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People List




1500 - 1558

Early Spain contained settlements of Iberians in the east, Celts in the north, and Tartars, Greeks and Phoenician’s in the south.

By the 3rd Century BC, the south of Spain was in the control of the Carthaginians who were descendants of the Phoenicians.

By 19 BC, the Iberian Peninsular was in the control of Rome. With the decline of the Roman Empire in the fifth Century AD, the Iberian Peninsular was invaded by Swabians, Vandals and Visigoths. The Visigoths, a Germanic people, went on to unite the the Iberian Peninsular until the area was invaded by Muslim Arabs in 711.

Christian / Muslim battles lasted for 700 years with the Muslims eventually concentrated in the Granada area to the south, and the Christians in the Aragon, Cataluna, Castilla and Leon regions.

With the Iberian Peninsular split into these kingdoms, none of them had enough power to have any influence on Europe. In 1496, the marriage of King Ferdinand of Aragon, and his cousin Queen Isabella of Castile, united the two regions.

In 1492, they captured Granada and expelled the Muslims. They were then in control of a united Spain. The only regions of the Iberian Peninsular not under their control were Portugal and the small kingdom of Navara in the north.

Ferdinand and Isabella funded the trade route expeditions of Christopher Columbus in an attempt to build an empire. Their son John died in 1497 leaving his sister Juana next in line to the throne.

Juana married Philip (the handsome) son of Maximilian I, the King of Germany, who was also the Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1516, Ferdinand died. As Juana was proclaimed to be mad, her son Charles of Ghent (Charles I) inherited Spain, its colonies and Naples.

In 1519, his grandfather Maximilian died leaving Charles his Hapsburg domains in Germany. Shortly after, Charles was elected Holy Roman Emperor.

Charles I image

Charles I

His first important service to the empire was to try and quell the foundation of the Protestant religion in Germany. Martin Luther had brought to the attention of the Germans, some Roman Catholic preachings he did not agree with, the main being German churches paying money to Rome.

Charles could not afford to lose the Germanic armies as he needed them in his long fought battle against the Ottoman Turk Muslims. So an agreement was reached, Protestantism went on to become the main religion in Germany, Sweden and England.

Charles continued the colonization of South America and the West Indies that had been discovered by Columbus.

By 1521, they had conquered the Aztecs of Mexico and explored southern parts of North America. Between 1531 and 1535, they subdued the Incas of Peru while in search of their treasures.

He also funded Ferdinand Magellan from Portugal to sail with five ships around the world. Magellan sailed from Spain, around the tip of South America and on to the Philippines. Although Magellan and many of his men were killed in battle with tribal warriors on the Island of Mactan in the Philippines, one ship with 18 survivors managed to round the tip of Africa and complete the journey back to Spain.

Ferdinand Magellan image

Ferdinand Magellan

In 1521, Charles was forced into war with France by Pope Leo X over papal territory. Also at that time, the Turks were moving into Hungary, the north of Africa and parts of Italy. The Turks were also causing havoc in the Mediterranean with their ships. In 1554, he finally made peace with France, and by 1555, had cleared the Mediterranean of the Turkish pirates.

In 1556, with the Spanish Empire at its greatest, Charles abdicated to retire to a Spanish Monastery. His son Philip II, inherited Spain, its Italian possessions, and the Netherlands. In 1558, Philip inherited the throne of Portugal, this seeing the Iberian Peninsular under the rule of a single monarch for the next sixty years.

Charles had retired to the monastery of Yuste in Extremadura where he died 21st September 1558. Twenty-six years later, his remains were transferred to the Royal Pantheon of The Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_V,_Holy_Roman_Emperor People List