Charles VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire


May 21, 2022

Charles VI (October 1, 1685 - October 20, 1740) was Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of Hungary, King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria from 1711 until his death. During the War of the Spanish Succession, he was a contender for the Spanish throne under the name of Carlos III.


Charles was born the second son of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I of the Habsburg dynasty and his wife Eleanor-Magdalene of the Palatine-Neuburg. After the death of Carlos II, the last representative of the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs, European powers started the War for the Spanish Heritage. During this conflict, the second-born son of Emperor Leopold I was singled out as Carlos III as the Habsburg contender for the Spanish crown. However, as Leopold's successor Joseph I died suddenly in 1711, his younger brother Charles VI was elected the new emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Finally, in 1714, the Treaty of Rastatt ended hostilities with Louis XIV of France. The new king of Spain became Louis' grandson Philip V, although on the condition that he renounce all claims to the French royal throne. On the other hand, Charles VI received all the former possessions held by the Spanish monarchs in the Netherlands (today's Belgium) and Italy. Charles' successes in conflicts with the Ottoman Empire were volatile. The Venetian Republic, which entered the war against the Turks in 1714, asked the emperor for help according to the letter of the treaty of alliance that the Holy League concluded in 1684 during the Vienna War. In 1716, Charles VI confirmed his alliance with Venice and declared war on the sultan. The already celebrated imperial military leader Eugene of Savoy defeated the Ottomans in 1716 near Petrovaradin, and then near Belgrade, which was occupied in 1717. The Peace of Požarevac in 1718 brought the emperor power over northern Serbia, northern Bosnia and the Tamis Banat. However, these achievements were lost during the war from 1737 to 1739, which the empire waged in an alliance with Russia against the Ottomans. With the Belgrade Peace of 1739, Charles VI had to return to the Sultan all the territories gained in 1718 except the Tamis Banat. Due to this defeat of the imperial army, the Second Migration of Serbs took place in 1739 under the leadership of the Patriarch of Peja, Arsenij IV Jovanović Šakabenta. The main issue of Charles VI's domestic policy was the question of the succession to the throne. Namely, Carlo, just like his brother Joseph I, had only daughters, and according to medieval Salian law, which is still