Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/566

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HISTORY]
545
SPAIN


At a later period the two kingdoms defined their respective spheres of influence by a treaty. Aragon was left free to Recognition conquer the Balearic Islands and Valencia, while of the lade- Murcia and Ardalusia were to fall to Castile. The pendence of Almohades took the field against Alphonso in force, Aragon. an( j as n j g f e rj ow Christian sovereigns failed him in the hour of need, he was defeated at Alarcos. But this wave of the ebbing Moslem tide had less force than the Almoravide, and fell back both sooner and farther than its predecessor. Alphonso

had leisure to punish his brother kings for deserting Organiza- ,. , , , . .. ° .,.,., °

Hon of the him, and to look to the organization of his kingdom.

Kingdom. It was a great epoch of the granting of charters, The Mm- an( j £ t jj e ac j varlce f the towns. To this age also r e ' belongs the formation of the great monastic military orders of Calatrava, Santiago and Alcantara. They supplied the Crown with a strong force of well-disciplined and well- appointed cavalry. To tighten the bond with Leon, Alphonso of Castile married his daughter Berengaria to its king Alphonso (1188-1230), the son of his uncle Fernando. The marriage was dissolved by the pope as being within the prohibited degrees, but the son born of it was recognized as legitimate. Berengaria, a woman of very noble character and eminent ability, deserved a better husband than her cousin of Leon, who was nicknamed El Baboso — the Slobberer — and who appears to have been epileptic. In 121 2 the king of Castile reaped the reward of long years of patience. The Almohades threatened an invasion in force, and he organized a crusade against them. Aragon was repre- sented by its king Peter II., Navarre by its king Sancho, and Portugal by a strong contingent of Templars and other knights. Overthrow At the Navas de Tolosa, just south of the Sierra of the Morena, the Almohades received the final overthrow

Almohades. whkh kid Mahommedan Spain at the feet of the Christians. Alphonso died in 12 14. His son Enrique (Henry) was. killed by the fall of a tile three years later; and Beren- garia, to whom the crown came, sent to Leon for her son Fernando, and abdicated in his favour.

Fernando (Ferdinand III.) who was in all ways worthy of his mother, took up the crusading duty of a king of Castile, and Ferdinand continued the advance into Andalusia. The Almo- ///., 1217- hades were in swifter decline than the Almoravides. 12S2. Q ne f them, al-Mamun, even sought Fernando's

help to regain his throne in Morocco, and ceded a suburb of the city to his Christian allies. In 1230 the death of Alphonso of Leon opened the way to a final union of the crowns. The " Baboso " had, indeed, left his kingdom by will to his daughters by Teresa of Portugal, but Fernando was saved from the necessity of enforcing his rights by his mother. She persuaded Teresa and the infantas to resign their claims in Final Union return for pensions and lordships. Castile and of Castile Leon were united, never to be divided again. The and Leon. wor j. f the reconquest was now completed with swift steps. In 1236 Cordova was conquered, and Seville fell in 1248 with the help of a fleet from the Basque coast and of the Moorish king of Granada, who was Fernando's vassal, paying tribute and attending Cortes when summoned. Fernando died in May 1252. It will avoid repetition to note here that the Aragonese share of the reconquest was completed by James the Conqueror ( 1 2 1 3-1 2 76) , the son of that king Peter who fought in the Navas de Tolosa. He conquered the Balearic Islands in 1229 and Valencia in 1238. In 1265 he entered Murcia, which, Reconquest however, he agreed to occupy in the name of Castile. of Spain, Mahommedan Spain was reduced to Granada and except a u ne f p 0r ts round to Cadiz. The Christian a. p p U j a tion had disappeared in Granada and Moslem refugees had peopled it closely. Its king was a vassal, and of itself it was no longer a danger.

The close of the period of the great reconquest, five centuries of struggle, left Spain divided between two states of different Spain after character. On the west of the Iberian range and theRecon- south of the Guadarrama was the kingdom called, quest. £ or gjjort, Castile and Leon. In fact its sovereign

was also king of Gallicia, Asturjas, Estremadura, Jaen, Cordova xxv. 18


and Seville. This multiplicity of titles was more than a mere formula of the royal chancery. It was the official recogni- tion of a substantial political fact — namely, that the kingdom of Castile and Leon had been made up , • by the agglutination of separate political entities. The real bond between them lay in the common crown, the common creed. They were one only as subjects of the same lords and members of the same Church. But their territorial patriotism was local. The peoples were not Spaniards, save as a general term, but Gallicians, Asturians, Castilians, Andalusians. The great foreign question for them was the possibility, and from time to time the imminence, of renewed invasion from Africa. That peril did not cease till the defeat of the last for- midable African invader at the battle of the Rio Salado in 1340. It is characteristic of the loose construction of the kingdom that the Cortes of Leon and of Castile continued, after the final union, to meet apart on some occasions until 1301.

On the eastern slope of the Iberian hills and th^ great central table-land was the kingdom called, again for short, Aragon. Its king was also a ruler of many titles — king in Arason Aragon, in Valencia, and the Balearic Isles (with one interval of separation), count of Barcelona, and in Provence. Marriage and inheritance had given him territorial rights in the south-east of France. Thus he came in contact with the crusaders of Simon de Montfort and the expansion of the French monarchy. Another marriage, that of Peter, the son and suc- cessor of James the Conqueror, with Costanza, the daughter of Manfred of Bcneventum, gave him claims on the Neapolitan and Sicilian inheritance of the Hohenstaufen. From the date of the Sicilian Vespers (1283) Aragon is found mixed in the politics of Italy. The commercial activity of Barcelona brought it into collision with Genoa and alliance with Venice. The curious double position of the king of Aragon is fully illustrated by the career of that king Peter who was the father of James the Conqueror. He fought as a crusader at the Navas de Tolosa, he went to Rome to be crowned, and did voluntary homage to the pope. Yet his interests as a prince of southern France compelled him to draw the sword in defence of the Albigenses, and, orthodox as he was in creed, he fell fighting for them at Muret in 1 2 13. If the fortunes of Aragon were to be followed in an outline of Spanish history, it would be necessary to wander as far as Athens and Constantinople.

The difference of the relations of these two states towards the comity of nations had corresponding internal distinctions. It has been already noted that eastern Spain was feudal. Therefore the distinction of classes was far sharper in Aragon than in non- feudal Castile and Leon. Predial slavery, which had disappeared in Castile and Leon in the 13th century, existed unmodified in Aragon, and in its worst form, down to the Bourbon dynasty. When we are told of the freedom of Aragon, it is well to remember that it was enjoyed only by the small minority who were per- sonally free and also privileged: by the citizens of the towns which had charters — called in Aragon the Universidades — the nobles, the gentry and the Churcli. The Catalans attained emancipation from feudal subjection by a succession of savage peasant revolts in the 15th and 16th centuries. In Valencia emancipation was finally brought by a measure which in itself was cruel — the expulsion of the Moriscoes in the 17th century. The landlords were compelled to replace them by free tenants. The prevalence of predial slavery in Aragon and Valencia can be largely explained by the number of Mudejares, that is Mahommedans living under Christian rule, and of Moriscoes — converted Mohammedans.

If now we look at the internal history of Spain from the conclusion of the period of the reconquest, which may be put in the middle of the 13th century, down to the union of the crowns of Castile and of Aragon by the marriage of Ferdinand J-nrfeHan- and Isabel in 1469, it will be found to be occupied % ?„ a ° with two great processes. These two processes are firstly, the christianization of Spain, a very different thing from its reconquest from Moslem masters — and, secondly, not its unification, for that is hardly attained even now, but its progress towards unification.