Monarch of Spain. As the second son of Carlos Sebastián de Borbón y Farnesio (Charles III), he succeeded him on the throne of Spain and Asturias (1788). He began to reign in one of the most turbulent periods of the eighteenth century when the French Revolution was at its peak and the economy of all Europe suffered the consequences. The succession of several governments during his reign highlighted the growing instability of Spain together with a disastrous war against France that ended with the Peace of Basel (1794). In 1799, with the advent of Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles IV changed his foreign policy by allying himself with the French against England and suffering a disastrous defeat in Trafalgar (1805). These events decreed his end as sovereign, first with the dethronement by his son, future Ferdinand VII (1808), and later with the ascent to the throne of Joseph I, Napoleon's brother. Charles IV died in exile in Rome, a guest of the Papal States.
Bio by: Lucy & Chris