Spain History – The First Christian States Part 5

According to, they were the first great Christian conquests. And the passions of Spanish Catholics – in whose formation religious propaganda had hybridly collaborated, the continuous wars, the eagerness to achieve a well-being that their poor homeland denied them, the spirit of adventure, especially, which had induced them and induced them to fight even among the ranks of the Mohammedans – they were exalted by the richness of the booty, by the spectacle of the marvelous fruits of the Andalusian civilization, which in the raids appeared to the astonished eyes of the conquerors and warmed their hopes and increased their desiresî, by brilliant successes that gave them clear awareness of their value and destroyed the myth of Arab military superiority. At that time, in fact, Catholic Spain had its own champion in Rodrigo Díazel Cid, soldier of Alfonso VI of Castile, then defender of the ruler of Zaragoza and his ally of Valenza, finally the real lord of this city. He, a mixture of ferocious and unscrupulous adventurer and magnificent leader, while fighting for his personal interests, did much in favor of Christianity, with his extraordinary deeds he brightly proved that the Spaniards were capable of winning victory over the Arabs and ruling them, yes that “for the firmness of his character and for his heroic valor” even by the Arabs, who were terrified of him, he was called “one of the greatest miracles of the Lord”; he obtained the recognition of his work from the Christian monarchs, who were related to him and placed him on their own level.

But in recent years, through the same complex of struggles which, as we have seen, intertwine with the conquest campaigns, contribute to the formation of new states, they give the life of Spain a marked unity of direction and political methods and therefore the its peculiar character, the various Christian states – which arose from the earlier more minute fragmentation of the Catholic country and animated by the same passions of their subjects – set out to give themselves a reason for living, to fix their own future, to suffer what was imposed on them. The struggle burned between Castile, Navarre, Aragon; and then, when Navarre and Aragon had a single sovereign, the Aragonese monarch persevered in the fight against Castile with united forces, finally, the counts of Barcelona, ​​Urgel and Pallás also took part in the conflicts.el Mayor(because Fernando I had conquered his brother and occupied part of his kingdom, to then fall back before the coalition of Sancho IV with Ramiro I), and some of them in fact autonomous; on the contrary, it is to be believed that Navarre at the death of Sancho IV also gave itself to the Aragonese to receive help against Alfonso VI, who had taken possession of the Rioja. And it was a question of sharing the possession of the great roads of the South, towards which the Christian states were now anxiously pointing, which amounted to determining the respective areas of influence in the Muslim territories and to fix in advance the future borders of the various monarchies – to avoid d ‘ being cut off in the reconquest of the country and thus losing the possibility of further expansion. Indeed, Alfonso VI of León and Castile already besieged Zaragoza, when he had to interrupt the operations for the invasion of the Almoravids, and then tried to oppose the Aragonese advance by supporting the Muslims of Huesca in their resistance against Peter I. Instead Zaragoza fell into the hands of Alfonso I, when Castile, during the government of Urraca, was drawn into civil strife; and indeed the Aragonese in the last years of his life with the possession of Mequinenza advanced towards the banks of the Segre and the lower course of the Ebro. However, if, as in the past, Alfonso I saw the counts of Urgel and Pallás leaning towards his monarchy, on the road to Lérida, a very important road junction, he found himself up against Ramón Berenguer III. Thus, the interests of the major monarchies were clearly clarified in the first half of the century. XII blatantly failed the dream of Alfonso VI who, giving his daughter Urraca in marriage to Alfonso I, he had thought of uniting the three royal crowns of Christian Spain, and the separation between the respective states became deeper: after years of chaotic conflicts, in which all ties and anarchy took over in a confused jumble of revolts and wars, Alfonso I gave up the fight in disgust; and, conversely, on his death, during the reign of his brother Ramiro IIel Monje(1134-37), the Aragonese nobility opposed a marriage between his daughter and heir Petronila with the eldest son of the king of León and Castile. Moreover, in the same years, taking advantage of the conditions of southern France, a profound work of political expansion in the lands beyond the Pyrenees began Alfonso I and the counts of Barcelona: which was, at least, a clear demonstration of the independence of that part. of Spain from the Capetian monarchy, heir to the rights of the Carolingian, which had already dominated it. The first in 1116 welcomed the count of Toulouse as a vassal, in 1122 he went to Gascony to receive the vassalage of the count of Bigorra and to help him, and in 1130 he sided in favor of Gastone de Bearne and besieged and conquered Bajona, so that the Gaul already gota submitted to his dominion; seconds, Ramón Berenguer I for his marriages with princesses of the South of France ended up being engaged in the local feudal struggles, and Ramón Berenguer III, marrying Dolce di Provence in third marriage, acquired the right to succeed her in this county, which he occupied in part after a few years of struggle with the count of Toulouse (1125) and which he then left to his son Berenguer Ramón, while the eldest son Ramón Berenguer IV became count of Barcelona. Finally Ramón Berenguer III himself began to turn his attention to the sea; it was in relations with the Italian maritime republics; he participated in a crusade promoted by Pisa (1114) against the Balearics, and, if this latter undertaking was of little immediate use, since it was only possible to reduce piracy, it was nevertheless the first manifestation of the nascent maritime power of the Catalan state:Liber maiolichinus.

Spain History - The First Christian States Part 5