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Overcoming Challenges Notes

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The Emergence of a Great Power? Spain 1492-1556 Section Two - Strengthening the state 1500-16 Topic Two - Overcoming the challenges of the Crown

The historian and Royal chronicler, Palericia, was keen to emphasis the progress that had been made my F+I
 He did not approve of women ruler = but chronicler tended to be positive about Isabella
 Even Palericia recognised Isabella's Initiative
 Acknowledges that she had achieved what many men had failed to do

Challenges to the Crown
 Political disorder
 Religious division
 Extremes of wealth and poverty

The military orders (Crusading orders founded in 12th century)

F+I geerated peace and order on the peninsula through the use of the order by first taking over them

There were five










St John

By 1500 Ferdinand was in charge of these three orders

The military order =
 composed of soldiers
 Acted as crusader in Granada. Order of Santiago alone had organised 1750+
cavalry and provide monarchs with weapons
 Nobles were involved in the orders.
 The orders were wealthy = as they were involved in land


Not as powerful as a group compared to Nobles

Fact that Ferdinand had control of three of the orders = was significant = as they were less of a threat and promised resources to the crown

The privileges of the aristocracy

By 16th century, Castilian aristocracy were a extremely wealthy group

They possessed privileges such as, Not taking their hats off in the presence of the monarchs

If accused of a crime = not punished severely

Even lesser nobles had a coat of arms

Some nobles invested in industry and were granted monopoly with the monarchs. The projects increased their contribution to the state but also added to their wealth =
which posed a threat EG//Admiral of Castile was given dyestuffs monopoly

Isabella wished to tame the nobles and replace them with educated bureaucrats

But the monarchs realised they needed the support of the nobles

Nobles were a potential threat to the crown because they had wealth and man power

Controlling the nobles

The extent of their power and the loyalty of some nobles therefore became suspect

They risked arrest, castles taken away or destroyed = this enhanced the crowns finances

Also monarchs would reduce the nobles power and income

Other ways of neutralising the nobles were:
 Letrados were given roles in parts of the local govt = instead of nobles
 Churchmen recruited less nobles to make less of an influence in the religious society
 Nobles were given to land in the new world to get rid of them

 Nobles were encouraged to participate in war
 Nobles could attend meeting in order to make them feel involved however, they could not vote
 Nobles kept their titles which had no meaning or any extra dignities

Taking part in cultural activities further occupied the nobles:
 Classical languages-Latin
 Increase in printed books
 Increase in renaissance arts
 Building projects
 Jousting and hunting
 Music and dancing

Despite the nobles wealth, status and attendance at court = some nobles found their influences weakened as factors arose to limit their power EG// growth of towns =

Fernandez Armesto comments that the establishment of the royal court contributed much to the taming of the nobles.

Woodwards suggests that the part of the problem in dealing 'The monarchs were most careful to place men of ability to with the nobility was the peripatetic nature of the court serve, even though such were of middling sort, rather than the The policy of 'Magnificence' gave them an aura of authority, great men from the noblest families' portraying them as wealthy and powerful and therefore superior than the nobles

deprived nobles of an army and workforce

The nobility after Isabella's death 1506

Ferdinand needed the support of the nobles, especially in Castile

He had to rely on their loans to pursue foreign policy

Consequently some nobles took advantage of this situation and began to revert to their prev behaviour = seizing land EG// Marquis of Maya occupied Segovia and turned the population into tenants

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