Spanish Golden Age

Topics: Spain, 16th century, History of Spain Pages: 3 (593 words) Published: January 24, 2011
The Spanish Golden Age:In the context 1474 to 1598, to what extent did Ferdinand and Isabella lay the foundations for a Spanish Golden Age?

By the end of the 16th century Spain had within the space of 100 year risen to become the greatest

power in Europe and as quickly and dramatically as it had risen out of a divided peninsular it came

crashing down back into despair. By the end of Philip II reign the country had been become

bankrupt several times due to excessive spending through his reign, and as Woodward states

there was ‘ plague, famine, depopulation, inflation'(1) But regardless of what happened at the end

the time before hand had been called the Spanish Golden Age where Spain had a vast empire

stretching along the Mediterranean all the way the vastness of the New World and the America's

and power and wealth beyond the belief of any of the other european powers. However all of this

would not of been possible if not down to the work of Ferdinand(F)and Isabella(I) or the Catholic

Monarchs as they came to be known and if they really did lay the foundations of a Golden Age for


1479 the year by when both Ferdinand and Isabella had become the king and queen of their

realms, Aragon and Castille is what Spain was known at this time, Spain as a whole country did not

exists until during Phillips reign however the pre marriage agreement of F and I was that they

would rule their kingdoms jointly and any acts or policies that could be put forward would be in

place for both Aragon and Castille. At the time of their succession to their thrones neither kingdom was in a

state to deal with anything beyond their own borders, the main problem was that both governments were

different styles of ruling, Aragon(A) was a more federal style of government where there were 3 separate

Cortes all with which F had to deal with and could not make any decisions without whereas in Castilee (C) I

the Cortes...
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