CHARLES V (1500 - 1558)

"Con mi caballo hablo en alemán, con las damas de la corte, en italiano; los asuntos de hombres los trato en frances, pero para hablar con Dios, uso solo el español"

Charles V was the last universal emperor of the world.  His empire was huge and included Belgium, Holland (Netherlands), Germany, Austria, southern Italy, the city of Milan (in northern Italy), Spain and all of South and Central America that was discovered to that point.  He also maintained influence over much of the rest of Europe including England.  The only major kingdom over which he had no control or influence was France.

He spent his entire time as Emperor trying to preserve the unity of Europe.  He felt that that by preserving the unity of Europe he was preserving Christianity.  As the Holy Roman Emperor he saw this as his duty.  While he was Emperor, Mexico and Peru were conquered. This brought great riches to Spain.  However, he was not driven by greed, but rather by his religious beliefs.  He was a very religious man who was all during his life influenced by the Catholic church. 

He did not live during a peaceful time.  He was constantly being attacked by France (his great enemy) and by Turkey (which was a great Moslem empire).  In addition in Germany, Martin Luther was beginning to rebel against the Catholic church and led the great Protestant revolt.    Not only was Charles V's lands being attacked but much more importantly to him, his religion was under attack.

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