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Ferdinand I
King of the Romans
Reign 5 January 1531 - 25 July 1564
Coronation 11 January 1531, Aachen
Predecessor Charles V
Successor Maximilian II
Holy Roman Emperor
Reign 1558 - 1564[1]
Predecessor Charles V
Successor Maximilian II
King of Bohemia
Reign 24 October 1526 - 25 July 1564
Coronation 24 February 1527, Prague
Predecessor Louis II
Successor Maximilian II
King of Hungary
Reign 16 December 1526 - 25 July 1564
Coronation 3 November 1527, Székesfehérvár
Predecessor Louis II
Successor Maximilian II
Spouse Anna of Bohemia and Hungary
Issue
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
Elisabeth, Queen of Poland
Joanna, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Anna, Duchess of Bavaria
Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria
Catherine, Queen of Poland
Barbara, Duchess of Ferrara
Charles II, Archduke of Austria
Eleonora, Duchess of Mantua
House House of Habsburg
Father Philip I of Castile
Mother Joanna of Castile
Born 10 March 1503
Alcalá de Henares, Castile, Spain
Died 25 July 1564 (aged 61)
Vienna, Austria
Burial Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral

Ferdinand I (10 March 1503 – 25 July 1564) was a Central European monarch from the House of Habsburg. He was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558, king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526.[1] Also king of Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia as well as, formally, Serbia, Galicia and Lodomeria, etc. He ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs most of his public life, at the behest of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. Ferdinand was Archduke of Austria from 1521 to 1564. After the death of his brother–in–law Louis II, Ferdinand ruled as King of Bohemia, Hungary (1526–1564).[1][2] When Charles retired in 1556, Ferdinand became his de facto successor as Holy Roman Emperor, and de jure in 1558,[1][3] while Spain, the Spanish Empire, Naples, Sicily, Milan, the Netherlands, and Franche-Comté went to Philip, son of Charles.

Ferdinand's motto was Fiat justitia et pereat mundus: "Let justice be done, though the world perish".

Contents

Biography

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Early years

Ferdinand in 1531, the year of his election as King of the Romans

Ferdinand was born in Alcalá de Henares, 40 km from Madrid, the son of the Infanta Joanna of Castile, the future Queen of Castile known as Joanna the Mad, and Habsburg Archduke Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy and future King of Castile, who was heir to Emperor Maximilian I. Ferdinand shared his birthday with his maternal grandfather Ferdinand II of Aragon.

Charles entrusted Ferdinand with the government of the Austrian hereditary lands, roughly modern-day Austria and Slovenia. Ferdinand also served as his brother's deputy in the Holy Roman Empire during his brother's many absences and in 1531 was elected King of the Romans, making him Charles's designated heir in the Empire. Charles abdicated in 1556 and Ferdinand succeeded him, assuming the title of Emperor elect in 1558.

Hungary and the Ottomans

After Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent killed Ferdinand's brother-in-law Louis II, King of Bohemia and of Hungary at the battle of Mohács on 29 August 1526, Ferdinand was elected King of Bohemia in his place.

The Croatian nobles at Cetin unanimously elected Ferdinand I as their king on 1 January 1527, and confirmed the succession to him and his heirs.[4] In return for the throne Archduke Ferdinand at Parliament on Cetin (Croatian: Cetinski Sabor) promised to respect the historic rights, freedoms, laws and customs the Croats had when united with the Hungarian kingdom and to defend Croatia from Ottoman invasion.[5]

In Hungary, Nicolaus Olahus, secretary of Louis, attached himself to the party of King Ferdinand, but retained his position with the queen-dowager Mary of Habsburg. Ferdinand was elected King of Hungary by a rump diet in Pozsony in December 1526. The throne of Hungary became the subject of a dynastic dispute between Ferdinand and John Zápolya, voivode of Transylvania. Each was supported by different factions of the nobility in the Hungarian kingdom; Ferdinand also had the support of Charles V. After defeat by Ferdinand at the Battle of Tarcal in September 1527 and again in Battle of Szina in March 1528, Zápolya gained the support of Suleiman. Ferdinand was able to win control only of western Hungary because Zápolya clung to the east and the Ottomans to the conquered south. Zápolya's widow, Isabella Jagiełło, ceded Royal Hungary and Transylvania to Ferdinand in the Treaty of Weissenburg of 1551. In 1554 Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq was sent to Istanbul by Ferdinand to discuss a border treaty over disputed land with Suleiman.

The most dangerous moment of Ferdinand's career came in 1529 when he took refuge in Bohemia from a massive but ultimately unsuccessful assault on his capital by Suleiman and the Ottoman armies at the Siege of Vienna. A further Ottoman attack on Vienna was repelled in 1533. In that year Ferdinand signed a peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire, splitting the Kingdom of Hungary into a Habsburg sector in the west and John Zápolya's domain in the east, the latter effectively a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1538, by the Treaty of Nagyvárad, Ferdinand became Zápolya's successor. He was unable to enforce this agreement during his lifetime because John II Sigismund Zápolya, infant son of John Zápolya and Isabella Jagiełło, was elected King of Hungary in 1540. Zápolya was initially supported by King Sigismund of Poland, his mother's father, but in 1543 a treaty was signed between the Habsburgs and the Polish ruler as a result of which Poland became neutral in the conflict. Prince Sigismund Augustus married Elisabeth of Austria, Ferdinand's daughter.

Ferdinand and the Augsburg Peace 1555

Peace of Augsburg
Men gather in a large room, seated on benches around an open center space. Two men read a document to another man seated on a throne.
Negotiating the Peace of Augsburg
Participants Ferdinand, King of the Romans acting for Charles V. Delegates from the Imperial Estates
Location Augsburg
Date 1555
Result (1) The principle of cuius regio, eius religio established religious conformity within a single state. Two confessions of faith were acceptable: Catholicism or the Augsburg Confession (Lutheranism). Any other expression of faith was heretical.
(2) The principle of reservatum ecclesiasticum protected religious conformity within the ecclesiastical estates, but it did not clearly state how this was to be protected.
(3) The Declaratio Ferdinandei granted certain exemptions to the principle of cuius regio, eius religio to some knights, sovereign families, and imperial cities.

After decades of religious and political unrest in the German states, Charles V ordered a general Diet in Augsburg at which the various states would discuss the religious problem and its solution. Charles himself did not attend, and delegated authority to his brother, Ferdinand, to "act and settle" disputes of territory, religion and local power.[6] At the conference, Ferdinand cajoled, persuaded and threatened the various representatives into agreement on three important principles. The principle of cuius regio, eius religio provided for internal religious unity within a state: The religion of the prince became the religion of the state and all its inhabitants. Those inhabitants who could not conform to the prince's religion were allowed to leave, an innovative idea in the sixteenth century; this principle was discussed at length by the various delegates, who finally reached agreement on the specifics of its wording after examining the problem and the proposed solution from every possible angle. The second principle covered the special status of the ecclesiastical states, called the ecclesiastical reservation, or reservatum ecclesiasticum. If the prelate of an ecclesiastic state changed his religion, the men and women living in that state did not have to do so. Instead, the prelate was expected to resign from his post, although this was not spelled out in the agreement. The third principle, known as Ferdinand's Declaration, exempted knights and some of the cities from the requirement of religious uniformity, if the reformed religion had been practiced there since the mid-1520s, allowing for a few mixed cities and towns where Catholics and Lutherans had lived together. It also protected the authority of the princely families, the knights and some of the cities to determine what religious uniformity meant in their territories. Ferdinand inserted this at the last minute, on his own authority.[7]

Problems with the Augsburg settlement

After 1555, the Peace of Augsburg became the legitimating legal document governing the co-existence of the Lutheran and Catholic faiths in the German lands of the Holy Roman Empire, and it served to ameliorate many of the tensions between followers of the so-called Old Faith and the followers of Luther, but it had two fundamental flaws. First, Ferdinand had rushed the article on ecclesiastical reservation through the debate; it had not undergone the scrutiny and discussion that attended the widespread acceptance and support of cuius regio, eius religio. Consequently, its wording did not cover all, or even most, potential legal scenarios. The Declaratio Ferdinandei was not debated in plenary session at all; using his authority to "act and settle,"[6] Ferdinand had added it at the last minute, responding to lobbying by princely families and knights.[8]

While these specific failings came back to haunt the Empire in subsequent decades, perhaps the greatest weakness of the Peace of Augsburg was its failure to take into account the growing diversity of religious expression emerging in the so-called evangelical and reformed traditions. Other confessions had acquired popular, if not legal, legitimacy in the intervening decades and by 1555, the reforms proposed by Luther were no longer the only possibilities of religious expression: Anabaptists, such as the Frisian Menno Simons (1492–1559) and his followers; the followers of John Calvin, who were particularly strong in the southwest and the northwest; and the followers of Huldrych Zwingli were excluded from considerations and protections under the Peace of Augsburg. According to the Augsburg agreement, their religious beliefs remained heretical.[9]

Charles V's abdication and Ferdinand's Emperorship

In 1556, amid great pomp, and leaning on the shoulder of one of his favorites (the 24-year-old William, Count of Nassau and Orange),[10] Charles gave away his lands and his offices. The Spanish empire, which included Spain, the Netherlands, Naples, Milan and Spain's possessions in the Americas, went to his son, Philip. His brother, Ferdinand, who had negotiated the treaty in the previous year, was already in possession of the Austrian lands and was also to succeed Charles as Holy Roman Emperor.[11] This course of events had been guaranteed already on January 5, 1531 when Ferdinand had been elected the King of Romans and so the legitimate successor of the reigning Emperor.

Charles' choices were appropriate. Philip was culturally Spanish: he was born in Valladolid and raised in the Spanish court, his native tongue was Spanish, and he preferred to live in Spain. Ferdinand was familiar with, and to, the other princes of the Holy Roman Empire. Although he too had been born in Spain, he had administered his brother's affairs in the Empire since 1531.[9] Some historians maintain Ferdinand had also been touched by the reformed philosophies, and was probably the closest the Holy Roman Empire ever came to a Protestant emperor; he remained nominally a Catholic throughout his life, although reportedly he refused last rites on his deathbed.[12] Other historians maintain he was as Catholic as his brother, but tended to see religion as outside the political sphere.[13]

Charles' abdication had far-reaching consequences in imperial diplomatic relations with France and the Netherlands, particularly in his allotment of the Spanish kingdom to Philip. In France, the kings and their ministers grew increasingly uneasy about Habsburg encirclement and sought allies against Habsburg hegemony from among the border German territories, and even from some of the Protestant kings. In the Netherlands, Philip's ascension in Spain raised particular problems; for the sake of harmony, order, and prosperity Charles had not blocked the Reformation, and had tolerated a high level of local autonomy. An ardent Catholic and rigidly autocratic prince, Philip pursued an aggressive political, economic and religious policy toward the Dutch, resulting in a Dutch rebellion shortly after he became king. Philip's militant response meant the occupation of much of the upper provinces by troops of, or hired by, Habsburg Spain and the constant ebb and flow of Spanish men and provisions on the so-called Spanish road from northern Italy, through the Burgundian lands, to and from Flanders.[14]

The abdication did not automatically make Ferdinand the Holy Roman Emperor. Charles abdicated as Emperor in January, 1556 in favor of his brother Ferdinand; however, due to lengthy debate and bureaucratic procedure, the Imperial Diet did not accept the abdication (and thus make it legally valid) until May 3, 1558. Up to that date, Charles continued to use the title of Emperor.

Government

Austrian Royalty
House of Habsburg
Ferdinand I Arms-imperial.svg
Armorial of the Holy Roman Empire
Ferdinand I
Children include
   Archduchess Elisabeth
   Maximilian II
   Archduchess Anna, Duchess of Bavaria
   Archduke Ferdinand
   Archduchess Maria
   Archduchess Catherine
   Archduchess Eleanor
   Archduchess Barbara
   Archduke Charles
   Archduchess Johanna
Grandchildren include
   Archduchess Anna, Queen of Poland and Sweden
   Ferdinand II
   Archduchess Margaret, Queen of Spain
   Archduke Leopold
   Archduchess Constance, Queen of Poland and Sweden
   Archduchess Maria Magdalena, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Maximilian II
Children include
   Archduchess Anna, Queen of Spain
   Rudolf II
   Archduke Ernest
   Archduchess Elisabeth, Queen of France
   Matthias
   Archduke Maximilian
   Archduke Albert
Rudolf II
Matthias
Ferdinand II
Posthumous engraving of Ferdinand by Martin Rota, 1575

The western rump of Hungary over which Ferdinand retained dominion became known as Royal Hungary. As the ruler of Austria, Bohemia and Royal Hungary, Ferdinand adopted a policy of centralization and, in common with other monarchs of the time, the construction of an absolute monarchy. In 1527, soon after ascending the throne, he published a constitution for his hereditary domains (Hofstaatsordnung) and established Austrian-style institutions in Pressburg for Hungary, in Prague for Bohemia, and in Breslau for Silesia. Opposition from the nobles in those realms forced him to concede the independence of these institutions from supervision by the Austrian government in Vienna in 1559.

After Ottoman invasion of Hungary the traditional Hungarian coronation city, Székesfehérvár fell under Turkish occupation. Thus, in 1536 Hungarian Diet decided than a new place for coronation of the king as well as a meeting place for the Diet itself would be set in Pressburg. Ferdinand proposed that Hungarian and Bohemian diets should convene and hold debates together with Austrian estates, but both ther former refused such a innovation.

In 1547 the Bohemian Estates rebelled against Ferdinand after he had ordered the Bohemian army to move against the German Protestants. After suppressing Prague with the help of his brother Charles V's Spanish forces, he retaliated by limiting the privileges of Bohemian cities and inserting a new bureaucracy of royal officials to control urban authorities. Ferdinand was a supporter of the Counter-Reformation and helped lead the Catholic response against what he saw as the heretical tide of Protestantism. For example, in 1551 he invited the Jesuits to Vienna and in 1556 to Prague. Finally, in 1561 Ferdinand revived the Archdiocese of Prague, which had been previously liquidated due to the success of the Protestants.

Ferdinand died in Vienna and is buried in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.

Name in other languages

German, Czech, Slovak, Croatian: Ferdinand I.; Hungarian: I. Ferdinánd; Spanish: Fernando I.

Marriage and children

On 25 May 1521 in Linz, Austria, Ferdinand married Anna of Bohemia and Hungary (1503–1547), daughter of Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary and his wife Anne de Foix. They had fifteen children, all but two of whom reached adulthood:

Name Birth Death Notes
Elisabeth of Austria 9 July 1526 15 June 1545 In 1543 she was married to future King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland and Lithuania.
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor 31 July 1527 12 October 1576 Married to his first cousin Maria of Spain and had issue.
Anna of Austria 7 July 1528 16 October/17 October 1590 Married Albert V, Duke of Bavaria.
Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria 14 June 1529 24 January 1595 Married to Philippine Welser and then married his niece Anne Juliana Gonzaga.
Maria of Austria 15 May 1531 11 December 1581 Consort of Wilhelm, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg.
Magdalena of Austria 14 August 1532 10 September 1590 A nun.
Catharine of Austria 15 September 1533 28 February 1572 In 1553 she was married to king Sigismund II Augustus of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.
Eleonora of Austria 2 November 1534 5 August 1594 Married William I, Duke of Mantua.
Margaret of Austria 16 February 1536 12 March 1567 A nun.
Johann of Austria 10 April 1538 20 March 1539 Died in childhood.
Barbara of Austria 30 April 1539 19 September 1572 Married Alfonso II d'Este.
Charles II, Archduke of Austria 3 June 1540 10 July 1590 father of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Ursula of Austria 24 July 1541 30 April 1543 Died in childhood.
Helen of Austria 7 January 1543 5 March 1574 A nun.
Johanna of Austria 24 January 1547 10 April 1578 Married Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Ancestress of Charles II of England and Louis XIII of France.

Ancestors

Coinage

Ferdinand I has been the main motif for many collector coins and medals, the most recent one is the famous silver 20 euro Renaissance coin issued in 12 June 2002. A portrait of Ferdinand I is shown in the reverse of the coin, while in the obverse a view of the Swiss Gate of the Hofburg Palace can be seen.

Titles

After ascending the Imperial Throne Ferdinand's full titulature went as follows: Ferdinand, by the grace of God elected Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, King in Germany, of Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Rama, Serbia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Cumania and Bulgaria, etc. Prince-Infante in Spain, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Margrave of Moravia, Duke of Luxemburg, the Upper and Lower Silesia, Württemberg and Teck, Prince of Swabia, Princely Count of Habsburg, Tyrol, Ferrette, Kyburg, Gorizia, Landgrave of Alsace, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, Enns, Burgau, the Upper and Lower Lusatia, Lord of the Wendish March, Pordenone and Salins, etc. etc.[15]

Not always he used all these elements, often omitting few last royal titles (Rama, Serbia and so forth).

See also

External links

Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Born: 10 March 1503 Died: 25 July 1564
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles V
Archduke of Austria
1521–1564
Succeeded by
Maximilian II
as Archduke of Austria proper
Succeeded by
Charles II
as Archduke of Inner Austria
Succeeded by
Ferdinand II
as Archduke of Further Austria
Preceded by
Louis II
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary
King of Croatia

1526–1564
Succeeded by
Maximilian II
Preceded by
Charles V
King in Germany
(formally King of the Romans)

1531–1564
King of Italy[16]
1556–1564
Holy Roman Emperor (elect)
1558[17]–1564

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Britannica 2009
  2. ^ http://www.bartleby.com/65/fe/Ferdi1HRE.html
  3. ^ "Rapport établi par M. Alet VALERO" (PDF). CENTRE NATIONAL DE DOCUMENTATION PÉDAGOGIQUE. 2006. http://w3.univ-tlse2.fr/espagnol/agreg/2006/Rapport_final_2006_corrig%E9_Gouala.pdf. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  4. ^ R. W. SETON -WATSON:The southern Slav question and the Habsburg Monarchy page 18
  5. ^ Milan Kruhek: Cetin, grad izbornog sabora Kraljevine Hrvatske 1527, Karlovačka Županija, 1997, Karlovac
  6. ^ a b Holborn, p. 241.
  7. ^ For a general discussion of the impact of the Reformation on the Holy Roman Empire, see Holborn, chapters 6–9 (pp. 123–248).
  8. ^ Holborn, pp. 244–245.
  9. ^ a b Holborn, pp. 243–246.
  10. ^ Lisa Jardine, The Awful End of William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with A Handgun, London, HarperCollins, 2005, ISBN 0007192576, Chapter 1; Richard Bruce Wernham, The New Cambridge Modern History: The Counter Reformation and Price Revolution 1559–1610, (vol. 3), 1979, pp. 338–345.
  11. ^ Holborn, pp. 249–250; Wernham, pp. 338–345.
  12. ^ See Parker, pp. 20–50.
  13. ^ Holborn, pp. 250–251.
  14. ^ Parker, p. 35.
  15. ^ http://eurulers.angelfire.com/hungary.html
  16. ^ Ferdinand used the title of a King of Italy though he was never crowned as such.
  17. ^ Charles had abdicated in 1556, but Ferdinand formally assumed the title of Emperor elect only in 1558, upon the acceptance of Charles' abdication.

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Let justice be done, though the world perish.

Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (10 March 150325 July 1564) reigned as archiduke of Austria from 1521, king of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia from 1526 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1556 till his death.

Sourced

  • Fiat iustitia et pereat mundus.
    • Let justice be done, though the world perish.
      • Motto, quoted in Locorum Communium Collectanea (1563)

Misattributed

  • I am the Emperor, and I want dumplings.

External links


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