The Conquest of Granada, 1492

A summary of why Ferdinand and Isabella wanted to conquer Granada, the war itself and the consequences.


Why did Ferdinand and Isabella want to conquer Gra

  • They wanted to unify all the Spanish kingdoms, just as they had done with Castile and Aragon.
  • They aimed to give Catholicism dominance in the Spanish peninsula - Granada was a Muslim state.
  • Granada was seen as a religious and military threat because it was geographically so close to the Ottoman Empire.
  • Because Granada had a large coastline they had good trading links. Granada also made the luxury item - silk. This would be economically good for Spain.
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The Granadan War

  • The war lasted 10 years from 1482-92.
  • In 1483 the Christians - Ferdinand and Isabella's troops - successfully gained large parts of Andalusia. This was an important military gain and weakened Granada economically because Andalusia was an important part of the silk-making industry.
  • Also, in 1483, the Christians managed to capture the Granadan prince, Boabdil. He was released after swearing loyalty to Ferdinand so Granada effectively became a vassal state.
  • Despite the capture of Boabdil, which divided and weakened Granada, the Moors continued to fight. They made a point of avoiding formal battles so the war became a serious of sieges and skirmishes.
  • However, the Christians successfully gained Marbella and in 1487, made a successful 4 month siege on Malaga.
  • The Moors were unable to fight a long war as they lacked support from other Muslim countries; so on 1st January 1492 the Moors surrendered after negiotations.
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What were the consequences of the war?

  • Ferdinand and Isabella were given the title of the 'Catholic Monarchs' by the Pope.
  • There was great celebration throughout Christendom and the victory consolidated Ferdinand and Isabella's control over their kingdoms.
  • Convivencia was threatened as those Muslims who chose to stay in Granada were expected to convert. However, they were treated with leniancy at first.
  • There were food shortages and rising prices in Spain because a majority of the food had been sent to the troops.
  • The two states of Castile and Aragon were brought closer together because of the need for co-operation.
  • The Spanish economy was boosted because of the silk-making industry in Granada.
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