History of Spain: Kingdom of Aragon

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History of Spain: Kingdom of Aragon
History of Spain: Kingdom of Aragon

Traveling in Spain or France, you can take a photo of the Kingdom of Aragon, or rather those structures that have survived from past centuries. For example, Loarre Castle (Aragon) or the Palace of the Kings of Mallorca (Perpignan).

Aragon as a separate state actually existed from 1035 to 1516. Together with other historical lands, the kingdom formed the basis of Spain. How this happened will become known from the article.

From county to kingdom

kingdom of aragon
kingdom of aragon

The county of Aragon was the core of the future kingdom. It existed since 802, and was dependent on the kingdom of Navarre. In 943 the local dynasty ended and the county became part of Navarre. King Garcia I married the heiress of the county. So the kings of Navarre received the title of Count of Aragon.

In 1035 King Sancho the Third died, his possessions were divided among his sons. Before his death, the ruler gave the county to his illegitimate son. This is how the kingdom of Aragon appeared.

The name of the kingdom is associated with the river that flowed through its territory. Initially, it was small in size, but gradually the counties of Sobrarbe and Ribagorsu were attached to it. In sourcesindicate that the area of the kingdom of Aragon was 250 thousand square kilometers. Who was the king's illegitimate son?

First King

The name of the first ruler of the Kingdom of Aragon was Ramiro. Until his death, he sought to expand his possessions. There were attempts to annex the kingdom of Navarre to their lands, but they were unsuccessful.

The king decided to expand his possessions from the east side. To do this, he declared war on the Moors. However, the siege of Graus not only did not fulfill his desire, but also led to death. The first king died in 1063. Sancho Ramirez became his successor. He continued his father's work.

Kingdom of Aragon and Castile
Kingdom of Aragon and Castile

The king was able to capture the fortress of Barbastro, then Graus. At this time, the Navarrese kingdom voluntarily joined Sancho. In the west, he attempted to lay siege to Huesca, where he was killed.

The kingdom received Huesca in 1096. The son of the murdered king, Pedro the First, was able to take possession of it.

Strange testament of Alphonse the First

In 1104 the kingdom of Aragon passed to the son of Pedro the First Alphonse. He sent military forces to conquer the Muslim possessions on the right bank of the Ebro. He hoped to take possession of Zaragoza. This was achieved in 1118.

Thanks to his many victories, the king was able to reach the Mediterranean coast. However, there were still fortresses owned by Muslims. Alphonse I died in 1134. He had no children, so he decided to leave the kingdom to the Johnites and the Templars (military orders). The will was not fulfilled, both the Aragonese and the Navarrese were against it.

Kingdom of Aragon history Grade 6
Kingdom of Aragon history Grade 6

The nobles of Aragon decided to make the brother of the deceased king. Ramiro was a monk in the Narbonne monastery, and became king. He did not deal with public affairs in the same way as his predecessors. In order to leave his heirs on the throne, the king asked the pope to release him from the vow of celibacy. He married Agnes of Aquitaine. A daughter was born in the family. Her father gave her in marriage to Berenguer the Fourth, who owned the county of Barcelona. Kingdom of Aragon (percentage impossible to give) increased by dynastic marriage.

After that, Ramiro renounced power, having retired to a monastery. From 1137, Berenger the Fourth became the new ruler. From that moment on, the fate of Aragon and Catalonia became one.

Unification with Catalonia

Kingdom of Aragon photo
Kingdom of Aragon photo

The first ruler of the united state was the son of Berenguer the Fourth, who bore the name of his father, but in tribute to the inhabitants of Aragon he became known as Alphonse the Second.

During his reign, he managed to expand the boundaries of the kingdom at the expense of the lands of southern France. His vassals were:

  • Provencal Duchy;
  • County of Roussillon;
  • Béarn County;
  • Bigorre County.

The king also fought against the Moors and had disagreements with Castile. He died in 1196. He was succeeded by the son of Pedro II.

First ruler crowned in Rome

Pedro II began to rule the kingdom of Aragon in difficult times. The French kings sought to seize the border territories, and Provence defended its independence. Despite this, the king managed to further expand his possessions by marrying Countess Maria. So he got the county of Montpellier. A little later, he took possession of Urgell County.

An important political event of that time was the trip of Pedro II to Rome. In 1204, the coronation of Pedro II took place. The Pope also knighted him. For this, the king called himself a vassal of the pope. This meant that the kingdom had to pay an annual tribute to the Catholic Church. Such behavior of the king outraged the nobles of Aragon and Catalonia.

The king died in 1213, trying to protect the lands of the Count of Toulouse from capture. This was due to the difficult situation in the south of France.

Kingdom without a ruler

Kingdom of Aragon Western Europe
Kingdom of Aragon Western Europe

The death of Pedro II left the kingdom of Aragon (western Europe) without a ruler. The only son of the deceased was at Montfort. It took the intervention of the pope to bring the heir to the throne back to the kingdom. However, Jaime was still a minor, so he was assigned a guardian. They became the representative of the Knights Templar de Monredo.

Jaime, who was only nine years old, found himself in the hands of relatives, each of whom sought to seize the crown. Loyal people managed to save him from the fortress of Monzon. Then Jaime, supported by the troops, began a struggle for power. It lasted about ten years, until the kingsigned an agreement with the nobility. It allowed the establishment of universal peace.

After the internal problems in the kingdom were temporarily resolved, Jaime sent his forces to expand the borders of the state. He managed to win the Balearic Islands, Valencia from the Muslims.

In addition to capturing new territories, curbing the nobility, the king managed to restore order in finances, several educational institutions were founded under him. Jaime refused to recognize himself as a vassal of the pope. With his reign, he laid a solid foundation for the kingdom to dominate the Mediterranean.

At his death, the king left Aragon, Valencia and Catalonia to his eldest son Pedro, who had long helped him conduct state affairs. He left the Balearic Islands and a number of other lands to his son Jaime.

Capture of Sicily

When Pedro the Third came to power, he began to fight against the nobility. The reason was the question of the rights to the county of Urgell. The king proved his superiority, but soon the nobility of Catalonia came out against him.

The nobles were not supported by the local population and they had to surrender. The king first imprisoned the instigators, but later released them. The ruler ordered the rebels to make amends for the damage they caused.

In 1278, Pedro the Third signed an agreement with his brother, according to which Jaime's possessions became dependent on the kingdom of Aragon (western part of Europe). The king established friendly relations with Portugal and Castile.

In 1280, Pedro the Third was able to establish a protectorate of the kingdom over Tunisia. The Aragonese received an annual tribute from the ruler of Tunisia and also receivedthe ability to collect duties on the wine trade. Aragon received advantageous positions on the African continent. The next in line was the Kingdom of Sicily.

At that time, the sons of the German emperor ruled in Sicily, but the pope wanted to get these lands. He invited Charles of Anjou to reconquer Sicily and rule it as a vassal of Rome. Charles managed to capture Sicily, he destroyed the regent, the nephew of the ruler, and later the ruler himself, Manfred Konradin.

Pedro the Third was married to the daughter of Manfred, so he was interested in the fate of Sicily. The king negotiated with the Sicilians, who wanted to get rid of the power of the pope. The Aragonese ruler waited and prepared the fleet. Finally, in 1282, he began a campaign to conquer Sicily.

Pedro the Third took the kingdom quite easily, and Charles of Anjou was forced to flee to Italy. The battles continued and were successful for the Aragonese.

The capture of Sicily angered the pope and he announced that he was depriving the king of his possessions. Some cities and fortresses supported Pedro, others began to put obstacles in his way. French troops were on the side of Rome. Even Pedro's death and his declaration that he would give Sicily to the Pope did not stop the war. The sons of the late king did not want to part with the occupied lands. In addition to external enemies, the kingdom suffered from turmoil between the brothers, as well as opposition from the nobility.

Struggle between king and nobility

Kingdom of Aragon (Europe) passed to Alphonse the Third. He did not have such a strong character as Pedro. This further complicated the relationship with the nobility, whichsought to subdue the king.

The union of noble Aragonese was created. They demanded submission from the king and threatened him with an uprising. Alphonse tried to resist Unia, even decided to execute several rebels. But problems with external enemies changed the decision of the king, in 1287 he granted Unia privileges.

The power of the king was limited. He pledged not to encroach on the lives of representatives of the nobility. In 1291 the king died.

Father-son war

The king did not leave an heir, so the brother of the late Jaime took the throne. He was the ruler of Sicily, having received Aragon, he transferred his throne to his son Fadrika. This was opposed by the French and the pope. Jaime wanted peace, so he made concessions and renounced the rights to Sicily.

The inhabitants of the island and Fadriko did not agree with this. The Kingdom of Aragon (history grade 6) was obliged to fight against dissenters. So the father went to war against his son in order to win back the island for his father. For this, Rome canceled the previous bulls that excommunicated the Aragonese kings from the church, and also granted rights to Corsica and Sardinia.

Jaime had to conquer Sicily for the Pope on his own. The inhabitants of the island proclaimed Fadriko an independent ruler. The war went on with varying success. In the end, the exhausted parties decided to make peace. The French also agreed to this, who ruined their relationship with the pope.

Fadrico became King of Sicily, but he married the daughter of Charles of Anjou and after his death was obliged to give the island to his father-in-law or his descendants.

Jaime died in 1327. His son Alphonse took his place. Heruled for eight years.

kingdom of aragon western
kingdom of aragon western

Then the throne passed to his son Pedro the Fourth. During the years of his reign, he waged war with the Moors, Mallorca. Then he took up the struggle with the nobility. As a result, he destroyed the Privilege of the Union, and brutally executed its supporters. It is known that he ordered the melting of the bell, which convened representatives of the nobility to the meetings of the Unia. Molten metal was poured into the mouths of those who opposed the king. Pedro died in 1387.

The following rulers were:

  • Juan the First and Martin the First.
  • Fernando.
  • Alphonse the Fifth the Wise.

All the wars conducted by Alphonse the Fifth increased the territory of Aragon. However, they had a detrimental effect on the system of government in the state. All the affairs were handled by the brothers of the royal family.

Unification of the kingdoms

In 1469, the marriage between Ferdinand and Isabella took place. Thus, the prerequisites for the creation of the kingdom of Aragon and Castile appeared. Ten years after the marriage, John II died. Aragon passed to his son Ferdinand II. Since his wife was the queen of Castile and León, both states were united under one crown.

The kingdom of Aragon and Castile laid the foundation for the kingdom of Spain. However, the process of state formation dragged on until the end of the fifteenth-beginning of the sixteenth century.

The reign of Ferdinand and Isabella was quite cruel. They zealously guarded the purity of the Catholic faith. The following methods were used for this:

  • in 1478 the Inquisition was established, thenthere is an ecclesiastical court;
  • Muslims, Jews, Protestants were persecuted;
  • people suspected of heresy were burned at the stake;
  • since 1492, the persecution of those who were not converted to Christianity began;
  • creation of a ghetto - closed neighborhoods in which non-believers were supposed to live.

Many Jews and Muslims converted to Christianity, but their persecution did not stop. New Christians were suspected of secretly performing forbidden rites. Jews had to leave their homes and flee to neighboring states. So the unification of Castile and Aragon into the Spanish kingdom led to severe persecution by the Catholic Church.

The emergence of the Kingdom of Spain

Kingdom of Aragon Europe
Kingdom of Aragon Europe

Under Ferdinand and Isabella, the Reconquista ended. At the same time, Columbus discovered the New World with Spanish funds. So the kingdom of Spain (Aragon and Castile) receives colonies in its possession. The state temporarily becomes one of the strongest in Western Europe.

After the death of Isabella, the throne passed to her daughter Juana. She married a representative of the Habsburg dynasty, Philip the First. In 1506 he died, and Juana finally lost her mind. The throne passed to their young son Karl.

In 1517, Charles became the full-fledged ruler of Spain, and two years later became the Holy Roman Emperor.

Spain reached its highest peak precisely in the 16th century. In history, this period was called the Golden Age of Spain.

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