Queen Isabella of Spain

Want to learn more about Queen Isabella of Spain? Read on for a historical overview of Queen Isabella of Spain and discover the impact that she had on the people of the region…

Queen Isabella is remembered in history as being the ruler of Castile. During her reign she was married to King Ferdinand of Aragon and together they initiated the reformation of Spain which they managed to unite politically.

Upon the death of John II, Isabella’s half brother, Henry IV rose to the thrown as the king of Castile. At this point in time Isabella was only three years old and she had a younger brother by the name of Alfonso who was regarded as being the next in line for the crown.

Isabella spent her early years with her mother in Portugal. She, along with her brother Alfonso, was brought to the king’s court so as to grant them protection from the opposition. In the events that were to follow serious conflicts arose between the oligarchies as some members believed that Juana, Henry IV’s daughter from his second marriage was more entitled to the thrown than Isabella or Alfonso. However Alfonso was poisoned and died never reaching the position of king. Following his death Isabella was offered the crown but ironically, she refused. It was only later that King Henry decided to agree to Isabella becoming his heiress.

Isabella got married to Ferdinand of Portugal in the year 1469 without the approval of King Henry. This infuriated the King who withdrew his recognition and transferred his approval to his daughter Juana. Following the death of the King a war of succession took place between the followers of Juana and the followers of Isabella. Finally the conflict was settled in 1479 after which Isabella gained recognition as the new Queen of Castile.

Her husband was by descent through his own lineage the King of at Aragon and it was his marriage to Isabella that played a fundamental role in unifying Spain. One of the first official reforms introduced by the ruling pair of Isabella and Ferdinand was to substantially decrease the power that the nobility had in official matters whereas they increased the inherent powers that came with the crown.

In the events that were to follow the ruling pair initiated the Inquisition in Spain by which they revolutionized the role of the church. It is because of these efforts that the Pope actually gave the ruling pair the title of “The Catholic”.

Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand increased efforts to expel the Moors from the remaining area of Spain that were still under their control. The fall of the legendary Moorish Empire came at the hands of these two rulers in 1492 with the defeat of the kingdom of Granada. It was this act that completed the Reconquista they had been dreaming of. It was in the same year that the entire Jewish population that refused to accept Christianity was expelled from the land.

Queen Isabella is also remembered for patronizing the exploration efforts led by Christopher Columbus. This renowned explorer managed to discover many new territories which were annexed to Castile.

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