Catholic Monarchs


The Monarchical Kings or Catholic Monarchs , led to the unification of Spain . The Catholic denomination was formally granted to them in a bull published by Pope Alexander VI in 1494, for his reconquest of Granada , his discoveries of the New World and his strengthening of the church with the Spanish Inquisition and some measures such as forcing the Jews to convert. to Christianity or face exile . The title of Catholics was later transmitted to the successors of Fernando and Isabel.


Who were the Catholic Monarchs?

The Catholic Monarchs were Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón who obtained a denomination or a title as sovereigns of the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon after the war of the Castilian Succession.


What did you do

They promoted a series of companies taking important decisions that marked the history of Spain , gradually giving way to the Renaissance . They intervened in society and politics thanks to their tenacity and skills . They started unity in Spain and reaffirmed authority against the nobility.


Characteristics of the Catholic Monarchs

The main characteristics of the Catholic Monarchs were:

  • His government lasted more than 30 years.
  • They represented the modern states that were beginning to emerge.
  • They represented the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age .
  • They united the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon .
  • They gave rise to the Hispanic Monarchy.
  • They established a common foreign policy represented by matrimonial ties.


Their antecedents begin when they married on October 19 , 1964, becoming the Catholic Monarchs. In 1474 , Isabel had succeeded in acceding to the throne of Castile after the death of her brother Enrique IV and Fernando had acceded to the throne after his father, Juan II , died in 1479.


The story begins with the marriage in Valladolid . Isabel ascends the throne in 1474, becoming the queen of Castile, while Fernando became king consort . In 1479, Fernando came to the crown of Aragon after the death of his father. With their marriage the peninsular union took place and the court settled in Seville producing altercations between Jews and New Christians . In 1482, they carried out the first expulsion of Jews from Seville and Andalusia, producing a change in mentality and generating the creation of the modern State through aauthoritarian monarchy that later originated the absolute monarchy.


Isabel died at the age of 53 on November 26, 1504 in Valladolid , due to uterine cancer , while Fernando el Católico died in 1516 in Cáceres . His tomb is a funerary monument located in the Royal Chapel of Granada and was made by the Italian sculptor Domenico Fancelli.

Reign of the Catholic Monarchs

They jointly governed the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon . They expanded the territory and conquered the Kingdom of Granada , Naples , Navarre and small territories in North Africa . They financed the trip of Christopher Columbus , who discovered America .

Domestic policy

The Catholic Monarchs strengthened the monarchical power , reduced the privileges of the nobility . They incorporated the maestrazgos of military orders , they centralized the administration around the Royal Council reduced the power of Cortes , appointed magistrates to oversee municipalities, fortified mechanisms for monitoring and administration of justice and the army , created the Holy Brotherhood and Inquisition and reformed the clergy. They decreed the expulsion of Jews not converted to Catholicism, and of Muslims.

Foreign policy

It was marked by competition with France ; and to stop their influence in Italy they agreed to the Holy League with the Pope, the Habsburgs , England , Venice , Genoa and Milan . Under the command of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, the Great Captain, the Spanish armies held various campaigns in Italy between 1494 and 1504, which gave Aragon control of Naples.


The main base of the economy was agriculture , sheep farming and the export of raw materials in Castile. They gave privileges to the Mesta through the Law of Defense of the Cañadas , and protection was provided to artisans through internal trade. They favored the high nobility as a reward for loyalty and provided monetary resources to face wars.


The unification of the Catholic religion was sought throughout the peninsula . The inquisition was created as a means of controlling the purity of faith. In 1492, they decreed the compulsory conversion to Christianity by Jews and the expulsion of those who were against the measure. The same was done with the Muslims. 

Conquests of the Catholic Monarchs

Among his most important achievements we mention:

  • Conquest of Granada that caused the fall of the last Muslim kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Conquest of the Canary Islands .
  • The conquest of Navarre .
  • Expansion across the Mediterranean .
  • Expansion to North Africa and America .

Most relevant facts

The most relevant events were:

  • Union of the dynasty of Aragon and Castile .
  • Implantation of the inquisition in Castile.
  • Conquest of Granada .
  • Discovery of America .
  • Denomination of the Catholic Monarchs


The father of Isabel la Católica was Juan II who was king of Castile and her mother was Isabel la Católica .


The eldest daughter was Isabel de Aragón , the second of the children was Juan de Aragón , Juana was the third daughter of the kings and was the most important as the queen of Spain and was known as Juana la loca. María was the fourth daughter of the marriage and the last, Catalina.


It was divided along the length into three lists and the width each was a quarter of the total, the middle strip was yellow , where the Coat of Arms reduced to the two barracks of Castile was placed , and León with the Royal Crown on top . Queen Elizabeth made her national flag with the decree Real of the October 13, 1843 .


Through the Catholic Monarchs and their mandate, the Reconquest process was completed , the American continent was discovered and the territories that were held by the Castilian crown and the Catalan Aragonese crown were united .

Presence in popular culture

Some films have been: Madness of love, Dawn of America, The caravel of illusion, Queen Elizabeth in person. Television series such as Memoria de España and Isabel have also been recorded.

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