In which John Green teaches you about the Holy Roman Empire by teaching you about Charles V. Charles Hapsburg was the holy Roman Emperor, but he was also the King of Spain. And the King of Germany. And the King of Italy and the Lord of the Netherlands and Count Palatine of Burgundy. In short, Charles was runnin’ thangs in much of the world during his reign. Charles ruled a lot of countries, and he was also known for encouraging intellectual discourse and he even spoke out against slavery, in a limited. So why did he consider himself a failure, and why did he break up the Empire when he abdicated in 1556? Mainly because the Holy Roman Empire didn’t work very well. It was huge, and it didn’t have any means of directly raising taxes. Plus, it was a pretty crazy time in Europe anyway, and Charles found himself in charge of the Catholic-Church-Endorsed Empire in the time of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. John will teach you a bit about how Charles put the Empire together, and how it fell apart, and even talk a bit about the Diet of Worms.