The Catholic Monarchs is a phrase that is used in reference to King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile. The two were second cousins whose marriage led to the unification of Spain. After the unification, the two became the first monarchs. At the time of getting married in 1469, Isabella and Ferdinand were only 18 and 17 years of age respectively. There is so much about the two that makes it ideal for historians to document information about the Catholic monarchs.
The marriage between Isabella and Ferdinand brought together, the two crown into one house. In fact, some historians point out that the unification of Spain resulted from the marriage between the two. However, certain reports also indicate that even under the reign of the two, Spain was still under monarchy. In fact, Aragon and Castile remained separated for many decades after the marriage.
Even though the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand appeared to be a right move to some, it was dodged by bad omens that appeared not to be favorable. One of them is that the two were very young considering that they were still teenagers. Besides, claim by Isabella to the throne of Castile did not go down very well with many who disputed it. In the same way, the claim by Ferdinand to the Aragon throne was under great danger from civil wars. However, Ferdinand and Isabella succeeded to the thrones of Aragon and Castile in 1479 and 1474 respectively.
Apart from the criticisms that took center stage in the marriage of the two catholic monarchs, they were credited for laying the foundations of the Golden Age for Spain, also known as Siglo de Oro. During this period, Spain became the largest empire in the history of the world. However, it should be noted that the unification did not affect the customs and laws of Castile and Aragon. Both of them continued to practice their customs and laws without referring to the other. Castile was the largest and this accorded it some form of dominance in the relationship.
When Ferdinand and Isabella took over power, they shared the same goals. One of those goals was restoring peace and order by reducing aristocratic power. Besides, the two also wanted to bring to an end a situation whereby authority is solely placed on the hands of those on the throne. Isabella and Ferdinand were also focused on supporting the parliament since it was the body that represented the interests of the nobles as well as the church and municipalities.
The Catholic monarchs acted in protection of Christianity and did not give their subjects the freedom of religion or worship. The only religion that they held supreme was Christianity, Catholic to be very specific. The two leaders even went to the extent of expelling Jews and Muslims from the region on grounds that they refused to convert to Christianity. The Catholic monarchs were committed to containing the influence of France that was at time, Spain’s main rival. According to many, marriage between Isabella and Ferdinand was the most ideal way of containing France’s influence.
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