The story

The Spanish Monarchy

The Spanish Monarchy



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The formation of the Spanish monarchy is also linked to the Reconquest wars of the Iberian peninsula. We saw that during this process several kingdoms were formed. In 1469, the marriage of Ferdinand (heir to the throne of Aragon) and Elizabeth (sister of the king of Leon and Castile) united three kingdoms. It was the first step in the formation of Spain.

In 1492, the armies of Ferdinand and Isabella seized Granada and definitively expelled the Arabs from the Iberian peninsula, consolidating the Spanish monarchy.

In the sixteenth century, with Charles I, the Spanish Monarchy was further strengthened.

The peasant rebellions

In addition to the internal and external wars and the interests of the bourgeoisie, another movement contributed to the strengthening of the power of kings: the peasant revolts.

These revolts were the result of famine, misery and exploitation of the peasants. Frightened by the rebellions, the feudal lords accepted the authority of the king, who, strengthened, could organize armies to suppress the numerous movements of contestation.

In France, the main rebellions were named after Jacqueries. This is because of the expression "Jacques Bonhomme", a scornful designation used by the nobles to refer to any peasant (something like Ze Nobody). In England, the rebels were led by a peasant craftsman named Wat Tyler and a priest named John Ball.

The peasants in France and England fought for better living conditions. No longer bearing the heavy taxes demanded by the nobles, they invaded the castles and looted the food deposits.

The revolts did not last long, for they were violently suppressed by the armies linked to the king. Even so, they contributed to showing the peasants' organizational and fighting capacity.


Jacques are butchered in Meaux. Gaston Phébus, Count of Foix, releases the maidens of Normandy and Orleans. (June 9, 1358) (BNF, FR 2643), fol. 226v, Jean Froissart, Chroniques, Flanders, Bruges XVe s. (170 x 200 mm)