“Tanto monta, monta Tanto-Isabella como Ferdinando” ~ Queen Isabella
She is known for sending Christopher Columbus to the new world. What we don’t talk about is her radically feminist ideals, particularly for that of the 15th century.
She was the daughter of the King of Castile. At the age of three her father died and her brother Henry IV took possession of the throne. At this time the nobility was putting up a fight with the monarchy. The nobility wanted Isabella to take the throne because they thought she could be easily controlled. Isabella turned down the crown and instead became Henry IV’s heir instead of his daughter.
When Isabella was 17 Henry attempted to arrange a number of marriages but she refused them all. She only had eyes for one man, Ferdinand of Aragorn. Her brother fought her on it. However, when Henry went out of town Isabella went off and married Ferdinand anyway. Out of anger over Isabella’s snub he made his daughter his heir. This of course meant that there was a war after his death.
When Isabella and Ferdinand won they agreed to rule the county jointly, as the quote above means: As much as the one is worth so much is the other, Isabella and Ferdinand. Together Isabella and Ferdinand reduced the power held by the nobles, simplified the justice system, and reorganized how money was made, making things better for businesses. They then moved to southern Spain, conquering the Muslim kingdom that ruled there.
For more on Queen Isabella, check out the following books:
1. The Queens Vow A look at Isabella through the influence she had on her very famous daughter.
2. Isabella Of Castile, The First Renaissance
3. Isabella the Warrior Queen