Ferdinand Aragon
King of Aragon
Ferdinand Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon, Sicily, Naples (as Ferdinand III), Majorca, Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile (1474–1504, as Ferdinand V, in right of his wife, Isabella I) and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of his reportedly mentally unstable daughter Joanna.
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    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1516
    Age 63
    Consequently, after Ferdinand II's funeral on 14 March 1516, Charles I was proclaimed King of Castile and of Aragon jointly with his mother.
    More Details Hide Details Finally, the Castilian Regent, Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros accepted the fait accompli, and the Castilian and Aragonese Cortes paid homage to him as King of Aragon jointly with his mother. Ferdinand's grandson and successor Charles, was to inherit not only the Spanish lands of his maternal grandparents, but the Habsburg and Burgundian lands of his paternal family, which would make his heirs the most powerful rulers on the continent and, with the discoveries and conquests in the Americas and elsewhere, of the first truly global Empire. With his wife Isabella I the Catholic (whom he married 19 October 1469), King Ferdinand had 7 children: With his second wife, Germaine of Foix, niece of Louis XII of France (whom he married on 19 October 1505 in Blois, Kingdom of France) King Ferdinand had one son: He also left several illegitimate children:
    So, when King Ferdinand died on 23 January 1516, his daughter Joanna inherited the Crown of Aragon, and his grandson Charles became Governor General (regent).
    More Details Hide Details Nevertheless, the Flemish wished that Charles assume the royal title, and this was supported by his paternal grandfather the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and by Pope Leo X.
    Ferdinand II died on January 23, 1516 in Madrigalejo, Extremadura, Kingdom of Castile and Leon.
    More Details Hide Details He is entombed at Capilla Real, Granada, Kingdom of Castile and Leon. Isabella I, Joanna I, and Philip I are beside him there. Ferdinand and Isabella established a highly effective sovereignty under equal terms. They utilised a prenuptial agreement to lay down their terms. During their reign they supported each other effectively in accordance to his joint motto of equality: "Tanto monta (or monta tanto), Isabel como Fernando", ("They amount to the same, Isabel and Ferdinand"). Isabella and Ferdinand's achievements were remarkable: Spain was united, or at least more united than it ever was, the crown power was centralised, at least in name, the reconquista was successfully concluded, the groundwork for the most dominant military machine of the next century and a half was laid, a legal framework was created, the church reformed. Even without the benefit of the American expansion, Spain would have been a major European power. Columbus' discovery set the country on the course for the first modern world power.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1511
    Age 58
    In November 1511 Ferdinand II and his son-in-law King Henry VIII of England signed the Treaty of Westminster, pledging mutual aid between the two against Navarre and France ahead of the Castilian invasion of Navarre as of July 1512.
    More Details Hide Details After the fall of Granada in 1492, he had manoeuvred for years to take over the throne of the Basque kingdom, ruled by Queen Catherine of Navarre and King John III of Navarre, also lords of Béarn and other sizeable territories of the Pyrenees and western Gascony. Ferdinand annexed Navarre first to the Crown of Aragon, but later, under the pressure of Castilian noblemen, to the Crown of Castile. The Holy League was generally successful in Italy, as well, driving the French from Milan, which was restored to its Sforza dukes by the peace treaty in 1513. The French were successful in reconquering Milan two years later, however.
  • 1505
    Age 52
    Ferdinand disagreed with the policies and foreignness of Philip I. Ferdinand remarried to Germaine of Foix on October 19, 1505 in Blois, Kingdom of France, the granddaughter of his half-sister Queen Eleanor of Navarre and niece of Louis XII of France.
    More Details Hide Details His hope to father a new heir of Aragon, separating it from Castile, was not realised. It would have denied his son-in-law Philip I, and his grandson Charles I, from inheriting the crown and governance of Aragon. A son, John, Prince of Girona, was born on May 3, 1509, but died within hours. John was buried in the convent of Saint Paul in Valladolid, Kingdom of Castile and Leon, and later transferred to Poblet Monastery, Vimbodí i Poblet, Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon, traditional burial site of the kings of Aragon. Ferdinand also had children from his mistress, Aldonza Ruiz de Iborre y Alemany of Cervera. He had a son, Alonso de Aragón (born in 1469), who later became Archbishop of Saragossa, and a daughter Joanna (born in 1471), who married Bernardino Fernández de Velasco, 1st Duke of Frías.
  • 1504
    Age 51
    The agreement soon fell apart and, over the next several years, Ferdinand's great general Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba fought to take Naples from the French, finally succeeding by 1504.
    More Details Hide Details "The King of France complains that I have twice deceived him. He lies, the fool; I have deceived him ten times and more." --Ferdinand the Catholic. After Isabella I's death in 1504, her kingdom went to their daughter Joanna. Ferdinand II served as the latter's regent during her absence in the Netherlands, ruled by her husband Archduke Philip. Ferdinand attempted to retain the regency permanently, but was rebuffed by the Castilian nobility and replaced with Joanna's husband, who became Philip I of Castile. After Philip's death in 1506, with Joanna supposedly mentally unstable, and her and Philip's son, the future Emperor Charles V, only six years old, Ferdinand resumed the regency, ruling through Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, the Chancellor of the Kingdom.
  • FORTIES
  • 1501
    Age 48
    In 1501, following the death of Ferdinand II of Naples and accession of his uncle Frederick, Ferdinand signed an agreement with Charles VIII's successor, Louis XII, who had just successfully asserted his claims to the Duchy of Milan, to partition Naples between them, with Campania and the Abruzzi, including Naples itself, going to the French and Ferdinand taking Apulia and Calabria.
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  • 1496
    Age 43
    Ferdinand allied with various Italian princes and with Emperor Maximilian I to expel the French by 1496 and install Alfonso's son, Ferdinand, on the Neapolitan throne.
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  • 1494
    Age 41
    In 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded Italy and expelled Alfonso II, who was Ferdinand's first cousin once removed and stepson of Ferdinand's sister, from the throne of Naples.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1492
    Age 39
    Ferdinand violated the 1492 Alhambra Decree peace treaty in 1502 by dismissing the clearly guaranteed religious freedom for Mudéjar Muslims.
    More Details Hide Details Ferdinand forced all Muslims in Castile and Aragon to convert, converso Moriscos, to Catholicism, or else be expelled. Some of the Muslims who remained were mudéjar artisans, who could design and build in the Moorish style. This was also practised by the Spanish inquisitors on the converso Marrano Jewish population of Spain. The main architect behind the Spanish Inquisition was King Ferdinand II, whom was ironically of converso heritage (or perhaps because of it, he may have been embittered by being the great-grandson of Fadrique's mistress). Ferdinand destroyed over ten thousand Arabic manuscripts in Granada alone, burning them. The latter part of Ferdinand's life was largely taken up with disputes with successive Kings of France over control of Italy, the so-called Italian Wars.
    The first years of Ferdinand and Isabella's joint rule saw the Spanish conquest of the Nasrid dynasty of the Emirate of Granada (Moorish Kingdom of Granada), the last Islamic al-Andalus entity on the Iberian peninsula, completed in 1492.
    More Details Hide Details The completion of the Reconquista was not the only significant act performed by Ferdinand and Isabella in that year. In March 1492, the monarchs issued the Edict of Expulsion of the Jews, also called the Alhambra Decree, a document which ordered all Jews either to be baptised and convert to Christianity or to leave the country. That document was signed with the defeated Moorish Emir of Granada Muhammad XII, who had bargained for the Muslims of Spain to be left alone. It allowed Mudéjar Moors (Islamic) and converso Marrano Jews to stay, while expelling all unconverted Jews from Castile and Aragon (most Jews either converted or moved to Islamic lands of North Africa and the Ottoman Empire). 1492 was also the year in which the monarchs commissioned Christopher Columbus to find a westward maritime route for access to Asia, which resulted in the Spanish arrival in the Americas.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1479
    Age 26
    When Ferdinand succeeded his father as King of Aragon in 1479, the Crown of Castile and the various territories of the Crown of Aragon were united in a personal union.
    More Details Hide Details For the first time since the 8th century, this union created a single political unit referred to as España (Spain), the root of which is the ancient name Hispania. The various states were not formally administered as a single unit, but as separate political units under the same Crown. (The legal merging of Aragon and Castile into a single Spain occurred under Philip V in 1707–1715.)
  • 1474
    Age 21
    He became jure uxoris King of Castile when Isabella succeeded her deceased brother in 1474 to be crowned as Queen Isabella I of Castile.
    More Details Hide Details The two young monarchs were initially obliged to fight a civil war against Joan of Castile (also known as Juana la Beltraneja), the purported daughter of Henry IV, and were swiftly successful.
    As a consequence of his marriage to Isabella I, he was King of Castile jure uxoris as Ferdinand V from 1474 until her death in 1504.
    More Details Hide Details He was recognised as regent of Castile for his daughter and heir, Joanna, from 1508 until his own death. In 1504, after a war with France, he became King of Naples as Ferdinand III, reuniting Naples with Sicily permanently and for the first time since 1458. In 1512, he became King of Navarre by conquest. Ferdinand is today best known for his role in inaugurating the discovery of the New World, since he and Isabella sponsored the first voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492. That year he also fought the final war with Granada which expunged the last Islamic state on Iberian soil, thus bringing to a close the centuries-long Reconquista. At his death he was succeeded by Joanna, who co-ruled with her son, Charles V, over all the Iberian kingdoms save Portugal. Ferdinand was born in Sada Palace, Sos del Rey Católico, Kingdom of Aragon, as the son of John II of Aragon (whose family was a cadet branch of the House of Trastámara) by his second wife, Juana Enríquez.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1469
    Age 16
    He married Infanta Isabella, the half-sister and heiress of Henry IV of Castile, on 19 October 1469 in Valladolid, Kingdom of Castile and Leon.
    More Details Hide Details Isabella also belonged to the royal House of Trastámara, and the two were cousins by descent from John I of Castile. They were married with a clear prenuptial agreement on sharing power, and under the joint motto "tanto monta, monta tanto."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1452
    Born
    Born on March 10, 1452.
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