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Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

Maximilian I of Habsburg (March 22, 1459 - January 12, 1519) was Holy Roman Emperor.

Maximilian was born in Vienna as the son of the Emperor Frederick III. He married (1477-1482) the heiress of Burgundy, Mary, the only daughter of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy. Through this marriage, Maximilian obtained the Netherlands and the Free County of Burgundy following Charles's death, though France took Burgundy proper.

Elected king of the Romans in 1486 at the initiative of is father, he became Holy Roman Emperor upon his father's death in 1493. The following year brought French intervention in Italy, inaugurating the prolonged Italian Wars. He joined the Holy League to counter the French.

Maximilian is possibly most well-known for leading the 1495 Reichstag at Worms which concluded on the Reichsreform (Imperial Reform), reshaping much of the constitution of the Holy Roman Empire.

In order to reduce the growing pressures on the Empire brought about by treaties between the rulers of France, Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, and Russia, as well as to secure Bohemia and Hungary for the Habsburgs, Maximilian I met with the Jagiellonian kings Ladislaus II of Hungary and Bohemia and Sigismund I of Poland at Vienna in 1515. The marriages arranged there brought Habsburg kingship over Hungary and Bohemia a decade later.

Maximilian died in Wels, Upper Austria, and was succeeded as Emperor by his grandson Charles V, his son Philip I of Castile having died in 1506.

Preceded by:
Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
List of German Kings and Emperors Succeeded by:
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor