Charles V


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Schmalkaldic War 1546-7

Prorities that lead to war:

  • Imperial politics, it was important to gain control over the princes
  • Religion
  • Hapsburg Interests, security of the dynasty

Charles exploited weak spots;

  • Elector of Brandenburg was neutral
  • Philip of Hesse was a bigamist, and under threat of execution he was forced to be neutral
  • Maurice of saxony made neutral by playing on his family rivalrys

Charles won the war at the Battle of Muhlberg however it proved counter productive because the scale of c's success alarmed the princes.

The princes resisted all his proposals

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Was Charles a failure?

When measured against his personal aims - Yes. He:

  • failed to revive crusading zeal in europe
  • failed to crush muslim naval strongholds
  • failed to defend Naples and Sicily
  • damaged international reputation


  • It was very difficult to be everywhere at once
  • he lacked the resources to protect the east and the west
  • he did secure southern Europe from all but coastal raids.
  • Malta remained an important christian Garrison
  • and though he never fully checked muslim raids in the med, they never reached full ascendancy there because of him.
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