1452: The Powerful King of Aragon in whose Service Columbus made his Voyage to America

1452: The Powerful King of Aragon in whose Service Columbus made his Voyage to America
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 10. March 1452
  • Ferdinand II of Aragon was married to Isabella of Castile. After her death, he continued to rule alone – not only over his estates in Aragon, but also over her estates in Castile (as regent).

This day in 1452 marked the birth of the outstandingly powerful King Ferdinand II of Aragon. He and his wife Isabella of Castile were the monarchs in whose service Christopher Columbus made his famous first voyage to America.

Ferdinand II was also the last King of Aragon who didn’t rule all of Spain, since it was during the time of their descendants that the crowns of Aragon and Castile were united (this has remained in effect to this day).

Aragon was once a surprisingly powerful kingdom, whose rulers managed to attain a large collection of estates (the so-called Lands of the Crown of Aragon). At the time Ferdinand II wore said crown, its estates included Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Majorca, Sicily, Malta, Naples, Sardinia, and part of Navarre.

Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon

 

Therefore, his estates encompassed not only Spain, but a much broader Mediterranean area. In fact, one of Ferdinand’s main centers of power was Naples in Italy. After the discovery of new lands in America, Ferdinand II de facto expanded his power to cover them as well.

Today, Ferdinand II of Aragon is known in Spain under the nickname “El Rey Católico” (“The Catholic King”). He was born in a town in northern Spain, which is now called Sos del Rey Católico in his honor. Ferdinand II of Aragon was married to Isabella of Castile, heir to the huge estates of the Crown of Castile.

After her death, he continued to rule alone – not only over his estates in Aragon, but also over her estates in Castile (as regent). Indeed, he married again – as a 53-year-old widower – with the goal of attaining a male heir (he had daughters with Isabella).

His new wife was 36 years younger than him. Had his plan succeeded, the crowns of Aragon and Castile would have become divided again, since his estates would have been inherited by his son, while the estates in Castile would have gone to his eldest daughter with Isabella. It would have changed the course of European history.

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