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PERS 2670 Latin American Studies. The Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. Iberia. The Iberian Peninsula. The Reconqest. Christians of Iberia learned much as a result of the Moslem occupation Christian spurned Moslem bent for technology and industrious ways.

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PERS 2670 Latin American Studies

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Pers 2670 latin american studies

PERS 2670Latin American Studies

The Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula



The iberian peninsula

The Iberian Peninsula

The reconqest

The Reconqest

  • Christians of Iberia learned much as a result of the Moslem occupation

  • Christian spurned Moslem bent for technology and industrious ways.

  • Christian preferred to be a warrior – man of action – rater than farmer artesan or trader.

    • Saw this as moral superiority

  • Moslems had been tolerant of Christians and Jews

Pers 2670 latin american studies

  • Christians retained their religious zeal for catholicism.

  • 900 AD the discovery of the remains of ST James in Galicia gave renewed vigor to Spanish catholicism

    • Santo Iago (Santiago) became the battle cry of the reconquest.

    • 1/5 of all captured went to the monarch

    • Militant orders were formed: powerful, effective, wealthy

      • Privileged groups of competent warriors

      • Calatrava, Alcantra, Santiago, ….

  • Poltical power was passing into the hands of Christian monarchs

  • Various states formed: Catille, Leon, Navarre, Aragon, Cataluňa, ....

Pers 2670 latin american studies

  • Christianity continued to expand with the help of the papacy.

  • By the middle of the 13th century all that was left to the Moslems was the Kingdom of Granada.

  • Alfonso, El Sabio, (King of Castille – deposed in 1284)

    • Failed to complete thje conquest of the Peninsula,

    • Issued the Siete Partidas: restored fundamental principles of Roman Law

      • Later became the basis justice and order in Spain and the Americas.

  • Moslems continued in control of Granada for another two centuries.

Castilla y arag n

Castilla y Aragón

  • During the reconquest two major Kingdoms arose: Castille and Aragon.

  • The Kingdom of Castille

    • Evolved in Central Iberia after a series of weak monarchs

    • Serfdom completely disappeared

    • Clergy were numerous and powerful

    • Military orders were rich and strong

    • Jews and Moslems were relatively well treated

    • Lands captured were populated

    • Christians failed to develop agriculture

      • Preferred military life, mining, livestock-raising

  • The Kingdom of Aragon

    • Evolved on the eastern coast

    • Absorbed Cataluña

    • Expanded overseas: Mallorca, France, Corsica, Sardinia,. Sicily, …

    • Was more European than Iberian

    • Establshed “Cortes”: Assembly of nobles, clergy and urban delegates

      • A form of parliament.

  • Aragon was destined to become the junior partner of Castille

The catholic monarchs

The Catholic Monarchs

  • In 1469 an important marriage took place: Fernando, Heir of Aragon, married Isabella, Heiress of Castille.

  • Isabella was spirited, dignified, courageous, imaginative, lucky and deeply religious.

  • Fernando was crafty, calculating, tricky, dishonest.

    • Combined with Isabella, they made a formidable team.

  • In 1474 Isabella became Queen of Castille.

  • In 1479 Fernando came into his inheritance as King of Aragon.

    Note that Fernando had enjoyed power in Castille as Isabella’s husband, Castille was the stronger monarchy and the pair emphasized more the absolute Castillian monarchy.

Isabella and fernando

Isabella and Fernando

The unification of spain

The Unification of Spain

  • With the reign of Fernando and Isabella came a unified Spain ruled as one kingdom

  • Nobles were outmaneuvered by the monarchs

    • Became allies or were defeated and destroyed

  • Fernando became head of the three great military clerical orders: Santiago, Calatrava, and Alcántara.

  • Defiant towns were whipped into subjugation by the Corregidores, officials of the crown

    • This system was to be used later in America.

  • Cortes seldom met

    • Movement towards parliamentary assertiveness was dicouraged

    • Monarch was the absolute ruler.

  • Even the clergy fell under royal control

    • Patronato Real: Government supervised ecclesiatical matters and nominated church officials

      • This power was used later in America.

Pers 2670 latin american studies

  • Isabel wielded absolute power over the clergy

  • She insisted in their abiding by her high-minded ideals and disciplined the clergy.

  • Protestantism never attracted Spaniards.

  • Spanish clergy were zealous and efficient in the challenge to Chritianize millions of “pagans” in America.

  • 1478 and 1481 Isabel and Ferdinand received permission to establish the Inquisition in Spain , under their control.

    • Eliminated unworthy clergy, enforced conformity to Christian doctrine, persecuted persons whose Christianity was suspect.

The spanish inquisition tomas de torquemada

The Spanish Inquisition: Tomas de Torquemada

The conquest of granada

The Conquest of Granada

  • Further consolidation of power was accomplished by turning efforts against the remaining Moors.

  • The Kingdom of Granada in Southern Spain was the last stronghold of the Moslems

  • Boabdil, the last Moorish monarch surrendered in January 1492.

  • This victory brought an ecstatic feeling of national unity to Spain.

  • It also won the admiration of the rest of Christendom.

The city of granada the last moslem city to fall leading to the unification of christian spain

The City of Granada: The last Moslem city to fall, leading to the unification of Christian Spain

Consolidation and further expansion

Consolidation and Further Expansion

  • Isabella turned on the Jews requiring them to become Christians within 4 months or to leave Spain.

    • Some converted, but about 150,000 left for Portugal, Netherlands, etc.

  • Ten years later she commanded ½ million Moslems still left in Spain to embrace Christianity or leave. Many left.

  • In 1492, with the support of Isabella, Columbus set sail on his first voyage of “discovery with three ships.”

    • La Niña, La Pinta, and La Santa María.

  • In 1512 the Kingdom of Navarra integrated to the crown of Spain.

Charles v and phillip ii

Charles V and Phillip II

  • Isabella died in 1504.

  • Ferdinand continued to rule until his death in 1516.

  • Kingdom passed to Phillip I, Hapsburg, who came to Spain, but died shortly thereafter. His wife, Juana went crazy – Juana la Loca.

  • Succeeded by Charles I, grandson of Isabella and Ferdinand.

Pers 2670 latin american studies

CHARLES V (1500 - 1558)"Con mi caballo hablo en alemán, con las damas de la corte, en italiano; los asuntos de hombres los trato en frances, pero para hablar con Dios, uso solo el español"

Pers 2670 latin american studies

  • Charles I of Spain (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) commanded a vast empire.

    • Inherited from Isabella and Ferdinand the Kingdom of Spain and its provinces and territories, including America.

    • Inherited from the Hapsburg line the Netherlands, Belgium, Eastern France, Western Germany, Austria, and several other territories in Central Europe.

  • Ruled with absolute power and maintained the ideals of his catholic grandmother.

  • Devoted considerable attention to his overseas empire.

  • Supported humane policies to protect Indians from exploitation and to make them Christians

  • Supported the Conquistadores in their expansion in America

  • Fashioned the fundamental machinery to rule America:

    • Council of Indies, Viceroys, Missions, Convoys, mining regulations, etc

Pers 2670 latin american studies

  • In 1556 Charles abdicated the throne.

    • Empire was divided between his brother, Ferdinand, (Central Europe), and his son, Phillip.

  • Phillip II (The Prudent King) inherited Castille, Navarre, Aragon, and several other possessions including the American colonies.

  • In 1580 he became King of Portugal and the Portuguese possessions in America, Africa, etc.

  • He was a most formidable monarch for his time

    • Worked tirelessly to know everything about his empire

    • Made decisions in accordance with his religious ideals

    • Established the Inquisition in America and sent the Jesuits

    • Perfected the apparatus to govern and oversee the overseas empire.

    • The close attention he gave his empire affected the way it functioned and remained long after his 42 years reign.

  • He died in 1598, marking the end of Spain’s material grandeur.

Phillip ii

Phillip II

The golden age el siglo de oro

The Golden Age(El Siglo de Oro)

  • Cultural flowering during the period of overseas expansion and for several generations thereafter.

  • Spanish literary genius: Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Calderon de la Barca, …

  • Spanish genius in religious issues posed by the Discovery and the Reformation

    • Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits

      • Spiritual Exercises

      • Rigid self-discipline

    • Mystics: Sta. Teresa de Jesus and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

      • Wrote powerfully about the blazing ecstasy one can achieve by approaching an awareness of god; spiritual bliss and joys of a mystical experience.

      • Persists in the character of much of the Hispanic world

      • Another barrier to sympathetic understanding by outsiders

  • Painting: Greco, Velasquez, Murillo, Zubaran

  • Portugal also experienced a Golden Age.

Paintings by velasquez and el greco

Paintings by Velasquez and El Greco

Miguel de cervantes saavedra


The decline of spain

The Decline of Spain

  • Upon the death of Phillip II Spain continued to operate on the momentum of Isabella, Charles V and Phillip II.

  • Soon went into decline.

  • Why did Spain, amidst its wealth and power collapse?

  • Spain and Portugal were to continue to exercise colonial control over America until the Wars of Independence in the 19th century.



  • The section of Western Hispania shared the experience of the rest of the peninsula.

  • At the peak of Moslem occupation a town at the mouth of the Douro River came to be called Portucale, later to be used for the western part of Iberia, while the town became known as Oporto.

  • Portugal is an accident of History

    • County of Portucale awarded to a French crusader, Henry of Burgandy, for services to the crown of Leon in fighting against the Moslems.

    • By 1100 Henry was claiming complete independence

    • By 1140 his son was calling himself King of Portugal

      • (Legend is that he won this right in a tournament.)

Pers 2670 latin american studies

  • There was little difference between Portugal and Castille

    • Language different in pronunciation, similar in writing

    • The Portuguese were more pleasing to foreigners, more flexible, less stern, more lovable, less reserved

    • Similar in cult of heroism and action

    • Less inclined to religious intolerance

  • By 1249 the Kingdom of Portugal reached the southern shores of the peninsula

    • Began preliminary oceanic explorations

  • 1386 Portugal and England signed the Treaty of Windsor

    • Oldest diplomatic tie in Europe.

    • General cooperation for mutual benefit.

    • Assistance in enabling Portugal to remain free of Spain.

  • Portugal became an important maritime nation and a major colonial power in America.



Pers 2670 latin american studies

Iberia - Spain and Portugal: Two colonial powers that have played a significant role in the evolution of Latin America.

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