Fernando the Catholic he was one of the most important kings in the history of Spain. Thanks to your government and that of his wife, Isabel la Católica, the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon were united, Granada was conquered and the American continent was discovered, among many other things.
Biography of Ferdinand the Catholic
He was born on May 10, 1452 in Sos, Zaragoza. His parents were the king of Aragon, John ii, and his second wife, Queen Juana Enríquez. Was appointed heir to the throne of Aragon in 1461 by the Cortes of Calatayud.
In 1468 the infante Alfonso de Castilla died, which is why the infanta Isabel, the sister of Enrique IV, king of Castile, as heir.
King John II decided to act and try to get by all possible means Fernando's marriage to Isabel.
On January 7, an agreement was signed according to which the contracting parties they would act together and make decisions between the two.
In addition, this link was not to the liking of King Henry IV, so it is carried out in secret. The link would take place October 19, 1469 thanks to a papal dispensation that allowed them to marry despite having a common ancestor.
Then came the inheritance problem of Castile. Most of the nobles would give their support to the Infanta Juana, known as Juana la Beltraneja.
Isabel and Fernando were also getting support, even getting the Basque Country to opt for them.
Henry IV dies on December 12, 1474. The next day, Isabel proclaims herself queen of Castile, which unleashes the civil war.
At the same time, Fernando claims to be the only living male descendant of Enrique and also presents himself as candidate for the throne.
The concord of Segovia of 1475
This makes both Isabel and Fernando sign the concord of Segovia on January 15, 1475; in it is established complete equality in royal power. Thus it makes them appear as one, both united as a block.
During the war, the support of Aragon will be decisive, since Juana has the support of the kings of Portugal and France.
But the war is sentenced in the Treaties of Alcaçovas in September 1479. Also, Juan II dies that year, so Ferdinand becomes king of Aragon.
The consolidation of the monarchy
For the next several years, they dedicated themselves to strengthen the monarchy, for which measures were taken such as institutionalizing the figure of the magistrate, the maestrazgos of the military orders were incorporated into the crown, and the problems of Catalan remensas in the arbitration judgment of Guadalupe in 1486, the royal treasury was reorganized and even rebellious nobles were sanctioned.
Note the reestablishment and settlement of the Inquisition.
After resolving internal conflicts, they set their sights on foreign affairs, highlighting the put an end to the Reconquest taking advantage of the kingdom of Granada he was in crisis.
The war lasted 10 long years, until finally in January 1492, the sultan of Granada, Boabdil the Boy, gave the kings the keys to the city.
In that same period, they were named as Catholic Monarchs in 1494 for the pope Alexander VI.
In addition, he was a participant in the Capitulations of Santa Fe.
The foreign policy of Fernando the Catholic
He supported Columbus in his company to reach India, but his work in the Mediterranean stands out above all, since the Crown of Aragon had territories there.
On the African continent, he managed to annex the territories of Mellila, Oran, Bujía, Tripoli, Mers-el-kebir and Algiers. In Italy it would control the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Naples was ruled by Ferrante, son of Alfonso V the Magnanimous.
Charles VIII, King of France, had interests in Italian lands, so he offered a deal to Fernando in which he returned Roussillon and Cerdanya in exchange for freedom in Italian lands.
They signed the treaty of Barcelona in 1493, but the French monarch intervened in Naples, so Ferdinand had to organize a Holy league along with Emperor Maximilian, Pope Alexander VI, Milan and Venice.
Finally the French troops withdrew. Louis XII of France tries again but through diplomatic channels.
Sign with Fernando the Treaty of Granada in 1500 by which the kingdom of Naples is divided with King Fernando. But this treaty will bring trouble and eventually Naples will be annexed to the Aragonese crown.
The Catholic Monarchs had as their main objective isolate the kingdom of France, so allies such as Portugal, England and the Germanic Empire were sought.
To make it married several of their children to heirs.
Thus, his daughter Isabel would marry the Portuguese prince Alfonso, and upon becoming a widow with his heir, Manuel el Fortunate; Juan would marry with the daughter of the emperor Maximiliano, Margarita of Austria; Juana would marry Felipe of Austria, better known as Philip the Beautiful; Maria would marry Manuel of Portugal; and finally Catherine will be the first wife of King Henry VIII of England.
The death of Isabel the Catholic
Isabel dies on November 26, 1506, leaving as heir to Castile his daughter Juana, although in the absence of this it would be Fernando who governs.
Fernando will be regent until the arrival of his daughter, which was in Flanders. However, problems begin to arise, as part of the nobility, together with the King of France and the Empire, he wants Felipe as king.
To calm the spirits, Fernando signs the peace of Blois in 1505 with the French king. He renounced his rights over the kingdom of Naples and Fernando he would marry his niece, Germana de Foix, on March 18, 1506 in Valladolid.
Philip the Fair dies on September 25 of that same year, reason why Fernando returns to Castile. Further, Juana shows signs of mental disturbance, so Fernando is regent again.
In 1509 he decided lock up his daughter Juana in Tordesillas, since she had been declared insane.
During the regency he would carry out a government with a heavy hand, punishing the nobility and invading the kingdom of Navarre in 1512.
This was carried out since Navarre was a supporter of the French monarch, but Pope Julius II had excommunicated the monarch, so Fernando ordered the Duke of Alba to invade it. The surrender was signed in Pamplona on July 25, 1512.
The testament of Ferdinand the Catholic and the succession
Fernando decided write your will. In it he left as regent to the infant Fernando until Carlos I, his grandson, son of Juana and Felipe, arrived. But at the last moment he decided to change it and leave as regent the Cardinal Cisneros.
Shortly afterwards he decided to undertake a showdown against the turks, so he headed to Andalusia. But nevertheless, On January 23, 1516, shortly before reaching Madrigalejo, in Cáceres, he died.
Both the crowns of Castile and that of Aragon and all the territories that this entailed went to his grandson, King Carlos I of Spain and Vi of the Holy Roman Empire, who was proclaimed king on March 14, 1516.
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With a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was a child I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.