The commonly held belief is that the Sack of Rome ended the Renaissance in Italy. The Sack of Rome in 1527 was of critical importance in the history of Italy. It guaranteed Spanish supremacy in Italy, led to increasingly religious orthodoxy, and destroyed Rome's economy. It was not the Sack itself, but the effects of the Sack that contributed to the ending of the Renaissance.
Since the 1490s, France and Spain (and briefly the Swiss) had fought in Italy for control of the peninsula. The various Italian city-states and the Papacy were divided, and they were often allied to the Hapsburgs, Spanish, and the French.<ref> Lopez, Robert Sabatino, <i>The Three Ages of the Italian Renaissance</i> (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1970), p. 89 </ref> The struggle for Italy had entered a new phase during the reigns of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and his great rival Francis II of France. In 1527 Italy was the scene of the War of the League of Cognac, and this involved France and the Papacy on one side and the Holy Roman Emperor, Spain, and her allies on the other. Pope Clement VII supported the French Monarch, Francis I, to protect the independence of the Papacy.<ref> Lopez, p. 112</ref>
Pope Clement feared that Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the Spanish king
was becoming too powerful. He was commonly regarded as the most powerful man in Europe since the days of the Caesars. The Imperial troops, who were mainly composed of German mercenaries and Spanish troops, defeated the French and the Papal armies in 1527. However, the Emperor was in no position to pay the army, and they mutinied. This was typical of Charles V. Despite his vast Empire, he was often short of cash and usually nearly bankrupt. The Imperial army had been led by powerful French nobles, who had rebelled against the French Monarch of the Bourbon Family. He was unable to quell the revolt and was soon forced to do the mutinous troops' bidding. The soldiers sought food and money, and they began to pillage large areas of Northern Italy, and they terrorized many towns and villages.<ref>Tuchman, Barbara W. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345308239/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0345308239&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=731d360be9211dec1e2b8dcb7ffcd7bf The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam]</i> (London, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 1985), p. 345</ref>
====Sack of Rome - The Terror====