Within the Context of 1474-1598 to What Extent Did Ferdinand and Isabella Lay the Foundations for a Golden Age?

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Spain’s perceived “Golden Age” is a broad classification unconfined to a specific era. The Golden Age has long been affiliated with the growth of a uniquely Spanish identity that arose with the flourishing of arts, architecture and literature expanding notably in the years of Phillip II, and flourishing in the 17th century – the same century traditionalist historians identify as the decline of Spain. To consider the golden age of Spain on a purely art and literature basis however misses the point, the Golden Age in all contexts appeared from the development of the Spanish Empire. On the European stage Spain appeared at the height of its “Golden Age” during the reign of Phillip II, Spain was the centre piece of the world’s greatest power…show more content…
Some Historians consider Isabella’s decision to pass the crown to the Hapsburgs rather than Aragon as evidence of Isabella’s disunity. Lockyer claims; “she showed how little she appreciated the concept of Spanish unity” . This theory is supported by Historian Lotherington and Kamen, the latter who comments “the achievement of a united Spain was never an objective of the Catholic Kings” However this is too simplistic a view; because Isabella knew that the Castilian nobles would not accommodate for an Aragonese king, and the crown must rest upon the spouse of Aragon and Castile if unification was to be a realistic goal. Elliot suggests this when he speaks of a “Spanish inheritance” when referring to the Burgundian inheritance and Rady explains “Ferdinand held such influence in Castile this kingdom also might have been wrenched away from the new heir (Charles)” . Likewise J.Jones identifies “national unification” as a key policy of the Catholic Kings. It was therefore not “entirely by accident” that Spain was united under the same realm but the death of the Catholic Kings Portuguese dynastic ties that meant the Hapsburg dynasty and not the Portuguese dynasty was united under the Spanish crown, which as Isabella had predicted caused friction amongst Cisneros and Castilian nobles who resented Ferdinand fruitless attempts to produce an alternative Spanish heir. Failing to promote his more desirable Spanish grandson; Ferdinand to the

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