Ferdinand & Isabella

Ferdinand & Isabella

The marriage of the 1469 of royal cousins, Ferdinand II king of Aragon, and Isabella I queen of Castile, eventually brought stability to both kingdoms. During the rule of these two, they did not live in the same castle but went from city to city, seeing what each city needs. The treaty of Alcacovas ended the war in 1479. Ferdinand and Isabella were called the Catholic Monarchs. At the end of the war Ferdinand gave his queen all the wealth he had received in the war.

And with that money she helped the famous Christopher Columbus find what is now called North America. Isabella arranged marriages for all her 5 daughters to keep the peace in Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella resumed the Reconquest, dormant for more than 200 years. In 1492 they captured Granada, earning the titles for themselves the Catholic Kings. Ferdinand brought a new emphasis on constitutionalism and a respect for local fueros to Castile, were he was king consort and continued as regent after Isabella’s death in 1504.

After 1525 all residents of Spain were officially Christian, but force conversion and nominal orthodoxy were not sufficient for complete integration into Spanish society. The inquisition, a state-controlled Castilian tribunal, authorized by papal bull in 1478, that soon extended throughout Spain, had the task of enforcing uniformity of religious practice. In 1568, however, a serious rebellion broke out among the Moriscos of Andalusia, who sealed their fate by appealing to the Ottoman Empire for aid.

The conquest of Granada allowed the Catholic Kings to divert their attention to explore, although Christopher Columbus’s first voyage in 1492 was finances by foreign bankers. In 1493 Pope Alexander VI formally approved the division of the unexplored world between Spain and Portugal. Vasco Nunez de Balboa reached the pacific in 1513, and the survivors of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition completed the circumnagation of the globe in 1522. In 1519 the conquistador Hernando Cortes subdued the Aztecs in Mexico with a handful of followers. And between 1531 and 1533 Francisco Pizzaro overthrew the empire of the Incas and established Spanish dominion over Peru.

In 1493, when Columbus brought 15000 colonists with him on his second voyage, a royal admistrator had already been appointed for the Indies. The council of the Indies established in 1524 acted as an advisory board to the crown on colonial affairs, and the house of trade regulated with the colonies.


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