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History: By 1516 Ferdinand and Isabella brought only limited unity to Spain?

  • Date Submitted: 04/15/2013 07:05 AM
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By 1516 Ferdinand and Isabella brought only limited unity to Spain?

The marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1469 brought about a personal union between the two monarchs. In this sense, the monarchs were effectively rulers of the Spanish Peninsula, however as it was a personal union Aragon was under Ferdinand’s rule and Castile under Isabella’s; the two states did not share the same governing systems, laws and policies that begs the question as to whether Ferdinand and Isabella brought only ‘limited unity’ by 1516.   As well as this, due to the lack of a central governing body it can be argued that politically Catholic Monarchs achieved only ‘limited unity by 1516’ across the Spanish Peninsula as Castile and Aragon had separate Cortes. Although, some political unity was achieved due to the fact that both Ferdinand and Isabella’s faces appeared on the royal seal which gave royal assent. As well as this, the monarchs shared similar aims in terms of religion; both wanted to create a strong Catholic presence across the Spanish Peninsula and this was presented through the expulsion of the Jews and the war in Granada. However, the expulsion of the Jews caused issues such as skill gaps (Jews had artisan jobs such as doctors and lawyers.) Economically, both states shared the same financial advisor, Gonzalo Chacon which also indicated similar economic aims as it highlighted how the same man dealt with financial issues yet, Castile and Aragon shared a currency with differing names.  

In a religious sense the monarchs arguably brought greater unity to the Spanish Peninsula as Ferdinand and Isabella shared “common attitudes on religious matters” according to Kilsby. For example both monarchs wanted to unify the south of the peninsula under Catholicism as it was occupied largely by moors race and Muslim by religion. Firstly, the conquest of Granada, a crusade ending in 1492 saw the death of 100,000 Muslims. Although some were given the opportunity to leave (200,000,)...


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