University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

XII: The Spanish and Portuguese reconquest, 1095-1492,   pp. 396-456 PDF (13.3 MB)

Page 449

defeated the aristocratic partisans of the infanta Joanna (whom Isabelline
supporters decried as illegitimate and without claim to the throne) and her
intended consort, Afonso V of Portugal, who had invaded Castile with a Portuguese
army.31 This victory, and Ferdi nand's accession to the Aragonese throne
three years later, made possible the new dual monarchy of Spain, insuring
the replacement of late medieval Castile's weak government and divided society
by a reorganized state of vastly increased authority, resources, and popu
lar support which could impose controls upon nobility, military orders, and
towns, reform and reinvigorate the church, and against the rising Ottoman
Turkish threat in the Mediterranean pursue a program of resolute counterattack.
It is then no surprise to find that, as an indispensable element in their
program of cementing the yet fragile Castilian-Aragonese union and moving
towards complete uni fication of all the peninsula, Isabella and Ferdinand
early took up the cause of the reconquest, fulfillment of which promised
so many religious, political, and economic rewards. 
 If we can trust the chroniclers, the Catholic Kings—to anticipate
the honorific title conferred upon Isabella and Ferdinand by Alex ander VI
in 1494, following the fall of Granada—planned from the very start
of their reign to annex the Nasrid kingdom. Certainly the queen's pious,
crusading temperament and strongly Castilian outlook must have made her eager
to pursue without delay the reconquest objectives of her predecessors; she
may well have insisted upon the destruction of Granada before agreeing to
divert Castile's resources to her husband's more strictly Aragonese objectives
along the Pyre nees and in Italy. Both rulers were fully aware of the latest
outbreak of intra-dynastic strife in Granada, where king abti-l-Uasan ' Ali
(Muley Hacén, 1464—1485) and his brother abu-'Abd-Allah Muham
mad az-Zaghall (the Valiant, 1485—1489) were busy trying to sup- 
31. The four chief Castilian narratives are Diego de Valera, Cr6 nica de
los Reyes Católicos 
(ed. J. de M. Carriazo, Madrid, 1927; Col. crón. esp.); Fernando del
Pulgar, Crónica de los 
Reyes Católicos (ed. Carriazo, Madrid, 1943; Col. crón. esp.);
Alfonso de Palencia, Narratio 
belli adversus Granatenses (Sp. tr. by A. Paz y Melia, Madrid, 1909); and
Andrés Bernáldez, 
Memorias del reinado de los Reyes CatOlicos (ed. M. Gomez-Moreno and J. de
M. Carriazo, 
Madrid, 1962). 
 The classic accounts of Washington Irving, A Chronicle of the Conquest of
Granada (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1829) and W. H. Prescott, History of the
Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic (3 vols., Boston, 1838), still
the fullest in English and of value as based upon the chronicles, require
extensive supplementation from recent works drawing upon neglected archival
documentation. Of these the most valuable are J. de M. Carriazo, "Historia
de la guerra de Granada," in Menéndez Pidal, ed., Historia de Espana,
XVII, vol. I (Madrid, 1969), 385—914; A. de la Torre, Los Reyes Catolicos
y Granada (Madrid, 1946); and especially the two studies of M. A. Ladero
Quesada, particularly illuminating on military organization and financing,
Milicia y economia en la guerra de Granada (Valladolid, 1964), and Castilla
y la conquista del reino de Granada (Valladolid, 1967). 

Go up to Top of Page