Las comunidades de Castilla: A succesful comunero uprising

23 de abril de 1521
In the tiny village of Villalar 2 opposing armies are about to enter into battle.On one side Íñigo Fernández de Velasco Grandee of Spain leads his army into battle supported by the nobility and the levies raised from the southern cities of Spain.On the other side an army leaded by the governor of Toledo Juan de Padilla, the governor of Segovia Juan Bravo and the leader from the militias of Salamanca Francisco Maldonado. This battle would decide if the revolt started by the Castillian cities that saw how a Flemish prince ignored all the laws and customs of Castille and was sacking its resources to foreign lands. The royalist army was superior in mumber but Maldonado had a plan.Maldonado hided part of his troops in the city a couple of days before the two armies met.He had time to convince the people of this tiny Castillian village about his cause and convinced them to aid them in this final battle to keep the revolt alive. When Iñigo arrived to the city he saw an army that was half his size and decided to rush. After the royal cavalry charged as fast as it could the people from Villalar raised in arms under Maldonado and his army and caught the royalist infantry of guard.This brave charge by the people of Villalar allowed the main army to crush the royalist cavalry and now with Iñigo death and the royalist army surrounded it was an outstanding victory with over 5000 royalist casualities and prisioners.The courage showned by the people of Villalar encouraged the northern cities of Spain to rebel and more importantly.Burgos the economic capital of Castille and the origins from the kingdom itself joined the Comuneros making Charles' reign as fragile as it has ever been.
9th of Octuber 1521
After the victory in Villalar the governors of Santiago,Oviedo,Santander,Laredo and La Coruña arrived to Avila.And the objectives of the revolution were set in a brief paper with 10 basic objectives that would be sent to the Castillian cities that haven't revolt and to the cities in the crown of Aragon if any wanted to join their cause.
The main objectives were as follow.
1st Each major city in Castille could set up their own taxes as long as they pay a fixed toll to the goverment of las comunidades.
2nd All fueros must be respected
3rd A new tax to the nobility would be created based on the land that they owned
4th The church will be excempted of all taxes
5th A triumvirate formed by a member of the burgues, a member of the church and a member of the army would rule the country until queen Joanna takes the crown
6th An strong central army must be formed to protect the rights of Castillians
7th Anyone is welcomed to join the rebellion and no supporter of Charles will be executed
8th The construction of a strong and powerful navy that could protect Castillian trade and interests
9th Any foreign city that borders our lands can join the Comunidades as long as it won't bring Castille into any comflict
10th No German nor French or any other foreigner shall rule this lands
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5th January 1522
The temporary triumvarate was formed.After the battle of Villalar Maldonado was seen as a hero and his bold and witty tactics surprised everyone and was choosen by the army to take one of the spots.In the clergy there were more doubts.Many bishops wanted to vote for Antonio de Acuña the first bishop to revolt against the tyrannical reign of Charles freeing the city of Segovia from the royalist siege. But on the other side a Franciscan priest Juan de Bilbao was supported by many as he had a big part on the writtings of the paper sent to the other cities and convinced Padilla to elimanate any taxes on the church to gain the support of the Pope and legitimize their movement as soon as possible. In the end Acuña won by 2 votes and was elected for the second place in the triumvarate. At last the Castillian cities chose Padilla as their leader as he was the first leader to revolt and was considered by many the true leader of the revolution.
While the voting happened Juan Bravo went to Tordesillas and try to convince Joanna about his cause again.But the queen refused to sign anything as she didn't want to betray his son. The triumvarate at last would have to choose between sending a king to Ferdinand, Charles' brother raised in Spain by Ferdinand the husband of Queen Isabella or to form a republic.
1st of February 1522
After recieving the news from Bravo the triumvarate chose to just send a letter to Ferdinand to win time.The war had to be won first and the possibility of a republic may scare many in the south which is still under the royalist control and the decission would be taken after the war.
The first letters from southern cities arrived. The cities of Cadiz,Sevilla and Córdoba were interested in joining the revolution but would need an army to support them before they choose to rebel.A more surprising fact was that the Bishop of Zaragoza the bastard son of Ferdinand the catholic king wanted to meet the leaders of the revolution to know with more detail what they were planing.In the mean time a diplomat from France was supposed to arrive in 10 days to meet with Bravo at Burgos.
Meanwhile in the south most cities and nobles were getting tired of Charles' attitude towards the comflict.The king hadn't send any new troops or money despite still being the king of the bordering kingdom of Aragón.Charles seemed to care too much about the Imperial coronation and too little about the revolution. But the king was supposed to arrive soon to Sevilla crowned as emperor and with an army from Flanders to aid them.Desertors were growing by the thousands as some rumors claimed that the Pope was going to excommunicate Charles and legitimize the Cortes of Avila as the rightful rulers of Castille.
I concur a truly interesting idea .
I wouldn't mind seeing a Spanish republic but judging by your pseudo you may lean toward Ferdinand.
Anyway quite the original idea love it.
I find the idea very interesting, in fact I was also preparing a TL with a PoD in the War of the Communities of Castille (still in the researching stage:biggrin:).

I look forward to seeing those wildcards, so i'll be keeping an eye.
I love the idea (and I`ve toyed with a similar scenrio in my mind) but I would suggest dome tweaks. The defeat of the Comuneros in Vallalar had, amongst other factors, as cause that the Comunero army, on their way to the city of Toro (uprised in Comunidad) didn't hear the orders to stop in a Village called Vega de Valdetronco, under hard rain and shadowed by the imperial army, they continued and were caught totally disorganised and exposed in Villalar. They wouldn't have a chance to reach the town with enough time to prepare a defence. I would suggest to butterfly the heavy rain that day and get them to reach the friendly city of Toro as intended by Padilla, where they could reinforce and prepare a proper defence.

For the moment they don't have too many choices.But I have a wild card in mind which hasn't appered yet.Just a tip look at Isabella's and Ferdinand's sons and daughters

Juana is the answer. Remember that encounter with the Santa Junta in Tordesillas. "You are my loyal vassals, I'm your queen", but the queen didn't dare to sign any document to legitimate the rebelion of her vassals. It would be interesting to explore the possibilities of a part of the Mendoza familly joining the rebelion if Juana (or however you have thought) is more openly supportive. After all María Pacheco, the Lioness of Toledo, was from a sidebranch of the Mendozas. The Mendoza had enough means to rebalance a bit the military disadvantages of the comunero army compared to the nobiliar armies. It could put also Granada in the side of the Comuneros, which opens interesting possibilities regarding the moriscos.

Also, for a possible political outcome, this book could help you:

Fascinating and early project of proto-constitution which was mentioned even several times in the constitutional debates during the creation of the USA.

Well, sorry for meddling too much. I will surelly follow this TL. Good luck.
25 of February 1522
Bravo and the French diplomat have been talking for a few days.Francis was willing to support the uprising as long as no Habsburg was crowned as king in Castile but he alredy knew about the letter sent to Ferdinand so the meeting was at a death point for now.The French would stay neutral during the conflict as long as another Habsburg could claim the throne and encricle and isolate France but they promised Bravo that they won't let Charles and his army cross through their borders.
On Bruges Charles was talking with her aunt Margaret that was shortly married to the former prince of Asturias Juan.She tried to give him advices to how to deal with Castillians as a whole from her own experience and Charles was trying to learn as he understood that he was doing something wrong all along. Later on he was planning his departure to Sevilla during spring as it was too dangerous due the bad weather.He managed to hire 1500 Lanskenets and 4500 Burgandian and Flamish soldiers would join him in his trip to Sevilla.
The triumvarate of the revolt appointed Maldonado to free Caceres that was the only royalist holding between the possesion of the rebels and Andalucia were the heart of the royalist side was.If he was succesful the path to Sevilla would be free and if they weren't lying in their letters they would revolt as soon as a rebel army was in the south to aid them. Maldonado departed with 10 thousand Castellanos and 5 thousand troops to Cáceres. But the triumvarate was extremelly worried about an Aragonese invasion as Charles had recently moved troops from Naples to Valencia so the core of the revolt army couldn't devote to Maldonado's campaign and he was alone since he departed. Pedro Laso de la Vega son of Garcilaso de la Vega a renowned diplomat and soldier would replace Maldonado in the Triumvarate
In the crown of Aragon a rebellion exploded.This rebellion was caused due a law that was passed in Valencia that hurted the guilds as a whole.This uprising was scalating pretty quickly and was charactirized by the continous agressions towards the nobility.The Catalan and Aragonese nobles were succesfully supressing the multiple revolts but the success of the Castillians give them hopes of achieving their goals which kept the moral high and began to organize following the steps of the Castillians.
1 of April 1522
Charles was ready to embark.The weather had improved and the journey by boat was safe again and he had to be quick as general Maldonado was tearing through the few few cities that were still loyal to him. Charles delegates informed him that Caceres felt on the 14th of March as some traders opened the gates of Caceres to Maldonado.The general which host was just 5000 strong with only his brain and some gold was able to doubled the size of his army and had defeated his followers at Úbeda,Jaén and Cordoba and now was sieging Granada which was taking a long time and would allow him to arrive safely at Sevilla and form a host big enough to defeat him.

In Avila the triumvarate recieved a letter from Ferdinand. The letter was pretty clear as Ferdinand just wrote that there was 1 king in Castille and that wasn't him.This letter was hidden to the cortes as the Comuneros couldn't convince anyone to be their king and any internal division could weaken the cause.On America Cortés was starting to administer his newly conquered lands.He had agreed with the governor of Cuba to wait some time until the conflict in Spain was over to declare alligance.This opportunity was used to massively enrich the memebers of Cortés expedition as they were gathering huge masses of gold and silver as there was no regulation and they didn't have to pay any taxes to the king during this period.Despite multiple letters from Castille arriving to Veracruz Cortés only answered "That his loyalty was to the king whomever that might be, not some people of lower birth than myself". The wealthy lands of México were at risk and that wealth was needed. The idea of a republic seemed more unlikely ever.But this wasn't the main concern of the triumvarate.Maldonado despite being succesful barely wrote any reports to them and as his host was growing the rumour that he was planning to crown himself king was spreading through Castille.
The leaders of las Germanías sent an envoy to Avila asking for asistance and supplies for the siege of Orihuela in exchange of joining the newly found goverment and an expedition of 12 thousand man leaded by Bravo was sent to aid the city and launch a preemptive attack on Aragon that was still loyal to Charles. As the founds were running dry María Pacheco managed to get a loan from the Genovese that were interested in an alliance with Castille and saw the Comuneros victory inminent.

Maldonado after taking Cordoba with the asistance of the garrison itself was planning to take Sevilla but some envoys from Sevilla arrived informing him about Charles departure from Flanders and he would arrive to Sevilla soon with a 6000 men.Maldonado thinking about this wrote a letter to the governor of Sevilla. "Now it is the chance that you show us your alligiance" and he demanded one of the envoys to change his clothes with one of his most loyal men and started to write a new letter while he order to much towards Granada
22 of April
The king Charles had arrived to Sevilla one week ago but the governor could only think about what Maldonado wrote him.The rumours said that his was about to take Granada and if he didn't act quickly his position maybe at risk.From the 6000 men that departed from Flanders only 5200 survived due pirate attacks and diseases that have taken the live of many men.When the king Charles arrived to Sevilla he tried to explain his plans and projects in a broken spanish.He was certainly a different man from the spoiled kid that had left Castille with 400 thousand ducats to pay for his coronation but the rebels rebelled against that Charles not this new Charles and it was alredy too late to change the course of the war.

The governor of Granada recieved a letter from an envoy from Sevilla informing him that Maldonado was raising troops around Granada and the best alternative would be to join all the southern forces in Sevilla. As the governor of Granada saw what Maldonado had been able to do in such a short period of time though that the plan was reasonable and decided to move all his troops to Sevilla as it would be the only possible way to create an army big enough to face Maldonado's. On this day the troops of Granada prepared their supplies and were planning to move to Sevilla

Bravo was able to defeat the Aragonese troops at the battle of Orihuela. But this battle was mainly formed by nobles acting independently from the Crown.When words came from the Castillian agression the Bishop of Zaragoza that had been pretty passive throughout the comflict called all the available troops from the nobility and the villages and were decided to destroy Bravo's army and launch an invasion to Castille.

Bravo tried to organize some levies from the Aragonese rebels as his army had been heavily decimated after tha battle of Orihuela. He sent two letters before the Aragonese could reorganize.One to Padilla to ask him for funds or troops and the other one to Maldonado to come to his aid.

The triumvarate had to deal with a new internal strugle. Juan de Bilbao was trying to push more radical reforms and even proposed to create a theocracy pushing the narrative that the rebels were blessed by God as they were destined to put Castille back into his realm.The support of Bilbao's proposal was small but growing inside some circles and if anyone knew about Fernando's choice Bilbao's faction maybe able to make some victories in the cortes
1 of May 1522
The bishop of Zaragoza had managed to raise the biggest army in the crown's recorded history. As the rebellion of las Germanías was growing most of the nobility brought their entire support to the campaign without any concessions being made by the crown. Bravo after hearing this news resupplied Orihuela and tried to rebuil parts of broken walls of the city.His only option would be to support a siege and make sure that the Aragonese army doesn't move to the south to join Charle's troops or attack Castille.

Maldonado had taken a lot of villages surrounding Granada and the royalist army was planning to move through a longer root through Antequera. They had departed from Granada a day ago and no news from Maldonado were recieved.In Antequera the army would rest for a day and then they will pursue the journey to Sevilla.When they arrived to Antequera the soldiers were greated and welcomed by the major.It was night and the army was resting when some shouts were heared from the outside.Only fire and blood was seen on the streets and when the governor of Granada went ot of his room he was arrested in the name of the Cortes of Avila.Behind the rebel troops he saw a man that looked the same than the messanger that brought the message from Sevilla and he was laughing and talking with the officers. At this moment the governor just realized that in this very moment that he had been tricked.

On Avila Bravo's letter was recieved but the triumvarate couldn't do much about it as they couldn't risk the few troops that they had left to help an iniciative which would let most of their territories unprotected and no money cold be sent as there was a lack of funds and they were alredy heavily endebted with Genoa. Bravo was on its own and the destiny of all Castille was at on his shoulders

On Portugal the king John the III was delaying the marriage between Isabel his sister and the Emperor Charles.He recieved a letter from Charles begging from his help and that the rebels would eventually fall as his mother and his brother had declined the crown.With this new information John saw all the potential opportunities that were on his hand and chose to contact the Comuneros directly
7 of May 1522
The triumvarate recieved a letter from the king of Portugal.They had expected a declaration of war from Portugal as the marriage between Isabel and Charles was arranged.If war came Maldonado would be called back as the few troops that haven't been sent would not be enough to hold the might of the kingdom of Portugal.When they opened the letter the triumvarate was shocked.The king John was offering himself as the new king of Castille.He claim that he was the son of Mary the daughter of Isabel,that he could speak Castillian and most importantly that he wasn't a foreigner as there is no distinction between Spaniards.It would be too soon to accept this offer as king John hadn't mentioned anything about the constitution or even the conflict in Aragón.

Bravo saw the Aragonese troops from afar.The host was huge and could encircle the city with ease.He had recived letters that the rebells in Mallorca had been and were planning to send 3000 to Orihuela but this wouldn not be enough to defeat the Aragonese host in open battle and all his hopes for liberation were in the hands of Maldonado.

Maldonado after destroying the host of the governor of Granada sent a message and a small army of 500 people to secure Granada and if the city didn't resist nothing would change in their lifes. After arranging this small host he let a messanger inform Charles about the defeat.This envoy arrived on the 7th of May to Sevilla.Charles was devasted but the Governor of Sevilla saw his chance to make a move.He had gathered 4000 locals to slaughtered Charles man when they were sleeping and he would arrest the emperor that same night.During mid night his host went to the quarters where they were sleeping and to the brothels were some soldiers used to go.Most of the host was captured and a force of 100 man broke into the Alcanzar and captured Charles.The only thing that the emperor could hear when they woke him up was. "In the name of Castille and the rightful goverment of Avila Charles usurper of Castille is arrested for breaking our laws".

Maldonado stayed in Antequera until news came about Sevilla he would move there soon if the governor had done nothing in the next week.He had recieved the letter from his friend Bravo and he was determined to help him even if the triumvarate denied him to aid his friend.But he couldn't move there until Andalucía was secured. And the only stronghold left was Sevilla.He recieved a message from one of his close advisors.He told him that his host was almost 28 thousand strong with the men that he had left in Cordoba,the men that he had in Antequera and the men that had joined his army in Granada.Despite just starting with 5000 man his charisma and some brives had allowed him to multiply the size of his army as lost of former royalists wanted to prove their royalty to the cause.No man had a bigger army than him in the entire Iberian peninsula.He was more powerful than bishops, kings or emperors and he liked to toy with the idea of crowning himself king.But at the end of the day he had joined the Comuneros to fight royal oppression against the cities and he stayed in the revolution for the ideas developed by Bilbao,Pacheco and Bravo. At the end he decided that he preffered to remain a hero and he wouldn't like to become what he had fought against.
20th of May of 1522
Maldonado was marching through Murcia and was about to go to Orihuela it had been a while since the second siege of the city started and a city as big as Orihuela would run out of provisions pretty fast specially after two sieges.But he had marched as fast as possible since he recieved the news of the capture of Charles.They would send him to Avila.But a regular trial couldn't be applied to him.He was still an emperor and one of the most powerful men in Europe.Even if he was defendless at the moment any wrong doings could cause a massive turnoil in Europe.

Charles was supposed to arrive soon to Avila.Las santas cortes wanted to judge him but Padilla and Acuña had vetoed that decission and they will meet with the emperor first.Padilla with the support of the merchants worried with the wool trade with Flanders wanted light punishments for Charles.They just wanted him to renounce to his claims to Castilla and Aragón and for him to repay the 500 thousand ducats that he had taken to pay for his imperial coronation.But Bilbao had been pushing for an execution for treason and gathering the support of hidalgos.And after the trial was denied a lot of threats and discontent was shown by some sectors.

John recieved the news about Charles' situation and he had decided to move to Avila to demand the crown. He had planned to march with his army but he had heard of Maldonado's army and he didn't want to risk to lose his kingdome as well. He had expected a qick response from Padilla but no response had come since he sent his letter and he was not happy but the possibility of becoming the king of all the peninsula was too big of price and he would put his pride aside for the moment.

In England Catherine was trying to secure his position,He recieved most of the information from the civil war through his husband that recieved most of his news from John and the king of France she knew that John was going to claim the throne and that his nephew was captured.If Charles' live was at risk she would lose part of her value as a political tool. So she started to plot. She knew that Francis demanded no habsburgs for the throne and that was the reason why John was pushing his claim. For what he had gathered from all the information and the letters in Spanish that his husband was asking her to translate the Comuneros wanted their new king to sign a constitution and knowing John's pride he will never jump through that loop.Catherine was beloved when she was younger in his native Spain and she was going to propose his husband to push her claim to the throne.
Great chapter but I don't see Catherine plan working it would be the same issue as with Charles a king who isn't Spanish.
Great chapter but I don't see Catherine plan working it would be the same issue as with Charles a king who isn't Spanish.
Well Catherine would be as foreign as Joanna which the Comuneros didn't considered a foreigner.She was raised in Spain and was beloved by a big part of the court and was probably the most brilliant from all of Isabel's and Fernando's kids.I think that John is closer to Charles as a foreigner than Catherine as he barely spoke Spanish (he spoke some as her mother taught him unlike Joanna that barely saw Charles) and had a similar relationship with Castille as Charles had at the beginning. Without the heavy taxing and giving important positions to the Flemish nobility thing that it was the biggest cause of the revolt to begin with.
Yeah but I don't see an English Spanish PU Sticking.
I haven't discussed succesion laws yet and the constitution.I think that a lot of your doubts might be solved later on as I haven't gotten into much detail about the constitution.A PU would never stick with England and I agree with that