Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

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Margaret, Archduchess of Austria

Maximilian I of Habsburg (22 March 1459 – 12 January 1519), the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death. 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 both war and marriage,[1] but also lost the Austrian territories in today's Switzerland to the Swiss Confederacy.

By marrying his son Philip to then-Crown Princess Joanna of Castile in 1498, Maximilian established the Habsburg dynasty in Spain and allowed his grandson Charles to hold the throne of both León-Castile and Aragon, therefore causing him to be the first de jure 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 and the Spanish Empire simultaneously.[2]

Contents

Background

The son of the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III and Eleanor of Portugal, Maximilian was born at Wiener Neustadt on 22 March 1459. At the time, the Dukes of Burgundy, a sidebranch of the French royal family, with their sophisticated nobility and court culture, were highly respected regents, and Duke of Burgundy Charles the Bold was the chief opponent of Maximilian's father Frederick III. Frederick was concerned about Burgundy's expansive tendencies on the western border of his Holy Roman Empire, leading to him attempting to secure the marriage of Charles' only daughter Mary to his son Maximilian. In this, he was ultimately successful after the Siege of Neuss (1474–75). The wedding between Maximilian and Mary took place on the evening of August 16, 1477.[3]

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