Maximilian I Holy Roman EMPEROR

Male 1459 - 1519  (59 years)

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  • Name Maximilian I Holy Roman EMPEROR  [1
    Born 23 Mar 1459  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 12 Jan 1519  [1
    • Maximilian I of Habsburg (March 22, 1459 ? January 12, 1519) was Holy Roman Emperor. He expanded the influence of the House of Habsburg through both war and marriage.[1

      Life and reign in the Habsburg hereditary lands
      Maximilian was born in Wiener Neustadt as the son of the Emperor Frederick III and Eleanore of Portugal. He married (1477) the heiress of Burgundy, Mary, the only daughter of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Through this marriage, Maximilian obtained the Burgundian Netherlands and the Free County of Burgundy, though France took Burgundy proper.

      In 1490, he bought Tyrol and Further Austria from his cousin Sigismund, the last member of the Elder Tyrolean Line of the House of Habsburg. Upon the death of his father in 1493, he inherited the remaining Habsburg possessions and thus reunified all Habsburg territories. That same year Maximilian married Bianca Maria Sforza (d. 1510), the daughter of the Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza of Milan as he had been a widower since the death of his first wife in 1482.

      Reign in Burgundy and The Netherlands
      Maximilian governed his first wife's vast inheritance in the Low Countries, and prosecuted a war over them with Louis XI, King of France on her behalf[1]. Upon the Duke of Burgundy's death in 1477, the Duchy of Burgundy had reverted to the French crown under Salic Law. Louis further attempted to expand his control into the Burgundian Netherlands. Mary, who was only 20 and yet unmarried, refused a proposed marriage to the Dauphin as a way to settle the dispute, and when she married Maximilian less than a year after her father's death, she used his power to try to take back the parts of her father's lands Louis had acquired. Maximilian was successful in the war and in stabilizing the Netherlands, but some of the Netherland provinces were hostile to him, and when Mary died unexpectedly in March 1482, they signed a treaty with Louis in 1482 which forced Maximilian to give Franche ComtÈ and Artois to Louis[1]. Louis died in 1483 and his successor, Charles VIII of France, was a minor whose regent, Anne of France, ended France's bellicosity for a time. Maximilian continued to govern Mary's remaining inheritance in the name of their young son, Philip the Handsome. After the regency ended, Maximilian and Charles VIII exchanged these two territories for Burgundy and Picardy in the Treaty of Senlis (1493). Thus ultimately much of the Netherlands became and remained a Habsburg possession.

      [edit] Reign in the Holy Roman Empire
      Elected King of the Romans in 1486 at the initiative of his father, he also stood at the head of the Holy Roman Empire upon his father's death in 1493. The following year, after he married a daughter of the Duke of Milan, Maximilian sought to expand his power in parts of Italy[1]. This brought French intervention in Italy, inaugurating the prolonged Italian Wars[1]. He joined the Holy League to counter the French. Maximilian lost, but after his death the Empire ultimately won. Maximilian was also forced to grant independence to Switzerland[1], where he had tried to re-establish the lost Habsburg dominance.

      Maximilian is possibly best known for leading the 1495 Reichstag at Worms which concluded on the Reichsreform (Imperial Reform), reshaping much of the constitution of the Holy Roman Empire. In the 1499 Treaty of Basel, Maximilian was forced to acknowledge the de-facto independence of the Swiss confederacy from the Empire as a result of the Battle of Dornach.

      In 1508, Maximilian, with the assent of the Pope, took the title of Elected Roman Emperor (Erw‰hlter Rˆmischer Kaiser), and thus ended the century-old custom that the Holy Roman Emperor had to be crowned by the pope.

      [edit] Tu felix Austria nube

      Emperor Maximilian I and his familyAs part of the Treaty of Arras, Maximilian betrothed his three-year-old daughter Margaret to the Dauphin (later Charles VIII), son of his adversary Louis XI. Louis had attempted seven years earlier to arrange a betrothal between the Dauphin and Margaret's mother, Mary. Under the terms of Margaret's betrothal, she was sent to Louis to be brought up under his guardianship. Despite the death of Louis in 1483, shortly after Margaret arrived in France, she remained at the French court. The Dauphin, now Charles VIII, was still a minor, and his regent until 1491 was his sister, Anne of France. Anne's first betrothal, to the Duke of Lorraine, had ended when the Duke broke it off in order to pursue Mary of Burgundy (and died shortly afterwards). Despite Margaret's betrothal and continued presence at the French court, Anne arranged a marriage between Charles and Anne of Brittany. She, in turn, had been betrothed in 1483, and actually married by proxy in 1491, to Maximilian himself, but Charles and his sister wanted her inheritance for France. The final result of all of these machinations was that Charles repudiated his betrothal to Margaret when he came of age in 1491, invaded Brittany, forced Anne of Brittany to repudiate her unconsummated marriage to Maximilian, and married her. (They had four children who all died in infancy, and after Charles died, his widow married his cousin and successor, Louis XII.) Margaret still remained in France until 1493, when she was finally returned to her father. She married twice more.

      In 1493, Maximilian contracted another marriage for himself, this time to the daughter of the Duke of Milan, whence ensued the lengthy Italian Wars with France. Thus Maximilian through his own marriages (and attempted marriage) sought to extend his sphere of influence against that of France. The marriages he arranged for both of his children more successfully fulfilled the same goal, and after the turn of the Sixteenth Century, his matchmaking focused on his grandchildren, for whom he looked opposite France towards the east.

      In order to reduce the growing pressures on the Empire brought about by treaties between the rulers of France, Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, and Russia, as well as to secure Bohemia and Hungary for the Habsburgs, Maximilian I met with the Jagiellonian kings Ladislaus II of Hungary and Bohemia and Sigismund I of Poland at Vienna in 1515. There they arranged for Maximilian's grand-daughter Mary to marry Louis, the son of Ladislaus, and for Anne (the sister of Louis) to marry Maximilian's grandson Ferdinand (both grandchildren being the children of Philip the Handsome, Maximilian's son, and Juana la Loca of Castile). The marriages arranged there brought Habsburg kingship over Hungary and Bohemia in 1526. Both Anne and Louis were adopted by Maximilian following the death of Ladislaus. These political marriages have led the commonly attributed statement "Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube," roughly translated as "While others wage war, you, fortunate Austria, marry."

      [edit] Death and legacy
      Maximilian died in Wels, Upper Austria, and was succeeded as Emperor by his grandson Charles V, his son Philip the Handsome having died in 1506. Although he is buried in the Castle Chapel at Wiener Neustadt, a cenotaph tomb for Maximilian is located in the Innsbruck Hofkirche[1].

      Maximilian was a keen supporter of the arts and sciences, and he surrounded himself with scholars such as Joachim Vadian and Andreas Stoberl (Stiborius), promoting them to important court posts.

      Maximilian had appointed his daughter Margarete of Austria as both Regent of the Netherlands and the guardian and educator of his grandsons Charles and Ferdinand (their father, Philip, having predeceased Maximilian), and she fulfilled this task well. Through wars and marriages he extended the Habsburg influence in every direction: to the Netherlands, Spain, Bohemia, Hungary, Poland, and Italy. This influence would last for centuries and shape much of European history.

      Charles built on his grandfather's successes and enlarged the Empire. He united the Habsburg Netherlands which Maximilian had ruled for his wife and son Philip.
    Person ID I21225  Main Tree

    Father Frederick III Holy Roman EMPEROR,   b. 21 Sep 1415,   d. 19 Aug 1493  (Age 77 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Eleonora Of PORTUGAL,   b. 18 Sep 1434,   d. 01 Sep 1467  (Age 32 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married 08 Mar 1452  Naples Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F07051  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Marie Of BURGUNDY,   b. 13 Feb 1457,   d. 27 Mar 1482  (Age 25 years) 
    Married 18 Aug 1477 
     1. Philip I The Handsome King Of CASTILE,   b. 22 Jul 1478, Bruges Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Sep 1506  (Age 28 years)  [Natural]
     2. Margaret Of AUSTRIA,   b. 10 Jan 1480,   d. 01 Dec 1530  (Age 50 years)  [Natural]
     3. Franz Of CASTILE,   b. 1481,   d. 1481  (Age 0 years)  [Natural]
    Family ID F07052  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Bianca Maria SFORZA,   b. 1472,   d. 1510  (Age 38 years) 
    Married 1493  [2
    Family ID F17438  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S01910] Blood Royal, Issue of the Kings and Queens of Medieval England 1066-1399 by. T. Anna Leese.

    2. [S03581] Wikipedia Encyclopedia.