Within the Context of 1474-1598 to What Extent Did Ferdinand and Isabella Lay the Foundations for a Golden Age?
Spain’s perceived “Golden Age” is a broad classification unconfined to a specific era. The Golden Age has long been affiliated with the growth of a uniquely Spanish identity that arose with the flourishing of arts, architecture and literature expanding notably in the years of Phillip II, and flourishing in the 17th century – the same century traditionalist historians identify as the decline of Spain. To consider the golden age of Spain on a purely art and literature basis however misses the point, the Golden Age in all contexts appeared from the development of the Spanish Empire. On the European stage Spain appeared at the height of its “Golden Age” during the reign of Phillip II, Spain was the centre piece of the world’s greatest power
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The Hapsburg succession was “the last thing that Ferdinand and Isabella would have wished” , for Ferdinand only a last resort to an uncompromising Castile. But it was the road, if bumpy, to a Golden Age for Spain. When the Burgundian Charles first succeeded to the throne of Spain there was no sign of a Golden Age in Spain. Charles rejected the realm, considering Spain simply another of his territories in the Holy Roman Empire. In Brandi’s words his succession – “Hopelessly miscarried” . The young and shy king arrived, (overdue) illiterate in Spanish and assuming the offices of the land for Burgundian friends and for money, Charles made the worst possible impression. Thus without the attentive eye of the Catholic Kings the nobility grew in strength and confidents under a tentative government; “reopening old feuds” , the revolt of the Germania, Comuneros and in the Balearic Islands were a direct result of Charles neglect of Spanish affairs and could have been prevented. When Charles left Spain in September 1519 Spain was part of Charles Burgundian Empire The monarchy created by the Catholic Kings was a personal monarchy ruled in an absolute style, and therefore totally ungovernable in the way Charles had attempted to rule when he first arrived in Spain. The theory of new monarchy endorsed by historians such as Katherine