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What did Charles I achieve as King of Spain?
During his reign as King of Aragon and Castile, Charles brought Spain to the forefront of European politics by utilising the resources of the Spanish kingdoms in his ambitious foreign policy that gripped Europe. Charles’ foreign policy allowed for Spain to become an emerging ‘superpower’ in Europe as it brought Spain to the forefront of European affairs. Charles did not limit his ambitious for Spain to be limited solely for use of his foreign policy, to effectively retain power without any turmoil that was being faced in other areas of Europe; Charles had to pursue domestic and religious reforms. These reforms successfully retained the Catholic uniformity that existed in Spain while also crushing any possibilities of religious civil war that was engulfing the Holy Roman Empire. Although Charles did not limit his policies to Spain due to his other obligations, it cannot be denied that Spain was an integral piece of Charles’ monarchia therefore Charles needed to retain Spain as being loyal to him.
Domestic stability in the majority of Charles’ reign was one of the greatest achievements of Charles as a King of Spain as it dealt directly with Spain itself and it allowed other achievements to be achieved. Charles’ first major success in attaining domestic stability was the crushing of the Comuneros and Germania rebellions during the period 1521-1524. The absolute defeat of the rebels demonstrated the strength of the power of the nobility in Spain and the overwhelming defeat of the rebellions would discourage further rebellions. The fact that hundreds of rebel leaders were executed removed the threat of the same men leading further rebellions against Charles and the Spanish nobility thus contributing to domestic stability. Charles also managed to secure domestic stability by appeasing the nobility – the right to avoid taxes and the appointments of nobility to prestigious positions such as the Viceroys of Spanish American territories and generals in the Spanish army. These acts managed to persuade the majority of the nobility that there was no need to disobey their monarch as they were being treated properly for men of their rank. However Charles secured domestic security by also weakening the powers of the nobility; despite their prestigious positions they yielded little power as they were isolated in the councillor affairs of the Spanish kingdoms which were becoming dominated by the letrados who were lawyers and experts chosen for their skill rather than social rank. Charles also managed to accomplish domestic stability in Spain by agreeing to the demands of the rebellions on his own terms, as he was not forced to concede to the rebels allowed Charles to retain royal authority. The agreement to the demands removed many causes for future rebellion. Charles had allowed the Cortes to become more influential although it effectively became a tax-voting assembly and had decided to adopt Spanish advisors and become more involved in Spanish traditions. The religious policy of Charles also contributed to domestic stability as it removed the threat of heresy towards Spain. As Charles restricted the shipment and trade of all books to Spain by censoring all books of a radical and Protestant nature, the ideas of Luther and Zwingli could not manifest itself in Spain as it had in the rest of Europe. The degree of control over religion allowed Charles to keep the Catholic faith supreme in Spain

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