Charles VI succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia (as Charles II), King of Hungary and Croatia, Serbia and Archduke of Austria (as Charles III) in 1711. He unsuccessfully claimed the throne of Spain following the death of his relative, Charles II, in 1700. He married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, by whom he had his two children: Maria Theresa, the last Habsburg sovereign, and Maria Anna, Governess of the Austrian Netherlands.
Four years before the birth of Maria Theresa, faced with his lack of male heirs, Charles provided for a male-line succession failure with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713. The Emperor favoured his own daughters over those of his elder brother and predecessor, Joseph I, in the succession, ignoring the decree he had signed during the reign of his father, Leopold I. Charles sought the other European powers' approval. They exacted harsh terms: Britain demanded that Austria abolish its overseas trading company. In total, Great Britain, France, Saxony-Poland, the Dutch Republic, Spain, Venice, States of the Church, Prussia, Russia, Denmark, Savoy-Sardinia, Bavaria, and the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire recognised the sanction. France, Spain, Saxony-Poland, Bavaria and Prussia later reneged.
Sardinia was taken over by Habsburg troops in 1708 during the War of the Spanish Succession in the name of the Habsburg claimant to the Spanish throne, "Charles III". At the end of the war, Sardinia remained in Charles' possession and, by the Treaty of Rastatt, was ceded to him. Spanish forces invaded the kingdom in 1717 during the War of the Quadruple Alliance. The island was under Spanish military occupation until 1720, when it was given back to Emperor Charles VI who in turn ceded it to the Duke of Savoy by the Treaty of The Hague.
Charles died in 1740, sparking the War of the Austrian Succession, which plagued his successor, Maria Theresa, for eight years.
|From||7 March 1714|
|To||17 February 1720|
|Personal Information||Archduke Charles III of Austria, Holy Roman Emperor as Charles VI|