Wars Involving Carlos V, Felipe II, and Social Problems in the 16th Century

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Wars Involving Carlos V

After he was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1520, Carlos V's main aspiration was to establish a universal Christian empire. The following groups were opposed to this:

  • The Protestants in the Holy Roman Empire
  • France
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • The Pope

Carlos V was constantly engaged in wars:

  • War against France
  • War against the Pope
  • Flanders
  • War against the Ottoman Empire
  • War against the Protestants

Felipe II and His Territories

Felipe II, the son of Carlos V, reigned between 1556 and 1598. He inherited the Kingdoms of Spain and Burgundy. His uncle Fernando inherited the Habsburg Empire and the right to the imperial title.

Social Problems in the 16th Century

  • Banditry in the Crown of Aragón, where outlaws attacked travelers and rich property-owners in large rural areas
  • Rebellions

The Conquest of America

The conquest of America occurred quickly due to:

  • Tactics: the conquistadores captured the emperor
  • Internal conflicts: the conquistadores recruited groups of indigenous fighters
  • Military equipment: the conquistadores used firearms, metal armor, and horses
  • Infectious diseases

Challenges in Conquering Indigenous Tribes

Indigenous tribes were more difficult to conquer than large, developed civilizations with a hierarchical society because:

  • The tactic of attacking the leader would not work
  • In rainforests, firearms and armor could not be used effectively
  • The conquistadores had to fight numerous exhausting wars

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