Carlos IV of Spain
He was born on November 11, 1748 in Portici, Naples, Italy. He was the second son of King Carlos III and his wife, María Amalia de Sajonia. Don Felipe, his older brother, was not qualified for the throne because he suffered from learning disabilities and epilepsy.
From an early age,Carloshe had more interest in outdoor activities than in matters related to the royal court. He was an expert marksman, which earned him the nickname ofThe hunter.
He had fourteen children with his wife, Queen Maria Luisa of Parma. Only six of them survived to adulthood. He trusted his wife as capable of leading the royal court.
After the death of King Carlos III in 1788,Charles IVascended to the throne. Although he had the ideology of a powerful imperial monarch, he left power in the hands of his wife, Queen Maria Luisa of Parma, and the prime minister. In 1792, due to political and personal enmity, Prime Minister Floridablanca left office and was replaced by Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Count of Aranda. However, the queen later replaced him with Manuel de Godoy, whom she greatly favored. It is speculated that Godoy and the queen had an illicit affair.
Godoy continued his administrative duties with the liberal ideologies of his predecessor. Shortly after the king’s executionLouis XVI
of France, the new king declared war on Madrid, as Spain had opposed the execution. Spain asked its neighbor Portugal for help. The two nations eventually signed a mutual protection pact with France, their common enemy. In 1796, France forced Godoy to ally with them to wage war against the Kingdom of Great Britain. Spain continued to be an ally of the French. Spain also supported the Continental Blockade. However, after the British naval victory at Trafalgar, Spain allied with Great Britain. In 1807, after the victory ofNapoleon bonaparte
over Prussia, Spain was again reoriented to join the French side.
Carlos IV of Spainhe eventually lost his popularity not only in his country, but also throughout Europe. His kingdom faced massive economic problems and the news that his wife was having an affair with Godoy further increased people’s discontent with the monarchy.
His son Ferdinand, who was the crown prince, tried to overthrow him in 1807, but failed. However, Fernando won the support of the people who took to the streets to protest.Charles IV
He asked Napoleon for help, but he refused. Finally he was forced to abdicate in 1808, and Fernando took over asFerdinand VII