The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New - Vol. 2

The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New - Vol. 2

The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New - Vol. 2

The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New - Vol. 2

Excerpt

Having disposed of the two distinctively Spanish problems with which Ferdinand and Isabella were confronted, we can take up the story of their principal administrative reforms, which were inspired, one and all, by the idea of giving the nation peace, order, and union under the absolute authority of the crown. Before any positive work towards the upbuilding of a strong central government could be attempted, it was essential to clear the way for it by two negative measures of fundamental importance. An end must be put to the long course of unpunished crime and contempt for authority which made the name of Castile synonymous with anarchy even in that lawless age; and the rebel aristocracy, the principal foe to the omnipotence of the king, must be permanently reduced to subjection.

The quotation from Andr és Bern áldez, with which this volume opens, may well be supplemented by a description from the pen of another contemporary, in order to portray the full horrors of the period in which Ferdinand and Isabella began to reign. "So corrupt and abominable were the customs of these realms, that every one was left free to follow his own devices without fear of reprehension or punishment; and so loosely were the conventions of civilized society observed, that men practically relapsed into savagery, in such fashion that the wise and prudent deemed it next to impossible to bring order out of such chaos, or regulation out of such confusion; for no justice was left in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.