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CHARLES V

Charles V, the son of Philip of Burgundy and Joanna the Mad, was to be the most powerful Habsburg of all. He funded Magellan's voyage around the world in the Spanish ship Victoria.

When Philip died in 1506, Charles inherited Burgundy and the Netherlands. In 1516 Ferdinand of Spain left him Spain and Naples, and in 1519 he inherited the Holy Roman Empire from Maximilian. This led to rivalry with Francis I of France, who also wanted to be Holy Roman emperor, and their countries were at war for most of Charles's reign. In 1522 Emperor Charles V drove the French out of Milan. In 1529, in the Peace of Cambrai between France and Spain, France renounced claims to Italy. The Treaty of Barcelona was signed by Charles V and Pope Clement VII. In 1530 he gave the island of Malta to the Knights of St John. In 1544, Charles V and Henry VIII invaded France.

A devout Catholic, Charles also had to deal with problems in the Holy Roman Empire caused by people in Germany who had become Protestants after the Reformation. In 1546 Charles took up arms against some of them who had formed the League of Schmalkalden. He defeated them in 1547, but four years later he was forced to agree to their demands.

By 1556, Charles was exhausted by all these wars. He retired to a monastery, having divided his lands between his son, Philip (who ruled Spain and the Netherlands) and his brother, Ferdinand (who ruled Germany and Austria).



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