Charles’ Changing World

Charles’ World

Europe in the 16th century – the background to Charles’ life

Here you will find an introduction to the world in which Emperor Charles V lived and the part that he played in it. It looks at the political background of the 16th century and the ideas of Machiavelli, the religious divisions of the Reformation sparked by Martin Luther, and how rulers like Charles obtained money for their wars and conspicuous consumption with the help of bankers such as Jacob and Anton Fugger.

The section also covers the various methods of travel and communication in the early 16th century, the changing nature of warfare in Charles’ time and the nature of Spanish rule in the Americas and the controversies that this caused.

There is also a look at Charles’ involvement in wars with France in the on-going Habsburg – Valois rivalry that intensified during his reign, and his conflicts with the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent. Francis I of France and Suleiman, as well as Henry VIII, were Charles’ contemporaries. It was rare for such influential monarchs to rule at the same time for so long. Many of these topics are dealt with in ‘Charles V: Duty and Dynasty – The Emperor and his Changing World 1500-1558’, available on Amazon.