Charles VI (1 October 1685 – 20 October 1740; German: Karl VI., Latin: Carolus VI) succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia (as Charles II), King of Hungary and Croatia, Serbia and Archduke of Austria (as Charles III) in 1711. He unsuccessfully claimed the throne of Spain following the death of his relative, Charles II, in 1700. He married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, by whom he had his two children: Maria Theresa, the last Habsburg sovereign, and Maria Anna, Governess of the Austrian Netherlands.
Four years before the birth of Maria Theresa, faced with his lack of male heirs, Charles provided for a male-line succession failure with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713. The Emperor favoured his own daughters over those of his elder brother and predecessor, Joseph I, in the succession, ignoring the decree he had signed during the reign of his father, Leopold I. Charles sought the other European powers' approval. They exacted harsh terms: Britain demanded that Austria abolish its overseas trading company. In total, Great Britain, France, Saxony-Poland, the Dutch Republic, Spain, Venice, States of the Church, Prussia, Russia, Denmark, Savoy-Sardinia, Bavaria, and the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire recognised the sanction. France, Spain, Saxony-Poland, Bavaria and Prussia later reneged. Charles died in 1740, sparking the War of the Austrian Succession, which plagued his successor, Maria Theresa, for eight years.
|Reign||12 October 1711 – 20 October 1740|
|Coronation||22 December 1711, Frankfurt|
|Born||1 October 1685|
Hofburg Palace, Vienna
|Died||20 October 1740 (aged 55)|
Palais Augarten, Vienna
|Spouse||Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel|
|Father||Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Mother||Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg|
Archduke Charles (baptized Carolus Franciscus Josephus Wenceslaus Balthasar Johannes Antonius Ignatius), the second son of the Emperor Leopold I and of his third wife, Princess Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg, was born on 1 October 1685. His tutor was Anton Florian, Prince of Liechtenstein.
Following the death of Charles II of Spain, in 1700, without any direct heir, Charles declared himself King of Spain—both were members of the House of Habsburg. The ensuing War of the Spanish Succession, which pitted France's candidate, Philip, Duke of Anjou, Louis XIV of France's grandson, against Austria's Charles, lasted for almost 14 years. The Kingdom of Portugal, Kingdom of England, Scotland, Ireland and the majority of the Holy Roman Empire endorsed Charles's candidature. Charles III, as he was known, disembarked in his kingdom in 1705, and stayed there for six years, only being able to exercise his rule in Catalonia, until the death of his brother, Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor; he returned to Vienna to assume the imperial crown. Not wanting to see Austria and Spain in personal union again, the new Kingdom of Great Britain withdrew its support from the Austrian coalition, and the war culminated with the Treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt three years later. The former, ratified in 1713, recognised Philip as King of Spain; however, the Kingdom of Naples, the Duchy of Milan, the Austrian Netherlands and the Kingdom of Sardinia – all previously possessions of the Spanish—were ceded to Austria. To prevent a union of Spain and France, Philip was forced to renounce his right to succeed his grandfather's throne. Charles was extremely discontented at the loss of Spain, and as a result, he mimicked the staid Spanish Habsburg court ceremonial, adopting the dress of a Spanish monarch, which, according to British historian Edward Crankshaw, consisted of "a black doublet and hose, black shoes and scarlet stockings".
Charles's father and his advisors went about arranging a marriage for him. Their eyes fell upon Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, the eldest child of Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. She was held to be strikingly beautiful by her contemporaries. On 1 August 1708, in Barcelona, Charles married her by proxy. She gave him two daughters that survived to adulthood, Maria Theresa and Maria Anna.
When Charles succeeded his brother in 1711, he was the last male Habsburg heir in the direct line. Since Habsburg possessions were subject to Salic law, barring women from inheriting in their own right, his own lack of a male heir meant they would be divided on his death. The Pragmatic Sanction of 19 April 1713 abolished male-only succession in all Habsburg realms and declared their lands indivisible, although Hungary only approved it in 1723.
Charles had three daughters, Maria Theresa (1717-1780), Maria Anna (1718-1744) and Maria Amalia (1724-1730) but no suriving sons. When Maria Theresa was born, he disinherited his nieces and the daughters of his elder brother Joseph, Maria Josepha and Maria Amalia. It was this act that undermined the chances of a smooth succession and obliged Charles to spend the rest of his reign seeking to ensure enforcement of the Sanction from other European powers.
They exacted harsh terms; in 1731, Charles agreed to a demand from Britain that he close a trade competitor, the Ostend Company, which was based in the Austrian Netherlands and that he himself founded in 1722. However, by 1735 he had secured approvals from key states, most importantly the Imperial Diet, which in theory bound all its members including Prussia and Bavaria.
Other signatories included Britain, France, the Dutch Republic, Spain, Russia, Denmark and Savoy-Sardinia but subsequent events underlined Eugene of Savoy's comment that the best guarantee was a powerful army and full Treasury. His nieces were married to the rulers of Saxony and Bavaria, both of whom ultimately refused to be bound by the decision of the Imperial Diet and despite publicly agreeing to the Pragmatic Sanction in 1735, France signed a secret treaty with Bavaria in 1738 promising to back the 'just claims' of Charles Albert of Bavaria.
In the first part of his reign, Austrian continued to expand; was successful in the Austro-Turkish War (1716–1718), adding Banat to Hungary, and establishing direct Austrian rule over Serbia and Oltenia (Lesser Wallachia). This extended Austrian rule to the lower Danube.
The War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-1720) followed. It too ended in an Austrian victory; by the Treaty of The Hague (1720), Charles swapped Sardinia, which went to the Duke of Savoy, Victor Amadeus, for Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, which was harder to defend than Sardinia. The treaty also recognised Philip V of Spain's younger son, Don Carlos (the future Charles III of Spain), as heir to the Duchy of Parma and Grand Duchy of Tuscany; Charles had previously endorsed the succession of the incumbent Grand Duke's daughter, Anna Maria Luisa, Electress Palatine.
Peace in Europe was shattered by the War of the Polish Succession (1733–1738), a dispute over the throne of Poland between Augustus of Saxony, the previous King's elder son, and Stanisław Leszczyński. Austria supported the former, France the latter; thus, a war broke out. By the Treaty of Vienna (1738), Augustus ascended the throne, but Charles had to give the Kingdom of Naples to Don Carlos, in exchange for the much smaller Duchy of Parma.
The issue of Charles' elder daughter's marriage was raised early in her childhood. She was first betrothed to Léopold Clément of Lorraine, who was supposed to come to Vienna and meet Maria Theresa. Instead, he died of smallpox in 1723, which upset Maria Theresa. Léopold Clément's younger brother, Francis Stephen, then came to Vienna to replace him. Charles considered other possibilities (such as Don Carlos) before announcing the engagement to Francis. At the end of the War of the Polish Succession, France demanded that Francis surrender the Duchy of Lorraine (his hereditary domain), to Stanisław Leszczyński, the deposed King of Poland, who would bequeath it to France at his death. Charles compelled Francis to renounce his rights to Lorraine and told him: "No renunciation, no archduchess." Francis complied; he was married to Maria Theresa in February 1736, and Lorraine devolved to Stanisław in July 1737.
In 1737, the Emperor embarked on another Turkish War in alliance with Russia. Unlike the previous Austro-Turkish War, it ended in a decisive Austrian defeat. Much of the territory gained in 1718 (Except for the Banat) was lost. Popular discontent at the costly war reigned in Vienna; Francis of Lorraine, Maria Theresa's husband, was dubbed a French spy by the Viennese. The war not only revealed the sorry state of the Austrian army, but also the weakness of the imperial state itself, which did not have the financial strength to sustain a long war without the subsidies of its allies.
At the time of Charles' death, the Habsburg lands were saturated in debt; the exchequer contained a mere 100,000 florins; and desertion was rife in Austria's sporadic army, spread across the Empire in small, ineffective barracks. Contemporaries expected that Austria-Hungary would wrench itself from the Habsburg yoke upon his death.
The Emperor, after a hunting trip across the Hungarian border in "a typical day in the wettest and coldest October in memory", fell seriously ill at the Favorita Palace, Vienna, and he died on 20 October 1740 in the Hofburg. In his Memoirs Voltaire wrote that Charles' death was caused by consuming a meal of death cap mushrooms. Charles' life opus, the Pragmatic Sanction, was ultimately in vain. Maria Theresa was forced to resort to arms to defend her inheritance from the coalition of Prussia, Bavaria, France, Spain, Saxony and Poland—all party to the sanction—who assaulted the Austrian frontier weeks after her father's death. During the ensuing War of the Austrian Succession, Maria Theresa saved her crown and most of her territory but lost the mineral-rich Duchy of Silesia to Prussia and the Duchy of Parma to Spain.
Emperor Charles VI has been the main motif of many collectors' coins and medals. One of the most recent samples is high value collectors' coin the Austrian Göttweig Abbey commemorative coin, minted on 11 October 2006. His portrait can be seen in the foreground of the reverse of the coin.
|Leopold Johann||13 April 1716 –
4 November 1716
|Archduke of Austria, died aged seven months.|
|Maria Theresa||13 May 1717 –
29 November 1780
|Archduchess of Austria and heiress of the Habsburg dynasty, married Francis III Stephen, Duke of Lorraine (later Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor) and had issue; succeeded by the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.|
|Maria Anna||14 September 1718 –
16 December 1744
|Archduchess of Austria, married Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, with whom she served as Governess of the Austrian Netherlands. Died in childbirth.|
|Maria Amalia||5 April 1724 –
19 April 1730
|Archduchess of Austria, died aged six.|
Full titles of Charles as the emperor and ruler of Habsburg lands as well as a pretender to the Spanish throne went as follows: Charles, by the grace of God elected Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, King in Germany, of Castile, Aragon, Leon, both Sicilies, Jerusalem, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Rama, Serbia, Galitia, Lodomeria, Cumania, Bulgaria, Navarre, Grenada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Sevilla, Sardinia, Cordova, Corsica, Murcia, Jaen, the Algarve, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, the islands of India and Mainland of the Ocean Sea, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Milan, Brabant, Lorraine, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Limburg, Luxemburg, Gelderland, Württemberg, the Upper and Lower Silesia, Calabria, Athens and Neopatria, Prince of Swabia, Catalonia, Asturia, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, of Burgau, Moravia, the Upper and Lower Lusatia; Count Palatine of Burgundy, Princely Count of Habsburg, Flanders, Tyrol, Ferrette, Kyburg, Gorizia, Artois, Landgrave of Alsace, Margrave of Oristano, Count of Goceano, Hainaut, Namur, Roussillon, Cerdagne, Lord of the Windic March, Pordenone, Biscay, Molina, Salins, Tripoli and Mechelen, etc.
|Heraldry of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Ancestors of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor|
Charles VI, Holy Roman EmperorBorn: 1 October 1685 Died: 20 October 1740
| Duke of Teschen
| Holy Roman Emperor
King in Germany
| King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia;
Archduke of Austria
Charles III of Spain
| Duke of Parma and Piacenza|
Maximilian II Emanuel
| Duke of Luxembourg|
Count of Namur
Philip V of Spain
| Duke of Brabant, Limburg,|
Lothier, and Milan;
Count of Flanders and Hainaut
| King of Sardinia
| King of Naples
Charles III of Spain
| King of Sicily|
The imperial election of 1711 was an imperial election held to select the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. It took place on October 12.Antonio Corradini
Antonio Corradini (19 October 1688, Venice – 12 August 1752, Naples) was an Italian Rococo sculptor.
Corradini was born in Venice and worked mainly in the Veneto, but also completed commissions for work outside Venice, including work for patrons through Eastern Europe, in Vienna where he was court sculptor for Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, and in Naples, where he died.Capture of Minorca (1708)
The Capture of Menorca saw the island of Menorca (called Minorca by the British) captured from Spain by British-Dutch forces acting on behalf of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor the Austrian claimant to the Spanish throne in September 1708 during the War of the Spanish Succession. The British would later annex the island as their own possession at the Treaty of Utrecht (1713).Charles II
Charles II may refer to:
Charles II of Alençon (1297–1346)
Charles II of England (1630–1685), Scotland and Ireland
Charles II of Naples (1254–1309)
Charles II of Navarre (1332–1387)
Charles II of Norway (1748–1818), also known as Charles XIII of Sweden
Charles II of Spain (1661–1700)
Charles II of Sweden (1409–1470), usually called Charles VIII
Charles II, Archduke of Inner Austria (1540–1590)
Charles II, Count of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1547–1606)
Charles II, Count of Nevers (died 1521)
Charles II, Duke of Bourbon (1434–1488)
Charles II, Duke of Brunswick (1804–1873)
Charles II, Duke of Elbeuf (1596–1657)
Charles II, Duke of Guelders (1467–1538)
Charles II, Duke of Lorraine (1364–1431)
Charles II, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat (1629–1665)
Charles II, Duke of Parma (1799–1883)
Charles II, Duke of Savoy (1489–1496)
Charles II, Elector Palatine (1651–1685)
Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1741–1816)
Charles II, Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal (1803–1868)
Charles II, Lord of Monaco (1555–1589)
Charles II, Margrave of Baden-Durlach (1529–1577)
Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1685–1740), also known as Charles II of Bohemia
Charles Cabrier II
Charles Christian II (1818–1886)* Charles Ridgely II (1702–1772)
Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755), French political philosopher of the Enlightenment era
Charles Scribner II (1854–1930)
Charles the Bald (823–877), king of the West Franks and Holy Roman Emperor
Charles Tyroler II (died 1995)
Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel (1744–1836)Charles III
Charles III may refer to:
Charles III, Duke of Bourbon (1490–1527)
Charles III, Duke of Lorraine (1543–1608)
Charles III, Duke of Parma (1823–1854)
Charles III, Duke of Savoy (1486–1553)
Charles III, Prince of Monaco (1818–1889)
Charles III John of Norway (1763–1844)
Charles III of Alençon (1337–1375)
Charles III of Anjou (1290–1325)
Charles III of Bohemia (1887–1922)
Charles III of East Francia (832–888)
Charles III of Hungary (1685–1740)
Charles III of Naples (1345–1386)
Charles III of Navarre (1361–1425)
Charles III of Spain (1716–1788)
The title Charles III of Spain was also used by Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1685–1740) during the War of the Spanish Succession, ca. 1705–1713
Charles III of West Francia (879–929)
Charles III, Holy Roman Emperor (839–888)
Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine (1661–1742)Charles IV
Charles IV may refer to:
Charles IV of France (1294–1328), "the Fair"
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1316–1378)
Charles IV of Navarre (1421–1461)
Charles IV, Duke of Anjou (1446–1481)
Charles IV, Duke of Alençon (1489–1525)
Charles, Duke of Vendôme (1489–1537), also known as Charles IV de Bourbon
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1500–1558), King of Naples as Charles IV
Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine (1604–1675)
Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1685–1740), Duke of Brabant and King of Sicily as Charles IV
Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia (1751–1819), styled "Charles IV of England and Scotland" by Jacobites
Charles IV of Spain (1748–1819)
Charles IV of Norway (1826–1872)
Charles IV of Hungary (1887–1922)Charles VI
Charles VI may refer to:
Charles VI of France (1368–1422), "the Well-Beloved" and "The Mad King"
Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1685–1740), and VI of Naples
Infante Carlos, Count of Montemolin (1818–1861), pretender to the throne of Spain, styled "Charles VI" by Carlists
Charles VI, Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1834–1921)
Charles VI (opera), an 1843 opera by Fromental HalévyChristian August of Saxe-Zeitz
Christian August of Saxe-Zeitz (9 October 1666 in Moritzburg – 23 August 1725 in Regensburg), was a German prince of the House of Wettin.
Christian August of Saxe-Zeitz was a Teutonic Knight, the Primas of Hungary and finally a cardinal. On 22 May 1712 he crowned Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor as the King of Hungary and on 18 October 1714 also his wife Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in St. Martin's Cathedral.Fortunato Pasquetti
Fortunato Pasquetti (1690–1773) was an Italian painter of the Rococo period. He is known for his formal portraits of royalty and Venetian Patriciate. He was born in Venice and died in Portogruaro. He trained under Niccolò Cassana. He painted a portrait of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor.Giovanni Claudio Pasquini
Giovanni Claudio Pasquini (1695 – 1763) was an Italian poet and librettist. Born in Siena, he served at the court of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna, first as the Italian teacher to Maria Theresa and her younger sister Maria Anna, and from 1733 as the court poet. After the death of Charles VI, he worked in the Hapsburg courts of Mannheim and Dresden before returning to Siena in 1749 where he remained for the rest of his life. He wrote the libretti for numerous operas, including Caldara's I disingannati, as well as courtly entertainments and oratorios. From 1754 he devoted himself to religious life and lost his sight the following year. He was appointed vice-rector of the University of Siena in 1758, but his last years were marked by financial worries when his nephew died and Pasquini became to the sole support of his five children.Gottlob Benedikt von Schirach
Gottlob Benedikt von Schirach (born 13 June 1743 in Parowa, died 7 December 1804 in Altona) (né Gottlob Benedikt Schirach; also spelled Gottlob Benedict Schirach; Sorbian Bohuchwał Benedikt ze Šěrach) was a Sorbian historian, philosopher and writer, and later a diplomat in Danish service.
He was a son of the Sorbian theologian Christian Gottlob Schirach (Křesćan Bohuchwał Šěrach). After studying history and philology at the University of Leipzig, he became a lecturer at the University of Halle in 1764. In 1769 he became Professor of Philosophy at the University of Helmstedt. He published several books and was regarded as a well-known author in his lifetime.
In recognition of his biography of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, he was raised to the hereditary Austrian nobility by Empress Maria Theresa on 17 May 1776. He is the progenitor of the noble Schirach family. In 1780 he became a diplomat in Danish service, and moved to Altona near Hamburg. In Altona he founded the journal Politisches Journal nebst Anzeige von gelehrten und anderen Sachen, one of the most influential journals on political affairs of its time.Hubert du Château
Hubert du Château was a lawyer and politician from Liège and served as the city's mayor in 1716 with Gilles-Bernard de Stier and in 1724 with Henri de Bailly. He was also president of the 'tribunal des XXII', advisor to Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor and permanent counsellor of the city of Liège.Joaquín Fernández de Portocarrero
Joaquín Fernández de Portocarrero y Mendoza, 4th Marquis of Almenara, 9th Count of Palma del Río (27 March 1681 – 22 June 1760) was a Grandee of Spain who served Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor as Viceroy of Sicily and interim Viceroy of Naples, before entering the priesthood in his late forties and rising to the rank of cardinal, ending his life as Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina.List of state leaders in 1718
This is a list of heads of state, heads of governments, and other rulers in the year 1718.Maria Anna Josepha Althann
Maria Anna Josepha Althann (26 July 1689 - 1 March 1755) was a politically active Austrian countess. She was born as Donna Maria Anna Giuseppina Pignatelli di San Vicente. She was married Count Johann Michael von Althann, the favorite of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, and known for her influence in the court of Spain and Austria, where she was an associate of the pro-Spanish party at court. She was also a noted patron of Italian art, and rumored to have secretly married Pietro Metastasio.Maria Anna of Schwarzenberg
Princess Maria Anna von Schwarzenberg (25 December 1706 – 12 January 1755) was a Margravine consort of Baden-Baden and Princess of Schwarzenberg by birth. She was the daughter of Prince Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg and Princess Eleonore von Lobkowicz.
She married Louis George, Margrave of Baden-Baden on 18 March 1721. Her future mother-in-law travelled to Vienna in order to seek permission from Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor. Permission was granted and she married on 8 April 1721 at the Český Krumlov CastlePere Rabassa
Pere Rabassa (Catalan pronunciation: ['peɾə rə'βasə]; (Spanish: Pedro Rabassa) (Barcelona 1683 - Seville, 12 December 1767) was a Catalan composer and musicologist.He received early music lessons from his uncle, Ramon Rabassa, an organist, and voice training at the choir of the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, Barcelona. The maestro de capilla till he was 13 was Joan Barter, and then the more famous Francisco Valls. During this period music in Barcelona was Italianized due to the presence of the court of Archduke Charles of Austria (later Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor) for the duration of the War of the Spanish Succession (1702–1713).
Rabassa took holy orders and in 1713 was appointed maestro de capilla at the Cathedral of Vic, though, perhaps as punishment for Austrian sympathies, he moved on to the Cathedral of Valencia (24 May 1714 – 1724) and Cathedral of Seville (1724–1767). During his long tenure in Seville he enlarged the capilla with addition of 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 oboes and 1 flute (1730–1740).Pietro Pariati
Pietro Pariati (Reggio Emilia, 27 March 1665- Vienna, 14 October 1733) was an Italian poet and librettist. He was initially secretary to Rinaldo d'Este (1655–1737), Duke of Modena. Then from 1699 to 1714, he made his living as a poet in Venice, initially writing librettos with Apostolo Zeno, then independently. Then finally from 1714-1729 he was Metastasio's predecessor at the Vienna court of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor.Régence
The Régence (French pronunciation: [ʁeʒɑ̃s], Regency) was the period in French history between 1715 and 1723, when King Louis XV was a minor and the land was governed by Philippe d'Orléans, a nephew of Louis XIV of France, as prince regent.
Philippe was able to take power away from the Duke of Maine (illegitimate son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan) who had been the favourite son of the late king and possessed much influence. From 1715 to 1718 the Polysynody changed the system of government in France, in which each minister (secretary of state) was replaced by a council. The système de Law was also introduced, which transformed the finances of the bankrupted kingdom and its aristocracy. Both Cardinal Dubois and Cardinal Fleury were highly influential during this time.
Contemporary European rulers included Philip V of Spain, John V of Portugal, George I of Great Britain, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor and Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia, the maternal grandfather of Louis XV.