Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

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Charles V (Spanish: Carlos I; German: Karl V., Dutch: Karel V, French: Charles Quint, 24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Carlos I of Spain, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.

As the heir of three of Europe's leading dynasties—the House of Habsburg of the Habsburg Monarchy; the House of Valois-Burgundy of the Duchy of Burgundy; and the House of Trastámara of Crown of Castile-León & Aragon—he ruled over extensive domains in Central, Western, and Southern Europe; and the Spanish colonies in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Charles was the eldest son of Philip the Handsome and Joanna the Mad. When Philip died in 1506, Charles became ruler of Burgundy, and his mother's co-ruler in Spain upon the death of his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand the Catholic, in 1516. As Charles was the first person to rule Castile-León and Aragon simultaneously in his own right, he became the first King of Spain (Charles co-reigned with his mother Joanna, which was however a technicality given her mental instability).[3] In 1519, Charles succeeded his paternal grandfather Maximilian as Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria. From that point forward, Charles´s realm, which has been described as "the empire on which the sun never sets", spanned nearly four million square kilometers across Europe, the Far East, and the Americas.[4]

Much of Charles' reign was devoted to the Italian Wars against the French kings Francis I and Henry II, which although enormously expensive, were militarily successful due to the undefeated Spanish tercio and the efforts of his prime ministers Mercurino Gattinara and Francisco de los Cobos y Molina. Charles' forces re-captured both Milan and Franche-Comté from France after the decisive Habsburg victory at the Battle of Pavia in 1525,[5] which pushed Francis to form the Franco-Ottoman alliance. Charles' rival Suleiman the Magnificent conquered Hungary in 1526 after defeating the Christians at the Battle of Mohács. However, the Ottoman advance was halted after they failed to capture Vienna in 1529.

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