born Nov. 6, 1661, Madrid died Nov. 1, 1700, Madrid byname Charles The Mad, Spanish Carlos El Hechizado king of Spain from 1665 to 1700 and the last monarch of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. Charles's reign opened with a 10-year regency under the queen mother, during which the government was preoccupied with combatting the ambitions of the French king Louis XIV in the Low Countries and with intrigues at court involving the Queen, her Jesuit confessor Johann Eberhard Nithard, her subsequent favourite Fernando de Valenzuela, and the King's bastard brother Juan Jos (162979) de Austria. Of the two phases in the King's personal government, the first, concerned with resistance to the French imperialism of Louis XIV, ended with the peace of Rijswijk in 1697; the second, the last three years of the reign, was dominated by the succession problem, for by then it was clear that Charles would father no children. At the peak of the succession problem, when the Austrian and French parties at the Spanish court were prepared to use any means to gain the support of the wretched king, Charles II obstinately defended the majesty of the crown and was determined to preserve its territorial integrity. In this latter aim he failed, for his death led to the War of the Spanish Succession and the dismembering of Spain's European possessions. born June 13, 823 died Oct. 6, 877, Brides-les-Bain, France byname Charles the Bald, French Charles le Chauve, German Karl der Kahle king of France (i.e., Francia Occidentalis, the West Frankish kingdom) from 843 to 877 and Western emperor from 875 to 877. (He is reckoned as Charles II both of the Holy Roman Empire and of France.) Son of the emperor Louis I the Pious and his second wife, Judith, Charles was the unwitting cause of violent discord when, in 829, he was granted lands by his father; Louis's action precipitated a series of civil wars, lasting until 838, in which the three sons of his first marriage, Lothair I, Louis II the German, and Pippin I, strove to maintain or to increase the rights that they had been guaranteed by the succession settlement of 817, the Ordinatio imperii. Pippin died in 838, but after the death of Louis I in 840 the civil war resumed and continued until Louis the German joined with Charles to force Lothair to accept the Treaty of Verdun in 843, by which Charles received all the lands west of a line roughly following the Scheldt, Meuse, and Sane rivers, the eastern mountains of the Massif Central, and the lower reaches of the Rhne River, and Louis the German and Lothair received respectively the lands of the East Franks (Germany) and the middle kingdom, lying between the other two. Until 864 Charles's political situation was precarious because few vassals were loyal to him. His lands suffered from raids by Northmen, who left only after receiving bribes; he was defeated by the Bretons and, in 858, faced an invasion by Louis the German. Yet he succeeded in gaining control of Aquitaine after the capture of Pippin's son in 864; and, by the Treaty of Meersen (870) with Louis the German, he received western Lorraine. When Lothair's eldest son, the emperor Louis II, died in 875, Charles went to Italy and was crowned emperor on December 25 by Pope John VIII. In 876, after the death of Louis the German, Charles invaded Louis's possessions but was defeated at Andernach by Louis's son, Louis III the Younger. Charles's death in the next year occurred when another son of Louis the German, Carloman, was marching against him and when his own major vassals were in revolt. During Charles's reign some of the splendours of the Carolingian renaissance were revived, and his close collaboration with the church enhanced his prestige and authority. born May 29, 1630, London died Feb. 6, 1685, London Charles II, detail of a painting by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1675; in the collection of the Duke of byname The Merry Monarch king of Great Britain and Ireland (166085), who was restored to the throne after years of exile during the Puritan Commonwealth. The years of his reign are known in English history as the Restoration period. His political adaptability and his knowledge of men enabled him to steer his country through the convolutions of the struggle between Anglicans, Catholics, and dissenters that marked much of his reign. born c. 1254 died May 5, 1309, Naples byname Charles Of Anjou, or Charles The Lame, Italian Carlo D'angi, or Carlo Lo Zoppo king of Naples and ruler of numerous other territories, who concluded the war to regain Sicily started by his father, Charles I. By making astute alliances and treaties, he greatly enlarged his dominions. Named prince of Salerno (1269) by his father and married by him to Maria, daughter of the king of Hungary (1270), Charles was engaged in acquiring more lands and titles when his father lost Sicily to the Aragonese (1282). When Charles I initiated his ill-fated campaign to regain Sicily, Charles of Salerno was in charge of Naples during his father's absence. In 1284, he was lured out of the port of Naples by the enemy's admiral, Ruggiero di Lauria, and was captured. Charles I died (1285) during his son's imprisonment, and it was not until 1288 that Charles II was able to arrange his release, using Edward I of England and Pope Nicholas IV as intermediaries. Charles promised to give up his claim to Sicily, but, once released, the Pope absolved him from his promise and the war for Sicily continued. It was resolved by the Peace of Caltabellotta (1302), under which Charles agreed to give up his claim to Sicily during the lifetime of Frederick III of Aragon (ruled Sicily 12961337). Thenceforth Charles carefully built up an extremely complex set of alliances, usually by arranging the marriages of his children. In that way he increased or extended his control over Piedmont, Provence, Hungary, Athens, and Albania, among other territories. Charles was considered an extremely pious man, closely allied with the church. Ruling over an enlightened court, he eliminated many of his father's harsh measures. He is also noted for making Naples into something of a European capital by fostering trade and the arts, patronizing the university, and building monasteries and churches. born 1332 died Jan. 1, 1387 byname Charles The Bad, Spanish Carlos El Malo, French Charles Le Mauvais king of Navarre from 1349, who made various short-lived attempts to expand Navarrese power in both France and Spain. He was the son and successor of Joan of France, queen of Navarre, and Philip, count of vreux. Married in 1352 to Joan, daughter of John II of France, he demanded Champagne, Brie, and Angoulme as fiefs once held by his mother. Because John had granted these to the constable of France, Charles of La Cerda, Charles II's supporters assassinated the constable (1354); but, since Charles II was meanwhile negotiating with the English, John had to make terms with him, ceding extensive lands in Normandy. When Charles continued plotting with the English, John had him arrested at Rouen (April 1356). Soon afterward the English captured John at Poitiers. Escaping from prison in November 1357, Charles began a series of treacherous dealings with every party in France and, in his dealings with the dauphin (later Charles V), recovered Normandy. He then went back to Navarre. In Spain he first supported Peter the Cruel of Castile against Peter IV of Aragon (1362), then allied himself with Peter IV and Henry of Trastmara against Peter (1363). Then John of France died (1364) and Charles V by military action forced Charles to renounce almost all his major claims in France. In 1378 Charles II's son and future successor Charles the Noble had to acknowledge evidence found in France, proving that his father had been planning not only a new alliance with England but also the poisoning of Charles V. This meant the final loss of all Navarre's Norman possessions except Cherbourg. An attempt to seize Logroo from Castile (1378) ended in defeat, and the treaty of Briones (1379) tied Navarre to Castilian policy. Additional reading Both Arthur Bryant, King Charles II, rev. ed. (1955); and Antonia Fraser, Royal Charles: Charles II and the Restoration (1979), are sympathetic vindications of Charles, but many scholars remain unconvinced of these views. The most penetrating assessment of Charles and his interpreters is K.H.D. Haley, Charles II (1966). Other biographies include Maurice Ashley, Charles II, the Man and the Statesman (1971); Christopher Falkus, The Life and Times of Charles II (1972); J.R. Jones, Charles II: Royal Politician (1987); Ronald Hutton, Charles the Second, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1989); and John Miller, Charles II (1991). Richard Ollard, The Image of the King: Charles I and Charles II (1979), is a critical character study, focusing primarily on Charles II.
Meaning of CHARLES II in English
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