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Europe (AD 1556) ~ The Age of Habsburg by Undevicesimus Europe (AD 1556) ~ The Age of Habsburg by Undevicesimus

Europe (AD 1556) ~ The Age of Habsburg

The foremost European monarch of the first half of the sixteenth century was undoubtedly Charles V. His empire was the result of the cunning dynastic policies surrounding the inheritance of the dynasties of Habsburg, Valois-Burgundy and Trastámara. ‘Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube, nam quae Mars aliis, dat tibi diva Venus’ – ‘Let others wage war, you happy Austria marry, for what Mars gives others, is given you by the divine Venus’. Though continuously contested, Charles managed to consolidate and expand the Habsburg patrimony into an empire where the sun indeed never set and which dominated much of Europe and the world at large for decades.

The Formation of the Habsburg Empire

a.) Habsburg
The House of Habsburg first arose during the eleventh century and originally hailed from northern Switzerland, but throughout the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the family acquired significant territories in the southeast of the Holy Roman Empire. The Archduchy of Austria thus became her primary base of operations. Together with the Duchies of Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Tyrol it constituted the Hausmacht, from where the Habsburg dynasty achieved prominence in the Holy Roman Empire. Indeed, from 1438 until 1806 – with a short interval between 1740 and 1745 – the Holy Roman Emperor was a Habsburg.

b.) Burgundy
In the year 1369, the French king Charles V married his brother Philip the Bold to Margaret of Dampierre, the only child and heiress of Louis of Male, Count of Flanders, Artesia and Palatine Burgundy (Franche Comté). France thereby hoped to gain significant influence in its western border regions, for indeed when Louis of Male died in 1384, his entire inheritance fell by marriage to Philip the Bold, who was also given French Flanders by his brother Charles V. However, instead of dancing to the tunes of France, Philip the Bold opted for a policy of his own and created a new Burgundian dynasty. Combining dynastic opportunities with cunning marriage policies allowed for gradual Burgundian expansion, most notably under Philip the Good, who – already ruling the Two Burgundies (the Duchy and County) and the Duchies of Flanders, Artois, Nevers and Rethel – gained the Duchies of Brabant, Limburg and Luxembourg and the Counties of Holland, Zeeland, Namur and Hainaut. The idea of a sovereign Burgundian state was born thus. Charles the Bold, son and successor of Philip the Good, pushed Burgundian expansion and consolidation to the limit. Having conquered the Duchy of Limburg and the Prince Bishopric of Liège, Charles conquered Lorraine in 1475, a move which effectively created a cohesive Burgundian Empire. However, Charles died in January 1477 while besieging Nancy, an event of generally underrated importance in European history. Charles’ death provoked the French to swiftly annex the Duchy of Burgundy and invade the Netherlands, while the Duchy of Gelre and the Prince Bishopric of Liège staged a successful revolt. Faced with enemies everywhere, Charles’ daughter Mary of Burgundy married the future Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg in August 1477, thereby bringing the Burgundian patrimony under Habsburg control. Maximilian I contained internal dissent through diplomacy while the Habsburg armies defeated the French (albeit without recovering the Duchy of Burgundy). The union of the Houses of Burgundy and Habsburg greatly expanded Habsburg territories but also laid the foundations for the fierce hostility between Habsburg and France, which would last for centuries.

c.) Castile and Aragon
During the Late Middle Ages, the Iberian peninsula was home to several political entities. In the east along the Mediterranean Sea lay the Kingdom of Aragon, which had secured the Balearic Isles, Valencia, Sardinia, Malta and Sicily throughout the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. These territories formed the Crown of Aragon. In the west of the peninsula along the Atlantic Ocean lay the Kingdom of Portugal. In between Aragon and Portugal lay the vast Kingdom of Castile. In the far northeast lay the Kingdom of Navarre, which had close ties to France.

In the year 1469, Castile and Aragon entered a union through the marriage of their respective heirs apparent, Isabella and Ferdinand. The royal pair would go down in history as the Catholic Monarchs (Spanish: Reyes Católicos), a title bestowed on them by Pope Alexander VI in 1496. The reconquest of Muslim-held Granada in 1492, the persecution and forced conversion or expulsion of Jews and Muslims and the spectacular discovery of the New World quickly made the Spanish Kingdom of Castile-Aragon a major European power. Conflicts with France over the Kingdom of Naples drove Spain straight into the arms of Habsburg and in 1496, an alliance was concluded to relieve French pressure on both the Netherlands and the Italian peninsula: Maximilian’s son Philip the Handsome married Joanna of Trastámara, while Juan of Trastámara married Maximilian’s daughter Margaret of Austria. Ultimately, Joanna was left as the sole heiress to Castile and Aragon and all overseas possessions, which she ruled with her husband Philip the Handsome after the death of Isabella of Castile in 1504. After Philip’s death in 1506, Joanna was deemed unfit to rule (‘the Mad’). Her son and heir Charles being too young, Ferdinand of Aragon ruled both Castile and Aragon while Maximilian I preserved over the Netherlands through his daughter Margaret. When Charles came of age in 1515 he assumed lordship over the Netherlands. Furthermore, the death of Ferdinand of Aragon in 1516 left him as the sole monarch of the Spanish dominions, which he ruled as Charles I.

d.) The Holy Roman Empire
The death of his grandfather Maximilian I in 1519 also paved the way for Charles to become Holy Roman Emperor, although the election proved to be a considerable challenge for the young monarch. Since the Golden Bull of 1356 the elective mechanism of the Empire was presided over by the College of Electors in the Imperial Diet, consisting of four temporal Prince-Electors (the King of Bohemia, the Margrave of Brandenburg, the Duke of Saxony and the Count Palatine of the Rhine) and three clerical Prince-Electors (the Archbishops of Cologne, Mainz and Trier). The College of Electors typically decided upon the succession together with the seating Emperor. In 1518, Maximilian I had initiated his negotiations with the Electors to get his grandson Charles elected as King of the Romans, which would make him the new Emperor when Maximilian died and simultaneously keep the Imperial Crown in Habsburg hands. However, Maximilian’s sudden death seriously endangered this scenario, for Charles now had to face up to King Francis I of France and King Henry VIII of England. Every king in Christendom could stand for election as Holy Roman Emperor. Ultimately, Charles managed to win the election by means of large-scale propaganda: as the grandson of the deceased Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, he portrayed himself as the best guarantee for peace, stability and the balance of power within the Empire. Charles furthermore spent vast sums to buy the support of the Electors, much of which he borrowed from the Augsburg banker Jakob Fugger. Having swayed the election thus, Charles became Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire in 1519.

Upon his election as Holy Roman Emperor, Charles commanded the most powerful patrimony in Europe. On top of this, ever greater swathes of the New World across the Atlantic Ocean were being conquered by the seemingly unstoppable Castilian conquistadores, territories which would prove of vital importance. The Habsburgs stood at the helm of Europe but their staggering success had also gained them powerful enemies: both France and the Papal States were now practically surrounded by Habsburg territories, a situation almost guaranteed to spark massive conflicts. Simultaneously, the rapidly expanding Ottoman Empire to the southeast stood more than ready to invade Central Europe, starting with the Habsburg patrimony.


Fall of Constantinople: Ottoman forces capture the ancient Byzantine capital, de facto ending the Byzantine Empire (although Morea and Trebizond still hold out) – Ghent Rebellion: Philip the Good of Burgundy defeats the Ghent Rebels – Battle of Castillon: a decisive French victory de facto ends the Hundred Years’ War.

Battle of Konitz: Teutonic forces defeat Poland, as part of the ongoing Thirteen Years’ War.

Wars of Roses: England is plunged into civil war as the Houses of York and Lancaster battle for control of the kingdom, resulting in a Lancaster victory by 1485 and the founding of the House of Tudor.

Siege of Belgrade: Hungarian forces defeat the Ottoman invasion intent on capturing Belgrade and subduing the Kingdom of Hungary.

Battle of Albulena: Albanian forces under the command of Skanderbeg decisively defeat the Ottoman invasion intent on capturing Albania.

After the fall of Morea in 1460, Trebizond falls to the Ottoman Empire as well. The Byzantine Empire is irreversibly defeated and ceases to exist.

Night Attack of Târgovişte: Vlad III Dracula drives the Ottomans out of Wallachia and attempts but fails to assassinate the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II – Battle of Świecino: Poland decisively defeats the Teutonic Order, relieving Teutonic pressure upon Danzig and Pomerelia, and setting the stage for the conclusion of the Thirteen Years’ War.

Battle of the Vistula Lagoon: Polish-Prussian forces defeat the Teutonic Order, de facto ending the Thirteen Years’ War – Ottoman forces capture Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Siege of Krujë: Ottoman forces attempt to take Krujë for a second time, but are defeated by 1467 and retreat from Albania – The Thirteen Years’ War is formally ended by the Second Peace of Thorn.

Charles the Bold becomes Duke of Burgundy, defeats and annexes the Prince Bishopric of Liège at the Battle of Brustem.

Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, heirs to their respective thrones, marry and lay the foundation for the union of Castile and Aragon.

Battle of Shelon: Muscovy decisively defeats the Novgorod Republic, resulting in its unconditional surrender and eventual annexation (1478).

Isabella of Castile becomes Queen of Castile, but requires the aid of her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon to gain victory in the ensuing Castilian War of Succession (1475) against Portugal and France, which is won by 1479.

Battle of Vaslui: Ottoman forces attempt to conquer Moldavia but fail miserably at the hands of the coalition of Poland, Hungary and Moldavia.

Swiss forces defeat Charles the Bold of Burgundy at the Battles of Grandson and Morat – The Ottomans under Mehmed II defeat the Moldavians at the Battle of Valea Albă.

Siege of Nancy: Charles the Bold falls in battle against the Duchy of Lorraine, his heiress Mary of Burgundy is forced to conclude the Great Privilege with the Flemish Cities and marries the future Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg – Burgundian possessions pass to the House of Habsburg.

The Ottomans under Mehmed II finally capture Krujë, Albania, during the third siege of the city.

The Union of Castile and Aragon begins as Queen Isabella of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon consolidate their power following the War of Castilian Succession (concluded by the Treaty of Alcáçovas) – Battle of Guinegate: Habsburg forces defeat the French invasion of the Netherlands – Battle of Breadfield: forces of Hungary and Serbia destroy the Ottoman invasion of Transylvania.

Ottoman forces execute 800 Christian soldiers at the Battle of Otranto for refusing to convert to Islam before Christian forces recapture the city – The Ottoman Empire attempts but fails to capture the Isle of Rhodes from the Knights Hospitaller.

Isabella and Ferdinand institute the Spanish Inquisition to combat heretics, Jews and Muslims within their realm – Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire dies and is succeeded by his son Bayezid II.

Spain completes the conquest of Gran Canaria.

Pope Innocentius VIII issues the papal bull ‘Summis Desiderantes Affectibus’, authorising the Inquisition in Germany.

Maximilian of Habsburg is elected King of the Romans.

Siege of Málaga: Spanish forces reconquer Málaga from the Emirate of Granada, initiating the final phase of the Reconquista.

Catherine Cornaro is forced to sell the administrative rights of the Isle of Cyprus to the Republic of Venice.

Spanish forces begin the Siege of Granada, the final Muslim stronghold on Iberian soil.

The Spanish conquest of Granada successfully concludes the Reconquista after 770 years – Isabella and Ferdinand issue the Alhambra Decree, ordering the explusion of all Jews from Spain unless they convert to Christianity. Many Jews flee to the Ottoman Empire – Rodrigo Borgia becomes Pope Alexander VI – The New World is discovered by a Castilian expedition under the Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus while attempting to reach ‘the Indies’ by sailing west.

Battle of Krbava Field: Ottoman forces smash the Hungarian-Croatian defenders, causing many Croatians to flee to Italy and Austria in the face of the Ottoman onslaught – Maximilian of Habsburg becomes Holy Roman Emperor – Pope Alexander VI issues the papal bull Dudum Siquidem, giving the Catholic Monarchs of Spain the full right to conquer the New World.

The Treaty of Tordesillas divides the world outside of Europe between the rising Portuguese and Spanish Empires – After a disastrous defeat, Spain massacres the natives of Tenerife at the Second Battle of Acentejo, de facto completing the conquest of the Canary Islands – France invades Italy, intent on claiming the Kingdom of Napels and thereby initiating the First Italian War.

French forces enter Naples but leave the city soon after and retreat back home, en route defeating the Milanese-Venetian coalition at the Battle of Fornovo.

Spain restores Ferdinand II to the throne of Naples, ousting French forces from the kingdom – Joanna of Castile marries Philip the Handsome.

Bonfire of the Vanities: followers of the Florentine frier Girolamo Savonarola burn thousands of objects deemed to be sinful, including books, paintings, musical instruments, sculptures, mirrors, etc – Vasco da Gama sets sail from Lisbon, intent on reaching India – Manuel I of Portugal orders Jews to convert to Christianity – Spain conquers Melilla and initiates campaigns to establish key outposts on the North African coast (Oran (1509); Bugia (1510); Bona, Bizerta, Tunis (1535); etc).

Vasco da Gama creates the first Portuguese sea route to India, arriving at Calicut – Pope Alexander VI orders Girolamo Savonarola burned at the stake.

Battle of Dornach: the Swiss Confederacy defeats the Holy Roman Empire, ending the Swabian War and forcing Maximilian I to grant the Swiss de facto independence within the Empire (Treaty of Basel) – France captures Milan and drives the Sforza family from power – Venice is dealt a crushing defeat by the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto.

Ludovico Sforza recaptures Milan but the French soon drive him out again – Battle of the Vedrosha River: Muscovy decisively defeats Lithuania – Treaty of Granada: Louis XI of France and Ferdinand II of Aragon divide the Kingdom of Naples – Charles of Habsburg is born.

Spain decisively defeats the French in Italy at the Battles of Cerignola and Garigliano, winning the Second Italian War and capturing Naples.

Ferdinand II of Aragon becomes King of Naples by the Treaty of Lyon, formally ending the Second Italian War.

The Swiss Guard is created by Pope Julius II – Battle of Kletsk: Lithuanian forces crush the Crimean Khanate – Pope Julius II personally leads the Papal army in the capture of Bologna.

Michelangelo begins working on the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – The League of Cambrai is formed by France and the Papal States against Venice, initiating the War of the League of Cambrai (until 1516).

Pope Julius II excommunicates Venice for refusing to cede parts of Romagna to the Papal States – France smashes Venice at the Battle of Agnadello.

France destroys the city of Brescia and defeats Spain at the Battle of Ravenna – Spain conquers and annexes all of Lower Navarre – The Republic of Florence ceases to exist as the Medici return to power – Selim I becomes Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, succeeding Bayezid II.

Battle of Novara: France is defeated by the Swiss and retreats from Milan, given the Sforza family an opportunity to regain power – Battle of Guinegate: England and the Holy Roman Empire defeat France – Battle of La Motta: Spain decisively defeats Venice – Niccolò Machiavelli writes his famous work ‘The Prince’ (Italian: Il Principe).

Battle of Orsha: Poland-Lithuania defeats Muscovy.

Francis I is crowned King of France – Battle of Marignano: Francis I of France defeats the Swiss with Venetian help, allowing France to recapture Milan – Marriage alliances are concluded between the Houses of Habsburg and Jagiellon (Archduke Ferdinand of Austria x Anna of Bohemia-Hungary; King Louis II of Bohemia-Hungary x Maria of Austria).

The War of the League of Cambrai is concluded by the Treaty of Brussels – Ferdinand II of Aragon dies, leaving Charles of Habsburg to become King of Castile and Aragon.

Martin Luther writes and posts his 95 Theses in Wittenberg, Saxony, denouncing the decadence and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church – The Ottoman Empire conquers Egypt and overthrows the Mamluk Sultanate.

The Treaty of London constitutes a non-aggression pact between Europe’s major Christian powers: Spain, France, the Holy Roman Empire, England and the Papal States.

Charles of Habsburg, already Lord of the Netherlands (1515) and King of Castile-Aragon (1516), is elected Holy Roman Emperor by the College of Electors in the Imperial Diet, thus defeating Francis I of France and succeeding his grandfather Maximilian.

The revolts of the Germanías in Aragon and the Comuneros in Castile begin, but are defeated respectively in 1522 and 1523 by the royalists supporting King Charles I (V) – Pope Leo X issues the Papal bull Exsurge Domine, denouncing Martin Luther who publicly burns the bull in response – Suleiman I succeeds his father Selim I as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther in his new Papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem – Battle of Pamplona: Navarrese forces supported by France take over Pamplona, but are soon driven back across the Pyrenees by the Spanish – Siege of Tournai: Imperial forces recapture the city of Tournai from the French – Christian II of Denmark is deposed as King of Sweden, Gustav Vasa is elected regent and becomes the first king of independent Sweden in 1523 – The Ottoman Empire captures Belgrade – Emperor Charles V presides over the Imperial Diet at Worms and issues the Edict of Worms, denouncing Martin Luther and calling for the persecution of his followers.

Four Years’ War: France and Habsburg battle each other for control of Italy, although the war is also fought in the Franco-Spanish border regions and the Netherlands.

Charles V splits the House of Habsburg in a Spanish and Austrian line, entrusting the latter to the de facto rule of his brother Ferdinand of Austria – Pope Adrian VI succeeds Leo X; he is the only pro-Habsburg Pope of the sixteenth century – Treaty of Windsor: Charles V and Henry VIII ally against France, causing England to invade Picardy and Brittany – The Ottomans besiege Rhodes.

The first Flemish Lutherans are burned at the stake in Brussels.

Battle of the Sesia: France is defeated by the Habsburgs and temporarily retreats from Italy, only to return and besiege Pavia.

German Peasants’ War: a massive revolt against the aristocracy across Germany is brutally suppressed by the Swabian League.

Battle of Pavia: Spanish-Imperial forces under Charles V soundly defeat the French army at Pavia in Northern Italy, taking Francis I as prisoner of war. Francis is eventually released after signing the Treaty of Madrid (1526), renouncing French claims to Italy, Flanders and Artois but renouncing the treaty itself once free – Albert of Prussia becomes Duke of Prussia as vassal of the Polish King Sigismund the Old.

Battle of Mohács: the Ottoman Empire destroys the forces of Louis II of Bohemia-Hungary, who perishes in the battle – Ferdinand I, brother of Charles V, becomes king of Bohemia and Croatia – The Kingdom of Hungary falls apart; western Hungary to Habsburg, central Hungary to the Ottoman Empire, eastern Hungary to the Principality of Transylvania as an Ottoman vassal.

War of the League of Cognac: Francis I of France builds an anti-Habsburg alliance consisting of France, England, Venice, Genoa, Florence, Milan and the Papal States.

Sacco di Roma: Habsburg forces mercilessly destroy Rome, shocking Christian Europe – The Medici are driven out of Florence again and the Florentine Republic is restored.

Battle of Landriano: Habsburg forces smash the combined armies of France, Milan and Florence – Peace of Cambrai: Francis I and Charles V conclude peace whereby France reaffirms the earlier Treaty of Madrid and Charles V recognises French lordship over the Duchy of Burgundy – Treaty of Zaragoza: Spain and Portugal divide the eastern hemisphere – Siege of Vienna: Ottoman forces unsuccessfully siege Vienna.

Diet of Augsburg: German Protestants present Charles V with the Augsburg Confession but an attempt at reconciling Catholics and Protestants fails despite the threat of the Ottoman Empire – Spain overthrows the Florentine Republic and restores the Medici to power – Charles V is symbolically crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Clement VII, the last Holy Roman Emperor to be crowned by the Pope – Charles V grants the Isle of Malta to the Knights Hospitaller.

German Protestant princes form the Schmalkaldic League as a political-military alliance against Charles V.

France annexes Brittany – Renewed Ottoman advances in Hungary force Charles V to conclude the Peace of Nuremberg with the German Protestants, temporarily calming the religious turmoil within the Holy Roman Empire.

Ferdinand I concludes the Treaty of Constantinople with the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, renouncing his claims to most of Hungary and accepting Ottoman suzerainty, thereby temporarily relieving Ottoman pressure on Habsburg lands – Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII gives birth to the future Queen Elisabeth I – Ivan IV (later known as ‘The Terrible’) succeeds his father as Grand Prince of Muscovy at the age of 3.

Henry VIII of England becomes head of the Anglican Church in the Act of Supremacy, effectively turning his back on Rome.

Habsburg forces conquer Tunis, killing around 30,000 of its inhabitants.

France and Habsburg continue warring over the succession of the Duchy of Milan – France allies with the Ottoman Empire against Habsburg – Pope Paul III calls for peace, which is concluded at Nice in 1538.

The Ottoman Empire attempts but fails to conquer Corfu – The Spanish introduce the potato in Europe.

Battle of Preveza: Ottoman fleets destroy the armada of the Holy League (Spain, Venice, Genoa, the Papal States and the Knights Hospitaller).

Treaty of Toledo: following the English breakaway from the Roman Catholic Church, France and the Holy Roman Empire vow not to make any alliances with England anymore.

Charles V quells the Ghent Rebellion and executes its instigators – Barbary Pirates in Ottoman service sack Gibraltar – Battle of Alborán: Spain defeats the Ottoman Empire at sea.

The Parliament of Ireland declares Henry VIII of England and his heirs as Kings of Ireland, bringing Ireland under English influence and initiating gradual English annexation – Habsburg forces under Charles V invade North Africa but fail to take the city of Algiers – Ottoman forces take the city of Buda.

Habsburg and England declare war on France (allied with the German Protestants and the Ottoman Empire), ending with the inconclusive Treaty of Crépy, which allows the war between France and England to continue.

The cities of Székesfehérvár and Esztergom in Hungary are captured by the Ottomans – France and the Ottoman Empire siege Nice – Habsburg forces invade Picardy and siege the city of Landrecien before retreating – Martin Luther publishes ‘On the Jews and Their Lies’ (German: Von den Juden und ihren Lügen), his most infamous work.

Habsburg invades northeastern France again and besieges Saint-Dizier.

After the inconclusive Battle of the Solent, English ships defeat France in the naval Battle of Bonchurch.

The Council of Trent (1545 – 1547, 1551 – 1552 and 1562 – 1563) denounces Protestantism, redefines the Catholic faith and reorganises the Roman Catholic Church, thereby initiating the Counter-Reformation.

Martin Luther dies – Charles V formally outlaws the Schmalkaldic League, sparking the Schmalkaldic War.

Francis I of France dies and is succeeded by his second son Henry II – Henry VIII of England dies and is succeeded by Edward VI, his son with his third wife Jane Seymour – Battle of Mühlberg: the armies of Charles V defeat the Schmalkaldic League, but the Protestant Reformation nevertheless survives – Ivan IV The Terrible establishes the Tsardom of Russia, replacing the Grand Duchy of Muscovy and becoming the first Tsar.

The Book of Common Prayer is issued in England, sparking the Prayer Book Rebellion which is crushed by the forces of King Edward VI – Charles V issues the Pragmatic Sanction and declares the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands united and inseparable.

The Ottomans take Tripoli (Libya) and capture Gozo (near Malta), killing or enslaving all of its inhabitants.

Henry II of France declares war on Habsburg and invades Italy.

The Peace of Passau ensures religious freedom for the German Protestants.

Queen ‘Bloody’ Mary I Tudor begins her reign in England, ordering the restoration of Catholicism and the arrest of Protestant bishops – England begins trade relations with Russia.

Queen Mary I imprisons her half-sister Elisabeth and marries Philip of Habsburg, son of Charles V, the future Philip II – Battle of Scannagallo: Habsburg and Florence defeat France and Siena.

Peace of Augsburg: Charles V is forced to conclude peace with the Schmalkaldic League, establishing the principle of ‘cuius region, eius religio’ whereby member states of the Holy Roman Empire are given the right to determine the religion of their dominion: Catholic or Lutheran. Religious unity within the Holy Roman Empire is thus irreversibly broken.

Embittered by the Peace of Augsburg, Charles V voluntarily abdicates. His son Philip II succeeds him as King of the Spain, his brother Ferdinand as Holy Roman Emperor.

Battle of Saint-Quentin: Habsburg once again smashes the French, but Philip II, appalled at the slaughter, refuses to press into France and instead retreats into the Netherlands – Despite continued military successes, the constant warfare of the previous decades has ruined Spain financially, causing Philip II to declare a state bankruptcy, which is soon solved by means of Spain’s enormous colonial dominions.

Charles V dies of malaria in St. Yuste, Spain (Castile) – Elisabeth I ascends to the throne of England, succeeding her Catholic half-sister ‘Bloody’ Mary Tudor and restoring Protestant England – France captures Calais, driving England off the continent.

Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis; Henry II of France and Philip II of Spain conclude peace, whereby France gives up most of its gains in Italy (save for Saluzzo) but retains Verdun, Metz and Toule (occupied by France since 1552); Spanish hegemony in Europe is nevertheless secured – Margaret of Parma becomes Governor of the Netherlands – Elisabeth I officially establishes the Church of England through the Act of Uniformity and Act of Supremacy (the Elizabethan Religious Settlement) – Henry II of France dies in a jousting tournament and is succeeded by his son Francis II, who dies in 1560 and is succeeded by his 10 year old brother Charles IX; both were under the influence of their mother Catharina de’ Medici.

Treaty of Edinburgh: France, England and Scotland make peace – Scotland turns its back on Catholicism and becomes Protestant.

Madrid is declared the official capital of Spain by King Philip II – Sweden conquers Estonia.

French Wars of Religion: civil war between Huguenots (French Protestants) and Catholics tears apart France for decades, until Henry IV of Navarre-Bourbon rises to power and issues the Edict of Nantes.

The Edict of Saint-Germain grants religious tolerance to the Huguenots.

The Edict of Amboise ends the First War of Religion in France – Denmark opens fire on Swedish vessels near the Isle of Bornholm and invades Sweden, sparking the inconclusive Northern Seven Years’ War.

The Ottoman Empire sieges but fails to capture Malta.

Selim II succeeds Suleiman I as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire – The Compromise of Nobles is presented to Margaret of Parma, demanding the moderation of the so-called ‘placcards’ against heresy in the Netherlands. However, Philip II himself ultimately rejects the petition – The Iconoclastic Fury breaks loose in the Netherlands.

Philip II sends the Duke of Alba to the Netherlands to suppress the increasingly serious unrest – the Duke of Alba arrests the Count of Egmont and Count of Horne for treason, and outlaws William of Orange.

Treaty of Longjumeau: Charles IX and Catherine de’ Medici are forced to grant significant concessions to the Huguenots in order to end the Second War of Religion – Battle of Heiligerlee: the Dutch Rebels defeat a force loyal to Philip II, thus initiating the Eighty Years’ War – Battle of Jemmingen: the Duke of Alba destroys the Dutch rebel army of Louis of Nassau – William of Orange invades the Southern Netherlands but is quickly defeated by the Duke of Alba – Renewed religious strife in France initiates the Third War of Religion.

Battle of Jarnac: French Catholics score a victory against the Huguenots, killing their leader Louis de Condé. However, the Catholics are soon after crushed at the Battle of Ortez, only to be triumphant again at the Battle of Moncountour – The Union of Lublin unites Poland and Lithuania into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Ivan IV The Terrible commands the Massacre of Novgorod – The Peace of St. Germain grants the Huguenots political autonomy and religious freedom, ending the Third War of Religion in France.

Battle of Lepanto: the Spanish-led Holy League decisively defeats the Ottoman Empire at sea, though the Ottomans capture the key island of Cyprus soon after (1571/1573).

The Dutch Sea Beggars capture Brielle, sparking wide-spread anti-Habsburg revolts in Holland and Zeeland. England assigns military aid to the Dutch Rebels – St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre: French Catholics murder thousands of Huguenots across Paris, traditionally believed to be commanded by Catherine de’ Medici – The Duke of Alba sieges Haarlem, capturing the city in 1573.

Charles IX of France signs the Edict of Boulogne, ending the Fourth War of Religion in France – Philip II accepts the numerous complaints by ordering the Duke of Alba to resign as Governor of the Netherlands and Commander-in-Chief of Habsburg forces there, after five years of military campaigning, large-scale repression and over 3,000 executions - The Warsaw Confederation: Poland-Lithuania formally heralds Europe’s first legal document in regard to religious tolerance.

Habsburg forces destroy the Dutch Rebels at the Battle of Mookerheyde but the Dutch Sea Beggars relieve the Habsburg Siege of Leiden – The Fifth War of Religion in France begins, ending with the Edict of Beaulieu (1576) which once again grants the Huguenots freedom of religion – Murad III becomes Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, succeeding Selim II.

Leiden University is established in the rebellious Northern Netherlands.

Sack of Antwerp: mutineering Spanish soldiers pillage and destroy Antwerp, a deed unauthorised by the Habsburg leadership – Pacification of Ghent: the States-General of the Netherlands meets in Ghent to discuss solutions to the problem of Spanish mutineers ravaging the country – The Sixth War of Religion begins in France, right after the Edict of Beaulieu is issued.

The Union of Brussels is formed; practically the entirety of the Netherlands is now in open rebellion against Philip II – The Sixth War of Religion in France ends with the Treaty of Bergerac.

Alexander Farnese becomes Governor of the Netherlands and works to regain territory and popular support in the Netherlands, smashing the Dutch Rebels at the Battle of Gembloux.

Alexander Farnese reunites the Southern Nederlands in the Union of Atrecht, the pro-Habsburg Catholic faction; in response, the Northern Netherlands unite in the Union of Utrecht, the anti-Habsburg Calvinist faction.

Spain and Portugal unite in the Iberian Union under Philip II of Habsburg – English raids of Spanish ships and support for the Northern Netherlands increase the tensions between England and Spain – England signs a trade treaty with the Ottoman Empire – Raging since 1579, the Seventh War of Religion in France ends with the Treaty of Fleix.

The Union of Utrecht announces the Act of Abjuration, officially renouncing the legitimacy of Habsburg claims to the Northern Netherlands, appointing Francis of Nassau as the new sovereign and banning Catholicism.

Russia cedes Livonia to Poland-Lithuania.

Commanded by Francis of Anjou, the Northern Netherlands attack Antwerp.

William of Orange is assassinated in Delft by Balthasar Gérard who is captured, horribly tortured and executed; Philip II grants Gérard’s parents three country estates in the Franche Comté – Alexander Farnese recaptures Ghent from the Dutch – Ivan IV The Terrible of Russia dies and is succeeded by his son Feodor I.

Alexander Farnese recaptures Brussels, capital of the Southern Netherlands – Elizabeth I of England agrees to protect the Northern Netherlands as the tide of the Eighty Years’ War turns in favour of the royalist South – Alexander Farnese reconquers Antwerp; in response, the Northern Netherlands install a naval blockade of the Scheldt, strangling Antwerp economically and eventually giving rise to the economic power of Amsterdam, an act which further estranges the Northern and Southern Netherlands – England signs the Treaty of Nonsuch, entering the Eighty Years’ War on the side of the North – Chocolates are first introduced in Europe.

Execution of the Babington Plotters: a plot to assassinate Elisabeth I of England is discovered and destroyed – Habsburg forces invade the Northern Netherlands and defeat the Anglo-Dutch army at the Battle of Zutphen. The South looks set on reconquering the North under Habsburg rule.

Alexander Farnese moves against Sluis and Ostend – The War of the Three Henrys begins in France.

Spain fails to invade England after the disastrous defeat of its ‘Invincible Armada’.

Henry of Navarre-Bourbon proclaims himself Henry IV, after the assassination of Henry III.

The Northern Netherlands capture the city of Breda and drive Habsburg forces out of southern Gelderland.

The Dutch recapture the city of Deventer – England sends forces to aid Henry of Navarre-Bourbon at the Siege of Rouen.

Battle of Sisak: numerically inferior Austrian Habsburg forces smash the Ottoman army in Croatia, sparking the Long War between Austria and the Ottoman Empire.

Henry of Navarre-Bourbon is crowned King of France and enters Paris – Supported by Spain, Irish clans create an alliance to cast the English out of Ireland, which ultimately results in failure (1603) – Groningen, Friesland, defects to the Northern Netherlands, ensuring the Dutch Republic control of the Seven Northern Provinces, opposing the Ten Southern Provinces.

Murad III is succeeded by Mehmed III as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire – Michael the Brave gains significant victories against the Ottomans at the Battles of Călugăreni and Giurgiu – Austria supports anti-Ottoman rebellions in Bulgaria.

Spanish troops capture Calais – The Ottoman army scores a great victory at the Battle of Keresztes – Elizabeth I orders all Africans expelled from England, in response to the ongoing food crisis.

Spain captures Amiens, but the city is soon retaken by France.

Henry IV of France issues the Edict of Nantes, effectively ending the French Wars of Religion – Philip II of Spain dies and is succeeded by his son Philip III.

Battle of Nieuwpoort: Dutch forces under Maurice of Nassau achieve a tactical victory against the Archduke Albrecht of the Southern Netherlands.

Battle of Kinsale: English forces smash the rebellion of the Spanish-supported Irish clans – The Dutch establish their United East India Company.

Elizabeth I of England dies and is succeeded by her cousin's grandson, James IV of Scotland, thereby uniting the Crowns of England and Scotland – The Nine Years’ War in Ireland is formally ended by the Treaty of Mellifont – Mehmed III is succeeded by his son Ahmed I as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Spain captures Ostend after a three year siege – Treaty of London: Spain concludes peace with England, ending English involvement in the Eighty Years’ War.

Gunpowder Plot: an attempt to blow up the English Houses of Parliament and assassinate King James I of England (James IV of Scotland) is foiled – Polish forces enter and occupy Moscow.

Guy Fawkes, arguably the most famous of the conspirators of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot is charged with treason and subsequently tortured and executed – The Union Flag is first flown as a flag of England-Scotland (future Great Britain).

Spain announces its state bankruptcy.

Philip III of Spain concludes the Twelve Year Truce with the United Provinces of the Dutch Republic, de facto splitting the Netherlands between the Republican Calvinist North and the Royal Catholic South. Spain’s golden age of hegemony has lost its glory...

© 2013 – 2016

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Abalsador Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014
There is a small mistake on the map: State of Teutonic Order was in Prussia and only in Prussia. Livonia was under control of other order - Livonian Brothers of the Sword - which was in close alliance with Teutons until their secularization. From that moment, year 1525, Prussia became a vassal of Kingom of Poland, and Livonia went its own way. Both Poland and Muscowy wanted Brothers to be under its influence and they waged a war of them in 1558-1570. Finally, Brothers also secularized and their lands were divided between their last great master (Curland - his own principality, vassal of Poland), Denmark (Estonia) and the rest became a common domain of Poland and Lithuania.
Apart from that - really good work :)
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014   Artist
The Livonian Order had become an autonomous group within the Teutonic Order at this point. The Brothers of the Sword were so decisively defeated by pagans at the Battle of Saule in the 1230's that the few survivors joined the Teutonic Order.
Animagicwings Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student
thanks for remember Denmark (my home btw) people always think it is somewhere els . and keep working with your maps they are awsome ^^ have a nice day :hug:
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014   Artist
Thank you :bow:

Denmark played an important role in European history for such a small country; who could forget that? ^^
Animagicwings Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Student
you are very welcome ^^
and aparently many xD nah they sure not grown up with the full story so I cant really blaim them ;) we are small but strong ^^ hope it is ok if I learn something from your maps . your map of Europe look much more intresting than the one I was looking for at the city, good luck in the future , mabye you could make an atlas one day , at it's look now it it can only be fantastic in the future :) . no matter what good luck !
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014   Artist
Of course, learn as much as you can ^^

I've thought about the atlas-idea, but for that I need more maps first, which I'm working on :)
Animagicwings Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Student
I will thanks and good luck :)
prussiafangirl88 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
excited  This makes me happy
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014   Artist
Lol okay :XD:
prussiafangirl88 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014   Artist
True, I never understood Hetalia :) But glad you like the map though :bow:
prussiafangirl88 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
darklord86 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013
Wow, very nice description.... how long did it take you to complete!
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013   Artist
Thanks :bow: And I don't remember, but it took long :)
darklord86 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013
Your welcome and bet it did!:)
Exnihilo-nihil Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Professional Writer
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013   Artist
Arminius1871 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
Beautiful map, great job!

Indeed Habsburg was very mighty once, sadly they didnīt unite the Reich and make it a real nation,
they wouldīve easily dominated Europa in the early modern times.
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013   Artist
Thank you :bow:

And I agree!
doliwaq Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013
You left out a very important piece of history: the Confederation of Warsaw - Europe's first act of religious tolerance, published 25 years earlier than the Edict of Nantes.
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013   Artist
Thanks, you're right.
doliwaq Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013
However, a good job - a beautiful and well-mapped map with an extensive history.
hornsofhattin Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
The Teuctonic Knights were still around by this time? That's crazy.
Arminius1871 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
The teutonic knights do still exist today^^
Andranetta Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You certainly have a lot of talent and the effort you've put in this didn't fail to amaze me. More helpful than my history book!
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner May 15, 2013   Artist
Thank you very much, I am glad this is helpful :bow:! It's pretty much why I make these maps (:
Hillfighter Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013
Very nice, it's like I'm looking at an atlas!
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013   Artist
Thanks alot! :bow:
Espio42 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013
hehe ottoMANs were great:hooray:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013   Photographer
This is great stuff. I reckon a lot of history books could get a hint from you here! I can't find a thing to pick on! :)
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013   Artist
Wow, thanks :bow:!
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013   Photographer
Hey, you're very welcome!
fantasylover100 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013   Artist
Raubritter Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013   Artist
Thank you :bow: :XD:!
kalika12 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Great one!:clap:
Iīve heard about a man called Cognac before,but I donīt know if he has something to do with the league...does he?:?
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013   Artist
Thanks :bow:

I'm not entirely sure, but I think the League of Cognac was named after the city of Cognac in western France (much like the Schmalkaldic League of the German Protestants was named after the German city of Schmalkalden). But as I said, I'm not completely sure.. :)
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April 6, 2013
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