Kingdom of Majorca

Kingdom of Majorca

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The Kingdom of Majorca (1231 - 1344) was founded by James I of Aragon
James I of Aragon
James I the Conqueror was the King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, and Lord of Montpellier from 1213 to 1276...

, also known as James The Conqueror. After the death of his first-born son Alfonso, a will was written in 1262 which created the kingdom in order to cede it to his son James. This disposition was maintained during successive versions of his will such that when James I died in 1276, 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...

 passed to his eldest son Peter
Peter III of Aragon
Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.-Youth and succession:Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife...

, known as Peter III of Aragon or Peter the Great. The Kingdom of Majorca passed to James, who reigned under the name of James II of Majorca
James II of Majorca
James II was King of Majorca and Lord of Montpellier from 1276 until his death. He was the second son of James I of Aragon and his wife Violant, daughter of Andrew II of Hungary...

. The same testament also established that the king of Majorca was a vassal to the king of Aragon.

The kingdom included the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

: Majorca, Minorca
Minorca
Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

 (which was still under the rule of Muslims until 1231, when its sovereignty was surrendered to James I), Ibiza
Ibiza
Ibiza or Eivissa is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza...

 and Formentera
Formentera
Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pine Islands group , which belongs to the Balearic Islands autonomous community .-Geography:...

. The king was also lord of the counties of Roussillon
Roussillon
Roussillon is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales...

 and Cerdanya
Cerdanya
Cerdanya is a natural comarca and historical region of the eastern Pyrenees divided between France and Spain. Historically it has been one of the counties of Catalonia....

 and the territories James I kept in Occitania
Occitania
Occitania , also sometimes lo País d'Òc, "the Oc Country"), is the region in southern Europe where Occitan was historically the main language spoken, and where it is sometimes still used, for the most part as a second language...

 - the signory of Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

, the viscountcy of Carlat
Carlat
Carlat is a commune in the Cantal department in south-central France.The "Rocher de Carlat" or rock of Carlat situated above the picturesque commune was once the site of one of the most powerful and impenetrable chateaux in all of France. It was the seat of Jacques d'Armagnac, duke of Nemours, and...

, in Auvergne
Auvergne (province)
Auvergne was a historic province in south central France. It was originally the feudal domain of the Counts of Auvergne. It is now the geographical and cultural area that corresponds to the former province....

, and the barony of Aumelas
Aumelas
Aumelas is a commune in the Hérault department in southern France.-Population:-References:*...

, contiguous to Montpellier.

Despite his lack of historic significance, the legacy of James I was significant. This legacy included the creation of a strategic Mediterranean enclave, including territories between two large kingdoms, the Capetians
House of Capet
The House of Capet, or The Direct Capetian Dynasty, , also called The House of France , or simply the Capets, which ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328, was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty – itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. As rulers of France, the dynasty...

 of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the Crown of Aragon - which were in constant conflict, at the time. Conscious of the fragility of the Kingdom of Majorca, James I undertook the conquest of Cerdanya to unify the new kingdom. He also entered into negotiations to arrange the marriage of his son James to Beatrice of Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

, daughter to Count Amadeus of Savoy. Neither plan was successful.

On the death of James I, the new king of Majorca, James II, decided not to pay tribute to Peter III. Preoccupied with diverse problems within the realm, it was not until 1279 when the Majorcan monarch reconciled to have his states recognized as subordinate to the king of Aragon. As a consequence the Kingdom of Majorca could not hold court, and the king of Majorca was forced to go to Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 to present tribute to the king of Aragon. By means of the Treaty of Perpignan in 1279 an imbalance of power between the Kingdom of Aragon and the Kingdom of Majorca was created. The Aragonian king maintained the political and economic control of Aragon over the Kingdom of Majorca, reestablishing the unified jurisdiction of the Crown of Aragon which was broken by the will of James I. This treaty would condition relations between the Kingdom of Majorca and the Crown of Aragon throughout the former's existence. The lack of courts later aggravated the destabilization of a kingdom already on the brink of fracture, which, besides this, lacked any common institution beyond the monarchy.

During the Aragonese Crusade
Aragonese Crusade
The Aragonese Crusade or Crusade of Aragon, a part of the larger War of the Sicilian Vespers, was declared by Pope Martin IV against the King of Aragon, Peter III the Great, in 1284 and 1285...

, James II of Majorca allied himself with the Pope and the French against Peter of Aragon. As a result, Peter's successor Alfonso
Alfonso III of Aragon
Alfonso III , called the Liberal or the Free , was the King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona from 1285...

 conquered the kingdom in 1286. However, by the Treaty of Anagni
Treaty of Anagni
The Treaty of Anagni was an accord between the Pope Boniface VIII, James II of Aragon, Philip IV of France, Charles II of Naples, and James II of Majorca. It was signed on 20 June 1295 at Anagni, in what is now central Italy. The chief purpose was to confirm the Treaty of Tarascon of 1291, which...

 in 1295, James II of Aragon
James II of Aragon
James II , called the Just was the King of Sicily from 1285 to 1296 and King of Aragon and Valencia and Count of Barcelona from 1291 to 1327. In 1297 he was granted the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica...

 was required to restore the Balearics to James of Majorca.

On the death of James's son Sancho I in 1324, James III of Majorca
James III of Majorca
James III , called the Rash or the Unfortunate, son of Ferdinand of Majorca and Isabelle de Sabran, heiress of Principality of Achaea, was the King of Majorca from 1324 to 1344. He was the last independent king of Majorca of the House of Barcelona.James was born at Catania...

 took the throne at the age of nine, necessitating a regency council to govern the realm during his childhood. The situation was difficult, since James II of Aragon didn't renounce his claim of reclamation of the Majorcan throne. In 1325, the regency council secured the renunciation by the Aragonian king of any claim on the rights of succession of the Majorcan throne after the repayment of a great debt incurred by Sancho I during an invasion by Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

. While this act solved the problem of succession, it also plunged the kingdom into a serious financial crisis.

James was forced to develop policies similar to that of Aragon's. To that end, he was forced to participate in the war against Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 (1329-1336), which resulted in the loss of various economic markets for the kingdom. Again it was necessary to impose new taxes and fines on the Jewish community, though this was insufficient to resolve the financial crisis. The problems of the kingdom did not appear to have an end, since in 1341, Peter IV of Aragon
Peter IV of Aragon
Peter IV, , called el Cerimoniós or el del punyalet , was the King of Aragon, King of Sardinia and Corsica , King of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona Peter IV, (Balaguer, September 5, 1319 – Barcelona, January 6, 1387), called el Cerimoniós ("the Ceremonious") or el del punyalet ("the one...

 closed relations with the Kingdom of Majorca as a prelude to invasion. In May 1343, Peter IV invaded the Balearic Islands, and followed that in 1344 with the invasions of the counties of Roussillon
Roussillon
Roussillon is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales...

 and Cerdanya
Cerdanya
Cerdanya is a natural comarca and historical region of the eastern Pyrenees divided between France and Spain. Historically it has been one of the counties of Catalonia....

. James III was only able to keep his French possessions. After the sale of these possessions to the king of France in 1349, James III left for Majorca. He was defeated and killed at the Battle of Llucmajor
Battle of Llucmajor
The Battle of Llucmajor occurred in 1349 when Peter IV of Aragon's forces defeated and killed his cousin James III of Majorca in the town of Llucmajor on the Balearic Islands, resulting in the end of the independent Kingdom of Majorca.-References:...

 on 25 October 1349. With this, the Kingdom of Majorca was definitively incorporated into the Crown of Aragon.

The extinction of the Kingdom of Majorca was inevitable in the international context of the age characterized by different conflicts: the Hundred Years War, between France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and 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...

, the war of the benimerines, which involved Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

and the Crown of Aragon, and the attempts to make the Balearics a satellite state by the Genoese. In this context, it was not possible to remain neutral due to the lack of stability and strength. In the case of the kingdom of Majorca, which, to its great misfortune, had bonds of vassalage with the crowns of France (through Montpellier) and Aragon, it could not afford neutrality. In addition, increased taxes to fund the kingdom's economy during neutrality only managed to unsettle the people of the kingdom.

External links

Genealogía, Reyes y Reinos: Reino de Mallorca La Conquista de Mallorca en mapas y cuadros