12.6 The European State in the Renaissance: The Unification of Spain

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12.6 The European State in the Renaissance: The Unification of Spain
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2012-12-03 16:16:33
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  1. During Middle Ages
    • a.       During Middle Ages, several independent Christian kingdoms emerged in course of Reconquista
    •                                                               i.      Aragon and Castile strongest Spanish kingdoms
    •                                                             ii.      West was Portugal
    •                                                           iii.      North: Navarre
    •                                                           iv.      South: muslim Granada
  2. Major Step in Unification
    • a.       Major step in unification of Iberian kingdoms was Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon
    •                                                               i.      Dynastic union, not political
    • 1.      Both kingdoms maintained own parliaments (Cortes), courts, laws, coinage, speech, customs, and political organs
  3. Isabella and Ferdinand Government
    •                                                               i.      Both worked to strengthen royal control of government, especially in Castile
    • 1.      Royal council, which was supposed to supervise local administration and oversee implementation of government policies, was stripped of aristocrats and filled primarily with middle-class laywers
    • a.       Trained in Roman law, these officials operated on belief that monarcy was power of state
  4. Isabella and Ferdinand dealing with levies
    •                                                               i.      Seeking to replace undisciplined feudal levies inherited with more professional royal army, they reorganized military forces of Spain
    • 1.      Development of strong infantry force as heart of new army=best in Europe by 16th
  5. Ferdinand and Isabella: church
    •                                                               i.      Because of its vast power and wealth, Ferdinand and Isabella recognized importance of control of Catholic Church
    • 1.      Secured from pope right to select most important Spanish church officials, virtually guaranteeing creation of Spanish Catholic Church in which clergy became instrument for extension of royal power
    • 2.      Monarchs also used authority over church to institute reform
    • a.       Isabella’s chief minister, the able and astute Cardinal Ximemnes, restored discipline and eliminated immorality among monks and secular clergy
  6.                                                               i.      Cardinal Ximenes
    • 1.      Religious zeal evident in Reform programs also evident in policy of strict religious uniformity pursued by Ferdinand and Isabella
    • a.       Also served political purpose:
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      To create unity and further bolster royal power
  7. Spain: two religious minorities
    • 1.      Jews/ Muslims
    •  a.       Both tolerated iin medieval Spain
    • b.      Although Anti-Semitism become fact of medieval life, Spain remained tolerant
  8. Jews and 14th century
    Jews and Important role
    •                                                                                                                                                                                                               i.      14th c: increased persecution led majority of Spanish Jews to turn Christian
    •                                                                                                                                                                                                             ii.      They cam eto play important roles in Spanish society, but complaints that they were secretly reverting to Judaism prompted Ferdinand and Isabella to ask pope to introduce Inquisition into Spain in 1478
  9. Inquisition
    •                                                                                                                                                                                                               i.      Under royal control, Inquisition worked with cruel efficiency to guarantee orthodoxy of the converts but had no authority over practicing Jews
    •                                                                                                                                                                                                             ii.      Consequently, in 1492, flush with the success of their conquest of Muslim granada, they expelled all professed Jews from Spain: 150k out of 200k fled
  10. Battling Muslims
    •                                                               i.      Also pursued policy of battling muslims by attacking Granada
    • 1.      War lasted 11 years until final bastion of city of Granada fell in 1492
    • a.       Muslims “encouraged” to convert to Christianty
    • b.      1502: Isabella issued decree expelling all professed Muslims form kingdom
  11. Most Catholic” monarchs 
    • 1.      “Most Catholic” monarchs achieved goal of absolute religious orthodoxy as basic ingredient of Spanish state
    • a.       Spanish = Catholic, policy enforced by Inquisition
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      No accident that Spain would be a staunch pillar of Catholic Church during Reformation of 16th century

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