Government and Administration under Ferdinand and Isabella

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  • Created by: Kasha 2
  • Created on: 25-02-16 09:41

Government and Administration under Ferdinand and

  • Effective  working of the government and administration was necessary to ensure peace within the Crowns of Castile and Aragon and ot ensure that enough money was raised to meet the monarch's expenditure
  • main aim seemed to have been to estabilish a 'pre-eminent monarchy'
  • First considreation as rulers was establishment of effective system of justice and order

Personal presence

  • Isabella visited every part of Castile over a period of some 30 years .
  • Viceroys - usually close families members were appointed to govern Aragon in Ferdinand's place as he was mainly based in Castile
  • they royal family travelled all around -enabling to go any place that might have problems

Use of Hermandad

  • set up in 1476, the Hermandad was set up every place with more than 50 inhabitants 
  • reamined in place until 1498 
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Hermandad and Corregidores

  • Hemrandades provided Ferdnand and ISabella with soldiers and regularly contributed money to fiance fighting the civil war and the Grananda War
  • main task was to police towns and villages and countryside
  • also tiried people for crimes e.g robbery, murder
  • but limited effect as could only deal with small disorders 
  • resented by otehr law officials and financial contributions to Crown seen as a burden
  • Aragon resented imposition of Hermandad so it was short lived there 

Use of Corregidores in Castillian Towns 

  • continued and expanded policy of sending out corregidores ( or civil governors ) 
  • In important towns of Castile 
  • collected taxe and reported to Corwn on state of affiars in area
  • ensured that nobility and church didn't interfere in Crown's matters
  • other royal officals sent to check that these Corregidores  were doing their jobs 
  • salaries were met by towns themselves so corregidores were greatly resented 
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Relations with nobility

  • Troublesome nobles arrested, lands and property confiscated
  • At Corts of Toledo in 1480 almost all royal lands lost since 1464 were returned to the Cronw
  • Crown gave compensation to ones it reclaimed in conquest of Granada War
  • Nobles forbidden to make private war or to build new casltes 
  • Some nobles had right to collect toryla tax of alcabala -allowed to continue
  • Secuirty in Spain meant working with nobles rather than against them
  • Nobles encourage use the mayorazgo which forbade sales or division of land- ensure children of nobility could inherit all lands 
  • Crown extended it hold over military orders of Castiel
  • orders of chivalry made up of knights bound by religious vows
  • three in Castile were Santiago , Calatrava and Alcantara- owned large estates and reeived much wealth and powerful
  • Ferdinand became grand master of eash orders so Crown increased income considerably and took control of it 
  • in 1489 council set up specifically for administration of orders 
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  • Concilliar sysem
  • main council was Royal Counci lof Castile
  • consisted of five chambers
  • new councils formed in 1483 the Supreme Inquisition
  • in 1489 the Council  of Orders
  • two monarchs increased no. of councils to meet growinig responsibilites 
  • use of letrados ( people who studied the law for at least 10 years) was expanded by 1493 all members of royal council had letrado

Law and Order 

  • Difficult even in Castile to increase control over justice because powers of nobles and Church
  • in 1489 Ordinances issued to esbalishs permeanent court at Valladolid
  • appeals from court like this one went to Council of Castile the High Court.
  • different system operated in Aragon each kingdom had its own  audiencia to try cases
  • a justicia independant of Crown and his court protected liberties and fueros of Aragon
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  • Cortes of Castile consisted of 17 towns and Granada after  1492
  • two representative to each meeting - clergy and nobles had right to go but as exempt from taxation often didn't bother
  • between 1482 to 1498 Castilian courts did not meet as isabella was arguably able to get soldiers and money from Hermandad so didn't need to ask for funds
  • Cortes of Aragon expected that greivance woudl be discussed before any money granted
  • considerable power
  • in 1488 strong opposition to Hermanda led to supension of Hermandad - final suppression  in 1495 
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  • Considerable problem- Spain was a poor country 
  • civil wars of 1470's had made normal income from taxes difficult to collect
  • in 1477 this income stood at 27 maravedis
  • most raised from alacabla and rest from sources such as customs -instead of having official tax collectors monarches accepted sum payments from tax farmers who paid for the right to collect taxes
  • Aragon only able to contribute a tiny amount 
  • fiance for war in Grannad had been largely met from Chruch sources but other methods for rest
  • attempts made to make collection of taxes more efficient only partially successful
  • Revneu from customs duties increaded as tarde improved
  • extradordinary income really chaanged ,66 % increase due to the Hermandad ,papal grants, oans all contributed much
  • most money came from large sumes voted by Castilian cortes in special taxes
  • almost 300 marvadvdis in the years 1500 -4 alone
  • they had to then resort to loasn from Spanish nobles -repayments made 10% of interest in form of juros - financial burden placed on monarchs and sucessors 
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