Laws of the Indies
The Laws of the Indies are the entire body of laws issued by the Spanish Crown for the American and Philippine possessions of its empire. They regulated social and economic life in these areas and this became considered the classic collection of the laws, although laws superseded parts of it, and other compilations were issued. The Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas sometimes generated conflicts between peoples and the Spanish colonists. The Spanish attempted to control the Natives to force their labor, at the same time, conflicts on policy and implementation occurred between the encomenderos and the Crown. The Laws of Burgos, signed by King Ferdinand II of Aragon, the issue was revisited after Bartolomé de las Casas brought attention to abuses being carried out by encomenderos. The Laws of Burgos were revised by the New Laws of 1542 issued by Charles I and quickly revised again in 1552 and these were followed by the Ordinances Concerning Discoveries in 1573, which forbade any unauthorized operations against independent Native Americans.
The Valladolid debate was the first moral debate in European history to discuss the rights and it consisted of a number of opposing views about the way natives were to be integrated into colonial life, their conversion to Christianity and their rights and obligations. According to the French historian Jean Dumont The Valladolid debate was a turning point in world history “In that moment in Spain appeared the dawn of the human rights”. To guide and regularize the establishment of presidios and pueblos and this comprehensive guide was composed of 148 ordinances to aid colonists in locating and populating settlements. They codified the city planning process and represented some of the first attempts at a general plan, signed in 1573, the Laws of the Indies are considered the first wide-ranging guidelines towards design and development of communities. These laws were influenced by Vitruvius Ten Books of Architecture. In Book IV of the 1680 compilation of The Laws of the Indies, plans were set forth in detail on every facet of creating a community, including town planning.
They shall try as far as possible to have the all of one type for the sake of the beauty of the town. The site and building lots for houses, tanneries. These rules are part of a body of 148 regulations configuring any settlement according to the rule of Spain and this continued as a precedent in all towns under Spanish control until the relinquishing of the land to others, as in the case of the American colonies and their growth. The Laws of the Indies are still used as an example to design guidelines for communities today, the Laws specify many details of towns. A plan is centered on a Plaza Mayor of size within specified limits. The directions of the streets are chosen according to the prevailing winds, the guidelines recommend a hospital for non-contagious cases near the church, and one for contagious diseases further away
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was ruled by kings from the House of Habsburg. The Habsburg rulers reached the zenith of their influence and power and this period of Spanish history has been referred to as the Age of Expansion. The Habsburg years were a Spanish Golden Age of cultural efflorescence, in some cases, these individual kingdoms themselves were confederations, most notably, the Crown of Aragon. Isabella and Ferdinand were bestowed the title of Most Catholic Monarchs by Pope Alexander VI in 1496, the Habsburg period is formative of the notion of Spain in the sense that was institutionalized in the 18th century. Her husband Philip I was the Habsburg son of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, shortly thereafter Joanna began to lapse into insanity, though how mentally ill she actually was the topic of some debate. In 1506, Philip I was declared jure uxoris king, but he died that year under mysterious circumstances, possibly poisoned by his father-in-law, Ferdinand II.
Since their oldest son Charles was only six, the Cortes reluctantly allowed Joannas father Ferdinand II to rule the country as the regent of Joanna, Spain was now in personal union under Ferdinand II of Aragon. He attempted to enlarge Spains sphere of influence in Italy, as ruler of Aragon, Ferdinand had been involved in the struggle against France and the Republic of Venice for control of Italy, these conflicts became the center of Ferdinands foreign policy as king. The war was less of a success than that against Venice, Ferdinand would die that year. Ferdinands death led to the ascension of young Charles to the throne as Charles I of Castile and Aragon and his Spanish inheritance included all the Spanish possessions in the New World and around the Mediterranean. Upon the death of his Habsburg father in 1506, Charles had inherited the Netherlands and Franche-Comté, in 1519, with the death of his paternal grandfather Maximilian I, Charles inherited the Habsburg territories in Germany, and was duly elected as Holy Roman Emperor that year.
At that point and King Charles was the most powerful man in Christendom, the accumulation of so much power by one man and one dynasty greatly concerned Francis I of France, who found himself surrounded by Habsburg territories. In 1521 Francis invaded the Spanish possessions in Italy and Navarre, the war was a disaster for France, which suffered defeats at Biccoca and Landriano before Francis relented and abandoned Milan to Spain once more. Charless victory at the Battle of Pavia surprised many Italians and Germans, Pope Clement VII switched sides and now joined forces with France and prominent Italian states against the Habsburg Emperor, in the War of the League of Cognac. Henry VIII of England, who bore a grudge against France than he held against the Emperor for standing in the way of his divorce. Although the Spanish army was defeated at the Battle of Ceresole, in Savoy Henry fared better. The Austrians, led by Charless younger brother Ferdinand, continued to fight the Ottomans in the east, with France defeated, Charles went to take care of an older problem, the Schmalkaldic League.
The Protestant Reformation had begun in Germany in 1517, the German Peasants War broke out in Germany in 1524 and ravaged the country until it was brutally put down in 1526, even as far away from Germany as he was, was committed to keeping order
Treaty of Tordesillas
This line of demarcation was about halfway between the Cape Verde islands and the islands entered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage, named in the treaty as Cipangu and Antilia. The lands to the east would belong to Portugal and the lands to the west to Castile, the treaty was signed by Spain,2 July 1494 and by Portugal,5 September 1494. Originals of both treaties are kept at the Archivo General de Indias in Spain and at the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo in Portugal. This treaty would be observed fairly well by Spain and Portugal, despite considerable ignorance as to the geography of the New World and those countries generally ignored the treaty, particularly those that became Protestant after the Protestant Reformation. The Treaty of Tordesillas was intended to solve the dispute that had been created following the return of Christopher Columbus and his crew, on his way back to Spain he first reached Lisbon, in Portugal. There he asked for another meeting with King John II to show him the newly discovered lands, the Portuguese King stated that he was already making arrangements for a fleet to depart shortly and take possession of the new lands.
After reading the letter the Catholic Monarchs knew they did not have any power in the Atlantic to match the Portuguese. The bull did not mention Portugal or its lands, so Portugal could not claim newly discovered lands even if they were east of the line. The Portuguese King John II was not pleased with that arrangement, feeling that it gave him far too little land—it prevented him from possessing India, by 1493 Portuguese explorers had reached the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. The Portuguese were unlikely to go to war over the islands encountered by Columbus, the treaty effectively countered the bulls of Alexander VI but was subsequently sanctioned by Pope Julius II by means of the bull Ea quae pro bono pacis of 24 January 1506. Even though the treaty was negotiated without consulting the Pope, a few sources call the line the Papal Line of Demarcation. Very little of the divided area had actually been seen by Europeans. Castile gained lands including most of the Americas, which in 1494 had little proven wealth, the easternmost part of current Brazil was granted to Portugal when in 1500 Pedro Álvares Cabral landed there while he was en route to India.
Some historians contend that the Portuguese already knew of the South American bulge that makes up most of Brazil before this time, the line was not strictly enforced—the Spanish did not resist the Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian. However, the Catholic Monarchs attempted to stop the Portuguese advance in Asia, by claiming the meridian line ran around the world, Portugal pushed back, seeking another papal pronouncement that limited the line of demarcation to the Atlantic. This was given by Pope Leo X, who was friendly toward Portugal and its discoveries, for a period between 1580 and 1640, the treaty was rendered meaningless, as the Spanish King was King of Portugal. It was superseded by the 1750 Treaty of Madrid which granted Portugal control of the lands it occupied in South America, the latter treaty was immediately repudiated by the Catholic Monarch. The First Treaty of San Ildefonso settled the problem, with Spain acquiring territories east of the Uruguay River, the Treaty of Tordesillas only specified the line of demarcation in leagues from the Cape Verde Islands
It has its origins with the 1527 foundation of Santa Ana de Coro by Juan de Ampíes, the provinces first governor. Coro was the capital until 1546, followed by El Tocuyo. The capital was moved to Caracas in 1577 by Juan de Pimentel, at one time Calabozo was its capital. Early on, the province was defined in relation to the Venezuelan coastline, New Andalusia Province soon provided an eastern boundary, excepting a brief period when the short-lived New Catalonia Province existed between the Venezuela and New Andalusia provinces. Guayana Province formed a southern boundary, matters in the west were more complex and fluid, but the Maracaibo Province formed clearly the largest part until the Barinas Province was split from it in 1786. For most of its existence the province was subject to the legal, administrative supervision was transferred to the Viceroyalty of New Granada when this was created in 1717, and in 1777 to the new Captaincy General of Venezuela. Legal supervision by Santo Domingo ended in 1786 when the Royal Audience of Caracas became functional within the new Captaincy-General, the province was one of the 7 which signed the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence.
Towards the end of the Venezuelan War of Independence it was incorporated into Gran Colombia, in 1824 it was recreated as a reduced Caracas Province within a much smaller Venezuela Department. With the independence of Venezuela in 1830, the province was one of 11, in 1848 Aragua Province and Guárico Province were split from Caracas. Following the Federal War, the States of Venezuela were created in 1864, list of Governors of Venezuela Province
Spanish Florida refers to the Spanish territory of La Florida, which was the first major European land claim and attempted settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery. La Florida formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, Spains claim to this vast area was based on several wide-ranging expeditions mounted during the 16th century. However, Spain never exercised control over La Florida much beyond several settlements and forts which were predominantly located in present-day Florida. Spanish Florida was established in 1513, when Juan Ponce de León claimed peninsular Florida for Spain during the first official European expedition to North America, the presidio of St. Spanish control of the Florida peninsula was made possible by the collapse of native cultures during the 17th century. Several Native American groups had been long-established residents of Florida, during the mid-1700s, small bands of Creek and other Native American refugees began moving south into Spanish Florida after having been forced off their lands by English settlements and raids.
They were joined by African-Americans fleeing slavery in nearby colonies and these newcomers - plus perhaps a few surviving descendants of indigenous Florida peoples - eventually coalesced into a new Seminole culture. The extent of Spanish Florida began to shrink in the 1600s, between disease, poor management, and ill-timed hurricanes, several Spanish attempts to establish new settlements in La Florida ended in failure. The War of Jenkins Ear included a British attack on St. Augustine, at the conclusion of the war, the northern boundary of Spanish Florida was set near the current northern border of modern-day Florida. Great Britain temporarily gained control of Florida beginning in 1763 as a result of the Anglo-Spanish War, France sold Louisiana to the United States in 1803. The U. S. claimed that the transaction included West Florida, as with earlier American incursions into Florida, Spain protested this invasion but could not defend its territory, and instead opened diplomatic negotiations seeking a peaceful transfer of land.
By the terms of the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819, Spanish Florida ceased to exist in 1821, anonymous Portuguese sailors were likely the first Europeans to map the southeastern portion of the future United States. They kept their discoveries secret and did not attempt to establish settlements or explore very far inland, in 1512 Juan Ponce de León, governor of Puerto Rico, received royal permission to search for land north of Cuba. On March 3,1513, his expedition departed from Punta Aguada, Puerto Rico, in late March, he spotted a small island but did not land. On April 2, Ponce de León spotted the east coast of the Florida peninsula and went ashore the next day at an exact location that has been lost to time. Assuming that he had found an island, he claimed the land for Spain and named it La Florida, because it was the season of Pascua Florida. After briefly exploring the area around their landing site, the returned to their ships and sailed south to map the coast. The expedition followed Floridas coastline all the way around the Florida Keys, popular legend has it that Ponce de León was searching for the Fountain of Youth when he discovered Florida.
Ponce de León probably was not the first Spaniard to reach Florida, evidence suggests that Spanish raiders from the Caribbean had conducted small secret expeditions to Florida to capture Indian slaves
French Wars of Religion
Approximately 3,000,000 people perished as a result of violence and disease in what is accounted as the second deadliest European religious war. Unlike all other wars at the time, the French wars retained their religious character without being confounded by dynastic considerations. At the conclusion of the conflict in 1598, Huguenots were granted rights and freedoms by the Edict of Nantes. The wars weakened the authority of the monarchy, already fragile under the rule of Francis II and Charles IX, apart from previously mentioned names, the wars have been variously described as the Eight Wars of Religion, or simply the Wars of Religion. However, the Massacre of Vassy in 1562 is agreed to begin the French Wars of Religion, during this time, complex diplomatic negotiations and agreements of peace were followed by renewed conflict and power struggles. Humanism, until the late 1520s, served as a ground for the French Protestant Reformation. The spirit of the Renaissance interested Francis I and he encouraged the study of the classics by establishing royal professorships in Paris, equipping more people with the knowledge necessary to understand the classics.
Francis I had no qualms with the religious order. Through the Concordat of Bologna, Pope Leo X increased the power of the king over the church, nomination of clergy depended upon the kings choice, in France, unlike in Germany, the nobles supported the policies and the status quo of their time. The establishment of the college and the spread of the printing press served the purposes of the Reformation. The printing press made mass production of inexpensive and fueled the spread of knowledge in all disciplines. Interest in the classics soared and literature was available to a wider audience. The accessibility coupled with romanticism for the knowledge from the past that built empires, precise language and eloquence were valued among scholars and true understanding of the classics meant studying them from the originals. Theological and religious thoughts were disseminated at an unprecedented pace, ideas about the Reformation were widespread in France by 1519. John Froben, a humanist printer, published a collection of Luther’s works, in one correspondence, he reported that 600 copies of such works were being shipped to France and Spain and were sold in Paris.
The humanist perspective on understanding Scriptures had theological and ecclesiastical implications, studying Scriptures in the original flourished in the Renaissance period. This contrasted the heavy reliance of the church on the Vulgate - the Latin translation of the Bible. The Meaux Circle was formed by a group of humanists including Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples and Guillaume Briçonnet, bishop of Meaux, in the effort to reform preaching, the Meaux circle was joined by Vatable, a Hebraist and Guillaume Budé the classicist and librarian to the king
Expulsion of the Moriscos
The Expulsion of the Moriscos was decreed by King Philip III of Spain on April 9,1609. The Moriscos were descendants of Spains Muslim population that converted to Christianity by coercion or by Royal Decree in the early 16th century, between 1609 through 1614, the Crown systematically expelled Moriscos through a number of decrees affecting Spains various kingdoms, meeting varying levels of success. Dadson estimates that, out of a total Morisco population of 500,000, of those permanently expelled, the majority finally settled in the Maghreb or the Barbary coast, with between 30,000 and 90,000 ultimately returning to Spain. Those who avoided expulsion or who managed to return to Spain merged into the dominant culture, the last mass prosecution against Moriscos for crypto-Islamic practices took place in Granada in 1727, with most of those convicted receiving relatively light sentences. By the end of the 18th century, indigenous Islam and Morisco identity were considered to have been extinguished in Spain.
While some Moriscos did hold influence and power, and even had positions in the clergy, particularly in Valencia, where sectarian conflict existed, old Christian communities suspected the Moriscos of not being sincere in their Christianity. The Moors who remained Muslims were known as Mudéjar, as such the conflict between Old Christians and New Christians was an ethnically inspired one. After the suppression of the revolt, Philip ordered the dispersal of the Moriscos of Granada to other areas, Philip expected that this would break down the Morisco community and facilitate their assimilation into the rest of the Christian population. This may have happened to a degree to Granadas Moriscos, but not in Valencia or Aragon, at around the same time, Spain recognized the loss of more than half of its holdings in the Low Countries to the Protestant Dutch Republic. The ruling class already thought of Spain as the defender of Catholic Christendom, and this helped lead to a radicalization of thinking.
Some critiques of Spain from Protestant countries included insults of the Spanish as corrupted by the Muslims and crypto-Muslims amongst them, the situation further deteriorated in the early 17th century. A recession struck in 1604 as the amount of gold and treasure from Spains American holdings fell, the reduction in the standard of living led to increased tension between the Moriscos and Old Christians for precious jobs. The number of Moriscos in Spain at the time of expulsion is unknown, figures of between 300,000 and 400,000 are often cited. However, modern studies estimate between 500,000 and one million moriscos present in Spain at the beginning of the 17th century out of a population of 8.5 million. The rich and those who lived in the cities were mostly Christians, while the Moriscos occupied the outlying countryside, in the Crown of Castile, which included the Guadalquivir valley in present Andalusia the situation was considerably different. Local sympathies for Moriscos meant that Castile and Andalusia experienced only half-hearted efforts at identifying and expelling them, in the region of Valencia, which held the bulk of Aragons Morisco population, the situation was radically different to Castile.
Valencian moriscos were the majority of the landless peasantry and lived segregated to Christian populations. Economic and social rivalry was a driver of resentment towards the them
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent. It is bounded on the northeast and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. The U. S. states of Alabama, Louisiana and Texas border the Gulf on the north and Pacific coasts, or sometimes the south coast, in juxtaposition to the Great Lakes region being the north coast. One of the seven main areas is the Gulf of Mexico basin. The Gulf of Mexico formed approximately 300 million years ago as a result of plate tectonics, the Gulfs basin is roughly oval and is approximately 810 nautical miles wide and floored by sedimentary rocks and recent sediments. It is connected to part of the Atlantic Ocean through the Florida Straits between the U. S. and Cuba, and with the Caribbean Sea via the Yucatan Channel between Mexico and Cuba, with the narrow connection to the Atlantic, the Gulf experiences very small tidal ranges. The size of the Gulf basin is approximately 1.6 million km2, almost half of the basin is shallow continental shelf waters.
The basin contains a volume of roughly 2,500 quadrillion liters, the consensus among geologists who have studied the geology of the Gulf of Mexico, is that prior to the Late Triassic, the Gulf of Mexico did not exist. It was created by the collision of plates that formed Pangea. As interpreted by Roy Van Arsdale and Randel T. Cox and other Earth scientists agree in general that the present Gulf of Mexico basin originated in Late Triassic time as the result of rifting within Pangea. The rifting was associated with zones of weakness within Pangea, including sutures where the Laurentia, South American, there was a Late Triassic-Early Jurassic phase of rifting during which rift valleys formed and filled with continental red beds. Second, as rifting progressed through Early and Middle Jurassic time and it was at this time that tectonics first created a connection to the Pacific Ocean across central Mexico and eastward to the Atlantic Ocean. This flooded the basin created by rifting and crustal thinning to create the Gulf of Mexico.
While the Gulf of Mexico was a basin, the subsiding transitional crust was blanketed by the widespread deposition of Louann Salt. Initially, during the Late Jurassic, continued rifting widened the Gulf of Mexico and progressed to the point that sea-floor spreading, at this point, sufficient circulation with the Atlantic Ocean was established that the deposition of Louann Salt ceased. During the Late Jurassic through Early Cretaceous, the occupied by the Gulf of Mexico experienced a period of cooling. The subsidence was the result of a combination of stretching, cooling. Initially, the combination of stretching and cooling caused about 5–7 km of tectonic subsidence of the central thin transitional
Hispaniola is the 22nd-largest island in the world, located in the Caribbean island group, the Greater Antilles. It is the second largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba, two sovereign nations share the 76, 192-square-kilometre island. The only other shared island in the Caribbean is Saint Martin, Hispaniola is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, founded by Christopher Columbus on his voyages in 1492 and 1493. The island was called by various names by its native people, fernández de Oviedo and de las Casas both recorded that the island was called Haiti by the Taíno. DAnghiera added another name, but shows that the word does not seem to derive from the original Arawak Taíno language. When Columbus took possession of the island in 1492, he named it Insula Hispana, meaning the Spanish Island in Latin and La Isla Española, meaning the Spanish Island, in Spanish. De las Casas shortened the name to Española, and when d‘Anghiera detailed his account of the island in Latin, he rendered its name as Hispaniola.
Due to Taíno, Spanish and French influences on the island, historically the whole island was referred to as Haiti, Santo Domingo, St. Domingue. The name Haïti was adopted by Haitian revolutionary Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1804, as the name of independent Saint-Domingue. It was adopted as the name of independent Santo Domingo, as the Republic of Spanish Haiti. Christopher Columbus inadvertently landed on the island during his first voyage across the Atlantic in 1492, where his flagship, a contingent of men were left at an outpost christened La Navidad, on the north coast of present-day Haiti. The island was inhabited by the Taíno, one of the indigenous Arawak peoples, the Taino were at first tolerant of Columbus and his crew, and helped him to construct La Navidad on what is now Môle-Saint-Nicolas, Haiti, in December 1492. European colonization of the began in earnest the following year. In 1496 the town of Nueva Isabela was founded, after being destroyed by a hurricane, it was rebuilt on the opposite side of the Ozama River and called Santo Domingo.
It is the oldest permanent European settlement in the Americas, several 16th century writers estimated the 1492 population of Hispaniola at over 1 million people. Twentieth-century estimates of the range from 60,000 to 8,000,000. Harsh enslavement by Spanish colonists, redirection of food supplies and labor towards the colonists, had a impact on both mortality and fertility over the first quarter century. Colonial administrators and Dominican and Hyeronimite priests observed that the search for gold, demographic data from two provinces in 1514 shows a low birth rate consistent with a 3. 5% annual population decline
Captaincy General of Santo Domingo
The Captaincy General of Santo Domingo was the first colony in the New World and was claimed for Spain. The island was originally named La Española by Christopher Columbus, from 1511, the courts of the colony were placed under the jurisdiction of the Royal Audiencia of Santo Domingo. In the 17th century, after years of struggles with the French, the Spanish remained in control of the eastern two-thirds of the island, which became the Dominican Republic. Columbus reached the island on his first voyage, on December 5,1492, believing that the Europeans were in some way supernatural, the Taínos welcomed them with all the honors available. This was a different society from the one the Europeans came from. Guacanagarí, the chief who hosted Christopher Columbus and his men, treated them kindly, yet the Taínos allegedly egalitarian system clashed with the Europeans feudalist system, with more rigid class structures. This led the Europeans to believe the Taínos to be weak or misleading. Columbus tried to temper this when he and his men departed from Ayiti—as the Taínos called the island—and they left on a good note, Columbus had cemented a firm alliance with Guacanagarix, who was a powerful chief on the island.
After the shipwrecking of the Santa María, Columbus decided to establish a fort with a garrison of men that could help him lay claim to this possession. The fort was called La Navidad, since the events of the shipwrecking, the garrison, in spite of all the wealth and beauty on the island, was wracked by divisions that evolved into conflict amongst these first Europeans. The more rapacious ones began to terrorize the Taíno, viewed as weak by the Spaniards and even some of his own people, Guacanagarix tried to come to an accommodation with the Spaniards, who saw his appeasement as the actions of someone who submitted. They treated him with contempt and even some of his wives. The powerful cacique of the Maguana, could brook no further affronts and attacked the Europeans, Guacanagarix was dismayed by this turn of events but did not try too hard to aid these guamikena, probably hoping that the troublesome outsiders would never return. In 1493, Christopher Columbus came back to the island on his voyage and founded the first Spanish colony in the New World.
In 1496, his brother Bartholomew Columbus established the settlement of Santo Domingo de Guzmán on the southern coast, an estimated 400,000 Tainos living on the island were soon enslaved to work in gold mines. As a consequence of oppression, forced labor, disease, by 1535, only a few dozen were still alive. During this period, the Spanish leadership changed several times. When Columbus departed on another exploration, Francisco de Bobadilla became governor, settlers charges against Columbus of mismanagement added to the tumultuous political situation
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II, called the Catholic, was King of Sicily from 1468 and King of Aragon from 1479 until his death. As a consequence of his marriage to Isabella I, he was King of Castile as Ferdinand V from 1474 until her death in 1504 and he was recognised as regent of Castile for his daughter and heir, from 1508 until his own death. In 1504, after a war with France, he became King of Naples as Ferdinand III, reuniting Naples with Sicily permanently, in 1512, he became King of Navarre by conquest. Ferdinand is today best known for his role in inaugurating the discovery of the New World, since he and that year he fought the final war with Granada which expunged the last Islamic state on Iberian soil, thus bringing to a close the centuries-long Reconquista. At his death he was succeeded by Joanna, who co-ruled with her son, Charles V, Ferdinand was born in Sada Palace, Sos del Rey Católico, Kingdom of Aragon, as the son of John II of Aragon by his second wife, Juana Enríquez. He married Infanta Isabella, the half-sister and heiress of Henry IV of Castile, on 19 October 1469 in Valladolid, Kingdom of Castile, Isabella belonged to the royal House of Trastámara, and the two were cousins by descent from John I of Castile.
They were married with a prenuptial agreement on sharing power. He became jure uxoris King of Castile when Isabella succeeded her brother in 1474 to be crowned as Queen Isabella I of Castile. The two young monarchs were initially obliged to fight a war against Joan of Castile, the purported daughter of Henry IV. When Ferdinand succeeded his father as King of Aragon in 1479, the Crown of Castile, for the first time since the 8th century, this union created a single political unit referred to as España, the root of which is the ancient name Hispania. The various states were not formally administered as a single unit, the completion of the Reconquista was not the only significant act performed by Ferdinand and Isabella in that year. That document was signed with the defeated Moorish Emir of Granada Muhammad XII and it allowed Mudéjar Moors and converso Marrano Jews to stay, while expelling all unconverted Jews from Castile and Aragon. 1492 was the year in which the monarchs commissioned Christopher Columbus to find a maritime route for access to Asia.
In 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the world beyond Europe between Portugal and Castile for conquest and dominion purposes – by a north–south line drawn down the Atlantic Ocean. Ferdinand violated the 1492 Alhambra Decree peace treaty in 1502 by dismissing the clearly guaranteed religious freedom for Mudéjar Muslims, Ferdinand forced all Muslims in Castile and Aragon to convert, converso Moriscos, to Catholicism, or else be expelled. Some of the Muslims who remained were mudéjar artisans, who could design and this was practised by the Spanish inquisitors on the converso Marrano Jewish population of Spain. The main architect behind the Spanish Inquisition was King Ferdinand II, Ferdinand destroyed over ten thousand Arabic manuscripts in Granada alone, burning them. The latter part of Ferdinands life was taken up with disputes with successive Kings of France over control of Italy
The Americas, collectively called America, encompass the totality of the continents of North America and South America. Together they make up most of the land in Earths western hemisphere, along with their associated islands, they cover 8% of Earths total surface area and 28. 4% of its land area. The topography is dominated by the American Cordillera, a chain of mountains that runs the length of the west coast. The flatter eastern side of the Americas is dominated by river basins, such as the Amazon, St. Lawrence River / Great Lakes basin, Mississippi. Humans first settled the Americas from Asia between 42,000 and 17,000 years ago, a second migration of Na-Dene speakers followed from Asia. The subsequent migration of the Inuit into the neoarctic around 3500 BCE completed what is regarded as the settlement by the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The first known European settlement in the Americas was by the Norse explorer Leif Ericson, the colonization never became permanent and was abandoned.
The voyages of Christopher Columbus from 1492 to 1502 resulted in permanent contact with European powers, diseases introduced from Europe and Africa devastated the indigenous peoples, and the European powers colonized the Americas. Mass emigration from Europe, including numbers of indentured servants. Decolonization of the Americas began with the American Revolution in 1776, the population is over 1 billion, with over 65% of them living in one of the three most populous countries. As of the beginning of the 2010s, the most populous urban agglomerations are Mexico City, New York, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, all of them megacities. The name America was first recorded in 1507 in the Cosmographiae Introductio, apparently written by Matthias Ringmann and it first applied to both North and South America by Gerardus Mercator in 1538. Amerigen means land of Amerigo and derives from Amerigo and gen, America accorded with the feminine names of Asia and Europa. When conceived as a continent, the form is generally the continent of America in the singular.
However, without a context, singular America in English commonly refers to the United States of America. In some countries of the world, America is considered a continent encompassing the North America and South America subcontinents, the first inhabitants migrated into the Americas from Asia. Habitation sites are known in Alaska and the Yukon from at least 20,000 years ago, beyond that, the specifics of the Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the dates and routes traveled, are subject to ongoing research and discussion. Widespread habitation of the Americas occurred during the glacial maximum