Front Page Titles (by Subject) 59.: Charles V and Francis I - Judgments on History and Historians
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59.: Charles V and Francis I - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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Charles V and Francis I
Both started their reigns with a legacy of fearsome programs; one (Charles) reaches rock bottom financially, the other (Francis) gets into trouble through enormous indiscretions of his own or of others.
Both confronted frequently unpaid soldiers who are capable of reaching for the first security that presents itself, including the commander-in-chief. (Even the unpaid Swiss of Charles VIII were ready, after the battle of Foronuovo, to seize him and send him off to Switzerland.) War aims and politics were constantly subject to the disturbances resulting from this.
Charles was visibly impelled toward world monarchy in the sense that his very scattered and in many places vulnerable power forced him to keep committing hostile acts against the potential or actual center of the small powers, France. The smaller nations were in part actually threatened, in part they believed themselves to be continually threatened. Francis was a center and Charles a periphery.
Charles and Francis had to give themselves the appearance of wanting to protect the church and yet secretly they were full of thoughts of secularization which were somewhat dispelled only by enormous partial concessions on the part of the clergy and the pope.
The modern state in their hands is constantly insolvent and has its reason of state for every robbery.
France’s further national development is now determined by the opposition to Hapsburg Spain, as previously by the opposition to England. This is later interrupted only by the brief period of the Ligue. The enormous inner coherence and the omnipotence of royalty as a banner is increased in the process.