King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella Spain

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Known as the Catholic King & Queen of Spain this couple (who were also cousins) is credited with having brought stability to the regions that came under their rule. They consummated marriage in the year 1469 and at that time Ferdinand had already succeeded his father as king of Aragon. He assisted his wife in the war for succession which was fought with Juana after the death of King Henry VI. The war ended with the treaty of Alcacovas 1479 with Isabella winning over the crown. King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Spain together aimed to reunite Spain under the banner of Christianity. As a result of their relentless efforts they managed to reform Spain into becoming one of Europe’s best administered countries.

Ruling the Kingdom

Ferdinand was known for being one of the most skillful diplomats in an era which bred some great diplomats. Through his expertise in the field he managed to organize the states in a manner that served their purpose most effectively. Castile, Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia were maintained as independent political constitutions. Under their rule Spain managed to put an end to the Muslim domination of Granada, the victory which is known as the reconquest. It is this effort that earned them the admiration of the Pope and the title of Catholic kings. Once the threat of the Granada Muslims was done and over with the king and Queen diverted their attention to certain internal affairs.

Religious Persecution

There still remained a considerable amount of non Christian minorities in Spain, namely the thousands of Muslims living in Granada which posed a constant threat. It was at this time that the King’s men led ruthless crusades against the Muslims and Jews. The Muslims were given the choice to either convert to Christianity or leave. As a result many did convert whereas the majority left and some were forcefully driven out. A considerable amount of Jews embraced the Christian faith which even got them important positions in the government and other ecclesiastical positions in Aragon and Castile. The small number of Muslims that managed to stay back in the re-conquered territory lived a low profile life as skilled craftsmen and peasant farmers.

Establishing Catholicism

The drive to make Spain a purely Christian state was declared fulfilled in the year 1525 when it was announced that all the residents of Spain professed the Christian faith. But in order to keep on the safe side all government and religious positions where reserved for the Coptic Christians. There were other groups of converts that were suspected for being hypocrites who would secretly practice their own faith and thus served as a constant threat to the Catholic government. As a result they were investigated and prosecuted where and when the need be. There was a hint of rebellion from the Muslims who at one point stood up for their Faith but were expelled from the country forcefully. Spain carried out its crusading missions to farther lands in the 15 century. The Queen of Castile is also credited for having sponsored the voyages of Christopher Columbus who brought many a new lands which were added to the Spanish kingdom.