Catholic Kings History | Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs – Fernando II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castile, who unified the crowns of Castile and Aragon.
Who were the Catholic Monarchs?
Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castile are known as Catholic kings who unified the crowns of Castile and Aragon in the second half of the 15th century, giving rise to the Hispanic monarchy.
Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452 – 1516) and Isabel I of Castile (1451 – 1504), second cousins, married on October 19, 1469 in Valladolid and signed the Concordia de Segovia on January 15, 1475. This treaty demarcated the roles of both kings, who individually were already very powerful, and unified both kingdoms.
Fernando II inherited the throne of Aragon after the death of his father, while Isabel I ascended to the throne of Castile after the War of the Castilian Succession, which took place between 1475 and 1479.
Both kings ruled together until the death of Isabel, in the year 1504. There Ferdinand remained as king of Aragon and gave the power of Castile to his daughter Juana I of Castile, called Juana “the crazy one.”
The Catholic monarchs were great protagonists in the discovery of America, since by financing Christopher Columbus to create new trade routes with the East Indies, they drove him to discover the American continent, which gave the Spanish Empire great economic power.
Importance of Catholic Kings
Together with the Catholic kings, the Hispanic Empire was born, as they consolidated the power of the peninsula with the annexation of Navarra, Granada, Melilla and the Canary Islands.
In this way the territory of present-day Spain was formed, which was expanding across the Mediterranean to present-day Italy.
Likewise, the Spanish Empire took on a particular importance and power when the Catholic kings promoted the trips of Christopher Columbus and were left with the possession of most of the territories of America.
This was a great economic, political, military and strategic power that positioned the Spanish Crown as one of the most powerful empires in the world, for almost two centuries.
On the other hand, the Catholic kings installed an absolute monarchy and the mandatory practice of Catholicism, hence its name, which resulted in the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition and the expulsion of Muslims and Jews from the peninsula.
The Catholic Monarchs and Christopher Columbus
In 1486, Christopher Columbus offered a project to the Catholic kings to create a route to the East Indies through the West, which was initially rejected.
However, given the difficult passage of merchandise and spices trade through the known routes, due to the high taxes and requirements that the Ottomans began to implement, the Catholic kings took up the idea of Columbus.
Columbus‘s proposal required, for him, 10% of all the wealth obtained on the trip, in addition to noble titles, to be a perpetual admiral and 1/8 of the trade generated by that route.
Finally, after partially accepting the offer, the Catholic kings financed Columbus on his travels. Thus, it ended up discovering a new continent, which brought economic prosperity and power to the Spanish Empire.