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Which 1469 marriage resulted in the creation of modern Spain?

In 1469, Ferdinand of Aragon married Isabella of Castile, joining together their two kingdoms. Uniting the two houses left only three independent states in the Iberian Peninsula; Portugal to the west, the Kingdom of Navarre along the border with France, and Andalusia, a Moorish enclave to the South.


In 1492, Ferdinand's and Isabella's forces conquered the last Moorish territory in Spain, _____.


Granada was the last independent Moorish city in Spain, and its conquest ended Islamic presence in Spain.

The modern-day territorial limits of Spain were completed following the conquest of the Kingdom of Navarre in 1512.


What was the Alhambra Decree?

Announced in 1492, the Alhambra Decree announced that all Jews must leave Ferdinand's and Isabella's territory unless they renounced Judaism and became Roman Catholics.

Between 130,000 to 800,000 left, mostly for Portugal or the Ottoman Empire, whose Sultan, Bayezid II, sent ships to rescue them. Those who remained behind were nicknamed marranos, a Spanish term meaning pig.


How did Ferdinand and Isabella weaken the power of Spanish nobles?

During the 14th and 15th centuries, Spanish nobles had sufficient power to constitute a threat to the free action of their monarchs. Most of the nobles lived in the countryside. To counter their threat, Ferdinand and Isabella allied with the Hermandades, a league of cities and towns opposed to the old nobility.


What efforts did Ferdinand and Isabella take to ensure the religious purity of their united territories?

With the cooperation of the Catholic Church, they announced the Spanish Inquisition, designed to root out Muslims and Jews. Under the command of Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, the Spanish Inquisition burned some 2,000 suspected Muslims and Jews at the stake between 1480-1530.

Amongst their weaponry were such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms.


Which French King conquered Burgundy, eliminating a longstanding threat from France's east?

Louis XI (1423-1483) conquered Burgundy, a duchy to the east of his territories. With the exception of Brittany and the English-controlled city of Calais, most of France was under the control of France's Valois monarchy.

Louis XI was one of the first modern French monarchs who devoted significant attention to France's road network and internal trade.


What two events highlighted the reign of Charles VIII (1470-1498) of France?

In 1491, Charles contracted a bold marriage with Anne of Brittany while she was formally engaged to the Holy Roman Emperor. The marriage cemented the territory of modern France.

In 1494, Charles's forces invaded Italy in alliance with the Duchy of Milan, shattering 50 years of peace on the Italian peninsula.


What was the Concordat of Bologna?

In 1516, the Pope and French King Francis I reached an agreement known as the Concordat of Bologna. The Concordat gave the French King the power to name French bishops, strengthening the French monarchy at the expense of the Pope's temporal power.


What were the Wars of the Roses?

The Wars of the Roses (1455-1485) were a long-running English civil war between two noble families, the House of Lancaster and the House of York, for control of the English Crown. In 1485, Lancastrian Henry Tudor (Henry VII) defeated Richard III and seized the Crown, inaugurating the Tudor Dynasty that would rule England for 117 years.

Each of the two warring houses had a rose as their heraldic symbol, hence the term "Wars of the Roses."


What efforts did Henry VII take to reduce the power of the English nobility?

In addition to eliminating private noble armies, Henry VII, whose reign lated 1485 to 1509 used the Court of the Star Chamber to break the power of the landed gentry.

The Court of the Star Chamber acted in secret with no indictments and no witnesses against anyone to whom Henry was opposed.


In the 15th and 16th centuries, how was the Holy Roman Empire governed?

The Holy Roman Emperor was typically from the Habsburg familial line and ruled directly over his hereditary lands in Austria. He also ruled over the 300 small nations that comprised Germany, but was able to exercise little direct control over the German states.


Whose forces sacked Rome in 1527?

Holy Roman Emperor Charles V's forces sacked Rome as part of the Italian wars which had begun in the 1490s. A Habsburg ruler, Charles V was Europe's most powerful monarch; in addition to being Holy Roman Emperor, he was the Spanish King, ruled the Netherlands, and held his Austrian hereditary lands.


What prompted Portugal and Spain to begin their voyages of exploration?

Portugal and Spain were both eager to break the Italian monopoly on the profitable Asian and Middle Eastern trade. Hence, the Portuguese circumvented Africa and the Spaniards sought a Western route to the Indies.


What inventions allowed the Age of Exploration's sailors to better determine their location?

The compass was invented around 1300, and it allowed sailors to determine which direction was North, an exceedingly useful tool for long ocean voyages. Both the quadrant (1450) and the astrolabe (1480) enabled sailors to determine latitude by measuring the altitude of heavenly bodies, and thus better chart their course.


Martin Behaim created the first _____ in 1492. 


Behaim's globe demonstrated a renewed interest in cartography. He worked for the Portuguese King, and while his globe contained no depiction of the Americas, it did show lines of longitude and latitude, and depicted the Earth rotating at an angle. 


Whose world map of 1569 was primarily designed to aid sailors by marking compass courses as straight lines?

By showing parallel lines of longitude, Gerardus Mercator's map was designed to aid sea navigation. It allowed sailors to directly cross the Atlantic by following a compass bearing.

Mercator's genius was that his map accurately represented distance on a flat surface for a rounded globe. The term "Mercator Projection" refers to a certain type of map that is still in use today.



A caravel is a small sailing ship that, unlike other ships of the Age of Exploration, was able to sail into the wind. Invented by the Portuguese during the late Medieval period, the caravel enabled them to explore the Atlantic Ocean and circumvent Africa.



Galleons were large wooden sailing vessels that dominated the spice trade during the Age of Exploration. Used by the Spanish and Portuguese, galleons and their larger brethren, the carrack, could long distances and carry large amounts of cargo, making voyages profitable.

Galleons could be used as warships during the frequent conflicts of the 16th century, simultaneously giving the Spanish king a large trading fleet in addition to a strong navy.


Who was Prester John?

Prester John was a mythical Christian king, who purportedly lived somewhere in Ethiopia. In addition to searching for access to Asian and Middle Eastern markets, the Portuguese exploration effort was driven by a desire to find Prester John and seek an alliance against the Muslim states of the Middle East.


Which royal figure provided the initial impetus for Portuguese exploration?

Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) was the patron of Portuguese exploration. He funded sailing schools, directed the invention of the caravel, and employed cartographers.


What Portuguese explorer's voyage to India broke the Italian monopoly on trade with Asia and the Middle East?

Vasco da Gama (1469-1524) circumvented Africa and sailed directly to India. Da Gama returned with Indian spices, earning a handsome profit for his investors.


_____ _____, an Italian explorer funded by the Portuguese, demonstrated that the Americas were a separate continent, and established Portuguese claims to Brazil.

Amerigo Vespucci

Vespucci (1454-1512) discovered that South America extended much farther inland than originally suspected.

A German mapmaker, reading Vespucci's account, labeled the new continent "America" after Vespucci's first name. 


Which monarchs funded the journeys of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus?

Ferdinand and Isabella funded the voyages of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506). With Italian city-states dominating the Mediterranean and the Portuguese claiming the Africa route, Columbus's theory was that by sailing directly west, he could reach the Indies.

During his four voyages Columbus explored most of the Caribbean islands, as well as modern-day Honduras.


Who wrote A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies in 1542?

Bartolomé de las Casas, a Spanish priest, wrote A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. De las Casas chronicled the mistreatment of the Indians out of fear that Spain would be punished by God for its conduct.



The conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, sent to explore, pacify, and colonize the New World. In Mexico, Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztecs by 1524, and Francisco Pizarro completed the conquest of Peru in 1532.


What was the Quinto?

The New World conquests of Spain included huge amounts of gold and silver. In exchange for being granted opportunities to mine these precious materials, Spanish colonists returned 1/5 (quinto means "fifth" in Spanish) directly to the Spanish Crown.

The large influx of gold and especially silver led to inflation in Europe and funded the massive Spanish military.


What was the Papal Line of Demarcation?

In 1493, the Pope divided the world between Portugal and Spain by drawing a line down a map of the known world, giving Spain everything west of the Papal Line of Demarcation, and Portugal everything to the east.

In the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), the Portuguese and Spaniards moved the line slightly to the west, an action which was ratified by the Pope in 1506. Since the Tordesillas line went through a portion of Brazil, the Portuguese would later claim the region.


the Encomienda System

Under the Encomienda System, the Spanish government provided grants of land and Indians to individual Spaniards who were supposed to care for the Indians and convert them to Catholicism.

The system resulted in virtual slavery for the Indians consigned to Spanish care and most died from brutal treatment or disease. To replace Indian labor, Spain arranged for the importation of slaves from Africa, under the Asiento System. 


What was the Asiento System?

As the Indians died from disease and overwork, the Spanish turned to the Asiento System to make up for the labor shortage. Under the Asiento System, African slaves were carried to the Americas and a tax was paid to the Spanish Crown for each slave imported.

The Asiento System resulted in hundreds of thousands of African slaves being brought to the New World.


Besides Mexico and Central and South America, what other locations did the Spanish colonize?

The Spanish also colonized Texas, New Mexico, Florida, and California. In California, the Spanish founded San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and under Father Junipero Serra planted religious missions along the California coast. The Spanish mission at San Juan Capistrano, in Orange County, California, was founded by Father Serra on July 4, 1776.