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Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor

Charles VI. (October 1, 1685 - October 20, 1740) was Holy Roman Emperor from 1711-1740 and the second son of Leopold I with his third wife Eleonore-Magdalena of Pfalz-Neuburg.

His educator was Anton Florian of Liechtenstein.

On terms of a contract he was the heir of the Spanish Habsburgs. When Charles II of Spain made Philip V his heir, Louis XIV violated the contract. The dispute for the crown of Spain led to the War of the Spanish Succession.

After a short time as Charles III of Spain during the war, his older brother Joseph I died suddenly. Thus, he had to return to take over the Emperor's throne. In 1711 he was made Holy Roman Emperor in Frankfurt.

Although Charles seems to have been clumsy in political affairs, the Austrian monarchy reached its widest expansion during his reign.

His children were Maria Theresia and Maria Anna, but he had no male heirs. So he prepared the Pragmatic Sanction which stated that his realm could not be divided and allowed that daughters also could inherit the throne from their fathers.

Probably as a consequence of his years in Spain, he introduced the Spanish court ceremonial (Spanisches Hofzeremoniell) in Vienna and built the Spanish Riding School. Furthermore, the Reichskanzlei ("chancellory of the state"), the National Library were constructed during his reign and the Michaeler tract added to the Hofburg. Much was designed in baroque style in Vienna during Charles' reign.

He also had musical ambitions: Taught as a boy by Johann Joseph Fux, he composed, played the piano and now and then conducted the court's band.

Names in other languages: German: Karl VI, Czech: Karel VI, Hungarian: III. Károly, Slovak: Karol III

Preceded by:
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
List of German Kings and Emperors Succeeded by:
Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor