Today in World History: January 20th

Today in 1716, Charles III of Spain was born. He conquered the Kingdom of Naples and the Kingdom of Sicily. The son of Philip V, he ruled those two countries for twenty-five years, from 1734-1759. Upon inheriting the crown of Spain from his brother, Ferdinand, Charles abdicated his two domains to his son, Ferdinand. Ferdinand would then become king of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which would go on to unify Italy under King Vittorio Emmanuel. Charles attempted to advance the sciences in his kingdom, which had been significantly weakened and was no longer a major influence in the world. Charles did however establish Spain as a single nation, creating its modern flag, creating an anthem, and the crown that would remain in the family until the Second Spanish Republic. He weakened the church, but the country did not retain his policies after his death in 1788, at the age of seventy-two, after ruling Spain for twenty-nine years.

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