Key Players in Sixteenth Century France

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1515, Francis 1, House of Valois became King 

Kingdom largest in Europe

Inherited conflict in Italy against the Habsburgs from his predecessor, Louis XII 

Determined to uphold French honour and glory abroad

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1516, Charles of Habsburg became Charles 1 of Spain

Union of Fredinand, King of Aragon and princess Isabella of Castile and the death of their son, Philip the Fair suddenly in 1506 had left Charles their grandson the heir, soon to be king of both the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile.

Spain devoutly Catholic Knigdom

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The Holy Roman Empire (HRE)

Collection of semi-autonomous states in heart of Europe- where Germany is now

Area technically ruled by Emperor, however each state was rule by a prince that had great deal of political power

The office of HRE had great presige even if it did not have great power

1519, Charles of Habsburg succeeded his grandfather Maximillian 1 to become Charles V, ruling both the HRE and Spain 

This vast empire could cause problems when he sought to wage war

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The Papacy

The Pope, spiritual head of the Catholic Church, duty to defend Catholic interests in Europe

Based in Rome held great temporal power

Major landowner in central Italy, ruling over papal states

The papal court could rival any prince in Europe

Ongoing Habsburg-Valois conflict in northern Italy threatened papal interests

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