the name of four kings of Spain. Charles I (1500–58), son of Philip I; reigned 1516–56; Holy Roman Emperor (as Charles V) 1519–56. His reign was characterized by the struggle against Protestantism in Germany, rebellion in Castile, and war with France 1521–44. Exhausted by these struggles, Charles handed Naples, the Netherlands, and Spain over to his son Philip II and the imperial Crown to his brother Ferdinand before retiring to a monastery. Charles II (1661–1700), reigned 1665–1700. He inherited a kingdom already in a decline that he was unable to halt. His choice of Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV of France, as his successor gave rise to the War of the Spanish Succession. Charles III (1716–88), reigned 1759–88. He improved Spain’s position as an international power by increasing foreign trade, and he brought a brief cultural and economic revival to Spain. Charles IV (1748–1819), reigned 1788–1808. During the Napoleonic Wars he suffered the loss of the Spanish fleet, destroyed along with that of France at Trafalgar in 1805. Following the French invasion of Spain in 1807, he was forced to abdicate.