Piracy in the Caribbean
The period during which pirates were most successful was from the 1660s to 1730s. Piracy flourished in the Caribbean because of the existence of pirate seaports such as Port Royal in Jamaica, Tortuga in Haiti, Pirates were often former sailors experienced in naval warfare. The buccaneers were chased off their islands by colonial authorities and had to seek a new life at sea, beginning in the 16th century, pirate captains recruited seamen to loot European merchant ships, especially the Spanish treasure fleets sailing from the Caribbean to Europe. This officially sanctioned piracy was known as privateering, from 1520 to 1560, French privateers were alone in their fight against the Crown of Spain and the vast commerce of the Spanish Empire in the New World, but were joined by the English and Dutch. The Caribbean had become a center of European trade and colonization after Columbus discovery of the New World for Spain in 1492. In the 1493 Treaty of Tordesillas the non-European world had been divided between the Spanish and the Portuguese along a north-south line 270 leagues west of the Cape Verde and this gave Spain control of the Americas, a position the Spaniards reiterated with an equally unenforceable papal bull.
In the 16th century, the Spanish were mining extremely large quantities of silver from the mines of Zacatecas in New Spain, to combat this constant danger, in the 1560s the Spanish adopted a convoy system. A treasure fleet or flota would sail annually from Seville in Spain, carrying passengers and this cargo, though profitable, was really just a form of ballast for the fleet as its true purpose was to transport the years worth of silver to Europe. This made the returning Spanish treasure fleet a tempting target, although pirates were more likely to shadow the fleet to attack stragglers than to engage the main vessels. South and west of these lines, respectively, no protection could be offered to non-Spanish ships, English and French pirates and settlers moved into this region even in times of nominal peace with the Spanish. These laws allowed only Spanish merchants to trade with the colonists of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and this arrangement provoked constant smuggling against the Spanish trading laws and new attempts at Caribbean colonization in peacetime by England and the Netherlands.
Whenever a war was declared in Europe between the Great Powers the result was always widespread piracy and privateering throughout the Caribbean, the Anglo-Spanish War in 1585–1604 was partly due to trade disputes in the New World. However, very profitable trade continued between Spains colonies, which continued to expand until the early 19th century, as Spains military might in Europe weakened, the Spanish trading laws in the New World were violated with greater frequency by the merchants of other nations. Additional problems came from shortage of supplies because of the lack of people to work farms. England especially began to turn its peoples maritime skills into the basis of commercial prosperity, as for the Dutch Netherlands, after decades of rebellion against Spain fueled by both Dutch nationalism and their staunch Protestantism, independence had been gained in all but name. The Netherlands had become Europes economic powerhouse, each possessed a large population and a self-sustaining economy, and was well-protected by Spanish defenders.
By 1600, Porto Bello had replaced Nombre de Dios as the Isthmus of Panamas Caribbean port for the Spanish Silver Train and the annual treasure fleet. Veracruz, the port city open to trans-Atlantic trade in New Spain
Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire
The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was one of the most significant events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Many of those on the Cortés expedition of 1519 had never seen combat before, in fact, Cortés had never commanded men in battle before. However, there was a generation of Spaniards who participated in expeditions in the Caribbean and Tierra Firme, learning strategy. The Spanish conquest of Mexico had antecedents with established practices, in their advance, the allies were tricked and ambushed several times by the people they encountered. When Cortés left Tenochtitlan to return to the coast and deal with the expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez, Alvarado allowed a significant Aztec feast to be celebrated in Tenochtitlan and on the pattern of the earlier massacre in Cholula, closed off the square and massacred the celebrating Aztec noblemen. The biography of Cortés by Francisco López de Gómara contains a description of the massacre, the Alvarado massacre at the Main Temple of Tenochtitlan precipitated rebellion by the population of the city.
When the captured emperor Motecuhzoma II, now seen as a puppet of the invading Spaniards, attempted to calm the outraged populace. Cortés had returned to Tenochtitlan and his men fled the city during the Noche Triste in June,1520. The Spanish and reinforcements returned a year on August 13,1521 to a civilization that had wiped out by famine. This made it easier to conquer the remaining Aztecs, the fall of the Aztec Empire was the key event in the formation of the Spanish overseas empire, with New Spain, which became Mexico, a major component. The Spanish conquerors could and did write accounts that narrated the conquest from the first landfalls in Mexico to the victory over the Mexica in Tenochtitlan on August 13,1521. Indigenous accounts are from particular native viewpoints and as the events had a impact on their polity. All accounts of the conquest and indigenous alike, have biases, in general, Spanish accounts do not credit their indigenous allies support. Individual conquerors accounts exaggerate that individuals contribution to the conquest, downplaying other conquerors, indigenous allies accounts stress their loyalty to the Spanish and their particular aid as being key to the Spanish victory.
Their accounts are similar to Spanish conquerors accounts contained in petitions for rewards and these were almost immediately published in Spain and in other parts of Europe. Interestingly, Cortéss right-hand man, Pedro de Alvarado did not write at any length about his actions in the New World, two letters to Cortés about Alvarados campaigns in Guatemala are published in The Conquistadors. Rather than it being a petition for rewards for services, as many Spanish accounts were, the account was used by eighteenth-century Jesuit Francisco Javier Clavijero in his descriptions of the history of Mexico. On the indigenous side, the allies of Cortés, particularly the Tlaxcalans, wrote extensively about their services to the Spanish Crown in the conquest, the most important of these are the pictorial Lienzo de Tlaxcala and the Historia de Tlaxcala by Diego Muñoz Camargo
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was a major European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death in 1700 of the last Habsburg King of Spain, the infirm and childless Charles II. Charles II had ruled over a vast global empire, and the question of who would succeed him had long troubled the governments of Europe, the English, the Dutch and the Austrians 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, France faced invasion and ruin, but Allied unity broke first. With the Grand Alliance defeated in Spain and with its casualties mounting and aims diverging and British ministers prepared the groundwork for a peace conference, and in 1712 Britain ceased combat operations. The Dutch and German states fought on to strengthen their own negotiating position, the Treaty of Utrecht and the Treaty of Rastatt partitioned the Spanish empire between the major and minor powers. The European balance of power was assured, in the late 1690s the declining health of King Charles II of Spain brought to a head the problem of his succession, a problem which had underlain much of European diplomacy for several decades.
The empire was in decline, but remained the largest of the European overseas empires, unlike the French crown, the Spanish crowns could all be inherited by, or through, a female in default of a male line. The next in line after Charles II, were his two sisters, Maria Theresa, the elder, and Margaret Theresa, the younger, Maria Theresa had married Louis XIV in 1660 and by him she had a son, Dauphin of France. The testament of her father, Philip IV, reiterated this waiver and bequeathed the reversion of the whole of the Spanish dominions to his younger daughter, Margaret Theresa. However the French, using in part the excuse that the dowry promised Maria Theresa was never paid, nor was it clear whether a princess could waive the rights of her unborn children. Leopold I married Margaret Theresa in 1666, at her death in 1673 she left one living heir, Maria Antonia, who in 1685 married Max Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. Shortly before her death in 1692, she gave birth to a son, if he chose, Louis XIV could attempt to assert his will on Spain by force of arms, but the Nine Years War had been an immense drain on Frances resources.
To seek a solution and gain support, Louis XIV turned to his long-standing rival William of Orange. England and the Dutch Republic had their own commercial and political interests within the Spanish empire, the Maritime Powers were in a weakened state and both had reduced their forces at the conclusion of the Nine Years War. Louis XIV and William III, sought to solve the problem of the Spanish inheritance through negotiation, based on the principle of partition, to take effect after the death of Charles II. However, the bulk of the empire – most of peninsular Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, the Spanish Empire was now divided between the three surviving candidates. By this new treaty Archduke Charles would receive most of Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and the overseas empire. For Leopold I, control of Spain and its empire was less important than Italy
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and an autonomous region of Italy. It is located in the Western Mediterranean, just south of the French island of Corsica, the regions official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna / Regione Autònoma de Sardigna, and its capital and largest city is Cagliari. It is divided into four provinces and a metropolitan city and its indigenous language and the other minority languages spoken by the Sardinians enjoy equal dignity with Italian under regional law. The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *srd-, romanised as sardus and it makes its first appearance on the Nora Stone, where the word Šrdn testifies to the names existence when the Phoenician merchants first arrived. According to Timaeus, one of Platos dialogues and its people as well might have named after Sardò. There has been speculation that identifies the ancient Nuragic Sards with the Sherden, in Classical antiquity, Sardinia was called Ichnusa, Σανδάλιον Sandal and Sardó.
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 24,100 square kilometres and it is situated between 38°51 and 41°18 latitude north and 8°8 and 9°50 east longitude. To the west of Sardinia is the Sea of Sardinia, a unit of the Mediterranean Sea, to Sardinias east is the Tyrrhenian Sea, the nearest land masses are the island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Tunisia, the Balearic Islands, and Provence. The Tyrrhenian Sea portion of the Mediterranean Sea is directly to the east of Sardinia between the Sardinian east coast and the west coast of the Italian mainland peninsula, the Strait of Bonifacio is directly north of Sardinia and separates Sardinia from the French island of Corsica. The island has an ancient geoformation and, unlike Sicily and mainland Italy, is not earthquake-prone and its rocks date in fact from the Palaeozoic Era. Due to long erosion processes, the highlands, formed of granite, trachyte, basalt and dolomite limestone. The highest peak is Punta La Marmora, part of the Gennargentu Ranges in the centre of the island.
The islands ranges and plateaux are separated by wide valleys and flatlands. Sardinia has few rivers, the largest being the Tirso,151 km long, which flows into the Sea of Sardinia, the Coghinas. There are 54 artificial lakes and dams that supply water and electricity, the main ones are Lake Omodeo and Lake Coghinas. The only natural lake is Lago di Baratz. A number of large, salt-water lagoons and pools are located along the 1,850 km of the coastline, the climate of the island is variable from area to area, due to several factors including the extension in latitude and the elevation. During the year there is a concentration of rainfall in the winter and autumn, some heavy showers in the spring
Spanish Constitution of 1812
The Spanish Constitution of 1812 was established on 19 March 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes, Spains first national sovereign assembly, the Cortes Generales, in refuge in Cádiz during the Peninsular War. It established the principles of universal suffrage, national sovereignty, constitutional monarchy and freedom of the press. This constitution, one of the most liberal of its time, was effectively Spains first, on 24 March 1814, six weeks after returning to Spain, Ferdinand VII abolished the constitution and had all monuments to it torn down. The Constitution Obelisk in Saint Augustine, Florida survived, the constitution was reinstated during the Trienio Liberal, and again briefly 1836—1837 while the Progressives prepared the Constitution of 1837. The Spaniards nicknamed the Constitution La Pepa, possibly because it was adopted on Saint Josephs Day, from a Spanish point of view, the Peninsular War was a war of independence against the French Empire and the king installed by Napoleon, his brother Joseph Bonaparte.
While many in elite circles in Madrid were willing to accept Josephs rule, the war began on the night of 2 May 1808, and was immortalized by Francisco Goyas painting The Second of May 1808, known as The Charge of the Mamelukes. The Junta first met on 25 September 1808 in Aranjuez and in Seville, in any event, Floridablancas strength failed him and he died on 30 December 1808. When the Cortes convened in Cádiz in 1810, there appeared to be two possibilities for Spains political future if the French could be driven out. The first, represented especially by Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, was the restoration of the absolutist Antiguo Régimen, the origins of the Cortes did not harbor any revolutionary intentions, since the Junta saw itself simply as a continuation of the legitimate government of Spain. The opening session of the new Cortes was held on 24 September 1810 in the now known as the Real Teatro de las Cortes. Few of the most conservative voices were at Cádiz, and there was no communication with King Ferdinand.
Three basic principles were soon ratified by the Cortes, that sovereignty resides in the nation, the legitimacy of Ferdinand VII as king of Spain, and the inviolability of the deputies. Although the Cortes was not unanimous in its liberalism, the new Constitution reduced the power of the crown, the Catholic Church, the Cortes of Cádiz worked feverishly and the first written Spanish constitution was promulgated in Cádiz on 19 March 1812. The Constitution of 1812 is regarded as the document of liberalism in Spain. Suffrage, which was not determined by property qualifications, favored the position of the class in the new parliament. Repeal of traditional property restrictions gave liberals the freer economy they wanted, the first provincial government created under the Constitution was in the province of Guadalajara con Molina. Its deputation first met in the village of Anguita in April 1813, among the most debated questions during the drafting of the constitution was the status of the native and mixed-race populations in Spains possessions around the world.
Most of the provinces were represented, especially the most populous regions
War of Jenkins' Ear
The War of Jenkins Ear was a conflict between Britain and Spain that lasted from 1739 to 1748, with major operations largely ended by 1742. Its unusual name, coined by Thomas Carlyle in 1858, refers to an ear severed from Robert Jenkins, despite stories to that effect, there is no evidence that the severed ear was exhibited before the British Parliament. The seeds of conflict began with the separation of an ear from Jenkins following the boarding of his vessel by Spanish coast guards in 1731, the war resulted in heavy British casualties in North America. After 1742, the war was subsumed by the wider War of the Austrian Succession, peace arrived with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. This provided British traders and smugglers potential inroads into the closed markets in Spanish America. But Britain and Spain were often at war during this period, fighting one another in the War of the Quadruple Alliance, the Blockade of Porto Bello and the Anglo-Spanish War. In the Treaty of Seville, following the Anglo-Spanish War, Britain had accorded Spanish warships the right to stop British traders, over time, the Spanish became suspicious that British traders were abusing the contract and began to board ships and confiscate their cargoes.
After very strained relations between 1727 and 1732, the situation improved between 1732 and 1737, when Sir Robert Walpole supported Spain during the War of the Polish Succession. But the causes of the problems remained and, when the opposition against Walpole grew, Walpole gave in to the pressure and approved the sending of troops to the West Indies and a squadron to Gibraltar under Admiral Nicholas Haddock, provoking an immediate Spanish reaction. In response, King Philip V of Spain annulled the right and had all British ships in Spanish harbours confiscated. The Convention of Pardo, an attempt to mediate the dispute, on 14 August, Britain recalled its ambassador to Spain and officially declared war on 23 October 1739. Despite the Pacte de Famille, France remained neutral, Walpole was deeply reluctant to declare war and reportedly remarked of the jubilation in Britain they are ringing their bells, soon they will be wringing their hands. After boarding, Fandiño cut off the ear of the Rebeccas captain, Robert Jenkins.
Fandiño told Jenkins, Go, and tell your King that I will do the same, in March 1738, Jenkins was ordered to testify before Parliament, presumably to repeat his story before a committee of the House of Commons. According to some accounts, he produced the severed ear as part of his presentation, the incident was considered alongside various other cases of Spanish Depredations upon the British Subjects, and was perceived as an insult to Britains honour and a clear casus belli. The conflict was named by essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle, in 1858, one hundred, Carlyle mentioned the ear in several passages of his History of Friedrich II, most notably in Book XI, chap VI, where he refers specifically to the War of Jenkinss Ear. More than one year later, all diplomatic means having been exhausted, on 20 July, Vice Admiral Edward Vernon and a fleet of warships departed Britain, bound for the West Indies, to attack Spanish ships and possessions. Waterhouse spotted several small vessels in the port of La Guaira and decided to attack, the governor of the Province of Venezuela, Brigadier Don Gabriel de Zuloaga had prepared the port defences, and Spanish troops were well-commanded by Captain Don Francisco Saucedo
The Spanish Empire was one of the largest empires in history. The Spanish Empire became the foremost global power of its time and was the first to be called the empire on which the sun never sets, the Spanish Empire originated during the Age of Discovery after the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Following the Spanish–American War of 1898, Spain ceded its last colonies in the Caribbean and its last African colonies were granted independence or abandoned during Decolonisation of Africa finishing in 1976. The unity did not mean uniformity, some historians assert that Portugal was part of the Spanish monarchy at the time, while others draw a clear distinction between the Portuguese and Spanish empires. During the 15th century and Portugal became territorial and commercial rivals in the western Atlantic. The conquest was completed with the campaigns of the armies of the Crown of Castile between 1478 and 1496, when the islands of Gran Canaria, La Palma, and Tenerife were subjugated. The Portuguese tried in vain to keep secret their discovery of the Gold Coast in the Gulf of Guinea, chronicler Pulgar wrote that the fame of the treasures of Guinea spread around the ports of Andalusia in such way that everybody tried to go there.
Worthless trinkets, Moorish textiles, and above all, shells from the Canary and Cape Verde islands were exchanged for gold, slaves and Guinea pepper. The Crown officially organized this trade with Guinea, every caravel had to get a government license, the treaty delimited the spheres of influence of the two countries, establishing the principle of the Mare clausum. It was confirmed in 1481 by the Pope Sixtus IV, in the papal bull Æterni regis, the limitations imposed by the Alcáçovas treaty were overcome and a new and more balanced worlds division would be reached at Tordesillas between both emerging maritime powers. Seven months before the treaty of Alcaçovas, King John II of Aragon died and Isabella drove the last Moorish king out of Granada in 1492 after a ten-year war. The Catholic Monarchs negotiated with Christopher Columbus, a Genoese sailor attempting to reach Cipangu by sailing west, Castile was already engaged in a race of exploration with Portugal to reach the Far East by sea when Columbus made his bold proposal to Isabella.
Columbus discoveries inaugurated the Spanish colonization of the Americas and these actions gave Spain exclusive rights to establish colonies in all of the New World from north to south, as well as the easternmost parts of Asia. The treaty of Tordesillas was confirmed by Pope Julius II in the bull Ea quae pro bono pacis on 24 January 1506, Spains expansion and colonization was driven by economic influences, a yearning to improve national prestige, and a desire to spread Catholicism into the New World. The Catholic Monarchs had developed a strategy of marriages for their children in order to isolate their long-time enemy, the Spanish princes married the heirs of Portugal and the House of Habsburg. Following the same strategy, the Catholic Monarchs decided to support the Catalan-Aragonese house of Naples against Charles VIII of France in the Italian Wars beginning in 1494. As King of Aragon, Ferdinand had been involved in the struggle against France and Venice for control of Italy, these conflicts became the center of Ferdinands foreign policy as king.
Only a year later, Ferdinand became part of the Holy League against France and this war was less of a success than the war against Venice, and in 1516, France agreed to a truce that left Milan in its control and recognized Spanish control of Upper Navarre
French Wars of Religion
Approximately 3,000,000 people perished as a result of violence and disease in what is accounted as the second deadliest European religious war. Unlike all other wars at the time, the French wars retained their religious character without being confounded by dynastic considerations. At the conclusion of the conflict in 1598, Huguenots were granted rights and freedoms by the Edict of Nantes. The wars weakened the authority of the monarchy, already fragile under the rule of Francis II and Charles IX, apart from previously mentioned names, the wars have been variously described as the Eight Wars of Religion, or simply the Wars of Religion. However, the Massacre of Vassy in 1562 is agreed to begin the French Wars of Religion, during this time, complex diplomatic negotiations and agreements of peace were followed by renewed conflict and power struggles. Humanism, until the late 1520s, served as a ground for the French Protestant Reformation. The spirit of the Renaissance interested Francis I and he encouraged the study of the classics by establishing royal professorships in Paris, equipping more people with the knowledge necessary to understand the classics.
Francis I had no qualms with the religious order. Through the Concordat of Bologna, Pope Leo X increased the power of the king over the church, nomination of clergy depended upon the kings choice, in France, unlike in Germany, the nobles supported the policies and the status quo of their time. The establishment of the college and the spread of the printing press served the purposes of the Reformation. The printing press made mass production of inexpensive and fueled the spread of knowledge in all disciplines. Interest in the classics soared and literature was available to a wider audience. The accessibility coupled with romanticism for the knowledge from the past that built empires, precise language and eloquence were valued among scholars and true understanding of the classics meant studying them from the originals. Theological and religious thoughts were disseminated at an unprecedented pace, ideas about the Reformation were widespread in France by 1519. John Froben, a humanist printer, published a collection of Luther’s works, in one correspondence, he reported that 600 copies of such works were being shipped to France and Spain and were sold in Paris.
The humanist perspective on understanding Scriptures had theological and ecclesiastical implications, studying Scriptures in the original flourished in the Renaissance period. This contrasted the heavy reliance of the church on the Vulgate - the Latin translation of the Bible. The Meaux Circle was formed by a group of humanists including Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples and Guillaume Briçonnet, bishop of Meaux, in the effort to reform preaching, the Meaux circle was joined by Vatable, a Hebraist and Guillaume Budé the classicist and librarian to the king
The Catholic Monarchs is the joint title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They married on October 19,1469, in the city of Valladolid, Isabella was eighteen years old and it is generally accepted by most scholars that the unification of Spain can essentially be traced back to the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella. The court of Ferdinand and Isabella was constantly on the move, the title of Catholic King and Queen was bestowed on Ferdinand and Isabella by Pope Alexander VI in 1494, in recognition of their defence of the Catholic faith within their realms. Catholic monarchs or kings can be used in a generic sense, Isabella was named heir to the throne of Castile by her half brother Henry IV of Castile in the Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando. She became Queen of Castile in 1474 and her niece, Joanna of Castile, attempted to gain the throne by bringing in the foreign help of Afonso V of Portugal, leading to the War of Castilian Succession. More recently, some speculate that Joanna was the legitimate successor, Isabellas supporters came out ahead in good part due to Aragons support through Ferdinand, and she officially won in 1479 via the Treaty of Alcáçovas.
Ferdinand became the King of Aragon in 1479, the Catholic Monarchs set out to restore royal authority in Spain. To accomplish their goal, they first created a group named the Holy Brotherhood and these men were used as a judicial police force for Castile, as well as to attempt to keep Castilian nobles in check. To establish a more uniform system, the Catholic Monarchs created the Royal Council. This establishment of authority is known as the Pacification of Castile. Even after his death and the union of the crowns under one monarch, the Aragonese, further, the monarchs continued ruling through a form of medieval contractualism, which made their rule pre-modern in a few ways. One of those is that they traveled from town to town throughout the kingdom in order to promote loyalty, another is that each community and region was connected to them via loyalty to the crown, rather than bureaucratic ties. Ferdinand and Isabella were noted for being the monarchs of the newly united Spain at the dawn of the modern era and they had a goal of conquering the Muslim kingdom of Granada and completing the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula.
The beginnings of a series of known as the Granada War began with the attack on Alhama de Granada. The attack was led by two Andalusian nobles, Rodrigo Ponce de León and Diego de Merlo, the city fell to Andalusian forces in 1482. The Granada War was aided by Pope Sixtus IV by granting a tithe, after 10 years of fighting the Granada War ended in 1492 when Emir Boabdil surrendered the keys of the Alhambra Palace in Granada to the Castilian soldiers. After a number of revolts and Isabella ordered the expulsion from Spain of all Jews, the Inquisition had been created in the twelfth century by Pope Lucius III to fight heresy in the south of what is now France and was constituted in a number of European kingdoms. The Catholic Monarchs decided to introduce the Inquisition to Castile, the bull gave the monarchs exclusive authority to name the inquisitors
Ludovico Sforza of Milan, seeking an ally against the Republic of Venice, encouraged Charles VIII of France to invade Italy, using the Angevin claim to the throne of Naples as a pretext. For several months, French forces moved through Italy virtually unopposed, Charles VIII made triumphant entries into Pisa on November 8,1494, Florence on November 17,1494, and Rome on December 31,1494. Upon reaching the city of Monte San Giovanni in the Kingdom of Naples, Charles VIII sent envoys to the town, the garrison killed and mutilated the envoys and sent the bodies back to the French lines. This enraged the French army so that reduced the castle in the town with blistering artillery fire on February 9,1495 and stormed the fort. This was the sack of Naples. News of the French Armys sack of Naples provoked a reaction among the city-states of Northern Italy, the League was specifically formed to resist French aggression. The League was established on 31 March after negotiations by Venice, Milan and the Holy Roman Empire.
Later on the League consisted of the Holy Roman Empire, the Duchy of Milan, the Papal States, the Republic of Florence, the Duchy of Mantua and this coalition, cut Charles army off from returning to France. After establishing a government in Naples, Charles started to march north on his return to France. However, in the town of Fornovo he met the League army. In contemporary tradition, the battle counted as a Holy League victory, because the French forces had to leave, to the Italian coalition, however, it was at best a pyrrhic victory, in that its strategic outcome and long-term consequences were unfavorable. Although the League managed to force Charles VIII off the battlefield, it suffered much higher casualties and could not prevent the opposing army crossing the Italian lands as it returned to France. As a result of Charles VIIIs expedition, the states of Italy were shown once. In fact, the individual Italian states could not field armies comparable to those of the feudal monarchies of Europe in numbers.
Thus, Charles VIII lost all that he conquered in Italy, King Charles VIII died on April 7,1498 and was succeeded to the throne of France by his cousin, Louis II, Duke of Orléans, who became Louis XII of France. Ludovico Sforza retained his throne in Milan until 1499, when Charless successor, Louis XII of France, invaded Lombardy, Louis XII justified his claim to the Duchy of Milan by right of his paternal grandfather, Louis duc dOrléans having married Valentina Visconti in 1387. Valentina Visconti was the heir to the Duchy of Milan in the Visconti dynasty, the marriage contract between Valentina Visconti and Louis, duc dOrléans, guaranteed that in failure of male heirs, she would inherit the Visconti dominions. However, when the Visconti dynasty died out in 1447, the Milanese ignored the Orleans claim to the Duchy of Milan, bitter factionalism arose under the new republic which set the stage for Francisco Sforza to seize control of Milan in 1450
Spanish Golden Age
The Spanish Golden Age is a period of flourishing in arts and literature in Spain, coinciding with the political rise of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. El Siglo de Oro does not imply precise dates and is considered to have lasted longer than an actual century. Politically, it no than 1659, with the Treaty of the Pyrenees. The last great writer of the period, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, died in 1681, the Habsburgs, both in Spain and Austria, were great patrons of art in their countries. El Escorial, the royal monastery built by King Philip II, invited the attention of some of Europes greatest architects. El Greco, another respected artist from the period, infused Spanish art with the styles of the Italian renaissance, some of Spains greatest music is regarded as having been written in the period. Spanish literature blossomed as well, most famously demonstrated in the work of Miguel de Cervantes, Spains most prolific playwright, Lope de Vega, wrote possibly as many as one thousand plays during his lifetime, of which over four hundred survive to the present day.
Spain, in the time of the Italian Renaissance, had seen few great artists come to its shores, Luis de Morales, one of the leading exponents of Spanish mannerist painting, retained a distinctly Spanish style in his work, reminiscent of medieval art. Spanish rule of Naples was important for making connections between Italian and Spanish art, with many Spanish administrators bringing Italian works back to Spain. Known for his impact in bringing the Italian Renaissance to Spain, El Greco was not Spanish. He studied the great Italian masters of his time - Titian, according to legend, he asserted that he would paint a mural that would be as good as one of Michelangelos, if one of the Italian artists murals was demolished first. El Greco quickly fell out of favor in Italy, but soon found a new home in the city of Toledo and he was influential in creating a style based on impressions and emotion, featuring elongated fingers and vibrant color and brushwork. Uniquely, his works featured faces that captured expressions of sombre attitudes and his paintings of the city of Toledo became models for a new European tradition in landscapes, and influenced the work of Dutch masters.
Spain at this time was an environment for the Venetian-trained painter. Art was flourishing in the empire and Toledo was a place to get commissions. He was born on June 6,1599, in Seville, both parents were from the minor nobility. He was the oldest of six children, diego Velázquez is widely regarded as one of Spains most important and influential artists. He was a painter for King Philip IV and found increasingly high demand for his portraits from statesmen, aristocrats