From 1490 to 1516, the city was in the power of the Emperor Maximilian I, who aimed to make it the capital of the renewed German kingdom in northern Italy. In that period Verona also suffered for a plague (15111512), which killed 13,000 inhabitants. With the treaty of Brussels (December 1516), Maximilian gave the city to his grandson Charles V of Spain, who in turn ceded it to France. The latter finally gave it back to Venice, who started a program of fortifications that made Verona their main stronghold on the mainland, its garrison including half of their troops.