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The Shame of Charles V

             Charles had many concerns during his sovereignty of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. Among his worries were Martin Luther's defiance of the Catholic Church, the wars it yielded, advancing Ottoman armies, marauding French in Northern Italy, competition between Spain and Portugal for territories abroad, and financing constant warfare. Though he would be triumphant in most of the mentioned campaigns, they would preoccupy him so that he failed to recognize the significance of the dissemination of Lutheran doctrines. Considering his devotion to Catholic principles and the strong ties of the Empire and Spain to Catholicism, one ought to believe that, if Charles had been aware of just how endangered the Church was, he would have focused on its defense. Thus, one may conclude that he believed himself to be a failure, as he might've prevented the rampant growth of Protestantism. .
             Shortly after his election as Holy Roman Emperor, Charles began his struggle with France; one that would endure his entire reign. In 1521, he invaded French-occupied Northern Italy and such cities as Venice, Florence and Milan. Upon defeating the French in the Battle of Pavia, the captured King Francis I signed the Treaty of Madrid, renouncing his Italian claims. When released, Francis disavowed the treaty and, supported by Pope Clement VII (of Rome), organized his forces along with those of several cities in Northern Italy to attempt reconquest. Defeated once again, Francis signed the Treaty of Cambrai, securing Charles" position in Italy until 1536, when Francis, intent on reoccupying Italy, established a coalition between France, the Protestant Schmalkaldic League, and the Ottoman Turks, whose armies were assaulting Austria. Again, the imperial forces endured in Italy. Though shaming Francis I by thwarting his many attempts at invasion, Charles was distracted by these Italian Wars from the deceiving significance of the spread of Protestantism.

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