Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor

Article

May 22, 2022

Charles VI (1 October 1685 – 20 October 1740) was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia (as Charles II), King of Hungary, King of Croatia (as Charles III), King of Serbia (as Charles I), and Archduke of Austria. He succeeded his older brother, Joseph I. He failed to claim the Spanish throne as Charles III after the death of its ruler, Carlos II of Spain, in 1700. He married Elisabeth Christine of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, and they had two children: Maria Theresia, born in 1717, successor to Charles VI, and Maria Anna, born 1718, Governor of the Austrian Netherlands. Four years before the birth of Maria Theresa, because there was no male successor, Charles issued the Pragmatic Sanctions of 1713, which sought to ensure that the Habsburg territories could be inherited by a woman. Charles chose his daughter over his older brother, Joseph I, thus ignoring the decrees he had signed during the reign of his father, Leopold I. Karl tried to seek the approval of other European countries. They demanded a heavy price: Britain demanded that the Ostend Company be dissolved. In the end, Great Britain, France, Saxony-Poland, Dutch Republic, Spain, Venice, Church State, Prussia, Russia, Denmark, Savoy-Sardinia, Bavaria, and the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire recognized the Pragmatic Sanctions of 1713. However, France, Spain, Saxony-Poland, Bayern, and Prussia later violated this commitment. Charles died in 1740, sparking the War of the Austrian Inheritance, which disrupted the rule of his successor, Maria Theresia, for eight years.

Footnote

Reference

Crankshaw, Edward: Maria Theresa, 1969, Longman publishers, Great Britain (ISBN pre-dates) Jones, Colin: The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon, University of Columbia Press, Great Britain, 2002, ISBN 0-231-12882-7 Fraser, Antonia: Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of The Sun King, Orion books, London, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7538-2293-7Mahan, J. Alexander: Maria Theresa of Austria, Crowell publishers, New York, 1932 (ISBN pre-dates) Kahn, Robert A.: A History of the Habsburg Empire, 1526–1918, University of California Press, California, 1992, ISBN 978-0-520-04206-3 Acton, Harold: The Last Medici, Macmillan, London, 1980, ISBN 0-333-29315-0 Browning, Reed: The War of the Austrian Succession, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995, ISBN 0-312-12561-5