Crown of Castile

Crown of Castile

Overview
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 and León
Kingdom of León
The Kingdom of León was an independent kingdom situated in the northwest region of the Iberian Peninsula. It was founded in AD 910 when the Christian princes of Asturias along the northern coast of the peninsula shifted their capital from Oviedo to the city of León...

 upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile
Ferdinand III of Castile
Saint Ferdinand III, T.O.S.F., was the King of Castile from 1217 and León from 1230. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. He finished the work done by his maternal grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the...

 to the vacant Leonese throne. It continued to exist as a separate entity after the personal union of the crowns of Castile and Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 with the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

 in 1469 and wasn't formally abolished until the unification policies
Nueva Planta decrees
The Nueva Planta decrees were a number of decrees signed between 1707 and 1716 by Philip V—the first Bourbon king of Spain—during and shortly after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession which he won....

 of Philip V of Spain
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

 in the early 18th century.
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Encyclopedia
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 and León
Kingdom of León
The Kingdom of León was an independent kingdom situated in the northwest region of the Iberian Peninsula. It was founded in AD 910 when the Christian princes of Asturias along the northern coast of the peninsula shifted their capital from Oviedo to the city of León...

 upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile
Ferdinand III of Castile
Saint Ferdinand III, T.O.S.F., was the King of Castile from 1217 and León from 1230. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. He finished the work done by his maternal grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the...

 to the vacant Leonese throne. It continued to exist as a separate entity after the personal union of the crowns of Castile and Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 with the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

 in 1469 and wasn't formally abolished until the unification policies
Nueva Planta decrees
The Nueva Planta decrees were a number of decrees signed between 1707 and 1716 by Philip V—the first Bourbon king of Spain—during and shortly after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession which he won....

 of Philip V of Spain
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

 in the early 18th century. During its existence, the Spanish colonies in the Americas
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 and the Philippines were also considered part of the Crown of Castile.

Two kingdoms: León and Castile



The Kingdom of León arose out of the Kingdom of Asturias
Kingdom of Asturias
The Kingdom of Asturias was a Kingdom in the Iberian peninsula founded in 718 by Visigothic nobles under the leadership of Pelagius of Asturias. It was the first Christian political entity established following the collapse of the Visigothic kingdom after Islamic conquest of Hispania...

. The Kingdom of Castile appeared initially as a county of the Kingdom of León. From the second half of the 10th century to the first half of the 11th century it changed hands between León and the Kingdom of Navarre. In the 11th century it became a kingdom in its own right.

The two kingdoms had been united twice previously:
  • From 1037 until 1065 under Ferdinand I of León
    Ferdinand I of León
    Ferdinand I , called the Great , was the Count of Castile from his uncle's death in 1029 and the King of León after defeating his brother-in-law in 1037. According to tradition, he was the first to have himself crowned Emperor of Spain , and his heirs carried on the tradition...

    . Upon his death his kingdoms passed to his sons, León to Alfonso VI
    Alfonso VI of Castile
    Alfonso VI , nicknamed the Brave or the Valiant, was King of León from 1065, King of Castile and de facto King of Galicia from 1072, and self-proclaimed "Emperor of all Spain". After the conquest of Toledo he was also self-proclaimed victoriosissimo rege in Toleto, et in Hispania et Gallecia...

    , Castile to Sancho II
    Sancho II of Castile
    Sancho II , called the Strong, or in Spanish, el Fuerte, was King of Castile and León .He was the eldest son of Ferdinand I of Castile and Sancha of León, the eventual heiress to the Leonese crown...

    , and Galicia to García.
  • From 1072 until 1157 under Alfonso VI (died 1109), Urraca
    Urraca of Castile
    Urraca was Queen regnant of León, Castile, and Galicia, and claimed the imperial title as suo jure Empress of All the Spains from 1109 until her death in childbirth, as well as Empress of All Galicia.- Childhood :...

     (died 1126), and Alfonso VII. From 1111 until 1126 Galicia was separate from the union under Alfonso VII. In 1157 the kingdoms were divided between Alfonso's sons, with Ferdinand II
    Ferdinand II of Leon
    Ferdinand II was King of León and Galicia from 1157 to his death.-Life:Born in Toledo, Castile, he was the son of King Alfonso VII of León and Castile and of Berenguela, of the House of Barcelona. At his father's death, he received León and Galicia, while his brother Sancho received Castile and...

     receiving León and Sancho III
    Sancho III of Castile
    Sancho III was King of Castile and Toledo for one year, from 1157 to 1158. During the Reconquista, in which he took an active part, he founded the Order of Calatrava...

     Castile.


Ferdinand III received the Kingdom of Castile from his mother, Queen Berengaria of Castile, in 1217, and the Kingdom of León from his father (Alfonse IX of León) in 1230. From then on the two kingdoms were united under the name of the Kingdom of León and Castile, or simply as the Crown of Castile. Ferdinand III later conquered the Guadalquivir Valley, while his son Alfonso X conquered the Kingdom of Murcia from Al-Andalus, further extending the area of the Crown of Castile. Given this, the kings of the Crown of Castile traditionally styled themselves "King of Castile, León, Toledo, Galicia, Murcia, Jaén, Córdoba, Seville, and Lord of Biscay and Molina", among other possessions they later gained. The heir to the throne has been titled Prince of Asturias since the 14th century.

Union of the Cortes and the legal code


Almost immediately after the union of the two kingdoms under Ferdinand III, the parliaments of Castile and León were united. It was divided into three estates, which corresponded with the nobility, the church and the cities, and included representation from Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

, León
Kingdom of León
The Kingdom of León was an independent kingdom situated in the northwest region of the Iberian Peninsula. It was founded in AD 910 when the Christian princes of Asturias along the northern coast of the peninsula shifted their capital from Oviedo to the city of León...

, Galicia
Kingdom of Galicia
The Kingdom of Galicia was a political entity located in southwestern Europe, which at its territorial zenith occupied the entire northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Founded by Suebic king Hermeric in the year 409, the Galician capital was established in Braga, being the first kingdom which...

, Toledo, Navarre
Kingdom of Navarre
The Kingdom of Navarre , originally the Kingdom of Pamplona, was a European kingdom which occupied lands on either side of the Pyrenees alongside the Atlantic Ocean....

 and the Basque provinces
Basque Country (autonomous community)
The Basque Country is an autonomous community of northern Spain. It includes the Basque provinces of Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, also called Historical Territories....

. Initially the number of cities represented in the Cortes varied over the next century, until John I
John I of Castile
John I was the king of Crown of Castile, was the son of Henry II and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile, daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, head of a younger branch of the royal house of Castile...

 permanently set those that would be allowed to send representatives (procuradores): Burgos, Toledo, León, Sevilla, Córdoba, Murcia, Jaén, Zamora, Segovia, Ávila, Salamanca, Cuenca, Toro, Valladolid, Soria, Madrid and Guadalajara (with Granada added after its conquest in 1492).

Under Alfonso X
Alfonso X of Castile
Alfonso X was a Castilian monarch who ruled as the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1252 until his death...

, most sessions of the Cortes of both kingdoms were held jointly. The Cortes of 1258 in Valladolid comprised representatives of Castile, Extremadura and León ("de Castiella e de Estremadura e de tierra de León") and those of Seville in 1261 of Castile, León and all other kingdoms ("de Castiella e de León e de todos los otros nuestros Regnos"). Subsequent Cortes were celebrated separately, for example in 1301 that of Castile in Burgos and that of León in Zamora, but the representatives demanded that the parliaments be reunited from then on.

Although the individual kingdoms and cities initially retained their individual historical rights-including the Old Fuero of Castile (Viejo Fuero de Castilla) and the different fueros of the municipal councils of Castile, León, Extremadura and Andalucía-a unified legal code for entire new kingdom was created in the Siete Partidas
Siete Partidas
The Siete Partidas or simply Partidas was a Castilian statutory code first compiled during the reign of Alfonso X of Castile , with the intent of establishing a uniform body of normative rules for the kingdom. The codified and compiled text was originally called the Libro de las Leyes...

 (c. 1265), the Ordenamiento de Alcalá
Ordenamiento de Alcalá
The Ordenamiento de Alcalá is a collection of 58 laws enacted by the courts of Alfonso XI in Alcalá de Henares in 1348. They are an important part of the principal legislative body of the Castilian Crown during the low Middle Ages until the 1505 Leyes de Toro....

 (1248) and the Leyes de Toro (1505). These laws continued to be in force until 1889, when a new Spanish civil code (the Código Civil Español) was enacted.

Spanish language and universities



In the 13th century there were many languages spoken in the Kingdoms of León and Castile among them Castilian
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, Leonese
Leonese language
The Leonese language is the endonym term used to refer to all vernacular Romance dialects of the Astur-Leonese linguistic group in the Spanish provinces of León and Zamora; Astur-Leonese also includes the dialects...

, Basque
Basque language
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

 and Galician-Portuguese
Galician-Portuguese
Galician-Portuguese or Old Portuguese was a West Iberian Romance language spoken in the Middle Ages, in the northwest area of the Iberian Peninsula. It was first spoken in the area bounded in the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and the Douro River in the south but it was later extended south...

. But throughout the century Castilian gained more and more prominence as the language of culture and communication. One example of this is the 'Cantar de Mio Cid
Cantar de Mio Cid
El Cantar de Myo Çid , also known in English as The Lay of the Cid and The Poem of the Cid is the oldest preserved Spanish epic poem...

'.

In the last years of the reign of Ferdinand III
Ferdinand III of Castile
Saint Ferdinand III, T.O.S.F., was the King of Castile from 1217 and León from 1230. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. He finished the work done by his maternal grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the...

 Castilian began to be used to certain types of documents, such as the Visigothic Code
Visigothic Code
The Visigothic Code comprises a set of laws promulgated by the Visigothic king of Hispania, Chindasuinth in his second year...

, then the basis of the legal code for Christians living in Muslim Cordova
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

, but it was during the reign of Alfonso X
Alfonso X of Castile
Alfonso X was a Castilian monarch who ruled as the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1252 until his death...

 that it became the official language. Henceforth all public documents were written in Castilian, likewise all translations of Arabic legal and government documents were made into Castilian instead of Latin.

Some people think that the substitution of Castilian for Latin was due to the strength of the new language, whereas others consider that it was due to the influence of Hebrew-speaking intellectuals who were hostile towards Latin, the language of the Christian Church.

In 1492, under the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

, the first edition of the Grammar of the Castilian Language by Antonio de Nebrija
Antonio de Nebrija
Antonio de Lebrija , also known as Antonio de Nebrija, Elio Antonio de Lebrija, Antonius Nebrissensis, and Antonio of Lebrixa, was a Spanish scholar, known for writing a grammar of the Castilian language, credited as one of the first published grammars of a Romance language...

 was published. Castilian was eventually carried to the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 in the 16th century by the conquistador
Conquistador
Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492...

s. Because of Castilian's importance in the land ruled by the Spanish Crown, the language is also known as Spanish.

Furthermore, in the 13th century many Universities were founded like the Leonese Salamanca
University of Salamanca
The University of Salamanca is a Spanish higher education institution, located in the town of Salamanca, west of Madrid. It was founded in 1134 and given the Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218. It is the oldest founded university in Spain and the third oldest European...

 and the Castilian Estudio General of Palencia were among the first universities in Europe.

Ascension of the Trastámara dynasty


On the death of Alfonso XI
Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI was the king of Castile, León and Galicia.He was the son of Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal. Upon his father's death in 1312, several disputes ensued over who would hold regency, which were resolved in 1313...

 a dynastic conflict started between his sons, the Infantes Peter and Henry, Count of Trastámara, which became entangled in the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

. Alfonso XI had married Maria of Portugal with whom he had his heir, the Infante Peter. However, the King also had many illegitimate children with Eleanor of Guzman
Eleanor of Guzman
Eleanor of Guzman or Leonor Núñez de Guzmán was a Castilian noblewoman and long-term mistress to Alfonso XI of Castile. She was the mother of King Henry II of Castile.- Life :...

, among them the above-mentioned Henry, who disputed Peter's right to the throne once the latter became king.

In the resulting struggle, in which both brothers claimed to be king, Pedro allied himself with Edward, Prince of Wales
Edward, the Black Prince
Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Prince of Aquitaine, KG was the eldest son of King Edward III of England and his wife Philippa of Hainault as well as father to King Richard II of England....

, "the Black Prince." In 1367, the Black Prince defeated Henry II's allies at the Battle of Nájera, restoring Pedro's control of the kingdom. The Black Prince, seeing that the king would not reimburse his expenses, left Castile. Henry, who had fled to France, took advantage of the opportunity and recommenced the fight. Henry finally was victorious in 1369 in the Battle of Montiel
Battle of Montiel
The battle of Najera was of dubious long-term significance as Pedro of Castile and the Black Prince fell out over money. The Black Prince, affected by a dysentery, soon withdrew his support from Pedro and returned to Aquitaine...

, in which he had Peter killed.

In 1371 the brother of the Black Prince, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster , KG was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault...

, married Constance, Peter's daughter. In 1386, he claimed the Crown of Castile in the name of his wife, the legitimate heir according to the Cortes de Seville of 1361. He arrived in A Coruña
A Coruña
A Coruña or La Coruña is a city and municipality of Galicia, Spain. It is the second-largest city in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country...

 with an army and took the city. He then moved on to occupy Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

, Pontevedra
Pontevedra
Pontevedra is a city in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the capital of both the comarca and province of Pontevedra, in Galicia . It is also the capital of its own municipality which is, in fact, often considered as an extension of the actual city...

 and Vigo
Vigo
Vigo is a city and municipality in north-west Spain, in Galicia, situated on the ria of the same name on the Atlantic Ocean.-Population:...

. He asked John I
John I of Castile
John I was the king of Crown of Castile, was the son of Henry II and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile, daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, head of a younger branch of the royal house of Castile...

, Henry II's son, to give up the throne in favor of Constance.

John declined but proposed that his son, the Infante Henry
Henry III of Castile
Henry III KG , sometimes known as Henry the Sufferer or Henry the Infirm , was the son of John I and Eleanor of Aragon, and succeeded him as King of the Castilian Crown in 1390....

, marry John of Gaunt's daughter Catherine
Catherine of Lancaster
-Coat of arms:The following are Armorials of the House of Lancaster under her father, John of Gaunt.-References:* Anthony Goodman: "Katherine of Lancaster" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 30 , p. 890-891....

. The proposal was accepted, and the title Prince of Asturias
Prince of Asturias
Prince of Asturias is the historical title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. It was also the title under the earlier Kingdom of Castile. The current Prince of Asturias is Felipe, son of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofía...

 was created for Henry and Catherine. This ended the dynastic conflict, strengthened the House of Trastámara
Trastámara
The House of Trastámara was a dynasty of kings in the Iberian Peninsula, which first governed in Castile beginning in 1369 before expanding its rule into Aragón, Navarre and Naples.They were a cadet illegitimate line of the House of Burgundy....

's position and created peace between England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Castile.

Relations with the Crown of Aragon



During the reign of Henry III
Henry III of Castile
Henry III KG , sometimes known as Henry the Sufferer or Henry the Infirm , was the son of John I and Eleanor of Aragon, and succeeded him as King of the Castilian Crown in 1390....

 royal power was restored, overshadowing the much powerful Castilian nobility. In his later years Henry delegated some of his power to his brother Ferdinand I of Antequera
Ferdinand I of Aragon
Ferdinand I called of Antequera and also the Just or the Honest) was king of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica and king of Sicily, duke of Athens and Neopatria, and count of Barcelona, Roussillon and Cerdanya...

, who would be regent, along with his wife Catherine of Lancaster
Catherine of Lancaster
-Coat of arms:The following are Armorials of the House of Lancaster under her father, John of Gaunt.-References:* Anthony Goodman: "Katherine of Lancaster" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 30 , p. 890-891....

, during the childhood of his son John II
John II of Castile
John II was King of Castile from 1406 to 1454.He was the son of Henry III of Castile and his wife Catherine of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster by Constance of Castile, daughter of King Peter of Castile.-Regency:He succeeded his father on 25 December 1406, at the age of...

. After the Compromise of Caspe
Compromise of Caspe
The Compromise of Caspe made in 1412 was an act and resolution of parliamentary representatives on behalf of the Kingdoms of Aragon and Valencia and the County of Barcelona, to resolve the interregnum commenced by the death of King Martin I of Aragon in 1410 without a legitimate heir, in Caspe.The...

 in 1412, Ferdinand left Castile to become King of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

.

Upon the death of his mother, John II at the age of 14, took to the throne and married his cousin Maria of Aragon
Maria of Aragon, Queen of Castile
Maria of Aragon was the first wife and Queen consort of John II of Castile. The daughter of Ferdinand I of Aragon and Eleanor of Alburquerque, she married her cousin John in 1420.- Biography :...

. The young king entrusted his government to regent Álvaro de Luna
Álvaro de Luna
Álvaro de Luna y Jarana , Duke of Trujillo, 1st Count of San Esteban de Gormaz, was a Spanish politician...

, the most influential person in court and allied with the lesser nobility, the cities, the clergy, and the Jews. This brought together the mutual dislikes of the king shared by the greater Castilian nobility and the Aragonese Infantes, sons of Ferdinand I of Antequera, who sought to control the Castilian crown. This eventually led to war in 1429 and 1430 between the two kingdoms. Álvaro de Luna won the war and expelled the Aragonese Infantes from Castile.

Second Conflict of Succession



Henry IV
Henry IV of Castile
Henry IV , King of the Crown of Castile, nicknamed the Impotent , was the last of the weak late medieval kings of Castile...

 unsuccessfully tried to re-establish the peace with the nobility that his father, John II, had shattered. When his second wife, Joan of Portugal
Joan of Portugal
Joan of Portugal was Queen consort of Castile as the second wife of King Henry IV of Castile and a Portuguese infanta, the posthumous daughter of King Edward of Portugal and his wife Eleanor of Aragon...

, gave birth to Infanta Joanna, it was claimed that she was the result of an affair of the Queen with Beltrán de la Cueva
Beltrán de la Cueva
Beltrán de la Cueva y Alfonso de Mercado, 1st Duke of Alburquerque was a Spanish nobleman and presumed lover of Queen Joan of Portugal.-Early life:...

, one of the King's chief ministers.

The King, besieged by riots and the demands of the nobles, had to sign a treaty in which he named as his successor his half-brother Alfonso, leaving Infanta Joanna out of the line of succession. After the death of Alfonso in an accident, Henry IV signed the Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando
Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando
The Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando is the name of a treaty agreed on top of the hill of Guisando near the Bulls of Guisando on September 18, 1468, between Henry IV of Castile and his half-sister Isabella of Castile...

 with his half-sister Isabella I
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 in which he named her heiress in return for her marrying a prince chosen by him.

The Catholic Monarchs: Union with the Crown of Aragon


In October 1469 Isabella I
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 and Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

, heir to the throne of Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

, married in secret in the Palacio de los Vivero in Castilian Valladolid
Valladolid
Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales...

. The consequence was a dynastic union of the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 in 1479 when Ferdinand ascended to the Aragonese throne. This union however was not effective until the reign of his grandson Charles I
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

. Ferdinand and Isabella were related and had married without papal approval. Although Isabella wanted to marry Ferdinand, she refused to proceed with the marriage until she received a Papal dispensation
Papal dispensation
Papal dispensation is a reserved right of the Pope that allows for individuals to be exempted from a specific Canon Law. Dispensations are divided into two categories: general, and matrimonial. Matrimonial dispensations can be either to allow a marriage in the first place, or to dissolve one...

. Consequently, Ferdinand's father forged a papal dispensation for the two to marry. Isabella believed that the dispensation was authentic and the marriage went ahead. A genuine papal dispensation arrived afterwards. Later Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI , born Roderic Llançol i Borja was Pope from 1492 until his death on 18 August 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized surname—Borgia—became a byword for the debased standards of the Papacy of that era, most notoriously the Banquet...

 bestowed upon them the title of 'los Reyes Católicos'
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

('the Catholic Monarchs').

Henry IV
Henry IV of Castile
Henry IV , King of the Crown of Castile, nicknamed the Impotent , was the last of the weak late medieval kings of Castile...

, half brother of Isabella, considered the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella as breaking the treaty of Tratado de los Toros de Guisando under which Isabella would ascend to the Castilian throne on his death only if her suitor was approved by him. Henry wanted to ally Castile with Portugal or France rather than Aragon. He therefore decided to name his daughter Infanta Joanna as heiress to the throne rather than Isabella I. When he did in 1474 the War of the Castilian Succession
War of the Castilian Succession
The War of the Castilian Succession was the military conflict contested from 1475 to 1479 for the succession of the Crown of Castile fought between the supporters of Juana la Beltraneja, daughter of the late monarch Henry IV of Castile, and those of Henry's half sister, Isabella, who was ultimately...

 broke out over who would ascend to the throne. It lasted until 1479 when Isabella and her supporters came out victorious.


After Isabella's victory in the civil war and Ferdinand's ascension to the Aragonese throne the two crowns were united under the same monarchs. However, this was only a personal union and both kingdoms remained administratively separate, each maintaining its own identity and laws; both parliaments remained separate, the only common institution would be the Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

. Despite their titles of "Monarchs of Castile, Leon, Aragon and Sicily" Ferdinand and Isabella reigned over their respective territories, although they also took decisions together. Its central position, larger territorial area (three times greater than that of Aragon) and larger population (4.3 million as opposed to the 1 million in Aragon) led to Castile becoming the dominating partner in the union.

As a result of the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

(Reconquest) the Castilian aristocracy had become very powerful. The monarchs needed to assert their authority over the nobility and the clergy. With this end in mind they founded a law enforcement body, the Consejo de la Hermandad, more commonly known as the Santa Hermandad
Hermandad
Hermandad, literally "brotherhood" in Spanish, was a peacekeeping association of armed individuals, which became characteristic of municipal life in medieval Spain, especially in Castile....

 (the Holy Brotherhood), which was staffed and funded by the municipalities. They also took further measures against the nobility, destroying feudal castles, prohibiting private wars and reducing the power of the Adelantados
Adelantado
Adelantado was a military title held by some Spanish conquistadores of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.Adelantados were granted directly by the Monarch the right to become governors and justices of a specific region, which they charged with conquering, in exchange for funding and organizing the...

 (a governor-like military office in regions recently conquered). The monarchy incorporated military orders under the Consejo de las Órdenes in 1495, reinforced royal judicial power over the feudal one and transformed the Audiencias into the supreme judicial bodies. The crown also sought to better control the cities, and so in 1480 in the Cortes of Toledo it created the corregidores, representatives of the crown, which supervised the city councils. In religion, they reformed religious orders and sought unity of the various sections of the church. They pressured Jews to convert to Catholicism, in some cases persecuted by the Inquisition. Finally in 1492, the monarchs decided that those who would not convert would be expelled. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 people were expelled from Castile. From 1502 onwards, they began to convert the Muslim population.

Between 1478 and 1497 the monarchs forces conquered the three Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 of Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is the second most populous island of the Canary Islands, with a population of 838,397 which constitutes approximately 40% of the population of the archipelago...

, La Palma
La Palma
La Palma is the most north-westerly of the Canary Islands. La Palma has an area of 706 km2 making it the fifth largest of the seven main Canary Islands...

 and Tenerife
Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands, it is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 km² and 906,854 inhabitants, 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the...

. On 2 January 1492 the monarchs entered Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

's Alhambra
Alhambra
The Alhambra , the complete form of which was Calat Alhambra , is a palace and fortress complex located in the Granada, Andalusia, Spain...

 marking the completion and end of the Reconquista. Also in 1492, the Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 maritime expedition claimed the West Indies for the Crown and began the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 conquests. In 1497 Castile conquered Melilla
Melilla
Melilla is a autonomous city of Spain and an exclave on the north coast of Morocco. Melilla, along with the Spanish exclave Ceuta, is one of the two Spanish territories located in mainland Africa...

 on the north coast of North Africa. After Castile's conquest of the Kingdom of Granada, its politics turned towards the Mediterranean, and Castile militarily helped Aragon in its problems with France, culminating in the reconquest of Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 for the Crown of Aragon in 1504. Later that same year, Isabella died.

Period of regency - Joanna I


Upon Isabella I's death, the crown passed to her daughter Joanna
Joanna of Castile
Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

, who was married to Philip of Austria
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

 (nicknamed 'Philip the Handsome'). But Isabella knew of her daughter's possible mental health incapacities (and so nicknamed 'Juana la Loca' or 'Joanna the Mad' ) and named Ferdinand as regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 in the case that Joanna "didn't want to or couldn't fulfil her duties". In the 'Salamanca Agreement' of 1505, it was decided that the government would be shared by Philip I, Ferdinand V and Joanna. However, poor relations between Phillip, who was supported by the Castilian nobility, and Ferdinand resulted in Ferdinand renouncing his regent's powers in Castile in order to avoid an armed conflict. Through the Concordia de Villafáfila of 1506, Ferdinand returned to Aragon and Phillip was recognized as King of Castile, with Joanna a co-monarch. In 1507, Phillip died and Ferdinand returned once again to be regent for Joanna. Her isolated confinement-imprisonment in the Santa Clara Convent at Tordesillas
Tordesillas
Tordesillas is a town and municipality in the province of Valladolid, Castile and León, central Spain.It is located 25 km southwest of the provincial capital, Valladolid at an elevation of 704 meters. The population was c. 9,000 in 2009....

, to last over fifty years until death, began with her father's orders in 1510.

Charles I



Charles I received the Crown of Castile, Aragon and the Empire through a combination of dynastic marriages and premature deaths:
  • when his father Philip I
    Philip I of Castile
    Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

     died in 1506, he became sovereign
    Sovereignty
    Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

     of the Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

    ;
  • upon the death of Ferdinand II of Aragon
    Ferdinand II of Aragon
    Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

     (his grandfather) in 1517 he gained rule of the thrones of Aragon and of Castile (with the Americas), in co-regency title with his mother Queen Joanna
    Joanna of Castile
    Joanna , nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon , a union which evolved into modern Spain...

    . He maintained her confinement-imprisonment, and so Queen of Aragon and of Castile in title only.
  • upon the death of Maximilian
    Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
    Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

     in 1519, Charles was elected Holy Roman Emperor
    Holy Roman Emperor
    The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

     as a consequence of which he is better-known as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
    Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
    Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

    .


Charles I was not well-received in Castile. Part of this was because he was a foreign-born King (born in Ghent
Ghent
Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

), and even before his arrival in Castile he had granted important positions to Flemish citizens and had used Castilian money to fund his court. The Castilian nobility and the cities were on the verge of an uprising to defend their rights. Many Castilians favoured the King's younger brother Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

, who grew up in Castile, and in fact the Council of Castile
Council of Castile
The Council of Castile , known earlier as the Royal Council , was a ruling body and key part of the domestic government of the Crown of Castile, second only to the monarch himself. It was established under Queen Isabella I in 1480 as the chief body dealing with administrative and judicial matters...

 opposed the idea of Charles as King of Castile.

In 1518 the Castilian parliament in Valladolid
Valladolid
Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales...

 named Wallonian Jean de Sauvage as its president. This caused angry protests in the parliament, which rejected the presence of foreigners in its deliberations. Despite threats, the parliament led by Juan de Zumel representating Burgos
Burgos
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 20,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León...

, resisted and forced the King to respect the laws of Castile, remove all foreigners from important governmental posts, and learn to speak Castilian
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

. After taking his oath, Charles received a subsidy of 600,000 ducats.

Charles was conscious of the fact that he had options to become emperor and needed to impose his authority over Castile to gain access to its riches for his imperial goals. The riches from the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 came through Castile was one of the more dynamic, rich, and advanced territories in Europe in the 16th century and started to realise that it could become immersed within an empire. This, added to the broken promise of Charles, only increased hostility towards the King. In 1520 in Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

 Parliament rejected a further subsidy for the King. Parliament in Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

 reached the same decision. Finally, when Parliament was held in A Coruña
A Coruña
A Coruña or La Coruña is a city and municipality of Galicia, Spain. It is the second-largest city in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country...

, many members were bribed and others denied entry, with the result that the subsidy was approved. Those members who voted in favour were attacked by the Castilian people and their houses were burned. Parliament was not the only opposition which Charles would come up against. When he left Castile in 1520, the Castilian War of the Communities
Castilian War of the Communities
The Revolt of the Comuneros was an uprising by citizens of Castile against the rule of Charles V and his administration between 1520 and 1521. At its height, the rebels controlled the heart of Castile, ruling the cities of Valladolid, Tordesillas, and Toledo.The revolt occurred in the wake of...

 broke out. Los comuneros were defeated one year later (1521). After their defeat, Parliament was reduced to a mere consultative body.

Imperial policies of Philip II


Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 continued the politics of Charles I, but unlike his father he made Castile the centre of his empire, centralising all administration in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

. The other states within the peninsula maintained their autonomy, being governed by a Viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

.

Since the reign of Charles I the financial burden of the empire had fallen mainly on Castile. Under Philip II the cost quadrupled. During his reign, as well as increasing existing taxes he created some new ones, among them the excusado in 1567. That same year Philip ordered the proclamation of the La Pragmática; an act whereby all Moriscos had to abandon all Moorish traditions and become true Catholics. This edict limited religious, linguistic and cultural freedom of the Morisco population and provoked the Morisco Revolt
Morisco Revolt
The Morisco Revolt , also known as War of Las Alpujarras or Revolt of Las Alpujarras, in what is now Andalusia in southern Spain, was a rebellion against the Crown of Castile by the remaining Muslim converts to Christianity from the Kingdom of Granada.-The defeat of Muslim Spain:In the wake of the...

 (1568–1571), which was put down by John of Austria.

Castile entered a phase of recession in 1575, which provoked the suspension of wages (the third of his reign). In 1590 the Cortes approved the millones; a new tax on food. This ruined Castilian cities and eliminated their weak attempts at industrialisation. In 1596, pay was once again suspended.

Kingdom of the "Austrias Menores"


In the previous kingdoms, positions in national institutions were filled by educated gentlemen. Philip II's administrators would normally come from either the University of Alcalá
University of Alcalá
The University of Alcalá is a public university located in Alcalá de Henares, a city 35 km northeast of Madrid in Spain. Founded in 1499, it was moved in 1836 to Madrid. In 1977, the University was reopened in its same historical buildings...

 or the University of Salamanca
University of Salamanca
The University of Salamanca is a Spanish higher education institution, located in the town of Salamanca, west of Madrid. It was founded in 1134 and given the Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218. It is the oldest founded university in Spain and the third oldest European...

. After Philip III
Philip III of Spain
Philip III , also known as Philip the Pious, was the King of Spain and King of Portugal and the Algarves, where he ruled as Philip II , from 1598 until his death...

 the nobility once again asserted their right to govern the country. In order to show that there was a new order ruling there was a cleansing of the blood of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. Religious persecution led Philip to declare the expulsion of the Moriscos in 1609.

Faced with the collapse of the Exchequer, in order to maintain the hegemony of Philip IV's Spanish Empire, the Count-Duke of Olivares
Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares
Don Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimentel Ribera y Velasco de Tovar, Count-Duke of Olivares and Duke of San Lúcar la Mayor , was a Spanish royal favourite of Philip IV and minister. As prime minister from 1621 to 1643, he over-exerted Spain in foreign affairs and unsuccessfully attempted domestic reform...

, the king's favourite
Favourite
A favourite , or favorite , was the intimate companion of a ruler or other important person. In medieval and Early Modern Europe, among other times and places, the term is used of individuals delegated significant political power by a ruler...

 (valido) from 1621 to 1643, tried to introduce a series of reforms. Among these was the Unión de Armas, the creation of a new army of 140,000 reservists. Every territory within the kingdom contributed citizens proportionally in order to maintain the force. His aims of union did not work and the Spanish Crown continued as a confederation of kingdoms.

Luis Méndez de Haro took over from Olivares as favourite Philip IV between 1659 and 1665. This was in order to alleviate interior conflicts sparked off by his predecessor (revolts in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, Catalonia
Catalan Revolt
The Catalan Revolt affected a large part of the Catalan Principality of Catalonia between the years of 1640 and 1659. It had an enduring effect in the Treaty of the Pyrenees , which ceded the county of Roussillon and the northern half of the county of Cerdanya to France , thereby splitting the...

 and Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

) and achieve peace in Europe.

Upon the death of Philip IV in 1665, and with the incapacity of Charles II
Charles II of Spain
Charles II was the last Habsburg King of Spain and the ruler of large parts of Italy, the Spanish territories in the Southern Low Countries, and Spain's overseas Empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies...

 to govern, Spain suffered an economic slowdown and battles for power between the different 'favourites'. The death of Charles II in 1700 without descendants provoked the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

.

Spanish territorial divisions within the Crown of Castile



In Spain

  • Old Castile
    Old Castile
    Old Castile is a historic region of Spain, which included territory that later corresponded to the provinces of Santander , Burgos, Logroño , Soria, Segovia, Ávila, Valladolid, Palencia....

    /Castilla la Vieja
  • New Castile/Castilla la Nueva
  • Kingdom of León
    Kingdom of León
    The Kingdom of León was an independent kingdom situated in the northwest region of the Iberian Peninsula. It was founded in AD 910 when the Christian princes of Asturias along the northern coast of the peninsula shifted their capital from Oviedo to the city of León...

    /Reino de León
  • Kingdom of Castile
    Kingdom of Castile
    Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

    /Reino de Castilla
  • Principado de Asturias
    Asturias
    The Principality of Asturias is an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain, coextensive with the former Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages...

  • Kingdom of Galicia
    Kingdom of Galicia
    The Kingdom of Galicia was a political entity located in southwestern Europe, which at its territorial zenith occupied the entire northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Founded by Suebic king Hermeric in the year 409, the Galician capital was established in Braga, being the first kingdom which...

    /Reino de Galicia
  • Biscay
    Biscay
    Biscay is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Biscay. Its capital city is Bilbao...

    /Señorío de Vizcaya
  • Gipuzkoa/Provincia de Guipúzcoa
  • Provincia de Álava
    Álava
    Álava is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Álava. Its capital city is Vitoria-Gasteiz which is also the capital of the autonomous community...

  • Extremadura
    Extremadura
    Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Its component provinces are Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal to the west...

  • Kingdom of Toledo
    Kingdom of Toledo
    The Kingdom of Toledo was the juridical definition of a Christian medieval kingdom in what is now central Spain, created after Alfonso VI of León's capture of Toledo in 1085.-Background:...

    /Reino de Toledo
  • Kingdom of Murcia/Reino de Murcia
  • Kingdom of Córdoba
    Kingdom of Córdoba
    The Kingdom of Córdoba was a territorial jurisdiction of the Crown of Castile from the time it was won from Muslim rule in 1236 during the Reconquista until Javier de Burgos' provincial division of Spain in 1833...

    /Reino de Córdoba
  • Kingdom of Jaén
    Kingdom of Jaén
    The Kingdom of Jaén was a territorial jurisdiction of the Crown of Castile from the time it was won from Muslim rule in 1246 during the Reconquista until Javier de Burgos' provincial division of Spain in 1833...

    /Reino de Jaén
  • Kingdom of Seville
    Seville
    Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

    /Reino de Sevilla
  • Kingdom of Granada
    Emirate of Granada
    The Emirate of Granada , also known as the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada , was an emirate established in 1238 following the defeat of Muhammad an-Nasir of the Almohad dynasty by an alliance of Christian kingdoms at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212...

    /Reino de Granada (after 1492)
  • Kingdom of Navarre
    Kingdom of Navarre
    The Kingdom of Navarre , originally the Kingdom of Pamplona, was a European kingdom which occupied lands on either side of the Pyrenees alongside the Atlantic Ocean....

    /Reino de Navarra (after 1512)

Overseas

  • Viceroyalty of New Spain/Virreinato de Nueva España (after 1535)
  • Viceroyalty of Peru
    Viceroyalty of Peru
    Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima...

    /Virreinato del Perú (after 1542)
  • New Kingdom of Granada
    New Kingdom of Granada
    The New Kingdom of Granada was the name given to a group of 16th century Spanish colonial provinces in northern South America governed by the president of the Audiencia of Bogotá, an area corresponding mainly to modern day Colombia and parts of Venezuela. Originally part of the Viceroyalty of...

    /Nuevo Rieno de Granada (after 1538)
  • Captaincy General of Chile/Reino de Chile (after 1541)
  • Captaincy General of Manila
    Spanish East Indies
    Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

    /Capitanía General de Manila (after 1571)
  • Viceroyalty of New Granada
    Viceroyalty of New Granada
    The Viceroyalty of New Granada was the name given on 27 May 1717, to a Spanish colonial jurisdiction in northern South America, corresponding mainly to modern Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela. The territory corresponding to Panama was incorporated later in 1739...

    /Virreinato de Nueva Granada (from 1717–1724 and after 1739)
  • Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
    Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
    The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, , was the last and most short-lived Viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire in America.The Viceroyalty was established in 1776 out of several former Viceroyalty of Perú dependencies that mainly extended over the Río de la Plata basin, roughly the present day...

    /Virreinato del Río de la Plata (after 1776)
  • Captaincy General of Venezuela
    Captaincy General of Venezuela
    The Captaincy General of Venezuela was an administrative district of colonial Spain, created in 1777 to provide more autonomy for the provinces of Venezuela, previously under the jurisdiction of the Viceroyalty of New Granada and the Audiencia of Santo Domingo...

    /Capitanía General de Venezuela (fully autonomous territory after 1777)