Charles V was born in the Netherlands in 1500 AD. He was the grandson of Emperor Maximilian of Germany. His father’s name was Philip and his mother Joanna was the daughter of Emperor Ferdinand of Spain. In 1506 AD, his father Philip died. Thus, Charles V ascended the throne of the Netherlands at the age of only six years. In 1516 AD, Charles’ maternal grandfather Ferdinand died, so Charles V became the ruler of Spain. Thus Charles V became the lord of two countries, the Netherlands and Spain. In 1519 AD, his grandfather Maximilian died, so the throne of Austria also became the right of Charles V, and a year later he was declared Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the name of Charles V.
Thus becoming the ruler of the kingdoms of his father, grandfather and maternal grandfather, Charles V became the master of a vast and vast empire. His empire included the large states of Spain, Netherlands and Austria at that time. In 1520 AD, he was accepted as the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
Charles V’s difficulties
(Difficulties of Charles V) Despite being patient, capable and full of enthusiasm, Charles had to face many difficulties. The details of these difficulties are given below.
(1.) Internal difficulties- Charles V was an autocratic ruler. He opposed the religious reform movement because of his autocracy. He also hated many of his courtiers. His vast empire included the Netherlands, Spain, Austria and parts of Germany and Italy. The traditions and languages of all these regions were different, due to which there was lack of uniformity and centralization of governance in his empire. Different castes were settled in different parts of the empire, due to which there was a complete lack of unity and organization, so the problem in front of Charles continued to manifest its direness throughout his life, so the vastness of his empire was the main reason for his failure. .
(2) Difficulties of the Netherlands – Charles had spent his childhood in the Netherlands. That’s why he had a special love for this region and he took all kinds of measures for the progress of the Netherlands, but due to his strong faith in Catholicism, he had to face the opposition of Protestants in the Netherlands. He established religious courts and inflicted harsh punishments on the Protestants, but the people of the Netherlands faced his harshness with fearlessness, causing him to suffer unrest and suffering till the last moment of his life.
(3) External difficulties – Charles V had to face many types of problems in his foreign policy. He had to be engaged in war with France from beginning to end during his reign. The Turks wanted to establish their sphere of influence in the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, Charles V also had to make efforts to stop his influence. He was a staunch Catholic, due to which he had to face opposition from Protestants. On the other hand, in Italy also he had a conflict with the Pope, due to which he had to face the wrath of the Pope and he also had to fight with the Emperor Henry VIII of England. He was unsuccessful in almost all his attempts.
Following is a brief description of its relations with the major countries of Europe.
(1) Relations with France
War with France – In 1515 AD, Francis I took charge of the rule of France. He was an opponent of Charles V. Italy’s Milan was ruled by France, which was annexed to the Roman Empire of Charles V. France wanted to take it again. Apart from this, he also wanted to control some territories of the Netherlands. For these reasons war with Spain had to be fought.
Events of the War – In 1522 AD, France’s war with Spain started. Charles V drove the French forces out of Italy with the help of the Pope of Rama. Charles V, using his policy skill, took the ruler of England Henry VIII with him and defeated the French army in the battle of Pevia and captured the territories of Flanders, Burgundy and Artos etc.
But at the same time, both the Pope and Henry VIII, terrified by the increasing power of Spain, left the side of Charles and became allies of France. As a result, France again started the war. In 1527 AD, the army of Charles captured Rome and caused heavy loot there. In the words of Fischer, “the churches and monasteries of Rome were overrun, and about two-thirds of Rome was reduced to ruins.”
Treaty of Cambre – In 1529 AD, Francis I made a treaty with Charles V, which is famous as the Treaty of Cambre. According to this treaty, Italy and the Netherlands were considered outside the sphere of influence of Francis I and he was determined to be married to Charles’ sister, Alina. This organization could not achieve stability. Because Francis married his son Henry to the Princess of Italy and made a union with Denmark, Scotland and Turkey against Charles V and declared war with Spain. The war continued till 1544 AD and in the end, according to the Treaty of Crepsi, both the sides returned each other’s conquered territories. After this, wars continued during the reign of the successors of both the rulers, as a result of which France got an opportunity to establish its dominance by destroying the power of Spain.
Significance – Both Spain and France were Catholic countries, so Catholicism suffered a great loss due to the wars between the two. There was a decline in the prestige of the Pope and the Protestant religion began to develop. On the other hand, the Turks also got an opportunity to increase their power. France made trade treaties with various countries due to which French trade increased. European rulers accepted the principle of balance of power, which later came to be considered as the main objective of the international politics of Europe. Due to these wars in Italy, the influence of the Hapsburg dynasty began to increase. European rulers engaged in civil wars, despite being Catholic, could not hinder the spread of the Reformation movement of Germany, so Luther’s ideologies began to spread in Germany, which ended the power of Charles V.
(2) Relations with England
Spain had friendly relations with England. Charles V’s aunt Catherine was married to Henry VIII, the ruler of England, but when Henry divorced Catherine and married Annebollen, friendly relations in both countries ended and bitterness began to arise between the two. After Spain’s war with France, Henry VIII, following the principle of balance of power, sometimes supported Spain and sometimes supported France. Mary Tudor briefly re-established friendly relations in England and Spain by marrying Charles’ son Philip.
(3) War with the Turks
Causes of war – The reasons for this war can be explained in the following way
(1) In 1529 AD, Vienna was the capital of Austria and after about 12 years it had taken possession of vast territory of Austria. To break this authority of the Ottoman Sultan, it was necessary to fight.
(2) The Ottoman sultan accepted the help of the ruler of France, who was opposed to Charles I. Therefore its suppression was possible only through war.
(3) The capture of Tunis and Algeria, part of the Spanish Empire by the Ottoman chieftain Barbarossa, was also the reason for this war.
On the basis of these reasons, Charles V declared war against the sultan.
Events of the War – Charles V’s army occupied Tynis in 1535 AD and Charles’s victory was almost certain that Luther’s supporters in Germany raised the flag of rebellion, due to which Charles’s victory was obstructed and he had to accept a treaty with the Ottoman Sultan and let Henry’s kingdom remain in his possession.
After the death of his grandfather Maximilian, Charles V was made emperor of the Holy Empire in 1519 AD. At that time, Luther’s religious ideas of dividing Germany into many small states started influencing those states in the form of the Reformation Movement. Charles V was a staunch Catholic, so his heartfelt desire was to stop the Reformation movement, but due to his indulging in wars with Turkey, Italy and France, he was unable to stop this wave of Reformation, so Along with Germany, his influence started waning in Spain as well. He established courts to punish religious opponents and through those courts gave heavy punishments to Protestants and Jews. In Spain, he failed to stop the attempt to abolish the local institutions, in 1533 AD, the German rulers had to give freedom to practice their religion as they wished. As a result, the whole was divided into two religious areas named Catholic and Protestant and national unity could not be established there, which made the fall of Charles V inevitable.
(Estimate of Clarls V)
Charles V had a vast empire, but still he cannot be called a successful ruler. He had to engage in conflict with his foreign enemies.
William Stubb – wrote that “Germany’s reform movement kept converting its successes into failures, so in solving its difficult problems, it could not show its skill in the governance of either Germany or Spain. “
Grant – has also expressed his views while approving this opinion in the following way – “The vast empire of which Charles became the officer, his power was not a tool of intelligence, but became an aid in bringing his downfall near. From the beginning to the end of his reign. His attention was focused on the difficulties in different parts of the empire.