carlosiii

In 1734, during the War of the Polish Succession, the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily were conquered by the armies of Charles, son of King Philip V of Spain. This brought the Spanish Bourbon dynasty to power, which would rule Naples and Sicily until 1861. For the first time since 1501, Naples had a resident king who was not ruling through a viceroy. Charles was technically Charles V of Sicily and Charles VII of Naples, but he did not use a number himself, preferring to be known as Charles of Bourbon. This was done partly to emphasize the discontinuity between himself and previous rulers named Charles, particularly Emperor Charles VI of Austria.

When his half-brother, Ferdinand VI of Spain, died in 1759, Charles became king of Spain as Charles III. By the provisions of the third Treaty of Vienna he could not combine the Neapolitan and Sicilian territories with the Spanish throne, so Charles abdicated the crowns of Naples and Sicily in favor of his eight-year-old son Ferdinand. The Bourbon kings of Naples brought political stability and the principles of the Enlightenment to their long-suffering kingdom. › Continue reading…