The Cohesion and Control of the Empire, Main Problems of Charles V’s Reign

Juan Carlos Moreno Piñero, director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, stated that it is essential to continue studying emperor Charles V at the inauguration of the course “Conflicts in the Worlds of Charles V: The Enemies of the Empire”. His style of governance and the conflicts of his era have significantly shaped the course of current history. He, therefore, affirmed that “in today’s world, it is more necessary than ever to maintain humanistic studies of history”. (09/07/2024).

During the inauguration, the director of Yuste Foundation highlighted the uniqueness of these sessions as they are held where Charles lived from the 3rd of February, 1557, to the 21st of September, 1558. That “exclusive award adds value to the training”, he stated.

The course programme aims to follow the career of Charles V, the most notable and complex figure of the 16th century, who amassed many enemies, whom he blamed for the failure of his European policies. In this sense, Rosa María Martínez de Codes, full professor of American History at the Complutense University of Madrid and co-director of the course, stated at the inauguration that Charles V’s political priorities covered three areas with their corresponding adversaries: “the permanent conflict with the French monarchy; the fight against the Ottoman empire and the Muslims of the Mediterranean states; and finally, the dispute against Protestantism, to which tense relations with the papacy must be added”.

According to Martínez de Codes, Charles V faced various internal conflicts ranging from administrative and political issues to religious, family, and personal challenges. In her opinion, the combination of all these conflicts and their final resolution, including his abdication and retirement to the Monastery of San Jerónimo de Yuste, “offer a complete vision of an emperor whose life and reign were marked by a constant struggle to maintain the cohesion and control of his vast empire”.

Furthermore, José María Hernández García, the mayor of Cuacos de Yuste and a member of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation’s board of trustees, highlighted the challenges the emperor faced during his reign. He particularly noted the limited resources available to defend his territories, despite the gold arriving from overseas territories.

The course includes 80 students attending both in-person and online from Belgium, Brazil, China, Ivory Coast, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic, as well as speakers from Belgium, Croatia, Spain, and Peru. It is co-directed by professor César Chaparro Gómez and counts with the collaboration of the European Routes of Emperor Charles V.

This course, which is part of Yuste Foundation’s Campus Yuste training programme, is framed within the 25th edition of the University of Extremadura’s International Summer/Autumn Courses. It is sponsored by MAFRESA and counts with the collaboration of the Regional Government of Extremadura, Patrimonio Nacional, and the Provincial Councils of Cáceres and Badajoz.