Isabel the Catholictogether with her husband Fernando the Catholic, planted the foundations of modern Spain, achieving unify the kingdoms of the country and expanding its domains beyond its borders.
Biography of Isabel la Católica
Isabel was born on April 22, 1451 in Madrigal de las Altas Torres, Ávila. She was the third daughter of the king Juan II of Castile and his wife Isabel of Portugal.
He spent his childhood in Arévalo, where his mother began to show signs of madness. There he would learn to read and write. He was there until 1464 when his brother, King Henry IV offers to go to court, gifting her with rents, grants and a villa in Casarrubios del Monte.
At court there was a confrontation between the different nobles, as there were discussions between those who wanted a strong monarchy and those who preferred a manageable king.
In this environment the well-known Farce of Avila, in which the nobles depose Henry IV and Alfonso of Castile is named king, since according to they affirm, Enrique's daughter, Juana, is actually the daughter of Beltrán de la Cueva, valid of the king.
Alfonso dies in 1468. Immediate action is for Alfonso's supporters to elect Isabel as a candidate for the throne.
The Pact of the Guisando Bulls in 1468 in which Enrique recognizes Isabel as Princess of Asturias. Faced with this responsibility, Isabel had to choose a suitable husband.
There were several suitors, such as Alfonso V of Portugal, Pedro Girón and Fernando of Aragon.
Isabel la Católica and Fernando de Aragón
Finally, she chose Fernando, with whom she would marry on October 19, 1469 in Valladolid after getting a papal dispensation as they were cousins.
This marriage will cause a confrontation between Isabel and Enrique. The latter declares the appointment of Isabel as princess of Asturias illegal, granting the honor to his daughter Juana in 1470.
Isabel does not get support at first, so she retires to Medina de Rioseco. However, little by little allies such as the Basque Country, Burgundy, Rome and the Mendoza family.
Seeing the power he is acquiring, Enrique agrees to negotiate but will die on the night of November 11-12, 1474 without having written a will. Isabel proclaims herself Queen of Castile on December 13 in Segovia.
In January 1475 Isabel and Fernando signed the Concordia of Segovia, where the distribution of the competences of each one is made. Together they form an inseparable unit, which causes the outbreak of a civil war that would end in 1479.
During the war, Portugal and France will give their support to Juana, while Isabel only got the support of Aragon. The war ends with the Treaties of Alcaçovas in September 1479 with Elizabeth being named queen.
In addition, that year Juan II died, so Fernando becomes the king of Aragon.
The dynastic union between Castile and Aragon
For the dynastic union, began to take various measures, such as the constitution of the Holy brotherhood; the reorganization of the Royal Council; the jurisdiction of the corregidores is expanded; the Royal Treasury is regulated; the grants granted by Enrique IV are reviewed; the maestrazgos of the military orders are incorporated to the Crown by naming Grand Master to Fernando; Chancelleries are established in Granada and Valladolid; a permanent army formed by the Royal Guards, the urban militias and the Holy Brotherhood was constituted.
On the religious level, the drastic measure of expel the jews from the peninsula in 1492; religious orders are reformed at the hands of Cardinal Cisneros; and it is created the Holy Inquisition.
The year 1492 It was very important, since outstanding events take place that would mark the future of the country.
The Reconquest and the Discovery of America
In matters of foreign policy the kings had launched the reconquest of the territories under Islamic rule. It began in 1482 and ended in 1492 with the reconquest of the kingdom of Granada.
Boabdil el Chico gave him the keys to the city on January 2, 1492. Thanks to this, Pope Alexander VI grants them the title of Catholic Monarchs in 1494.
Another outstanding fact was the discovery of America. Christopher Columbus discovered America on October 12, 1492 thanks to the trust that Isabel had placed in her mission.
This caused that the Spanish lands were greatly expanded, since the crown of Aragon was expanding across the Mediterranean.
Also, thanks to the bulls Inter Caetera of the Pope Alexander VI, it granted them the sovereignty over all discovered lands.
In addition, in foreign policy they tried to expand their dominions and isolate France thanks to the marriage of your children with European personalities and heirs. So his daughter Isabel she would marry the Portuguese prince Alfonso, but when he died she married his heir, Don Manuel the Fortunate.
Juan he would marry Margaret of Austria, daughter of the emperor Maximilian I; Juana she would marry Felipe of Austria, known as Felipe el Hermoso; Maria she would marry Manuel of Portugal; and finally Katherine she would be the king's first wife Henry VIII of England.
In 1497 Prince John died, causing Elizabeth to fall into a deep depression.
In addition, the inheritance problem existed, since his daughter Isabel died in 1498 and his son in 1500, who would be the heir to Portugal, Castile and Aragon.
Therefore, he writes in his will that the successor would be his daughter Juana. Isabel died on November 26, 1504 in Medina del Campo.
She was buried in the Royal Chapel of Granada Cathedral, where later the remains of her beloved husband would rest next to her Fernando.
Images: Public Domain
Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little 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.