Emperor Maximilian I of the Holy Roman Empire

   Maximilian I was born 22/3/1459 and died 12/1/1519, son of Frederick III and Eleonore of Portugal. He was Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 when his father died to 1519, when he himself died and was succeeded by his grandson Charles V (his son, Philip the Fair of Burgundy, having died in 1506). He was King of the Romans from 1486 to his death.

           Frederick III          =   Eleanor of Portugal
           Of Habsburg (d. 1493)  |
                             Maximilian I  = Mary of Burgundy
                             Of Habsburg   | (d. 1482)
                             (HRE)         |
           |                       |                 
           |                       |
       Margaret                 Philip the Handsome
       Of Burgundy              (d. 1506)
       (d. 1530) 
   His daughter, Mary of Burgundy (also of Austria), was aunt of Charles V, the heir to a unified Spain and much more, and was installed as regent of the Netherlands until her death. His son, Philip the Handsome, married Joanna the Mad, whom Charles V was the result of the union of. Charles inherited the Netherlands from Philip in 1506, but did not come of age until he also inherited Spain.

   Maximilian was a member of the House of Habsburg, the ruling family of Austria who's control spread over most of Europe. He added to their possessions, securing dynastic marriages at the Treaty of Vienna that would eventually bring Hungary and Bohemia under Habsburg rule. Through his marriage he obtained the Free County of Burgundy and the Netherlands upon the death of Charles the Bold in 1477.

   The problems that would haunt his successor were not absent for him - the Ottoman Turk, his Moorish brother only recently having been ejected from mainland Europe by Ferdinand and Isabella in the final completion of the Reconquista, was pressing on the eastern front of Europe. The threat was present during Maximilian's reign, but it was only after his death that the Turks smashed the state of Hungary out of existence (they at first did not realize what they had done, not believing the army they'd faced was large enough to be the national one) and Ferdinand - one of the bridegrooms in Maximilian's dynastic marriages, and Maximilian's grandson - stepped into Hungary to take up his inheritance.

   As did most of the rulers of his status in the age, Maximilian was dragged into the Italian Wars, which had started a year into his reign when Charles VIII of France had invaded Italy. Foreign troops would stay in Italy for many centuries, and Maximilian - who's Holy Roman Empire owned territory in the north - would not have many successes in the wars until the times of Charles V, his grandson. The internal politics of Italy were destabilizing all the time, and the Italian Wars were a byzantine series of alliances and conflicts. In 1508-10, Maximilian was involved in the campaigns of the League of Cambrai, a League of states with nothing in common but a hatred for Venice. He sent various armies onto the peninsula, just as his grandson would.

   When Maximilian fell ill in 1519, he set about securing the succession of Charles V, his grandson. He failed, and when the time came Charles had to bribe the electors. His youngest son, Ferdinand, missed out, and would not gain the title of King of the Romans until 1532. He came Emperor on Charles' death in 1556 - so although Maximilian's son (also named Ferdinand) missed out on being Emperor, two of his grandsons got the title. Maximilian passed away in Austria, his family's homeland.

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