Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/398

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time, the private exercise of their religion. The harsh treatment of the Saracens seemed justified by fear of their numbers and of their intrigues with the African corsairs. They sank into a state of serfdom, being left dependent for protection upon the landowners who throve on their industry. Even so they clung to their faith, and the Inquisition found a hundred years insufficient for rooting it out. The results of intolerance are still to be traced in the wide wastes, once rich in corn, vine, and olive, of central and southern Spain. While the rest of the land had been won back in a half-ruined and desolate state, Granada was seized in full prosperity, but even she was not spared.

Profiting by the eagerness of the King of France to settle outstanding differences before invading Italy, Ferdinand in 1493 recovered by negotiation the counties of Roussillon and Cerdagne, which had been pledged by his father to Louis XI.

In 1494, following the traditions of the Crown of Aragon, he began actively to interfere in European politics by forming the League of Venice for the purpose of driving the French out of Italy. A period of peace followed the death of Charles VIII (1498). When the War was resumed the Crown of Naples was added by the Great Captain, Gonzalo de Cordova, to those of Castile, Aragon and Sicily (1503). The New World had been discovered, but its supreme importance was misunderstood; Spain was embarked upon the current of European politics, which was to drag her to her ruin. Defeated in Italy and baffled in negotiation, the French King decided to carry the war into the enemy's country. In the autumn of 1503 two armies set out to invade Spain, one through the western passes of the Pyrenees, and the other, supported by a fleet, through the eastern. The former never reached its destination. The latter entered Roussillon unopposed; but wasted time in besieging the castle of Salsas near Perpignan, until Ferdinand marched to its relief. The French retreated to Narbonne without fighting. The loss of the fleet in a storm completed the disaster of the French, and a humiliating peace ended the War.

In 1496 were negotiated the marriages which eventually gave the Crown of Spain to the House of Austria. Juan, only son of Ferdinand and Isabel, married Margaret, daughter of Maximilian, Archduke of Austria and King of the Romans. His sister, Juana, married Maximilian's son Philip the Fair, who had inherited (1493) from his mother, the Netherlands, Flanders, Artois, and Franche-Comte. The death of the Infante Juan left his sister, Isabel, Queen of Portugal, heiress apparent to the throne of Castile (1497). By her death (1498) and that of her infant son (1500) the hope of the union of the whole Peninsula under one Crown was defeated. The succession fell to Juana and her husband Philip. From the first their marriage had been an unhappy one. Philip gave his wife abundant cause for jealousy, and repressed her violent outbreaks by making her a prisoner within her