Charles IV of Spain

Charles IV (Carlos Antonio Pascual Francisco Javier Juan Nepomuceno José Januario Serafín Diego de Borbón y Sajonia; 11 November 1748 – 20 January 1819) was King of Spain and ruler of the Spanish Empire from 1788 to 1808.

Charles IV
Portrait by Francisco Goya, 1789
King of Spain
Reign14 December 1788 – 19 March 1808
PredecessorCharles III
SuccessorFerdinand VII
Chief ministers
Born11 November 1748
Palace of Portici, Portici, Naples
Died20 January 1819(1819-01-20) (aged 70)
Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Papal States
(m. 1765; died 1819)
Spanish: Carlos Antonio Pascual Francisco Javier Juan Nepomuceno José Januario Serafín Diego de Borbón y Sajonia
FatherCharles III of Spain
MotherMaria Amalia of Saxony
ReligionRoman Catholic
SignatureCharles IV's signature

The Spain inherited by Charles IV gave few indications of instability,[1] but during his reign, Spain entered a series of disadvantageous alliances and his regime constantly sought cash to deal with the exigencies of war. He detested his son and heir Ferdinand, who led the unsuccessful El Escorial Conspiracy and later forced Charles's abdication after the Tumult of Aranjuez in March 1808, along with the ouster of his widely hated first minister Manuel de Godoy. Summoned to Bayonne by Napoleon Bonaparte, who forced Ferdinand VII to abdicate, Charles IV also abdicated, paving the way for Napoleon to place his older brother Joseph Bonaparte on the throne of Spain. The reign of Charles IV turned out to be a major turning point in Spanish history.[2][3]

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