• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why was Charles V involved in such prolonged conflicts with the Kings of France?

Extracts from this document...


Why was Charles V involved in such prolonged conflicts with the Kings of France? The conflict between the Habsburg Emperor Charles V and the Valois King of France Francis I commenced in 1521 and came to an end in 1559 in the reigns of their successors, Philip II and Henry II. The wars were extremely damaging to the kingdom of France, to the empire of Charles V and indeed to Christendom as a whole. The conflict was so prolonged due to a number of reasons. The personal rivalry between Francis I and Charles V caused hostility between the two men and ensured that both were unwilling to let the other get the upper hand. When Charles V and Francis I became kings of their respective lands both were very young and ambitious young men, who wanted to make a name for themselves. In 1519 Charles was elected Holy Roman Emperor in succession to his grandfather Maximillian, to the dismay of Francis who also wanted the title. The electors were persuaded to choose Charles through a number of expensive bribes. They also believed that Charles was less likely to interfere with the independence of the princes because he had such extensive lands to govern. This event ensured Charles took precedence over his rival and made Francis determined to resist Charles V's claims to supremacy within Europe by waging costly wars. ...read more.


In 1526, Henry saw the danger of a Habsburg dominance within Europe, if it were able to defeat France and therefore supported the League of Cognac, an anti Habsburg alliance. His unreliability and self-interest as an ally was also shown when he allied with Francis in 1528 due to his desire to divorce, something that an allegiance with the Catholic Charles could not give. Each side also provoked bitterness by making alliances with the enemies of the other side to further their political goals. In 1526 Francis made an alliance with the 'infidellic' Ottoman Turks who Charles perceived as being a serious threat to Christendom. Francis also began to support the Lutheran movement because he saw the trouble Charles was having with it and therefore he wanted to continue the growth of Protestantism in Germany. In 1528, Andrea Doria, the Genoese admiral, was persuaded by Charles's agents to abandon the French, with whom he was helping to blockade Naples, and join the Habsburgs. This was very important because it allowed Charles to lift the blockade of Naples, it meant that the large Genoese fleet was left at his disposal and access to loans from Genoese bankers. Alliances made with outside influences by both sides fuelled the resentment that they felt for one another. Dynastic rivalry prolonged the war between both sides and made it hard for settlements to be agreed upon. ...read more.


The changing nature of warfare also prolonged the conflict to some degree. The development of heavy artillery and the invention of gunpowder put an end to easy victories on the battlefield and the use of the aquebus with pike men prolonged battles because it gave advantage to the defending side, making it harder to make a break through, thus encouraging stalemate. Such stalemate was added to by the fact that both sides built fortresses which led to long sieges, such as the expensive siege of Metz in 1553. I therefore conclude that the prolonged conflict between the Habsburg and Valois dynasties can be explained by a combination of factors. Territorial disputes ensured persistent controversy, Dynastic rivalry ensured that neither side was willing to compromise on ancestral areas such as Burgundy and alliances made with outside influences increased suspicion between the two sides to a large degree. In my opinion, however, the most important reason for the prolonged conflict was due to the personal rivalry between Charles V and Francis I. Neither man wanted the other to get the upper hand which meant that compromises were unable to be made between the two and thus ensured that the search for peace was a drawn out affair. It was only when either man was willing to swallow their pride, as was the case with Charles at the Peace of Cambrai, that progress could be made. John Round Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Does Alexander II deserve the title of 'Tsar liberator'?

    retaliation to his reforms and in doing so, gave broader opportunity for revolutionaries and radicals to increase their influence. In dealing with this, clearly Alexander?s main priority was to divert any threat to his position as Tsar and so was forced to revert back to repressive policies of control to ensure his own political stability.

  2. Henry V Character Analysis

    I think that this feature was seen as an even greater quality in King Henry V's society when the King was seen as almost synonymous to God or God's representation on Earth and he is anointed by Him. In one of his most famous speeches, Henry again encourages his soldiers

  1. This essay examines the actions of Charles VII in relation to events pertaining to ...

    While grateful for the uncommon success on the battlefield, due to her leadership abilities, her growing popularity and influence anguished Charles and worried his counsellors. Given the large size of the army and its fanatical loyalty to Joan, Charles had to visit Rheims.

  2. Arabi israli conflict

    are not willing to compromise, they don't want to kill each other but it's one or the other. Resources were being used as weapons, which are how bad things got. The Arab states were the providers of oil for the west and due to the help the United States were giving Israel; all its oil exports were banned.

  1. The Habsburg Valois Rivalry

    A major cost of warfare was payment for mercenary troops. France used Swiss and German mercenaries. Also sieges lasted longer = more cost. Latter stages of the HVR was characterised by sieges i.e. Metz in 1552, St Quentin in 1557 and Calais in 1558.

  2. Why did Charles V fail to crush Luther?

    people to read about his ideas, by translating the 95 thesis and the Bible into German so that people could interpret it themselves. Later on Luther wrote books indicating his views. As his message reached more people, his popularity grew which it made it harder for Charles to crush him because Charles needed the support of people within Germany.

  1. Warner Bros.' GoodFellas (1990) is director Martin Scorsese's stylistic masterpiece - a follow-up film ...

    in 1955, is attracted to and impressed by the flashy, expensive clothes and cars of hoods who would congregate at the Pitkin Ave. Cab. Company across the street from his family's apartment. The scenes of Henry's teenage years begin with a side closeup of Henry's reflective eye as he intensely

  2. Henry IV of France

    Towns and provinces hastened to show allegiance to the King and gave up their resistance, although Laon was under siege until they submitted. Brittany also remained loyal to the League, however this was mainly due to support from France and in order to 'correct' this situation Henry IV declared war on Spain in January 1595.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work