• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyse the Strengths and Weaknesses of Spain by 1516

Extracts from this document...


Analyse the Strengths and Weaknesses of Spain by 1516 There were considerable differences between the Hispanic kingdoms within the Iberian peninsula. It was divided by language and religion, governed by different political institutions and ruled by monarchs with conflicting foreign interests. Both Aragon and Castile had very little in common. The economies varied in strength in different parts of Spain, for example Catalonia was in decline whilst Valencia was in the recovery stage. The marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand in 1469 dramatically changed the course of Spain. The Queen was a determined and quick-witted woman, with a 'street-fighter's instinct for survival'. She guaranteed privileges to nobles and town authorities, promised to restore law and order and was the only claimant with an undisputed right to the throne. Ferdinand played a role in leading Isabella's troops against the Portuguese and French invasions and recaptured rebellious towns, all helping to stabilise the crown. His brother also aided Isabella by commanding the Hermandad meaning that although his father died, no Aragonese nobles contested the crown. ...read more.


Their authority varied, some governed entire regions, and others had a limited impact. However, overtime they became more corrupt lowering the standards of local administration. The civil war left deep scars and required close supervision to work effectively. Both Isabella and Ferdinand dispersed justice personally. The Hermandad was unpopular and it demanded taxation on local people for its maintenance. It was officially dissolved in 1498 as nobles increasingly disliked it (didn't want too much crown influence). The crowns political strength lay into relationship with the nobility. Ferdinand and Isabella however, due to incompatible promises in the 1470's, were in a different situation as some families expected rewards for their role in the civil war. This often contradicted what Isabella had said about protecting the rights of the towns. Isabella decided to harness the power of the nobility and tried to regain land given out by Henry IV. Isabella and Ferdinand on a smaller scale in Aragon gave the nobles rights to collect sales tax and confirmed their exemption from direct tax. This guaranteed their social and economic position. ...read more.


Overseas trade was strengthened with Venice as a base, and the financial status and prosperity of Barcelona recovered from the effects of the civil war in the 1460s. However the Spanish economy had a number of weaknesses, poor communications (bad roads, mountainous), a network of internal customs duties and inland tolls and resistance to state intervention in effecting changes in agriculture, guilds and industry. Regionalism was a very powerful force and applied to the economy. There was no significant attempt to integrate the two economies, for example, trade with Americas was a Castilian monopoly (intensified hostility between two kingdoms, threat of inflation and decline in currency). The only measure that was taken was the standardisation of the currency in 1497. The Spanish Crown failed to protect and promote its native industries and focused too much on exportation of wool than developing its textile industry. Also, the persecution of the Conversos and Jews (many of them were skilled craftsmen) damaged wool trade, while the silk trade was damaged with war in Granada (mudejars were main producers of silk, many were killed while others emigrated). Spanish wealth and commercial gains from the New World could potentially fall through due to its lack of incorporation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics essays

  1. Where does the World Trade Organisation fit in the overall scheme of international public ...

    This has to be treated in an issue-specific and country-specific manner, and is inevitably going to be complicated and long drawn-out - another argument for a longer rather than shorter round. Above all, the Uruguay Round folly of rushing developing countries into agreements with blithe disregard for implementation effects must not be repeated.

  2. Free essay

    Globalisation and changing career patterns

    This immediately opened up a vast expanse of opportunities in the IT field. Within 6 months I had transferred to a government account as Security Manager. Indirectly, globalisation had contributed to a major change in my working environment. After all, without globalisation, EDS would not be bidding for work in the UK.

  1. In this report, we shall explore the reasons for the shift from multilateralism to ...

    This brings in the notion of bilateral agreements complementing RTAs. That is, they allow a regional trading area to expand consequentially and, in some cases, they allow two or more blocs to coalesce. While it may not be in the interests of a set of countries collectively to admit a

  2. Emergency Economic Recovery Program From the United Nations International Report, Vol. I, no. A1

    result from financial aid from multilateral and bilateral donors, particularly those funds targeted for infrastructure development (electrical generating capacity, potable water systems, sewage disposal facilities, communication facilities, roads and highways, etc). Only later, following the gradual reactivation of Haiti's assembly sector (garments, electronics, and sporting goods)

  1. Assess the Successes of the Catholic Monarchs

    For example Vallodolid, which became the centre of administration, was under the control of the Count of Benavente. Also in Extremadura and Andalucia violence was suppressed with the promise not to request more special taxation, a measure which potentially handicapped Isabella financially in the future.

  2. Is there a trade-off between prosperity and violence? If so, what is it? If ...

    Economic organisation, which Bates (2001) regards as being like the interplay between members of a sports team; as much as investment, is able to promote or (if it is in short supply) hinder development (pg. 23). Commitment to a program of improvement in economic organisation and investment is largely dependant

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work