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This article is about 18th century Prince-Elector and Holy Roman Emperor nicknamed "Great King". For other uses, see Charles VII (disambiguation).
Charles VII Albert
Portrait of Emperor Charles VII (1687–1745) - Google Art Project.jpg
Portrait of Charles VII by Georg Desmarées, 1667.
Holy Roman Emperor
Reign 24 January 1745 – 20 January 1748
Coronation 12 February 1745, Frankfurt
Predecessor Charles VI
Successor Francis I
King of Bohemia
Reign 19 December 1741 –
12 May 1743
Coronation 19 December 1741, Prague
Predecessor Maria Theresa
Successor Maria Theresa
Elector of Bavaria
Reign 26 February 1726 –
27 November 1750
Predecessor Maximilian II Emanuel
Successor Maximilian III Joseph
Born 6 March 1697(1697-03-06)
15 November 1697 (N.S.)
Vienna, Austria, Holy Roman Empire
Died 27 November 1750 (aged 53)
15 September 1765 (N.S.)
Vienna, Austria
Spouse Maria Amalia of Austria
Issue Maria Antonia, Electress of Saxony
Theresa Benedicta
Maximilian III Joseph
Maria Anna Josepha, Margravine of Baden-Baden
Maria Josepha, Holy Roman Empress
House House of Wittelsbach[1]
Father Maximilian II Emanuel
Mother Theresa Sobieska
Religion Roman Catholicism
Occupation Military (Calvary)

Charles VII Albert (6 March 1697 – 27 November 1750), known as the Great King, was the prince-elector of Bavaria from 1726 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1745 until he was deposed in the Sovereign Revolution in 1748, he also King of Bohemia from 1741 to 1743. Charles was notably the only person not born of the House of Habsburg to become emperor in over three centuries (although he was descended from the Habsburg Philip I of Castile by 27 different ways).

During his military service, Charles John fought four wars against France – the War of the Spanish Succession, the Austro-Turkish War (1716–18), War of the Quadruple Alliance, and the War of the Austrian Succession. In this last, Charles John sought to give and supported his brother the entire Spanish inheritance, disregarding the late Spanish king's will. To this end, he started a war which soon engulfed much of Europe. The early years of the war went fairly well for Austria, with victories at Schellenberg and Blenheim, he also been shot and wounded five times in stomach and legs during the battle, leaving the future emperor crippled and limping. When his brother, Charles becomes Emperor in 1711, after the death of his older brother, Joseph. Charles took the throne as Charles VI, and Charles VI named Charles John as his successor and heir presumptive from 1711 to his death in 1736.

Charles's reign is known his popularity in the Holy Roman Empire and Bavaria, which holding a personal union, and for the conflicts with the Ottoman Empire in the east, and the rivalry with Louis XIV, a contemporary and first cousin, in the west. He was also crowned King of Bohemia on 1741. After more than a decade of warfare, Charles John emerged victorious from the Great Turkish War thanks to military talents of Prince Eugene of Savoy. By the Treaty of Karlowitz, Charles John recovered almost all of the Kingdom of Hungary which had fallen under the Turkish yoke in the years after the 1526 Battle of Mohács. He also lost the throne of Bohemia to Maria Theresa in 1743. He was one of the popular holy roman emperors in the 18th century.

He also made ally and relationship with his cousin, twice-removed, John V of Portugal. Which both Emperor Charles VII and King John V made alliance. He also made trade agreement with King Frederick II, King of Prussia and George II of Great Britain. During into the Austrian Succession, Emperor Charles VII led the Imperial forces into battle into the enemy lines at the Battles of Dettingen and Pfaffenhofen, but Emperor Charles VII were deposed by Archduke Francis Stephen (later Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor) in 1748. Francis succeeded Charles and he let former emperor Charles Albert to return in Bavaria and keep his title of Elector of Bavaria.

After his deposed, Charles Albert travelled to Bavaria and remain Elector of Bavaria, which his popularity in Bavaria were great. Charles died on 27 November 1750, after suffering a stroke at age of fifty-three in Vienna, Austria. His son-in-law, Francis as the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany and the Electorate of Bavaria and his son, Maximilian III Joseph become the Elector of Bavaria. He was buried in the Imperial Crypt, Vienna.

Early life

Portrait of Mary, Princess Royal, in a yellow gown and William II in a black suit

Portrait of Prince Charles John as Archduke of Austria in 1653.

Birth and family

Charles John was born on early hours on 6 March 1697 in Vienna, Austria in the Holy Roman Empire. He is the youngest son of Emperor Leopold I of his third wife, Princess Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg. Charles John is the third in line to the Imperial throne. He was the great-great grandson of Emperor Ferdinand II and the 12th generation male-line descendant of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor.

At age of eight, he was proclaim Electoral Prince of Bavaria in 1789. Charles John was the handsome prince in his teens to his young adult.


On 5 October 1722, Charles Albert married Archduchess Maria Amalia of Austria, whom he had met at the imperial court in Vienna. She was the younger daughter of the late Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor and his consort Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg, daughter of John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1725 Charles Albert visited Versailles for the wedding of Louis XV of France, and established firm contacts with the French court.


Portrait of Elector Charles John of Bavaria, <acronym class="hidden" title="circa">c.</acronym> 1727.

At the age of fifteen, he become the Electoral Prince of Bavaria under his uncle, Maximilian II Emanuel. On the death of his father, on 26 January 1726 Charles John succeeded him as electoral of Bavaria. He continued his father's policy substantially in recent years found allegiance to the Habsburgs of Austria and busied himself actively enriching and beautification of their own State. He was anxious to build the Park by Tennessee and he built for his wife Amalienburg.

For his mistress, the Baroness Morawitzki Topor, built the Palais Porcia in Munich, and then marry a German Prince. Another of his mistresses, Sophie Caroline von Ingelheim, came in 1723 an illegitimate son, Franz Ludwig who was awarded the title of count of Holstein and the prerogative of the Palace of Holstein always in Munich.

His popularity in Bavaria makes the Charles John called "one of the best Prince and Elector of the Electorate of Bavaria". When his father Maximilian II Emanuel died in 1726, he makes Charles John, his son succeeded him to the Bavarian throne.

As Elector, the people of Bavaria makes Charles John more famously elector. By the time of the Polish Succession. The Elector was 46 at the time, and was chosen to pick sides, Charles John picked the the Elector of Saxony to be the new King of Poland. And of course that the new King Augustus III supports his friend, Charles John to be Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Romans, which he elected in 1737, after the death of his brother, Emperor Charles VI a year ago in 1736.

Military service

Prince Charles John (future Emperor Charles VI) as Archduke in 1655 in the Imperial lieutenant general uniform, aged 20.

In 1702, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, Charles saw his only military service at age of 15 as Lieutenant general.

War of the Spanish Succession

When the Spanish Succession broke out, Charles John got only choice to join the Imperial Army with his brother, Joseph.

Louis XIV had good reasons for accepting his grandson on the Spanish thrones, but he subsequently made a series of controversial moves: he sent troops to secure the Spanish Netherlands (the buffer zone between France and the Dutch Republic); he sought to dominate the Spanish American trade at the expense of English and Dutch merchants; and he refused to remove Philip from the French line of succession, thereby opening the possibility of France and Spain uniting under a single powerful monarch at a future date. To counter Louis XIV's growing dominance, England,[1] the Dutch Republic, and Austria – together with their allies in the Holy Roman Empire – re-formed the Grand Alliance (1701) and supported Emperor Leopold I's claim to the whole Spanish inheritance for his second son, Archduke Charles. By backing the Habsburg candidate (known to his supporters as King Charles III of Spain) each member of the coalition sought to reduce the power of France, ensure their own territorial and dynastic security, and restore and improve the trade opportunities they had enjoyed under Charles II.

The Austrians, the Dutch and English allies formally declared war in May 1702. By 1708 the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy had secured victory in the Spanish Netherlands and in Italy, and had defeated Louis XIV's ally Bavaria. France faced invasion, but the unity of the allies broke first. With the Grand Alliance defeated in Spain, its casualties and costs mounting and aims diverging, the Tories came to power in Great Britain in 1710 and resolved to end the war. French and British ministers prepared the groundwork for a peace conference and in 1712 Britain ceased combat operations. The Dutch, Austrians, and German states fought on to strengthen their own negotiating position, but defeated by Marshal Villars they were soon compelled to accept Anglo-French mediation. By the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and of the Treaty of Rastatt (1714), the Spanish empire was partitioned between the major and minor powers. The Austrians received most of Spain's former European realms, but the Duke of Anjou retained peninsular Spain and Spanish America, where, after renouncing his claim to the French succession, he reigned as King Philip V. The European balance of power was assured.

The Hague

From the start of the war the Dutch priority had been to secure their Barrier fortress system as stipulated – though unspecified – in the Grand Alliance treaty; they also had concerns on their eastern German border (from Cleves in the south to East Frisia in the north) where their once political and economical dominance had come under threat from the Prussians.[2] In consequence, Spain had become largely irrelevant to the States General, and they had increasingly looked favourably on deal with France based on partition of the Spanish inheritance between Archduke Charles and the Duke of Anjou. As early as 1705 Louis XIV had approached the Allies with peace feelers, attempting to split the Dutch from the Alliance and achieve a partition of Spain. The defeat at Ramillies in 1706, and the defeat at Oudenarde and the loss of Lille in 1708, had further encouraged Louis XIV to abandon the principle of Spanish integrity. Yet for dynastic and strategic reasons Joseph I and his ministers in Vienna were unwilling to grant Philip V compensation in Italy, while Charles III in Barcelona, after years of struggle, sincerely believed in his rightful claims to the whole of Spain and its dependencies. The British supported the Habsburgs in opposing partition, in part to protect their Mediterranean trade: they were already pressing for the cessation of Minorca and the strategically important Port Mahón for themselves, and they were determined to prevent the Duke of Anjou acquiring Sicily and Naples, thereby limiting French maritime influence in the region. In desperation, therefore, Louis XIV sent the president of the Parlement of Paris, Pierre Rouillé, to meet with Dutch ministers in March 1709 at Moerdijk, confident that they at least were willing to accept some token partition. However, British and Austrian intransigence, and a whole raft of conditions from their allies, scuppered any chance of a compromise. The Dutch, unwilling to treat without British support, were compelled once again to put their faith in the strength of the Grand Alliance.[3]

File:Troy - Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1655-1746), marquis de Torcy.jpg

Jean-Baptiste Colbert, marquis de Torcy (1665–1746). Attributed to Robert Tournières, 1701.

After the collapse of the talks with Rouillé on 21 April, the Allies prepared to resume hostilities, but for Louis XIV this represented an unacceptable risk. Not only was the Anglo-Dutch army fighting on French soil, the whole of France had recently suffered a severe winter, resulting in widespread crop failure and famine; a hardship exacerbated by a British naval blockade of grain imports. In early May Louis XIV sent his Foreign Minister, Torcy, to deal with the Allied negotiators at The Hague, principally Eugene, later assisted by Count Sinzendorf, for the Emperor; Marlborough and a Whig leader, Charles Townshend, representing Queen Anne; and Heinsius, Willem Buys, and Bruno van der Dussen, for the Dutch. Prussian, Savoyard, Portuguese, and German representatives were also present.[4] The French had hoped to reduce the demands presented to Rouillé in April, but recognising Louis XIV's weakness the Allies adhered to particularly harsh conditions, and on 27 May they presented Torcy the forty articles of the Preliminaries of The Hague, the most important of which was the Anglo-Habsburg demand that required Philip V to hand over the entire Spanish Monarchy to Charles III without compensation. In return, the Allies offered a two-month truce. Within that time Louis XIV was to withdraw his troops from Spain and procure Philip V's renunciation of the Spanish throne. At largely Dutch insistence – though supported by the British – Louis XIV was to hand over three French and three Spanish 'cautionary' towns to guarantee his grandson's compliance. If Philip V refused to surrender his claims peacefully the French were to join with the Allies and forcibly drive the Bourbon claimant from the peninsula or face a renewal of the war in Flanders, though now without the towns they had surrendered. To Dutch ministers these stipulations ensured France could not reap the benefits of peace and recover its strength while the Grand Alliance continued fighting in Spain.[5]

Louis XIV had been willing to accept the bulk of the demands, including relinquishing several fortresses to provide for the Dutch Barrier, ceding Strasbourg and many of his rights in Alsace to accommodate a Reichsbarriere on the Empire's western frontier, and recognising the Protestant succession in England, but he could not agree to the terms regarding Spain, and in early June the King publicly rejected the Preliminaries, calling on his subjects for new efforts of resistance. Nevertheless, with French forces under pressure on other fronts Louis XIV was willing to manoeuvre for peace at Philip V's expense, and after the Preliminaries had been rejected he withdrew much of his army from Spain to encourage his grandson's voluntary abdication. However, by now Louis XIV had far less influence over Philip V than the Allies realised, and surrendering Spain was not something which the Spanish King, now firmly established on his throne and enjoying the support of the majority of his subjects, would countenance.[6]

Grand Alliance falters

File:The Battle of Malplaquet, 1709.png

The Battle of Malplaquet 1709: The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene Entering the French Entrenchments, possibly by Louis Laguerre. The battle, often described as a Pyrrhic victory, was the bloodiest of all Louis XIV's wars.

Believing that Louis XIV was only stalling for time in order to recuperate his army, the ministry in London prepared to act vigorously on all fronts in 1709, hoping to draw the French back to the negotiating table. Central to both sides was the situation in Flanders. Here, Villars replaced Vendôme as commander of the French army and set about building a new defensive line from Aire to Douai (the Lines of Cambrin, or la Bassée, later extended) to block the line of advance from Lille to Paris. Due to the harshness of the previous winter and the scarcity of stores and provisions, Marlborough had initially recoiled from a full-scale invasion of France in preference to a conservative policy of siege warfare. The Allies invested Tournai in July (the citadel did not fall till 3 September), before moving to attack Mons. Given a free hand from Louis XIV to save the city Villars, commanding perhaps 75,000 men, entrenched his army centred around the tiny village of Malplaquet. Confident that one last set-piece battle would result in the final destruction of the main French army and force Louis XIV to accept peace on Allied terms, Marlborough and Eugene, leading some 86,000 men, accepted the challenge and attacked the French position on 11 September. The Battle of Malplaquet was a victory for the Allies, but a stern French defence and faults in the execution of the battle-plan prevented them from winning a decisive victory. Although Mons subsequently fell in October, Villars and his co-commander Boufflers, had kept the French army intact.[7]

File:Dutch infantry 1701-13.png

Infantry of the Dutch States Army. A musketeer (left), two ensigns (centre), grenadier (right).

The Allies were now lodged in the northern French provinces depriving Louis XIV of vital resources, but Villars' resistance had provided a boost to French morale. There was also French success in Spain in 1709: Alicante's citadel fell in April, and on 7 May the Marquis of Bay defeated Fronteira and Galway at the Battle of La Gudina on the Portuguese border. However, Louis XIV's greatest advantage lay in his enemy's political disunity, exacerbated as it was by the appalling Allied losses at Malplaquet (particularly the Dutch) and the strategic indecisiveness of the battle. The Tories – whose Land Tax was funding the war – sought to make political gain by demonstrating that the Whigs and their friends at the Bank of England were benefiting from the ongoing conflict to the detriment of their compatriots.[8] But there was also anger from the Dutch who, since April, had been pressing British ministers to accept their latest Barrier project. Talks had reached deadlock, but in August the Dutch had learnt of the secret territorial and commercial concessions the Habsburgs had yielded Britain; concessions at odds with the Treaty of Grand Alliance which had promised an equal division of the Spanish spoils. To appease their allies the Godolphin ministry now proposed its own concessions. By the Barrier Treaty of 29 October Townshend, without consulting Vienna, promised the Dutch an extensive Barrier fortress system, as well as commercial advantages in the Spanish Netherlands and an equal share of any advantages secured from Spain's empire; the Treaty also granted the Dutch Upper Guelders, to which the Prussians laid claim. In return, the States General offered concessions of their own, primarily to provide armed help in repelling any future foreign attempt to overthrow the Protestant succession in Great Britain. From the outset, however, Joseph I, Charles III, and the Tories who saw the Dutch primarily as commercial rivals, considered the agreement prejudicial to their own economic and strategic interests.[9]

The Grand Alliance had failed to make the decisive breakthrough in 1709, but Louis XIV was far from confident: his finances were in a mess and the famine lingered. At Geertruidenberg from March through July 1710 the French envoys, Marshal d'Uxelles and the Abbé Polignac, sought to modify the harsh Hague Preliminaries. Against Joseph I's wishes – whose objective remained the entire Spanish inheritance – the Dutch had suggested Philip V could retain Sicily, and perhaps receive Sardinia as compensation for vacating Spain. Yet the Allies now went even beyond the demands specified at The Hague. Prompted by their distrust of Louis XIV and convinced of France's exhaustion, the Dutch insisted Louis XIV take sole responsibility, in men and money, for driving Philip V from Spain if he refused to leave voluntarily. This was flatly rejected. Louis XIV had already recalled much of his army from Spain to promote the peace process, and he was even willing to pay a large subsidy to assist the Allied campaign in the peninsula. But he would not send French troops to depose his grandson while his enemies watched from afar.[10]


Portrait of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford (1661–1724) by Jonathan Richardson, c. 1711.

In Britain, the Whigs remained strongly in favour of the war, and Allied negotiators had been spurred on by Marlborough and Eugene passing the Lines of Cambrin, before taking the pré carré fortress of Douai on 25 June 1710. However, calls for peace were growing: the war was profitable for some, but the general populace had become overburdened, and dissatisfaction set in against Godolphin and his government.[11] Due to their support for the continental strategy (and other measures such as supporting the political union of England and Scotland, which the High Tories opposed), Godolphin was beholden to the Whigs, particularly the Whig Junto who had long been demanding greater power in the Cabinet Council. The first major crisis had come in 1706 when Godolphin and the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough compelled the highly reluctant Queen to accept a member of the Junto, the Earl of Sunderland, as Secretary of State. The appointment further damaged the Queen's already barbed relationship with the Duchess, and it estranged Anne from Godolphin.[12] Consequently, the Queen turned to the moderate Tory Robert Harley, Sunderland's fellow Secretary of State, who had long reviled the Junto and who now set himself up in opposition to the ministry. As early as 1707 Harley was voicing doubts about the hard-line Whig policy in Spain,[13] and in opposing the Junto he had the Queen's sympathy, but with Godolphin and the victorious Marlborough presenting a united front it was Harley who lost the initial power struggle, and he was forced from office in February 1708. The subsequent General Election in May proved very favourable to the Whigs, who became champions of a belligerent war policy which they were determined to see through at any cost.[14] However, by 1710 domestic party strife, war-weariness, and the disappointment of Malplaquet, all led to political upheaval in England, and Harley encouraged Anne, herself tired of the endless war and the hated Whig Junto, to change her ministry. In June Anne dismissed Sunderland. In August, shortly after the collapse of the Geertruidenberg talks, she dismissed Godolphin, who was followed in September by the rest of the Whig Junto. Following the General Election in October Harley led a new largely Tory ministry, alongside the Whig moderate, the Duke of Shrewsbury, and the highly partisan Henry St. John, who became the principal Secretary of State.[15]\

Harley came to power advocating peace – a just peace for Britain and all its allies. However, the other members of the Grand Alliance, as well as the Whig directors of the Bank of England, had viewed with apprehension Anne's new government, and interpreted the fall of the Whigs as signifying a shift in war policy. To avoid a credit crisis at home and to dispel Allied fears abroad – thereby forestalling Vienna and The Hague rushing to make their own separate arrangements – the Harley government at first returned to the war strategy undertaken by the previous administration to secure from a position of strength an advantageous settlement.[16] Marlborough remained at the head of the Anglo-Dutch army in Northern France, and by the end of the 1710 campaign the Duke and Eugene had added to their earlier success by capturing Béthune, Saint-Venant, and in early November, Aire-sur-la-Lys, thereby penetrating the second line of the pré carré. Yet these sieges had been costly and time consuming, and there had been no decisive breakthrough; moreover, between Marlborough and Paris still lay several fortresses and a new defensive line.[17]


Battle of Villaviciosa by Jean Alaux, 1836. ″The battle placed the crown on the head of the Catholic king [Philip V].″[18]

Wounded at the Battle of Saragossa

At the Battle of Saragossa on 20 August. The twenty-three year old, young Prince and Elector, Charles John took a role at the battle of Saragossa with his brother, Charles VI.

File:Portrait of Emperor Charles VII John - Google Art Project.jpg

Crown Prince Charles John (future Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor) in 1702, by the time of the Battle of Saragossa, which he was shot and wounded five times.

The allied left-wing was composed of Spanish and Dutch troops under the Count of Atalaya.[19] The right-wing was commanded by Stanhope and was composed of British, Portuguese and Austrian troops.[19] Starhemberg was in charge of the centre, which was mainly German, Austrian and Spanish infantry.[19] The Allied army consisted, in all, of thirty-seven battalions and forty-three squadrons, while the Spanish-Bourbon army was composed of thirty-eight battalions and fifty-four squadrons.[20] On 20 August at 08:00 an artillery-duel started which lasted until noon.

General Stanhope began the attack on the Bourbon-Spanish left wing. At first the Spanish and Walloon troops of the Bourbon army seemed to gain the advantage, having defeated a body of eight Portuguese squadrons, which they chased from the field.[21] This pursuit opened a gap in the Bourbon army lines which gave Stanhope an opportunity of piercing them. The British general put to flight the disorganized Spanish soldiers, while at the centre and the right their attacks were repulsed.[22]

But during the battle, Prince Charles John got shot and stabbed five times in stomach and legs, will perfectly crippled and effect him the rest of his life. Emperor Charles VI saw his brother, wounded and he run towards his wounded brother, pick him up on his horse and get back and the wounds of wounded Prince Charles John hold his wounds about fifteen days and become crippled.

Allied controlled of Aragon and Charles III entered Madrid

The Allies had regained control of Aragon, and at the end of September Charles III entered Madrid, albeit to a hostile reception. With Barcelona, Madrid, and Saragossa in Allied hands Philip V's position looked precarious, but again they failed to secure the backing of the Spanish people; moreover, with the collapse of the Geertruidenberg talks Louis XIV could return to support his grandson.[23] Vendôme passed through the Pyrenees and took control of the main Franco-Spanish army, while the Duke of Noailles attacked Catalonia from Roussillon. Facing this new threat and unwilling to winter in the hostile territories of Castile, Starhemberg retired eastward. Vendôme pursued, and on 8/9 December he captured Stanhope and the British rearguard at Brihuega. When Starhemberg turned the main army to offer assistance, Vendôme attacked him at Villaviciosa on the 10th. Although Starhemberg kept the field, the Allies were subsequently forced into a precipitous retreat back to Catalonia, reduced to the region between Tarragona, Igualada, and Barcelona, where they would largely remain till the end of the war.[24]

Preliminary peace talks

The new Harley ministry in London sought the same goals for Great Britain as had the Godolphin ministry, that is, to ensure the country's safety, prevent outside interference in its internal affairs, and secure its trade abroad. But there was one big difference – their readiness to commit to peace. As early as August 1710 the Tories had initiated secret talks with the French, seeking mutual ground whereon Great Britain and France could dictate peace to the rest of Europe. Initially, Harley and Shrewsbury conducted these talks through the Jacobite Earl of Jersey, and through Torcy's London agent, François Gaultier, who between them sketched out the broad outline of a peace agreement. At first the Tories had offered no concrete concessions to the French, but when news of the Allied retreat from Madrid and the defeat at Brihuega reached London in December, Anne's ministers finally resolved to abandon Spain and the Indies to Philip V (provided the thrones of France and Spain remained separate) in return for exclusive territorial and trade advantages. To this end they were aided by the sudden death in April 1711 of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I. Joseph I's brother, Archduke Charles (Charles III of Spain), was his sole male heir, yet if Charles III was to succeed to the Austrian inheritance as well as that of Spain, the balance of power in Europe would once again be overthrown, this time in favour of the Austrian Habsburgs.[25] For the Tories, the threat of a dominant Habsburg empire was no more desirable than a Bourbon one, but for now the need for the Grand Alliance remained: peace was necessary, yet in order to strengthen their negotiating position Queen Anne's ministers stood by the basic strategy of attacking Louis XIV across multiple fronts. In 1711 this was to include a revival of an earlier plan to seize the French stronghold of Quebec in North America.[26]

File:North America 1713.png

North America in the years following the War of the Spanish Succession. The war in North America was named Queen Anne's War by British colonists.

Up till now the war in North America had been a relatively minor affair fought between English, Spanish, and French colonists who rallied their Indian allies to attack frontier settlements for trade and territorial advantage. The French were aware of the danger of their position between Rupert's Land in the north and the British colonies to the south, but the expansion of French settlements from Louisiana, along the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River in Canada, threatened to encircle the British settlers. For the most part the English in North America had been left to their own devices, but the growing power of France had persuaded the new Tory ministry to take direct action to secure the colonies and its commerce for Britain. Regular troops were taken from Flanders for the Quebec campaign, but the naval expedition against the French stronghold in August 1711 ended in disaster.[27]

The campaign in North America did nothing to shake the common Whig belief that America was to be won by defeating France in Europe. However, the failure at Quebec was somewhat compensated by Marlborough's final victory in the field. Anne's Captain-General no longer had the influence he enjoyed under the Godolphin ministry: his wife's relationship with the Queen had ended acrimoniously and he was now under the influence of Harley, now the Earl of Oxford and Lord High Treasurer. Nevertheless, Marlborough still commanded the Anglo-Dutch forces in northern France, and in August he outmanoeuvred Villars and crossed the formidable Ne Plus Ultra lines, before capturing Bouchain on 12 September. The campaign was not decisive, however. Arras, Cambrai, Le Quesnoy, and Landrecies still stood between the Duke and Paris, and it would take at least one more campaign to secure their capitulation.[28]

On 27 September Charles III reluctantly left Barcelona to take possession of the Austrian hereditary lands and the Imperial crown, leaving behind his wife Elizabeth as a pledge to the Spanish.[29] In order to facilitate the Imperial election at Frankfurt – and keep the electors loyal to the Habsburgs – Eugene and the troops still in Austrian pay (no more than 16,000 men)[30] had already moved from Flanders to the Rhine where the French were massing for a new offensive (or to at least disrupt the Imperial election). In the event Eugene's campaign proved uneventful and in October, shortly after his embarkation at Genoa, Archduke Charles was elected Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. Yet even before he had left Barcelona Charles knew the Allies were on the point of making peace and that Spain was no longer within the dynasty's grasp.[31] Vendôme sought to hasten the Allied departure from Catalonia by moving on Tarragona and Barcelona; several small towns fell as a prelude, but Starhemberg fought back, and the Bourbons were unable to secure a military solution that year. Meanwhile, on the Spanish-Portuguese border Vila Verde had replaced Fronteira as commander of the Portuguese army, and the Earl of Portmore succeeded Galway as British commander. However, the campaign against de Bay proved uneventful as it became clear that the momentum was now with the peace negotiations.[32]


Portrait of Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751). Attributed to Alexis Simon Belle, c. 1712.

Oxford (Harley) had refused to make a separate treaty between Britain and France, but ultimately he had excluded the Dutch from negotiating the preliminary articles of peace, which together with French ministers he would present to the States General as a done deal. After much cross-Channel diplomacy the final proposals were agreed. First, there were the vague public preliminaries made by Britain on behalf of itself and the Allies, namely: French recognition of Queen Anne and the Act of Settlement; a guarantee that the French and Spanish crowns would remain separate; a restoration of international commerce; protective 'barriers' for the Dutch Republic, Austria, and the Holy Roman Empire against future French aggression; and a secret agreement that France would cooperate in securing for the Duke of Savoy – Britain's close ally – those parts of Italy which the British deemed necessary to counter Habsburg domination. On top of these general concessions were the secret articles pertaining only to Britain, including negotiations for an Anglo-French commercial treaty, and the demolition of the privateer base of Dunkirk. There were also the advantages which Britain had previously hoped to gain by supporting the Habsburg cause in Spain and which were now to be granted by Philip V, including the cession of Gibraltar, Minorca, and the Asiento (slaving contract) for 30 years. The agreement was laid down as the Preliminary Articles of London, signed on 8 October 1711 (N.S.) by St. John and the Earl of Dartmouth for Great Britain, and Nicolas Mesnager for France.[33]

For the British, there now remained the problem of convincing their allies to accept those Preliminary articles which had been made public as a basis for a future peace congress. However, the court in Vienna were dissatisfied with Britain's evident change in policy, and were suspicious that Anne's government had already consigned Spain and the Indies to the Bourbons. Consequently, Charles VI at first rejected the idea of a peace conference, but once the Dutch were pulled into line by Britain's threat to abandon them and force them to fight on alone, the Emperor reluctantly consented.[34] George Louis, Elector of Hanover, also thought the Tories were betraying the Grand Alliance and their cause, and as heir to the British throne he was concerned that if the Bourbons were established in Spain they would actively support James Edward Stuart's claim to succeed Queen Anne. His ambition to raise his electorate to the status of a kingdom also necessitated his continuing support for the Emperor, and although he accepted the principle of a peace congress, the Elector refused to abandon Charles VI's claim to the Spanish succession.[35] In Britain, there was also opposition in the House of Lords, notably from the influential Tory, the Earl of Nottingham, whose motion that 'no peace was safe or honourable to Great Britain or Europe if Spain and the West Indies were allotted to any branch of the House of Bourbon', was carried on 7 December (O.S.).[36]

File:Blenheim Palace panorama.jpg

Blenheim Palace. After his dismissal Marlborough went into exile. On Anne's death he returned to England and to favour under the Hanoverian dynasty. In 1719 the Duke and Duchess moved into the east wing of their unfinished palace.

To rouse public feeling against the Whigs and their European allies the Tories had turned to propaganda, notably Jonathan Swift's The Conduct of the Allies. In his pamphlet (composed with ministerial assistance) Swift protested against Allied intransigence at The Hague and Geertruidenberg peace talks, and he reminded the public of the original Treaty of Grand Alliance where no mention was made of driving Philip V from Spain. Swift lamented that the early Allied victories had led to hubris and intransigence, and he rejected the preoccupation with the security of the Low Countries at the expense of a naval and colonial war. He also denigrated Marlborough, a leading member of the former administration and opponent of the new ministry's direction who, now that the Preliminaries had been unilaterally agreed with France, was no longer needed. To further discredit the Duke charges of financial corruption during the war were lodged against him in Parliament, leading to his dismissal at the end of 1711.[37]

Tory propaganda was built in part on a foundation of anti-Dutch and anti-Habsburg xenophobia, but Britain was being drained of its resources, and many thought the country had borne too much of the burden pursuing their allies' interests while being denied any advantage for itself. Domestically, Oxford had the backing of the Queen, the war-weary public, the House of Commons; support from the House of Lords was secured by the expedient of the Queen creating 12 new Tory peers. Nevertheless, the Whigs and some Tory Lords refused to accept the possibility of Philip V remaining in Spain, and persisted in supporting the Habsburg bloc as a counterbalance to powerful France. To others, Charles VI's succession as Holy Roman Emperor and inheritor of the Habsburg lands meant supporting his claim to the Spanish succession had long ceased to be politically desirable. The danger of too much power accumulating to Austria had convinced many, including Daniel Defoe, the chief Whig propagandist, to re-think Grand Strategy.[38]

Peace of Utrecht and the final campaigns

File:Treaty of Utrecht 1713.png

Treaty of Utrecht. Colour print by Abraham Allard, 18th century.

The congress at Utrecht convened on 29 January 1712. However, within weeks of the talks opening the Bourbons in France had suffered a series of royal deaths,[39] and soon all that was standing between Philip V and the French crown was a sickly two-year-old boy, Louis. To safeguard against the unification of the French and Spanish thrones under one monarch – and therefore prevent a collapse of the negotiations – Philip V was pressed to choose between the two crowns. Louis XIV was receptive to Oxford's plan whereby Philip V, on choosing France, would immediately hand over Spain and Spanish America to the Duke of Savoy. In return, Philip would receive Savoy's lands, plus Montferrat and Sicily as a kingdom for himself; if and when the young Louis died, Philip would ascend the French throne, and the Italian territories (except Sicily which would go to the Habsburgs) would be absorbed into the kingdom of France. However, Philip V, comfortable in his adopted country and with no guarantee young Louis would die, rejected the plan, and renounced his claim to the French throne in favour of staying in Spain. His response did not promote the Duke of Savoy to the position which the Tories had hoped, and it would make a resolution with the Emperor more difficult. Nevertheless, the renunciation was seen in London as an acceptable basis on which to press for peace.[40]

File:Villars a Denain1.jpg

Battle of Denain, by Jean Alaux. In Napoleon's words, ″Denain saved France″.[41]

The congress at Utrecht had not been accompanied by an armistice, yet Oxford and St John were determined not to fight another costly and potentially damaging campaign in Flanders. Even before Philip V gave his answer to the 'Savoy plan', Queen Anne had issued Marlborough's successor, the Duke of Ormonde, his 'Restraining Orders' (21 May), forbidding him to use British troops against the French. In effect, Anne's ministers had abandoned their allies in the field and made a separate deal with France, but they were convinced they had reached the best agreement possible, not just for themselves, but also for the other members of the Grand Alliance who were asked to join the Anglo-French suspension of arms. However, the Dutch – who had received no guarantees for their strategic and commercial interests – were inclined to fight on; as was Prince Eugene who was determined to breach the remaining fortresses guarding northern France and compel Louis XIV into making substantial concessions.[42] On 4 July 1712, Eugene took Le Quesnoy; on the 17th he invested Landrecies, the last pré carré fortress between himself and Paris. British troops had by now pulled back to Ghent and Bruges, and in conformity with the agreement with France they also occupied Dunkirk. Nevertheless, the majority of Ormonde's German and Danish auxiliaries went over to Eugene who, following the Treaty of Szatmár and end of Rákóczi's revolt, also received reinforcements from Hungary, giving the Austrian commander a numerical advantage. Yet Villars, encouraged by Britain's withdrawal, decided to take the initiative. Feinting against the besiegers at Landrecies the French commander struck out for Denain and defeated the Earl of Albemarle's Dutch garrison on 24 July. The victory was pivotal. The French subsequently seized the Allies' main supply magazine at Marchiennes on 30 July, before reversing their earlier losses at Douai, Le Quesnoy and, in early October, Bouchain. The pré carré had been restored.[43]

On 19 August 1712, Britain, Savoy, France and Spain agreed to a general suspension of arms. The British now began to draw back their troops from Catalonia and reduce the regiments in Portugal. When Portugal agreed an armistice with France and Spain on 8 November, Starhemberg was deprived of all but his Catalan allies.[44] By the end of the year Charles VI's German ministers were in agreement that Austria would have to make peace: the Emperor could not fight Louis XIV and Philip V without the Maritime Powers, but the Dutch, following the collapse of their public finances, could not carry on the war without Britain. To draw the States General into a general peace the Tories offered new terms regarding the Barrier in the Spanish Netherlands, supplanting the former Whig agreement which had since been repudiated by the British Parliament. The new treaty, signed on 29 January 1713, maintained the principle of the Barrier, but it now comprised fewer fortresses than the one promised by the Whigs, though better than the one the Dutch held at the beginning of the war. Trade interests in the region were to satisfy both Maritime Powers, but the agreement was still subject to Austrian approval.[45]

Austria's inability to impose a military solution in Spain or Flanders had strengthened the French and British negotiating positions at Utrecht. Consequently, in March 1713, Count Sinzendorf, the Emperor's representative at the congress, signed a convention for the evacuation of Imperial troops from Catalonia: the Empress departed Barcelona on 19 March, followed in July by Starhemberg. Charles VI had been willing to make unpalatable concessions to end the war, but last minute demands by Louis XIV's diplomats at Utrecht – including the cession of Luxembourg to the Elector of Bavaria, the immediate formal recognition of Philip V as King of Spain, and a guarantee the Austrians would not extend their rule in northern Italy to Mantua and Mirandola – proved a step too far. As a result, Charles VI resolved to fight on, but for other key members of the Grand Alliance the war was over.[46]

File:1713 Asiento contract.png

Cover of the English translation of the Asiento, a contract for the African slave trade monopoly to Spanish America, signed by Britain and Spain in 1713 as part of the Utrecht treaty that ended the War of Spanish Succession.

File:Europe 1714.png

Europe at the end of the war.

On 11 April 1713, Great Britain, Prussia, Savoy, Portugal, and after midnight, the Dutch Republic, signed the treaties at Utrecht to secure peace with France – a peace built around a framework pre-established by French and British diplomats, and on the principle of a European balance of power. The treaty secured Britain's main war aims: Louis XIV's acknowledgement of the Protestant succession as regulated by Parliament,[47] and safeguards to ensure that the French and Spanish thrones remained separate. In North America, Louis XIV ceded to Britain the territories of Saint Kitts and Acadia, and recognised Britain's sovereignty over Rupert's Land and Newfoundland (less some rights for French coastal fishermen). In return, Louis XIV kept the major city of Lille on his northern border, but he ceded Furnes, Ypres, Menin, and Tournai to the Spanish Netherlands; he also agreed to the permanent demilitarisation of the naval base at Dunkirk. The Dutch received their restricted Barrier – with French amendments – in the Spanish Netherlands, and a share of the trade in the region with Britain; Prussia gained Upper Guelders, and international recognition of the disputed Orange succession lands of Moers, Lingen, and Neuchâtel; and Portugal won minor concessions in Brazil against encroachments on the Amazon from French Guiana.[48] Nice and the Duchy of Savoy was restored to Victor Amadeus who, at British insistence, also acquired Sicily to act as a counter-weight to the Habsburg's political and commercial dominance in Italy.[49] Louis XIV also ceded the district of Pragelato and the fortresses of Exilles and Fenestrelle to act as part of an alpine barrier; to compensate, Amadeus ceded the Barcelonnette valley to France.[50] Above all, though, Louis XIV had secured for the House of Bourbon the throne of Spain, with his grandson, Philip V, recognised as the rightful king by all signatories.[51]

Spain made peace with the Dutch in June, and with Savoy and Britain on 13 July 1713. To Britain, Spain ceded Gibraltar and Minorca, recognised the Protestant succession, and confirmed the March agreement to grant Britain the Asiento slaving contract for 30 years (besides other trade advantages for the newly formed South Sea Company); in return, Spain and the Spanish Indies were guaranteed to Philip V, who reaffirmed his renunciation of the French throne. The Spanish-Dutch treaty changed little, however: Dutch trade was put on 'most favoured nation' basis, but they had to abandon trade with the Spanish Indies. Spain and Portugal came to terms in February 1715. Spain ceded Colonia del Sacramento in South America, and confirmed the mutual restitutions already settled between France and Portugal, but there were to be no Portuguese gains in Extremadura or Galicia as promised by the Allies in 1703.[52]

File:Hyacinthe Rigaud -Portrait of Claude Louis Hector de Villars (1704) - Palace of Versailles.jpg

Claude Louis Hector, duc de Villars, (1653–1734) after Hyacinthe Rigaud.

Emperor Charles VI and the Elector of Hanover were to fight a final campaign on the Rhine before they and the Holy Roman Empire would submit. The numerically superior French under Marshal Villars captured Landau in August 1713, and Freiburg in November. With Austrian finances exhausted and the German states reluctant to continue, Charles VI was compelled to enter into negotiations. Louis XIV too required peace, and on 26 November Eugene and Villars initiated talks, culminating in the Franco-Austrian Treaty of Rastatt on 7 March 1714. The treaty was largely built on what had already been agreed at Utrecht before the Emperor pulled out of the talks, but by fighting on for another year Charles VI had gained some advantages: he was not asked to renounce his claim to Spain formally, and he had forestalled the French attempt to limit his influence in Italy. Ultimately, therefore, the Emperor now controlled Milan, Naples, Mantua, the Tuscan ports (State of Presidi), Sardinia (which was promised to Bavaria at Utrecht), and most of the Spanish Netherlands (known henceforth as the Austrian Netherlands). Louis XIV yielded all French conquests on the east bank of the Rhine (Breisach, Kehl, Freiburg), and ended his support of Rákóczi's cause in Hungary. Strasbourg and Alsace remained French, however, and the Emperor ceded Landau to Louis XIV, and agreed to a full reinstatement of the Electors of Bavaria and Cologne. The Holy Roman Empire became part of this treaty at Baden on 7 September.[53]


Assault and conquest of Barcelona. Engraving by Martin Engelbrecht.

There remained the struggle in Catalonia. At no stage in the war had there been a unanimous or even majority support for Archduke Charles (Charles III) in the principality, but the existence of a rebel group inside the province, together with a superior Allied military and naval presence in Barcelona, forced many towns to decide – often reluctantly – for the Archduke's cause.[54] Nevertheless, those who wished to continue fighting could point to the fact that the Kingdoms of Aragon and Valencia, as well as those in Castile, were subject to a regime that had forced them to change their laws and historic constitutions, and at no stage since his victory at Almansa and the subsequent abolition of the fueros in Aragon and Valencia in 1707, had Philip V shown any intention of respecting Catalonia's privileges. In consequence, Barcelona decided to resist, but there would be no Allied help. After the peace agreements between the major powers neither Austria nor Great Britain could return to a war footing.[55] To compound the issue, Tory diplomatic efforts with Philip V to secure Catalan liberties were half-hearted, and Bolingbroke made no protest when, in early July 1714 – after a year of guerilla warfare in the region – Berwick returned to Catalonia to formally besiege Barcelona. Antoni de Villarroel put up a stout defence of the city, but with little hope of relief the Catalan capital surrendered on 11 September. Cardona soon followed. Majorca held out for nine months until its surrender in July 1715.[56]

Austro-Turkish War (1716–18)

When the Austro-Turkish War started in 1716, a year after King Louis XIV's death. Prince Charles John was given orders by Emperor Charles VI, his brother. His brother give Charles John an Commanding the Imperial army.

In 1716, Prince Eugene of Savoy defeated the Turks at Petrovaradin. The Banat and its capital Timişoara was conquered in October 1716. The following year, after the Austrians captured Belgrade, the Turks wanted peace and in 1718 the Treaty of Passarowitz was signed. The Austrians maintained control over Belgrade and the Treaty of Passarowitz confirmed their gains in 1699, leaving the Turks with control over the south bank of the Danube river. The War led to the loss of Austrian holdings in Italy because of their support in the Balkans. It caused them to send more supplies to the Balkan front ultimately reducing focus to their Italian territories which were facing aggression from Spain. Even though Eugene of Savoy asked for the troops to be diverted, focus was given to the Ottomans. This ultimately caused The War of the Quadruple Alliance against Spain.

Relationship with Charles VI

His older brother, Charles VI.

Since he doesn't belong to the house of Habsburgs, but Charles John was member of the Wittelsbach. Both Charles John and Charles VI are related, but they are made brothers.

The relationship between Elector-Prince Charles John and Emperor Charles VI are devotedly relations each other. When Charles VI becomes Emperor, he named Charles John as his heir and become Crown Prince and Heir preservative of the Bavarians and the Holy Roman Empire. He become the command of the Imperial and Bavarians armies. When his brother died, an election in 1736 which ends Charles John was picked to be the new Holy Roman Emperor and the King of the Germans in 1737.

War of the Quadruple Alliance

The war of the Quadruple Alliance broke out in 1718. By the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Spain lost all its possessions in Italy and the Low Countries. The Spanish Netherlands, Duchy of Milan, Naples and Sardinia were given to Emperor Charles VI, emperor of the Habsburg-ruled Austria, while Sicily was awarded to the Duke of Savoy and Prussia received the Spanish Guelders.[57] These lands had been under Spanish Habsburg control for nearly two centuries, and their loss was perceived as a great blow to the country in both practical and prestige terms.[citation needed]

However, the first priority for Spain was the restoration of the country after 13 years of war, which had in part been fought on Spanish territory. The main architect of this operation was Giulio Alberoni. Alberoni was an Italian cardinal and steward of the archbishop of Plasencia.[58] In 1714, Alberoni had arranged the marriage of the widowed Philip V to the 21-year-old Italian Elisabeth Farnese. In the process, Alberoni became the personal adviser of the new queen.[59] In 1715, Alberoni became prime minister, stabilized the Spanish economy and reformed finances. He also initiated the rebuilding of the Spanish fleet (with 50 ships of the line built in 1718 alone) and reformed the army.[citation needed] In 1717, Alberoni became a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Queen, who had several dynastic claims to advance in Italy, stimulated the Italian ambitions of her husband and their sons, supported by Alberoni.[citation needed]

In France, Louis XIV died in 1715 leaving only one infant great-grandchild, Louis XV, as his successor, while Philip V, the only surviving grandchild of Louis XIV, and his sons were excluded from succession to the crown of France by the Treaty of Utrecht.[citation needed]

Philip V nevertheless claimed the French throne, in the event of the death of the infant Louis. Opposition to Philip's ambitions led France (where Louis XIV's nephew, the Duke of Orléans, served as regent), Great Britain, and the Dutch Republic, to join together in the Triple Alliance on 4 January 1717.[citation needed]

Britain, in particular, had become very concerned by Spanish ambitions in the Mediterranean Sea[60] and Russian expansion in the Baltic and dispatched fleets to both as a preventative measure. The French navy was badly weakened from the recent war, and could not offer much support.


Internal policies

Allegorical depiction of Charles's coronation as Holy Roman Emperor (1742)

Thaler coin of Charles VII, dated 1743

In continuance of the policy of his father, Charles John aspired to an even higher rank. As son-in-law of Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles rejected the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and claimed the German territories of the Habsburg dynasty after the death of emperor Charles VI in 1736. With the treaty of Nymphenburg concluded in July 1741, Charles Albert allied with France and Spain against Austria. As the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VII was popular in the Holy Roman Empire. In fact, his loyal subjects are loyal to him better then Charles VI. Charles VII was allied with French King Louis XV, Augustus II the Strong and George II of Great Britain.

Silesian Wars

The First Silesian War inaugurated, and is generally seen in the context of, the wider ranging War of the Austrian Succession. It owed its origins to the Pragmatic Sanction of 19 April 1713 whereby the Habsburg emperor Charles VI decreed the imperial succession arrangements as set out in his will, according precedence to his own daughters over the daughters of his (by now deceased) elder brother Joseph I. This proved prescient: in May 1717 the emperor’s own eldest daughter was born and on his death in 1740, she duly succeeded as Archduchess of Austria as well as to the thrones of the Bohemian and Hungarian lands within the Habsburg Monarchy as Queen Maria Theresa.

During the emperor’s lifetime the Pragmatic Sanction was generally acknowledged by the imperial states but when he died it was promptly contested both by the Hohenzollern scion Frederick II, who had just ascended the Prussian throne, and by the Wittelsbach elector Charles Albert of Bavaria. While Charles launched a claim to the imperial throne and the Habsburg territories, King Frederick II aimed at the annexation of Silesia, a Bohemian crown land since 1335.

Frederick based his demands on a 1537 inheritance treaty of the Silesian duke Frederick II of Legnica with the Hohenzollern elector Joachim II of Brandenburg, whereby the Silesian duchies of Legnica, Wołów and Brzeg were to pass to the Electorate of Brandenburg on the extinction of the Silesian Piasts. The Bohemian king Ferdinand of Habsburg, aware of the Hohenzollern ambitions, had immediately rejected the agreement; nevertheless in 1675 the "Great Elector" Frederick William of Brandenburg raised claim to the principalities, when with the death of Duke George William of Legnica the Piast line finally had died out. At that time no attempt had been made to implement these old treaty provisions, and when in the course of the 1685 Edict of Potsdam the Elector entered into an alliance with the Habsburg emperor Leopold I, he was persuaded to renounce his claims in return for the assignment of the Silesian Świebodzin (Schwiebus) exclave and a payment. However, after the accession of Frederick William's son and successor Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg, the emperor in 1695 enforced the restitution of Świebodzin, which allegedly only had been personally assigned to late Frederick William for life. Furious Frederick III in turn again insisted on the centuries-old Brandenburg claims to the Silesian Piast heritage. }}

King in Bohemia

Shortly after the coronation most of Charles Albert's territories were overrun by the Austrians, and Bavaria was occupied by the troops of Maria Theresa. The emperor fled Munich and resided for almost three years in the Palais Barckhaus in Frankfurt. Most of Bohemia was lost in December 1742 when the Austrians allowed the French under the Duc de Belle-Isle and the Duc de Broglie an honourable capitulation. Charles Albert was mocked as an emperor who neither controlled his own realm, nor was in effective control of the empire itself, though the institution of the Holy Roman Emperor had largely become symbolic in nature and powerless by that time. A popular Latin saying about him was et Caesar et nihil, meaning "both Emperor and nothing", a word-play on aut Caesar aut nihil, "either Emperor or nothing". Charles Albert's general Ignaz Felix, Count of Törring-Jettenbach was compared to a drum, as people heard about him only when he was beaten.

Charles VII tried to emphasise his government in Frankfurt with numerous acts of law, such as the grant of imperial privilege to the University of Erlangen in 1743 and the creation of several new imperial nobles. Charles Eugene, Duke of Württemberg was declared to be of full age ahead of time in 1744. Alexander Ferdinand, 3rd Prince of Thurn and Taxis served as Principal Commissioner for Charles VII at the Perpetual Imperial Diet in Frankfurt am Main and in 1744 the Thurn und Taxis dynasty were appointed hereditary Postmasters General of the Imperial Reichspost.

Relationship with the Augustus II and Augustus III

Both the Holy Roman Empire, Bavaria and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth are been allies since the reign of Charles VI. Emperor-Elector Charles VII and King Augustus II the Strong were close friends and allies.

After Augustus II's died in 1733, which Charles John was at this time an elector of Bavaria. Augustus II's son Augustus III succeeded him to the Polish crown. This the relationship between Bavaria and the Polish Commonwealth relationship made increase. Which means that Augustus III give support his good friend, Elector Charles John to become the Holy Roman Emperor after the death of Charles VI.

The Fifty Years' War

Since 1690, the war between Holy Roman Empire and its allies against the Kingdom of Sardinia with Kings Victor Amadeus II and Charles Emmanuel III and its allies.

Causes of the war

The causes that cause the war is the main reason of Emperor Leopold I and King Victor Amadeus II made into the long-time rivalry. The would also led the War of the Austrian Succession in 1740.

The small Polish force resisted the Siege of Kamenets for two weeks but was then forced to capitulate. The Polish Army was too small to resist the Ottoman invasion and could only score some minor tactical victories. After three months, the Poles were forced to sign the Treaty of Buchach in which they agreed to surrender Kamyanets-Podilsky, Podolia and to pay tribute to the Ottoman Sultan.

When the news about the defeat and treaty terms reached Warsaw, the Sejm refused to pay the tribute and organized a large army under Jan Sobieski; subsequently, the Poles won the Battle of Khotyn (1673). After King Michael's death in 1673, Jan Sobieski was elected king of Poland; he subsequently tried to defeat the Ottomans for four years, with no success. The war ended on 17 October 1676 with the Treaty of Żurawno in which the Turks only retained control over Kamianets-Podilskyi. This Turkish attack also led in 1676 to the beginning of the Russo-Turkish Wars.

War and peace

As the war progressed, Emperor Charles VII's ally Frederick the Great becomes the King of Prussia on succeeding to the throne on 31 May 1740 upon the death of his father,[61]

and desiring the prosperous Austrian province of Silesia (which Prussia also had a minor claim to), Frederick declined to endorse the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, a legal mechanism to ensure the inheritance of the Habsburg domains by Maria Theresa of Austria, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. Thus, upon the death of Charles VI on 29 October 1740,[62]
Frederick disputed the succession of the 23-year-old Maria Theresa to the Habsburg lands, while simultaneously making his own claim on Silesia. But King Frederick nominated Elector Charles John of Bavaria. On the fall of 1740, the two leaders of the war, Emperor Charles VII John and King Philip V of Spain met in Madrid which they signed the Treaty of Madrid in fall 1740 and both Philip V and Charles VII travel to Frunkfurt which they signed the Treaty of Frankfurt in winter 1740. And the war is over.

Foreign policy with Britian and France

Sovereign Revolution

During the War of the Austrian Succession Charles Albert invaded Upper Austria in 1741 and planned to conquer Vienna, but his allied French troops under the Duc de Belle-Isle were redirected to Bohemia instead and Prague was conquered in November 1741. So Charles Albert was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague (19 December 1741) when the Habsburgs were not yet defeated. He was unanimously elected "King of the Romans" on 24 January 1742, also with the vote of George II, and took the title "Holy Roman Emperor" upon his coronation on 12 February 1742. His brother Klemens August of Bavaria, archbishop and elector (Kurfürst) of Cologne, who generally sided with the Austria Habsburg-Lorraine faction in the disputes over the Habsburg succession, cast his vote for him and personally crowned him emperor at Frankfurt. Charles VII was the second Wittelsbach Emperor after Louis IV and the first Wittelsbach King of the Romans since the reign of Rupert of Germany.

In early 1748, Archduke Francis Stephen was called by the Frankfurt court to take the imperial throne from Charles, which leads the Archduke agreed which he will be able to replace his own brother-in-law to himself. Which leads to Emperor Charles VII's deposed and the imperial throne to Archduke Francis Stephen as Francis I. Francis I let the Charles Albert to keep the throne of Bavaria and his title and allowed him to go back to Bavaria. Which Charles accepted and traveled to Bavaria in the fall of 1748.

Later years

Health issues

Emperor Charles VII was one of the most popularity monarch in the Holy Roman Empire and the Electorate of Bavaria. And he was the young handsome Prince (ages 12-35) and future Emperor, he was in fact healthy.

At the time he was elected Emperor at age of fifty, he was a healthy emperor. But around five years later, the Emperor having health problems in the stomach. Some of the historians say that his health is the same of Emperor Charles V in the 16th century monarch. He also have a limp leg due the that he was wounded at the battle of Saragossa in 1710.

By the time of the Austrian Succession in 1740, the 53-year old Emperor was again fall seriously ill, instead he let his son, Maximilian III Joseph to commanded the Imperial-Bavarian armies until Charles VII was recovered in the fall of 1740.

On 1743, the elderly Emperor Charles VII John was suffering the pains in the stomach, but his doctor, told the Charles VII that he was in fact he been diagnosed with Gastric cancer (moderned day, Stomach cancer).

Last years and death

After 34 years on throne, one of longest monarchs in Imperial history. Emperor Charles John died of stroke at Vienna, Austria on 8 June 1745, at age of fifty-seven. Enduring much pain in his last days, he finally "yielded up his soul without any effort, like a candle going out" while reciting the psalm Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina (O Lord, make haste to help me).[63] His body was laid to rest in Roskilde Cathedral outside Paris. It remained there undisturbed for about 80 years until revolutionaries exhumed and destroyed all the remains to be found in the Basilica.[citation needed]

After his death, his son-in-law, Francis succeeded him to the Imperial throne as the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Germany and his elder son, Maximilian III Joseph succeeded the throne of Bavaria.

The cultural king

Christian was reckoned a typical renaissance king, and excelled in hiring in musicians and artists from all over Europe. Many English musicians were employed by him at several times, among them William Brade, John Bull and John Dowland. Dowland accompanied the king on his tours, and as he was employed in 1603, rumor has it he was in Norway as well. Christian was an agile dancer, and his court was reckoned the second most "musical" court in Europe, only ranking behind that of Elizabeth the first. Christian played good contact with his sister Anne, married to king James the first. His other sister, Elizabeth, was married to the Duke of Brunswick, and artists and musicians travelled freely between the courts.

Personal life

Charles John was married three times.

In 1666, he married Margarita Teresa of Austria (1651–1673), daughter of King Philip IV of Spain, who was both his niece and his first cousin. She was the blonde princess depicted in Diego Velázquez' masterpiece Las Meninas. The wonderful series of Velazquez portraits of this lovely Spanish princess at various stages of her childhood were sent from the court of Madrid to Charles John as he waited in Vienna for his fiancee to grow up. This beautiful girl, the representation of merry childhood, was married at fifteen. She gave birth to four children and finally died at the age of twenty-one, leaving Leopold heartbroken, as he had truly loved her.

Leopold and Margarita Teresa of Austria's children:

  1. Archduke Ferdinand Wenzel (1667–1668).
  2. Archduchess Maria Antonia (1669–1692) married Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria.
  3. Archduke Johann Leopold (1670).
  4. Archduchess Maria Anna Antonia (1672).

His second wife was Archduchess Claudia Felicitas of Austria, the heiress of Tyrol. She died at the age of twenty-two on 2 September 1676; their two daughters also died. She was buried in the crypt of the St. Dominic side chapel of the Dominican church in Vienna.

  1. Archduchess Anna Maria Sophia (1674).
  2. Archduchess Maria Josepha (1675–1676).

His third wife was Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg, a princess of the Palatinate. They had the following children:

  1. Archduchess Maria Christina (1679).
  2. Archduchess Maria Elisabeth (1680–1741) Governor of the Austrian Netherlands.
  3. Archduke Leopold Joseph (1682–1684).
  4. Archduchess Maria Anna (1683–1754) married John V of Portugal.
  5. Archduchess Maria Theresa (1684–1696).
  6. Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor (1685–1740) married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
  7. Archduchess Maria Josepha (1687–1703).
  8. Archduchess Maria Magdalena (1689–1743).
  9. Archduchess Maria Margaret (1690–1691).

City foundations

Christian IV is renowned for his many city (town) foundations, and is most likely the Nordic head of state that can be accredited for the highest number of new cities in his realm. These towns/cities are:

  • Christianopel, now Kristianopel in Sweden. Founded in 1599 in the then Danish territory of Blekinge as a garrison town near the Swedish border.
  • Christianstad, now Kristianstad in Sweden. Founded in 1614 in the then Danish territory of Skåne.
  • Glückstadt, now in Germany, founded in 1617 as a rival to Hamburg in the then Danish territory of Holstein.
  • Christianshavn, now part of Copenhagen, Denmark, founded as a fortification/garrison town in 1619.
  • Konningsberg (King's Mountain), now Kongsberg in Norway, founded as an industrial town in 1624 after the discovery of silver ores.
  • Christiania, now Oslo in Norway. After a devastating fire in 1624 the king ordered the old city of Oslo to be moved closer to the fortification of Akershus slot and also renamed it to Christiania. The city name was altered to Kristiania in 1877 and then back to Oslo in 1924. The original town of Christian is now known as Kvadraturen = The Quarters.
  • Christian(s)sand, now Kristiansand in Norway, founded in 1641 to promote trade at the Template:Ill in Southern Norway.
  • Røros, now in Norway, founded as an industrial town after the discovery of copper ores.

A short-lived town was:

  • Template:Ill, now in Schleswig, Germany, founded as a garrison town near Kiel in the then Danish territory of Holstein.

Furthermore, Christian is also known for many erections of important buildings in his realm, and these include the observatory Rundetårn, the stock exchange Børsen, the Copenhagen fortress Kastellet, Rosenborg Castle, workers' district Nyboder, the Copenhagen naval Church of Holmen (Holmens Kirke), Proviantgården, a brewery, the Tøjhus Museum arsenal, and two Trinity Churches in Copenhagen and modern Kristianstad, now known as respectively Trinitatis Church and Holy Trinity Church. Christian converted Frederiksborg Castle to a Renaissance palace and completely rebuilt Kronborg Castle to a fortress. He also founded the Danish East India Company inspired by the similar Dutch company.


As the Electoral Prince of Bavaria, he becomes popularly in the Holy Roman Empire and the Electorate of Bavaria. Even his military service about thirty-four years of war, and peace. He learns how to speak English, Spanish, Polish, and French. At the Battle of Saragossa, he been shot and wounded five times in the stomach and the legs, leaving the Wounded Electoral Prince and the Future Holy Roman Emperor crippled and limping.

As the youngest son of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, he become the third in line of the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. His older brothers, Joesph I (r. 1705–1711) and Charles VI (r. 1711–1736). He got elected as the Holy Roman Emperor and German King in 1737 after the death of his brother, Charles VI.

Charles John's reign was the height of the Bavarian rococo era. François de Cuvilliés was appointed chief architect of the court and constructed the Amalienburg in Munich. The Nymphenburg Palace was completed during Charles' reign: the grand circle (Schlossrondell) of baroque mansions was intended as a starting point for a new city (Carlstadt) but this was not achieved. For the Munich Residence, Charles Albert ordered the building of the Ancestral Gallery and the Ornate Rooms. He also ordered Cuvilliés to construct the Palais Holnstein for one of his mistresses, the Countess Holnstein.

Among the most gifted Bavarian artists of his time were Johann Michael Fischer, Cosmas Damian Asam and Egid Quirin Asam, Johann Michael Feuchtmayer, Matthäus Günther, Johann Baptist Straub and Johann Baptist Zimmermann.


Charles and his wife Maria Amalia, Archduchess of Austria were parents of seven children:

Name Portrait Birth Death Notes
Maximiliane Maria
Princess of Bavaria
100px 1723 Died in infancy.
Maria Antonia Walpurgis
Electress of Saxony
100px 18 July 1724 23 April 1780 Married in 1747 Frederick Christian of Saxony, had issue.
Theresa Benedicta
Princess of Bavaria
100px 6 December 1725 29 March 1743 Died young and unmarried.
Maximilian III Joseph
Elector of Bavaria
100px 28 March 1727 30 December 1777 Married in 1747 Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony, no issue.
Joseph Ludwig Leo
Prince of Bavaria
100px 25 August 1728 2 December 1733 Died in infancy.
Maria Anna Josepha
Margravine of Baden-Baden
100px 7 August 1734 7 May 1776 Married in 1755 Louis George, Margrave of Baden-Baden, no issue.
Maria Josepha
Holy Roman Empress
100px 30 March 1739 28 May 1767 Married in 1765 Joseph, King of the Romans, no issue.

Illegitimate children

Charles Albert and his mistress Sophie Caroline von Ingelheim had a son:

  • Franz Ludwig, Count of Holnstein (1723–1780) ∞ Anna Marie zu Löwenfeld (1735–1783), daughter of Clemens August of Bavaria


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 9 June 1687 – 26 February 1726 His Royal Highness The Electoral Prince of Bavaria Charles John
  • 26 February 1726 – 5 May 1745 His Most Serene Highness The Elector of Bavaria
  • 20 October 1736 – 24 January 1737 His Royal Highness The Archduke Charles of Austria
  • 24 January 1737 – 5 May 1745 His Imperial Majesty The Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Romans
  • 19 December 1741 – 12 May 1743 His Majesty The King of Bohemia


Charles VII, by the grace of God elected Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, King in Germany and of Bohemia, Duke in the Upper and Lower Bavaria as well as the Upper Palatinate, Count-Palatine of the Rhine, Archduke of Austria, Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, Landgrave of Leuchtenberg, etc. etc.


1.^ He was born as the member of the House of Habsburg, but he was the son of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. He was also the member part of the House of Wittelsbach.


  1. The Acts of Union of 1707 united England and Scotland into the political union of Great Britain.
  2. Israel: The Dutch Republic, 970, 974
  3. Ingrao: In Quest, 165–78, 197; Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 446–51; Burton: Marlborough, 142; Wolf: Louis XIV, 559
  4. Ingrao: In quest, 178–81; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 325–6; Trevelyan: England, II, 399
  5. Ingrao: In Quest, 182; Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 452–3; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 325–6
  6. Hussey and Bromley: The Spanish Empire under Foreign Pressures, 374; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 326; Kamen: Philip V, 70–2;
  7. Burton: Marlborough, 146–59; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 329–35; Jones: Marlborough, 172–84; McKay: Eugene, 123–6. Army strengths taken from Lynn. The size of Villars' army is unclear.
  8. Hill: Robert Harley, 124; Chandler: Marlborough, 275
  9. Veenendaal: The War of the Spanish Succession in Europe, 434, 438–9; Ingrao: In Quest, 197–9; McKay: Eugene, 129
  10. Ingrao: In Quest, 204–8; Veenendaal: The War of the Spanish Succession in Europe, 439, 456; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 336–7; Wolf: Louis XIV, 569, 573
  11. Trevelyan: England, III, 33–5, 45; Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 457
  12. Gregg: Queen Anne, 218–32; Hill: Robert Harley, 104–6. Sunderland was the Duke of Marlborough's son-in-law.
  13. MacLachlan: The Road to Peace, 200
  14. Gregg: Queen Anne, 254–9; Hill: Robert Harley, 114–17; Burton: The Captain-General, 119–20
  15. Gregg: Queen Anne, 298–319; Hill: Robert Harley, 126–31; Simms: Three Victories, 57–8
  16. Hattendorf: Alliance, Encirclement, and Attrition, 25; MacLachlan: The Road to Peace, 203
  17. Chandler: Marlborough, 278–82; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 337–8
  18. Quote from Torcy in Kamen Philip V, 77
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Kamen
  20. Stanhope, p. 308
  21. Stanhope, p. 310
  22. Stanhope, p. 311
  23. Hugill: No Peace, 301–18; Ingrao: In Quest, 211-2; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 339–40
  24. Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 340–1; Kamen: Philip V, 77
  25. Gregg: Queen Anne, 334–8; Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 459; Trevelyan: England, III, 176–82
  26. MacLachlan: Road to Peace, 202–3; Hattendorf: Alliance, Encirclement, and Attrition, 26; Hill: Robert Harley, 151
  27. Simms: Three Victories, 62–4; Hattendorf: England in the War, 344; Trevelyan: England, III, 143–6
  28. Chandler: Marlborough, 286–99; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 341–5; Burton: The Captain-General, 181–2
  29. Stoye: The Austrian Habsburgs, 596; Francis: Peninsular War, 355
  30. McKay: Eugene, 133
  31. McKay: Eugene, 133–4; Francis: Peninsular War, 356
  32. Hugill: No Peace, 334–5, 341–5; Francis: Peninsular War, 342–4
  33. Hill: Robert Harley, 162–5; Wolf: Louis XIV, 581; Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 460; Trevelyan: England, III, 182–5
  34. Hill: Robert Harley, 167; Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 460
  35. Hill: Robert Harley, 168; Hattendorf: England in the War, 365; Trevelyan: England, III, 187, 189–90
  36. Gregg: Queen Anne, 347
  37. Jones: Marlborough, 219; Simms: Three Victories, 58–62; Trevelyan: England, III, 192
  38. MacLachlan: The Road to Peace, 199–200; Hill: Robert Harley, 168–73; McKay & Scott. The Rise of the Great Powers, 64
  39. Louis XIV's only living son, the Grand Dauphin, had already died in April 1711; on 18 February 1712 the Dauphin's eldest son and successor, the Duke of Burgundy, also died. Burgundy's eldest son followed his father to the grave in March, leaving Louis as the one surviving heir to the crown.
  40. Wolf: Louis XIV, 582–7; Hill: Robert Harley, 180–4; Gregg: Queen Anne, 355
  41. McKay, Prince Eugene, 141
  42. Hattendorf: England in the War 375–9; Hill: Robert Harley, 182–5
  43. McKay: Eugene, 139–41; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 351–4
  44. Francis: Peninsular War, 349–50; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 354–5, 361–2
  45. McKay: Eugene, 141–2; Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 477; Veenendaal: The War of the Spanish Succession in Europe, 444
  46. McKay: Eugene, 143–4; McKay & Scott: The Rise, 65
  47. James Stuart was expelled from France to Lorraine in February.
  48. Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 470; Wolf: The Emergence, 89–91; McKay and Scott: The Rise of the Great Powers, 65
  49. Symcox: Victor Amadeus, 160, 164. Lacking a fleet the Austrians had been unable to conquer Sicily; British trade routes to the Levant passed near Sicily.
  50. Symcox: Victor Amadeus, 166
  51. Storrs: War, Diplomacy, 4; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 356; Trevelyan: England, III, 224–6
  52. Godinho: Portugal and Her Empire, 528; Kamen: Philip V, 80; Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 475–6
  53. Pitt: The Pacification of Utrecht, 473; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 357–8; Ingrao: In Quest, 219; McKay: Eugene, 146
  54. Kamen: Philip V, 85. Kamen writes: '… there was no general movement of rebellion; the image, cultivated later by romantic historiography, of a national uprising against Castile, has no foundation in reality'.
  55. Hugill: No Peace, 354–7; Kamen: Philip V, 85, 87–8; Trevelyan: England, III, 226–8
  56. Hugill: No Peace, 370–87; Lynn: Wars of Louis XIV, 358; Francis: Peninsular War, 379–80
  57. Rhea Marsh Smith, Spain: A Modern History (University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor, 1965) p. 235.
  58. Rhea Marsh Smith, Spain: A Modern History, p. 236.
  59. Rhea Marsh Smith, Spain: A Modern History, p. 237.
  60. Simms p.135
  61. Asprey 1986, p. 141.
  62. Asprey 1986, p. 154.
  63. Dunlop, p. 468.

See also

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Further reading

  • Lockhart, Paul D. Denmark in the Thirty Years’ War, 1618-1648: King Christian IV and the Decline of the Oldenburg State (Susquehanna University Press, 1996)
  • Lockhart, Paul D. Denmark, 1513-1660: the rise and decline of a Renaissance monarchy ( Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • Scocozza, Benito, Christian IV, 2006 ISBN 978-87-567-7633-2

External links

Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor
Born: 6 August 1687 Died: 8 June 1745
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Maximilian II Emanuel
Elector of Bavaria
26 February 1726 – 20 January 1745
Succeeded by
Maximilian III Joseph
Preceded by
Maria Theresa
King of Bohemia
19 December 1741 – 12 May 1743
Succeeded by
Maria Theresa
Preceded by
Charles VI
Holy Roman Emperor
24 January 1737 – 20 January 1745
Succeeded by
Francis I
King of the Romans
20 October 1736 – 20 January 1745

Template:Electors of Bavaria Template:Monarchs of Bohemia