Spain and Spanish Empire


The Big Questions

The Big Questions

AS Level HistoryThe main features of this important period in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, when Spain rapidly rose to become a major European and global power, are:

* The rise to prominence of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon.

* The process of consolidation of Spain into a unified country under the monarchy of Ferdinand and Isabella.

* The main social and political features of Spain in this period.

* The problems faced by Charles I and his successes and failures as King of Spain.

Important Background Knowledge

AS Level History

The main background information that needs to be understood in order to successfully examine this period is:

* Christendom’s crusades against the Muslim world.

* The overall course of the Reconquista.

* The allegiances of the monarchs of the Iberian Peninsula to the Catholic Church.

* The expansion of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon in the preceding centuries.

Continue reading for help with your As level history & A level history revision.

The Union of Castile and Aragon and the Monarchy of the Reyes Catlicos

You will need to have a solid knowledge of the essential features of Spain following the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabelle, including:

Reyes Catlicos - AS Level History* The events surrounding the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1469.

* The extent to which the unification of the two kingdoms united Spain, being aware that the two kingdoms continued in many ways to operate separately.

* The progress of the War against Granada and the final victory in 1492.

* The relations of the Reyes Catlicos with the Papacy.

* The authority of the Reyes Catlicos relative to the other main actors in the politics and society of these years, including the Cortes, the Royal Council, the administrative and judicial system (corregidores).

* The economic and financial situation of the kingdoms, especially with regard to the mechanisms for raising taxes and the debts of the monarchy.

* Relations with the aristocracy.

* The shifting policy towards non-Christian populations, including the expulsion of the Jews in 1492 and the work of the Inquisition in targeting marranos and moriscos (and also heretics).