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Charles V

Charles V.png Emperor William IIThumbnailsBismarckEmperor William IIThumbnailsBismarck

Holy Roman Emperor Charles V

Most of the figures that stand out in history, do so through some exceptional personal quality, good or bad, that makes them more significant than their fellows. But there was born at Ghent in Belgium in 1500 a man of commonplace abilities and melancholy temperament, the son of a mentally defective mother who had been married for reasons of state, who was, through no fault of his own, to become the focus of the accumulating stresses of Europe. The historian must give him a quite unmerited and accidental prominence side by side with such marked individualities as Alexander and Charlemagne and Frederick II. This was the Emperor Charles V. For a time he had an air of being the greatest monarch in Europe since Charlemagne. Both he and his illusory greatness were the results of the matrimonial statecraft{v2-200} of his grandfather, the Emperor Maximilian I (born 1459, died 1519).

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Outline of History - Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind, by H. G. Wells published 1920