Biography of Charles V


Charles V (I of Spain). Emperor of Germany, son of Philip, Archduke of Austria. Born in Ghent in 1500. Became King of Spain in 1516, on the death of his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand, and Emperor of Germany in 1519, on the death of his paternal grandfather, Maximilian I, being crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1520. Reigned during one of the most important periods in the history of Europe. The events of the reign are too numerous to detail; enough to mention his rivalry with Francis I of France, his contention as a Catholic with the Protestants of Germany, the inroads of the Turks, revolts in Spain, and expeditions against the pirates of the Mediterranean. The ambition of his life was the suppression of the Protestant Reformation and the succession of his son Philip to the imperial crown; but he failed in both, and finally resigned in favor of his son. Retired into the monastery at St. Yuste, in Estremadura, near which he built a magnificent retreat where, it is understood, notwithstanding his apparent retirement, he continued to take interest in political affairs and to advise in the management of them. Died 1558.