John Adams was an American patriot who served as the second President of the United States and the first Vice President. He was a lawyer, statesman, political theorist, and, as a Founding Father and he was a dedicated diarist and correspondent, particularly with his wife and closest advisor Abigail. He collaborated with his cousin, revolutionary leader Samuel Adams, Adams was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, where he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, as a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and acquired vital governmental loans from Amsterdam bankers. Adams was the author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780 which influenced American political theory. Adamss credentials as a revolutionary secured for him two terms as President George Washingtons vice president and his own election in 1796 as the second president.
In his single term as president, he encountered fierce criticism from the Jeffersonian Republicans, as well as the dominant faction in his own Federalist Party, led by his rival Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, and built up the army, the major accomplishment of his presidency was a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamiltons opposition. Due to his strong posture on defense, Adams is often called the father of the American Navy and he was the first U. S. president to reside in the executive mansion, now known as the White House. In 1800, Adams lost re-election to Thomas Jefferson and retired to Massachusetts and he eventually resumed his friendship with Jefferson upon the latters own retirement by initiating a correspondence which lasted fourteen years. He and his wife established a family of politicians, Adams was the father of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States. He died on the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Modern historians in the aggregate have favorably ranked his administration, John Adams was born on October 30,1735 to John Adams Sr. and Susanna Boylston. He had two brothers and Elihu. Adams birthplace was in Braintree, and is preserved at Adams National Historical Park, Adams mother was from a leading medical family of present-day Brookline, Massachusetts. His father was a Congregationalist deacon, a farmer, a cordwainer, the Deacon served as a selectman and supervised the building of schools and roads. Adams often praised his father and recalled their close relationship, though raised in modest surroundings, Adams felt an acute responsibility to live up to his familys heritage of reverence. Journalist Richard Brookhiser wrote that Adams Puritan ancestors believed they lived in the Bible, England under the Stuarts was Egypt, they were Israel fleeing
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleons political and cultural legacy has ensured his status as one of the most celebrated and he was born Napoleone di Buonaparte in Corsica to a relatively modest family from the minor nobility. When the Revolution broke out in 1789, Napoleon was serving as an officer in the French army. Seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution, he rose through the ranks of the military. The Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents, in 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power.
He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic and his ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and in 1804 he became the first Emperor of the French. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805, in 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe, France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia and declared his brother Joseph the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support, the Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia, unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System and enticed Napoleon into another war. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse of the Grand Army, the destruction of Russian cities, in 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June, the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until it was overthrown by the short-lived February Revolution in 1917. One of the largest empires in history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring powers, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia. It played a role in 1812–14 in defeating Napoleons ambitions to control Europe. The House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, and its German-descended cadet branch, with 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics, there were numerous dissident elements, who launched numerous rebellions and assassination attempts, they were closely watched by the secret police, with thousands exiled to Siberia.
Economically, the empire had an agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs. The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways, the land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, and subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged and he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. Tsar Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an already huge empire into a major European power, Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. She expanded the state by conquest and diplomacy, continuing Peter the Greats policy of modernisation along West European lines, Tsar Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most dramatically the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861. His policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and that connection by 1914 led to Russias entry into the First World War on the side of France and Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires.
The Russian Empire functioned as a monarchy until the Revolution of 1905. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917, largely as a result of failures in its participation in the First World War. Perhaps the latter was done to make Europe recognize Russia as more of a European country, Poland was divided in the 1790-1815 era, with much of the land and population going to Russia. Most of the 19th century growth came from adding territory in Asia, Peter I the Great introduced autocracy in Russia and played a major role in introducing his country to the European state system. However, this vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns, the class of kholops, close to the one of slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter I converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation
Selim III was the reform-minded Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1789 to 1807. The Janissaries eventually deposed and imprisoned him, and placed his cousin Mustafa on the throne as Mustafa IV, Selim was killed by a group of assassins subsequently after a Janissary revolt. Selim III was the son of Sultan Mustafa III and his wife Mihrişah Sultan and his mother Mihrişah Sultan originated in Georgia and when she became the Valide Sultan, she participated in reforming the government schools and establishing political corporations. His father Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III was very educated and believed in the necessity of reforms. Mustafa III attempted to create an army during the peacetime with professional. This was primarily motivated by his fear of a Russian invasion, during the Turko-Russian War he fell ill and died of a heart attack in 1774. Sultan Mustafa was aware of the fact that a reform was necessary. He declared new military regulations and opened maritime and artillery academies, Sultan Mustafa was very influenced by mysticism.
Oracles predicted his son Selim would be a world-conqueror, so he organized a joyous feast lasting seven days, Selim was very well educated in the palace. Sultan Mustafa III bequeathed his son as his successor, Sultan Abdulhamid I took care of Selim and put great emphasis on his education. After Abdulhamids death Selim succeeded him on 7 April 1789, not yet 27 years old, Sultan Selim III was very fond of literature and calligraphy, many of his works were put on the walls of mosques and convents. He wrote many poems, especially about Crimeas occupation by Russia and he spoke Arabic and Persian fluently. Selim III was very religious, and very patriotic and he was a poet, a musician and very fond of fine arts. Selim was a modern man and a reformist ruler. He planned to modernize the Ottoman Empire, Prince Selim developed plans for modernizing the Ottoman Army. Selim came to the throne during the 1787–92 war with Austria and Russia and had to postpone serious reform efforts until its completion. Selim’s early efforts to modernize the Janissary corps created such opposition that thereafter he concentrated on creating a new European-style army, using modern weapons and military experts sent by the different European powers trained in Constantinople and in a number of Anatolian provincial centers.
This new force never numbered more than 10,000 active soldiers, under the guidance of European technicians, factories were erected to manufacture modern weapons and ammunition and technical schools were opened to train Ottoman officers
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and it was an early colonial power, with possessions around the world. France originated as West Francia, the half of the Carolingian Empire. A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, the territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France was Philip II, France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution. France in the Middle Ages was a de-centralised, feudal monarchy, in Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the French king was barely felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France, during the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years War.
Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars, religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion. France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France, Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America, the Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the great powers in 1814. During the years of the elderly Charlemagnes rule, the Vikings made advances along the northern and western perimeters of the Kingdom of the Franks, after Charlemagnes death in 814 his heirs were incapable of maintaining political unity and the empire began to crumble.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided the Carolingian Empire into three parts, with Charles the Bald ruling over West Francia, the nucleus of what would develop into the kingdom of France. Viking advances were allowed to increase, and their dreaded longboats were sailing up the Loire and Seine rivers and other waterways, wreaking havoc. During the reign of Charles the Simple, Normans under Rollo from Norway, were settled in an area on either side of the River Seine, downstream from Paris, that was to become Normandy. With its offshoots, the houses of Valois and Bourbon, it was to rule France for more than 800 years. Henry II inherited the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Anjou, and married Frances newly divorced ex-queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, after the French victory at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, the English monarchs maintained power only in southwestern Duchy of Guyenne. The death of Charles IV of France in 1328 without male heirs ended the main Capetian line, under Salic law the crown could not pass through a woman, so the throne passed to Philip VI, son of Charles of Valois
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established as a sovereign state on 1 January 1801 by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The growing desire for an Irish Republic led to the Irish War of Independence, Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom, and the state was consequently renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Britain financed the European coalition that defeated France in 1815 in the Napoleonic Wars, the British Empire thereby became the foremost world power for the next century. The Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were relatively small operations in a largely peaceful century, rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the states formation continued up until the mid-19th century. A devastating famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland. It was an era of economic modernization and growth of industry and finance.
Outward migration was heavy to the colonies and to the United States. Britain built up a large British Empire in Africa and Asia, India, by far the most important possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In foreign policy Britain favoured free trade, which enabled its financiers and merchants to operate successfully in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. Britain formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, and moved closer to the United States. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British governments fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his governments attempts to introduce it.
When the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized, in May 1803, war was declared again. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System and this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. Frances population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. The Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent, after Napoleons surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. The Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blucher defeated Napoleon once, simultaneous with the Napoleonic Wars, trade disputes, arming hostile Indians and British impressment of American sailors led to the War of 1812 with the United States. The war was little noticed in Britain, which could devote few resources to the conflict until the fall of Napoleon in 1814, American frigates inflicted a series of defeats on the Royal Navy, which was short on manpower due to the conflict in Europe
Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Amalie Theresa was born on 6 April 1807 at the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Hofburg and died the next day. Her mother fell ill after giving birth to her and died less than a week afterwards, as a daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, she was born with the title Archduchess of Austria and the style Imperial and Royal Highness
The Batavian Republic was the successor of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on 19 January 1795, and ended on 5 June 1806, in early 1795, intervention by French revolutionary forces led to the downfall of the old Dutch Republic. The new Republic enjoyed widespread support from the Dutch population and was the product of a popular revolution. Nevertheless, it clearly was founded with the support of the revolutionary French Republic. The political and social reforms that were brought about during the short duration of the Batavian Republic have had a lasting impact. The confederal structure of the old Dutch Republic was permanently replaced by a unitary state, for the first time in Dutch history, the constitution that was adopted in 1798 had a genuinely democratic character. For a while the Republic was governed democratically, although the coup détat of 1801 put an authoritarian regime in power, after another change in constitution, the memory of this brief experiment with democracy helped smooth the transition to a more democratic government in 1848.
A type of government was introduced for the first time in Dutch history. The new king, Louis Bonaparte, surprisingly did not slavishly follow French dictates either, the final days of the intermittent constitutional monarchy/republic, the Dutch Republic, which had governed the Netherlands since the late 16th century, were quite eventful. Most Patriots went into exile in France, while Hollands own Ancien Régime strengthened its grip on Dutch government chiefly through the Orangist Grand Pensionary Laurens Pieter van de Spiegel. Only two years later, the French Revolution began, which embraced many of the ideas that the Patriots had espoused in their own revolt. The Stadtholder joined the ill-fated First Coalition of countries in their attempt to subdue the suddenly anti-Austrian French First Republic, however, in many cities revolution broke out even before the French arrived and Revolutionary Committees took over the city governments, and the national government also. William was forced to flee to England on a boat on 18 January 1795.
Though the French presented themselves as liberators, they behaved like conquerors, apart from imposing territorial concessions and a huge indemnity, this obligated the Dutch to maintain a French army of occupation of 25,000 men. However, this did not mean that it lost its independence in all respects, the program of reform that the Dutch revolutionaries attempted to put in place was mostly driven by indigenous needs and aspirations. The political events in the Netherlands were mainly derived from Dutch initiative, the French were responsible for at least one of the coups détat, and the French ambassador often acted as a proconsul. At first, the revolutionaries used the constitutional machinery of the old confederal republic and they resumed where they had left off after the purge in 1787 of Patriot regents, taking over the offices of the Orangist regents that were now purged in their turn. Though the political make-up of the States-General changed appreciably because of change in personnel
History of Malta under the Order of Saint John
Malta was ruled by the Order of Saint John as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1530 to 1798. The islands of Malta and Gozo, as well as the city of Tripoli in modern Libya, were granted to the Order by Spanish Emperor Charles V in 1530, following the loss of Rhodes. The Ottoman Empire managed to capture Tripoli from the Order in 1551, following the 1565 siege, the Order decided to settle permanently in Malta, and began to construct a new capital city, Valletta. For the next two centuries, Malta went through a Golden Age, characterized by a flourishing of the arts, and an overall improvement in Maltese society. In the mid-17th century, the Order was the de jure proprietor over some islands in the Caribbean, the Order began to decline in the 1770s, and was severely weakened by the French Revolution in 1792. In 1798, French forces under Napoleon invaded Malta and expelled the Order, the Maltese eventually rebelled against the French, and the islands became a British protectorate in 1800.
Malta was to be returned to the Order by the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, but the British remained in control, the Order of Saint John was expelled from its base in Rhodes during the Ottoman siege of 1522. The Order settled in the town of Birgu and made it their capital, the ancient fortress known as Castrum Maris was rebuilt as Fort Saint Angelo, the towns defences were strengthened, and many new buildings were constructed. The Order soon began to mint its own coins as it settled in Malta, the Hospitallers continued their actions against the Muslims and especially the Barbary pirates. Although they had only a few ships they quickly drew the ire of the Ottomans, in July 1551, Ottoman forces attempted to take over Fort Saint Angelo and Mdina but saw that they were outnumbered and invaded Gozo several days later. They sailed to Tripoli and captured the city in August, following these attacks, the Order tried to repopulate Gozo and strengthen the Grand Harbour fortifications. Several forts including Saint Elmo and Saint Michael were built, sometime between 1551 and 1556, a tornado hit Malta and destroyed at least four of the Orders galleys and killed 600 people.
This is the worst natural disaster that occurred on Malta. In 1553, Charles V offered a third possession to the Order, the Order refused to take control of the city since the commission that was set up decided that it would be too expensive to maintain. Therefore, the emperor ordered the Viceroy of Sicily, Juan de Vega, de Vega burnt Mehdia, but retaliated against Malta for not accepting the city, and prohibited exportation of wheat to the island. To combat this, Grandmaster Sengle brought the engineer Vincenzo Vogo to Malta to upgrade the mills so the population would not starve, at first the battle went as badly for the Hospitallers as Rhodes had, most of the cities were destroyed and about half the knights killed. On 18 August the position of the besieged was becoming desperate, dwindling daily in numbers, but when his council suggested the abandonment of Birgu and Senglea and withdrawal to Fort St. Angelo, Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette refused. A wrong decision could mean defeat and exposing Sicily and Naples to the Ottomans and he had left his own son with de Valette, so he could hardly be indifferent to the fate of the fortress
Surrender, in military terms, is the relinquishment of control over territory, fortifications, ships or armament to another power. A surrender may be accomplished peacefully, without fighting, or it may be the result of defeat in battle, a sovereign state may surrender following defeat in a war, usually by signing a peace treaty or capitulation agreement. A battlefield surrender, either by individuals or when ordered by officers, normally, a surrender will involve the handing over of weapons, the commanding officer of a surrendering force symbolically offers his sword to the victorious commander. Flags and ensigns are hauled down or furled, and ships colors are struck or the raising of a flag to the masts signals a surrender. When the parties agree to terms, the surrender may be conditional, that is, the leaders of the surrendering group negotiate privileges or compensation for the time and loss of life saved by the victor through the stopping of resistance. Alternatively, in a surrender at discretion, the victor makes no promises of treatment, an early example of a military surrender is the defeat of Carthage by the Roman Empire at the end of the Second Punic War.
Over time, generally accepted laws and customs of war have developed for such a situation, most of which are laid out in the Hague Convention of 1907. Normally, a belligerent will agree to surrender only if completely incapable of continuing hostilities. Traditionally, a ceremony was accompanied by the honors of war. The Third Geneva Convention states that prisoners of war should not be mistreated or abused, US Army policy, for example, requires that surrendered persons should be secured and safeguarded while being evacuated from the battlefield. While not a military law, the Code of the US Fighting Force disallows surrender unless all reasonable means of resistance exhausted. Certain death the only alternative, the Code states, I will never surrender of my own free will, if in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist. False surrender is a type of perfidy in the context of war and it is a war crime under Protocol I of the Geneva Convention.
False surrenders are usually used to draw the enemy out of cover to attack them off guard, accounts of false surrender can be found relatively frequently throughout history. One of the more infamous examples was the false surrender of British troops at Kilmichael. Capitulation, an agreement in time of war for the surrender to an armed force of a particular body of troops. Debellatio occurs when a war ends because of the destruction of a belligerent state. No quarter occurs when a victor shows no clemency or mercy, under the laws of war, it is especially forbidden
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)
The Kingdom of Italy was a French client state founded in Northern Italy by Napoleon I, fully influenced by revolutionary France, that ended with his defeat and fall. Napoleon I was crowned at the Duomo di Milano, Milan on May 26 and his title was Emperor of the French and King of Italy, showing the importance of this Italian Kingdom for him. Even though the republican Constitution was never abolished, a series of Constitutional Statutes completely altered it. The second one, dating from March 29, and regulated the regency, the Great Officials of the kingdom, the Consulta, Legislative Council, and Speakers, were all merged in a Council of State, whose opinions became only optional and not binding for the king. The Legislative Body, the old parliament, remained in theory, but it never summoned after 1805, the fourth Statute, decided on February 16,1806, indicated Beauharnais as the heir to the throne. The seventh Statute, on September 21, created a new nobility of dukes and barons, the eighth, in 1812, a Court of Accounts was added.
The Duchy of Guastalla was annexed on May 24, with the Convention of Fontainebleau with Austria of October 10,1807, Italy ceded Monfalcone to Austria and gained Gradisca, putting the new border on the Isonzo River. The conquered Republic of Ragusa was annexed in spring 1808 by general Marmont and that was the only time in modern history that Ragusa was united to Italy. On April 2,1808, following the dissolution of the Papal States, at its maximum extent, the Kingdom had 6,700,000 inhabitants and was composed by 2,155 communes. Small changes to the borders between Italy and France in Garfagnana and Friuli came in act on August 5,1811, in practice, the Kingdom was a dependency of the French Empire. The Kingdom served as a theater in Napoleons operations against Austria during the wars of the various coalitions, trading with the United Kingdom was forbidden. The kingdom was given a new currency, replacing the local coins circulating in the country, the Italian lira, of the same size, weight. Mintage being decided by Napoleon with a decree on March 21,1806.
The monetary unit was the silver lira, which was 5 grams heavy, there were multiples of £2 and £5, and precious coins of £20 and £40. The army of the kingdom, inserted into the Grande Armée, in the course of its existence from 1805 to 1814 the Kingdom of Italy provided Napoleon I with roughly around 200,000 soldiers. In 1805 Italian troops served on duty along the English Channel, during 1806-1807 they took part in the sieges of Kolberg and Danzig. From 1808 to 1813 whole Italian divisions served in Spain, especially distinguishing themselves under Suchet at Tarragona and Saguntum. In 1809, Eugènes Army of Italy formed the wing of Napoleon Is invasion of the Austrian Empire, winning a considerable victory at Raab
Charles IV of Spain
Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788, until his abdication on 19 March 1808. Charles was the son of Charles III and his wife. He was born in Naples, while his father was King of Naples and his elder brother, Don Felipe, was passed over for both thrones, due to his learning disabilities and epilepsy. In Naples and Sicily, Charles was referred to as the Prince of Taranto and he was called El Cazador, due to his preference for sport and hunting, rather than dealing with affairs of the state. Charles was considered by many to have been amiable, but simple-minded, in 1788, Charles III died and Charles IV succeeded to the throne. He intended to maintain the policies of his father, and retained his prime minister, the Count of Floridablanca, in office. Even though he had a belief in the sanctity of his office. The affairs of government were left to his wife, Maria Luisa, in 1792, political and personal enemies ousted Floridablanca from office, replacing him with Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Count of Aranda.
Humboldts Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain was a key publication from his five-year travels, Godoy continued Arandas policy of neutrality towards France, but after Spain protested the execution of Louis XVI of France, the deposed king, in 1793, France declared war on Spain. After the declaration and Spain signed a treaty of protection against France. In 1795 France forced Godoy to enter into an alliance, Spain remained an ally of France and supported the Continental Blockade until the British naval victory at Trafalgar, when Spain became allied with Britain. However, after Napoleons victory over Prussia in 1807, Godoy again steered Spain back onto the French side and this switching of alliances devalued Charles position as a trustworthy ally, increasing Godoys unpopularity, and strengthening the fernandistas, who favoured an alliance with the United Kingdom. Economic troubles, rumours about a relationship between the Queen and Godoy, and the Kings ineptitude, caused the monarchy to decline in prestige among the population.
Anxious to take over from his father, and jealous of the prime minister, and a popular revolt at the winter palace Aranjuez, in 1808 forced the king to abdicate on 19 March, in favor of his son. Ferdinand took the throne as Ferdinand VII, but was mistrusted by Napoleon, the ousted King, having appealed to Napoleon for help in regaining his throne, was summoned before Napoleon in Bayonne, along with his son, in April 1808. Napoleon forced both Charles and his son to abdicate, declared the Bourbon dynasty of Spain deposed, and installed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, as King Joseph I of Spain. Following Napoleons deposing of the Bourbon dynasty, the ex-King, his wife, after the collapse of the regime installed by Napoleon, Ferdinand VII was restored to the throne. The former Charles IV drifted about Europe until 1812, when he settled in Rome