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[[File: Sack of Rome Two.jpg |thumbnail|left|
300px|Portrait of Emperor Charles V, 1527]]
The Sack of Rome was the capture and Rome's destruction by the mutinous troops of Emperor Charles V. It caused widespread outrage at the time, and it shocked Europe. The Sack destroyed much of Rome, and it is widely seen as ushering in a new era in Italy's history. This article will discuss the impact that the Sack had on Italy and its development.
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.
==Why did the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V's army invade Italy in 1527?==
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>
==What was the aftermath of the Sack of Romein 1527?==
[[File: Pope Clement VII.jpg|thumbnail|
200px|left|Pope Clement VII in 1528]]
Emperor Charles V was deeply embarrassed by the actions of his mutinous army. However, Charles knew that the Pope was in a weak position, and he saw it as an opportunity to extend his control over the Papacy.<ref> Chastel. p. 212</ref> Successive Popes, eager to preserve Italian independence and their own, had allied themselves with the French to prevent Charles from upsetting Italy's balance of power.
The sack practically bankrupted the Papacy and it could no longer offer the financial support needed by the City-States to recruit armies, which were mainly composed of mercenary soldiers. By 1550 the Spanish Monarch, Phillip II, was the dominant influence in Italy and not the Pope. Spanish control led to an erosion of political and individual freedoms. This dealt a blow to the Renaissance as artists and thinkers could not create the work they wanted or freely express their ideas and opinions.<ref> Burke, Peter. <i>The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy Princeton</i> (Princeton University Press, 1999) p. 6 </ref>
== The End of Renaissance Rome?==
[[File: Papacy 2.jpg|thumbnail|350px|left|St Peter’s Basilica]]
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