way for a second phase in the Mediterranean, 1530-1544. France, Turkey and the Islamic powers, in a more secular coalition that Christian, managed to put a lead on the wings of the Spanish imperial Eagle. The success of the conquest of Tunisia (1535) was counterbalanced by the disaster of Algiers (1541), which was preceded by the failure of the Emperor in the creation of a Christian Holy League and followed by the loss of the Provence, which fell into French hands.

Carlos V in Tunisia
The peace of Crépy (1544) closed this cycle to open a third: had to look back to the Germanic territories, there where not only Lutheranism but also the Anabaptist and a still incipient Calvinism threatened catholicity. It was necessary, then, try the unification of all Christian churches. However, the positions were irreconcilable, and broke a long civil war between the rebels, supporters of reform German princes, and the troops loyal to the Roman doctrine, headed by Carlos V.
On the religious level, the opening of the Council of Trent in 1545 meant the attempt to perform a disciplinary reform in the bosom of the Catholic Church; but, after several stages, it concluded in 1563 without having solved the Schism. Neither the war solved it despite some victories of the Emperor, which clinched its position after the battle of Mühlberg (1547). On the other hand, was signed in the year 1548 the Augsburg Interim, principle of political agreement on the conflict between the reformist and Tridentine, thesis that failed by not satisfying ones or others.

The end of the reign

Everything it was useless to the Emperor that he had left Spain in 1543, leaving as a Regent to his young son Prince Felipe, who oriented political and personally well known instructions in Palamós. Dated May 6, 1543, the of Charles V's secret instructions to Felipe II are confidential notes that Emperor reported in writing to his son of the qualities and defects of the main Ministers who was at his side when he decided to abdicate. Also warned it of the dangers with the machinations that could be wrapped. Later, in 1548, when already Felipe had acquired prestige and experience, Carlos V tried a coup seeking complete maintenance of their inheritance in the figure of Felipe. But the problems of the Princes German, autonomous political and religiously, it increased, increased the disaffection of his brother Fernando, and the enmity of France was trying to take advantage of both flanks to face him.
Already elderly, Carlos V was pragmatic and, after marrying his son Felipe (widowed from her first marriage) with María Tudor in 1554, looking for the English Alliance, decided to abdicate in Brussels two years later. The Empire and the Austrian territories passed to his brother Fernando I, but the Netherlands, Spain, India and the Italian possessions were left in the hands of his son, who would reign as Felipe II. At a time when Christian universalism was fragmented and the universal empire had been frustrated, the two family branches, habsburguesas (the Hispanic and German) would remain United to face a divided Europe of the second half of the 17TH century.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities


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