Strengthening the State, 1500 - 1516 (part 1)

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Strengthening the State, 1500 - 1516

The Dual Monarchy & Personal Rule:

  • Partnership grew
  • Monarchy of Ferdinand + Isabella, up to Isabella's death (1504) = "dual monarchy"
  • Term empasises = authority more than just their individual personal authority in their own states
  • They would not tolerate any limitations to their rule
  • Historians confirm this by pointing to the fact that they were able on occasion to ignore the law
  • Ferdinand + Isabella were absolutely clear that the Pope's power in their kingdoms was limited to matters of faith
  • Although F + I = pious people & anxious to promote the faith = did not want a third party in their partenership + were not prepared to tolerate papal interference in their political position
  • Further example of their establishment of direct & personal rule
  • Together they were the soverigns + "natural lords" of their lands & peoples
  • Dual monarchy is the term often used to describe this partnership
  • Dual monarchy = i.e. a strong & an equal partnership had not been force upon F + I
  • The concept of a dual monarchy rather than a more informal partnership, placed a particularly strong empasis on the decline of feudal ties as the main form of social + political organisation + as a historian puts it "strengthening of centralised royal authority, at the expense of traditional social groups such as the military aristocracy and the Church"
  • Feudal ties = in the feudal system, peasants were subject to their landlords through a wide range of requirements, i.e. work on te land = helped the nobility = Kamen considered that it gave the nobility too much control and the crown too little
  • Power & authority were focused on the 2 monarchs rather than shared or delegated to other potentially powerful individuals
  • Death of Isabella (1504) = focuses on the monarch & its officers became even more noticeable e.g. in the membership & authority of the Council of Castile
  • Nobles were allowed to attend, but they were not able to vote; the business of the realm became the province of a small number of caballeros, or gentlemen, members of the higher clergy and a larger number of letrados or lawyers, rather than aristocrats

The extent of their partnership:

  • Isabella on her accession, instructed her chroniclers always to support government actions as having been done by both herself & Ferdinand
  • This was not always trus = they were bound to have different obligations at certain times

Common Aims:

  • Separately governed their states with differing laws & traditions in Castile & Aragon
  • Differences would not be easy to reduce + it would seem that the young + inexperienced Ferdinand & Isabella did not deliberately set to unify their kingdom & become King & Queen of "Spain"
  • HOWEVER = some issues were addressed in both states = suggests common aims
  • One of these was the aim of restoring law & order following civil war
  • Aragon = move to abolish some feudal dues = allowing posts in government by lottery

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