The Effects of Discovering the New World on the Growth of Spanish Power

Decent Essays

At the start of 1474, Spain was a non-existent entity that was composed of a series of minor kingdoms within the Iberian Peninsula. However Spain was subject to a process of change that led to the unification of the Iberian Peninsula under one monarchy, which controlled the new world and large areas of Northern Europe. This process of change was stimulated by the revenue of the new world and to varying degrees by domestic and international politics. However the New world was not always the primary factor during this period that catalysed the increase and maintenance of power. Over this time period the revenue from the new world increased, and thus directly Spain’s dependence upon it did as well. Isabella and Ferdinand had no reliance on …show more content…

The political changes that occurred during Ferdinand and Isabella's reign were the primary factor in their success in increasing Castilian-Aarogenese power. Hunt argues that the marriage removed the traditional focal point of Iberian foreign policy, maintaining borders with armed forces. Hunt further argues that the marriage was essential for growth of power, as Aarogenese tactics utilised Castilian revenue. Barton rightly argues inequality in the marriage, stating “the Granada campaigns and subsequent conquest and colonization of the New World were almost exclusively Castilian affair.” Barton further argues that “Castilians would later go on to dominate the administrative apparatus of the empire.” There was indeed a clear dominance of Castilians over the Aarogenese, however the merging of the two kingdoms meant that Aarogenese expansion, such as in Naples and Navarre could be maintained with Castilian revenue, this added lands to the joint monarchy, and thus overall expansion. Edwards maintains that Ferdinand and Isabella succeeded in gaining power within Castile, where disloyalty was harboured; they clipped the wings of the upper nobility made tax collection more efficient, showing their dominance over the nobility. The power of the nobility was reduced due to the act of resumption in 1480 that took back half of the revenues lost by the crown since 1464. The Royal

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