Regnum Visigothorum

Ouch! My fault then. You're right, I forgot that the Salic law was issued to ban the English inheritance.
Well, as an over simplification but yes.
Still your text allows for Enrique to take over anyway as both being married to the king's daughter (jure uxoris) and being of the male royal line. Perhaps add in she has no male cousins or uncles, and the two houses have occasionally intermingled to strengthen their connection so the cadet line has the odd infanta to claim descent from. And voila.
He may have to fight some of her second cousins from other infantas but well, success breeds succession!
 
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23. The House of Pamplona (1311-1407) -2-
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Statue of Enrique II in Roman garb, one of the
few remnants of the royal palace that he built in Athens.

23. The House of Pamplona (1311-1407) -2-

Enrique II (1331-1351)
had a quiet accesion to the throne and the support of the majority of the nobility and the cities, The good times he enjoyed at the beginning of this reign won him the surname of "The Fortunate", although he was not to keep it long. He remained some time in Occitania, supressing a revolt that had broke in 1330. He executed some Cathars parfaits and then visited the border castles just to make Phillip VI of France aware that he was keeping an eye on his lands and on France, too. It was this events that caused his endless hatred to the Cathars, that was to have a bloody result towards the end of his reign. However, his relations with the Cortes soon soured and, by 1339, they were beyond recovery. The king distrusted the Cortes for unknown reasons to us, and used a network of informers to discreetly investigate first the members of the Parliament and then persons of high social standing, including his close friends. Then, a major rebellion broke out in North Africa from 1333 to 1335, that led to a heavy committment of military forces and high losses. From 1336 he ordered the reinforcement of the walls of the main cities and he had expelled all the "unreliable" Muslims "barbarians" from the main cities.

In Tolosa he oversaw the building of a new cathedral and then he spent the winter of 1336 in Tarraco, now called Tarragona, where he restored the old cathedral and removed the governor of the city. He surprised then everyone by travelling to Greece. He took residence in Athens where he began an ambitious building program with new churches, a new cathedral and new walls for the city. He remained there from 1337 to 1338, much to the annoyance of the Spanian nobilty. He returned to Spania in early 1339. He restored the Cathedral of Toledo and completed a palace of the outskirts of the city, which, eventually, would become the famous Alcázar. In 1341 he moved to Seville, restoring several old Visigothic churches and shrines and, in 1342, he divided Spania in four regions under his legates, with authority over the dukes and earls of those areas, who became subordinated to the king's governors, much to the changrin of the nobility and to the annoyance of the Cortes, as those governors were out of its control. This reform would not outlive Enrique II.

In September 1343 he moved again to Athens to plan his most audatious adventure: the conquest of Egypt. His aim was to force an-Nasir Muhammad, the Mamluk Sultan, to cede him Jerusalem and the surrounding cities along the coast. However, by then the Spanian nobilty was quite angered and worried by the Greek simpathies of the "wanderer" king. His network of informers told him that a revolt was in order in Spania and he returned in haste in late 1344. Then, in the summer of 1345, Occitania rose in revolt again. He moved there, determined to settle the issue for ever. Thus, when the rebellions was quashed by 1350, Catharism was exterminated. He ordered not only the execution of its parfaits and even of the commoners that followed then, but also the systematic destruction of their religious texts, Tolosa, Bezièrs, Carcassone were hardly hit and they wouldn't recover from the war until several decades after. Most of their inhabitants were expelled from Occitania. Then the Black Death hit Europe. With the plague reaching Spania in 1349, the devastation that it caused had a positive effect for Enrique II, as most of the Spanian conspirators and Occitans rebels died from it (the king was close to die, too, and he lost two of his daughters).

Enrique II, who had been called on the Fortunate, was now termed "the Cruel". His death in 1351 relieved him of the onerous task of ruling a country that he never understood too well and that never made him to feel at home. His soon Enrique III, who was well loved by the Spanians for his good work as regent of his absent father, would have to heal the damage done by his wayward predecessor and the Black Death.
 
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24. The House of Pamplona (1311-1407) -3-

Alfonso II after the Battle of Pontvallain

24. The House of Pamplona (1311-1407) -3-

While Enrique II had ended up being the bane of his people, his son Alfonso I (1351-1374) was notable for the peaceful state of the Spanian Empire, with no major revolts or military incursions during this time, and for his governing without ever leaving the Peninsula. He saw France being crushed by the English at Poitiers and the French king captured in 1356 and he did not move to take profit from the calamity that befell upon the neighbouring kingdom. Instead of that, he built churches and theaters, and promoted the arts and sciences,

In 1352 he ordered the construction of a series of castles along the borders with France and the Holy Roman Empire. Inspired by his father's love of Atens, he followed a pro-Byzantine strategy that aimed to turn the Empire into a stronghold againt the Ottoman threat. Thus, when the Byzantine Empire was torn again by dynastic disputes (1349-1358), he suported the young John V Palaiologos against John VI Kantakouzenos. In its only intervention in the war, the Spanian troops recovered the Gallipoli fortress from the Ottomans in 1357, destroying, thus, the major Ottoman bridgehead into Europe. Once John V secured his throne by defeating his uncle, Alfonso I turned his back to the Balkans and helped Charles V of France by sending Spanian mercenaries in 1365 to fight with him against the Black Prince until 1366, when he grow tired of France and returned his attention to the East. His diplomacy helped to build the short-lived Hungarian-Byzantine Alliance. When he died in 1374, he left a stronger and happier country than the one he inherited but his Eastern strategies lied in tatters as the Ottomans were again pressuring the Byzantine Empire after Gallipoli was lost, again, in 1372.

His son, Alfonso II (1374-1395) , came to the throne after the sudden death of his elder brother, Pedro. A highly educated man, he had shown no inclination to the martial arts in his youth, so he surprised many when, a few months after his coronation, he went to war againts France. His fleet, along with the small English navy, defeated the French at La Rochelle (1374) and launched destructive raids against the French borderlands that mirroed the English chevauchées. He defeated the Constable of France, Bertrand du Guesclin, at the Battle of Pontvallain, which broke the French might and saved the English, leaving them with the land that they had been given b the Treaty of Bretigny. Edward IV, the former Black Prince, would always remember the help he had been given by his Spanian allied. In due time, this would come in handy for the Spanian dinasty. The Treaty of Ghent (1378) gave Poitou to France but, otherwise, it confirmed the status quo that followed the Treaty of Bretigny (1360).

This war had been a bad one for Alfonso, as the northern frontiers were strategically weakened. Then, troubles arose in Italy when Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia and by election German King, determined to reinforce his weak throne, went to war with Spania to recover the Italian lands lost by Adolf, King of the Romans. A first invasion of the Spanian Italy was stopped at the gates of Bologna in 1380. Far more dangerous was the invasion of 1384, when, after crushing the Spanian forces at Ravenna, Wenceslaus marched south, forcing the Spanians to leave Urbino. Soon thereafter, Charles VI of France, sensing Alfonso's weakness, attacked Occitania. The Quercy and the Anguenais were lost and the Spanian king was forced the sign two hurried peace treaties to cut losses in Italy and France. Then, a plague devastated both Spania, France and Italy (1385-1390).

The last defeats have Alfonso II to be remembered today as an unlucky warrior and a prince of culture. Some historians claim that the Rennaisance have its roots in the cultural upheval that Spania underwent with him, as he began to recover the Greek and Roman classical texts from the libraries of the churches of his Italian and Greek domains.
 
25. The House of Pamplona (1311-1407) -3-
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Charles I the Mad, king of Spania
24. The House of Pamplona (1311-1407) -3-

Carlos I (1395-1407)
was 16 when his father, Alfonso II. The death of his two elder brothers made him king and gave new worries to his father, who began to train him in kingly matter when Carlos was 11 years old. While his father's reign was marked by almost continuous warfare, Carlos' rule was comparatively peaceful in the military sense, as soon the country was in turmoil due to the political strife caused by the inmature kin and his increasingly arbitrary and capricious behaviour. He had little inerest in administation and let those matters in the hands of a succession of favourites, none of them of noble birth, which deepley offended the Parliament.

In 1397 a conspiracy was discovered. Even if elder brothers were dead, he had three sisters with husbands who were potential rivals. Apparently, her elder sister, Beatriz, was jealous of his brother and wanted the crown for herself, so she began conspiring against him without his husband being aware of that. She began by plotting the death of Álvaro Fernández, which deeply upset the king. His reaction, out of all proportion, send the first warning to the court about the temper and the mental state of Carlos. He first exiled her sister to Tordesillas. Then, feigning he had forbidden her, he ordered her return three months later just to have her murdered along with her daugther. To cover himself, Carlos made the murder appear to have been perpetrated by bandits. The wrath of the king did not reach her husband, Sunifred, a proved captain of the royal armies, but he was not given any important military command during Carlos' reign. Then, in 1399, he had Martín, governor of Tolosa, as he was denounced of plotting to make his own son emperor. Thus, Carlos I ordered the execution of Martín, his wife and sons. When he discovered that Martín had been falsely accused by the man he had replaced as governor, he ordered his execution along with his whole family too.

By 1405 it was obvious that the king had lost his wits. His megalomania had always been there to prove his superiority over the Parliament, but tht year it took a turn to the worse. He renamed Toledo as Carolina Augusta, the Parliament as Senado Carolino (Charles' Senate) and ordered that all the paintings of Jesuchrist, Moses, Abraham and King David were repainted to his likeness. Then, on December 25, 1407, to prove his divine origin, he drank a poisoned cup to prove his imnortality. He was 28 years old and had no male heirs. He was succeeded by his cousin Fernando, the first king of the House of Alba and the first ruler with Gothic ancestry since Roderic Berenguer (1).

(1) More about it in the next chapter.
 
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To my readers,

I know.

I ended the Visigothic line with a mad king and now i'm doing it again. Blame the bad genetic inheritance, the muses or the dices, and my black sense of humour as well. You can also blame George R. R. Martin and Henry VI.

I'll try not to do it again, I promise.
 
26. The Interregnum (1407-1408) and the beginning of the civil war (1408-1416)

A 16th century version of the murder of
Antonio de Figueroa, Earl of Coruña
during the Figueroa-de Lara feud.

26. The Interregnum (1407-1408) and the beginning of the civil war (1408-1416)

The ascension of Fernando, Duke of Alba, to the Spanian throne was anything but easy. He was the cousin of the king and claimed his birth of right through his father, Juan, Duke of Alba, the younger brother of the Carlos I "El loco". However, there was also Fernando, Duke of Huesca (1380-1416), younger brother of Carlos and Juan, and his son Juan, Earl of Castellón; finally, another claimant to the throne were Fernando (1365-1438), Earl of the Alcáçovas, uncle of the late king, who had no male sons. Fernando of Alba was hailed as successor to the throne in Castille. Fernando styled himself king to the throne of Spania but the Andalusian Council did not immediately recognise his claim. Determined to demonstrate Andalucia's status as a sovereign kingdom, the Concil refused to recognize the new king. A meeting between the Councils of Aragon. Castille and Andalucia was appointed for 13 January 1408 at Salamanca to work out the terms for electing Fernando as king, who was finally crowned in Toledo on May 18, on Seville on July 20 and in Zaragoza September 15.

Fernando of Huesca accepted the result but, after his death, his son Juan disputed the veredict. After all, while king Fernando a mother of Visigothic blood (1), he, Juan, was of Visigothic blood through his mother, daughter of the last male descendant of Segga, dux of the Baetica. A land quarrel between the Figueroas -an upstart family that had risen with the House of Pamplona to become the earls of Coruña- and the de Laras -long the earls of Salamanca and Ávila- gave place to a private war that was joined by the Quesada-Olivares feud en Andalucia. The disrespect shown by this noble families was used by Juan to attack the king, who finally gave up his diplomatic attempts to solve them and put an end to it by sending to jail Francisco de Lara, Earl of Salamanca, who had ordered the assasiantion of Antonio de Figueroa, Earl of Coruña, and to exile the heads of the Olivares and Quesada houses. This was also used by Juan to claim that king Fernando was turning his kingship into a tiranny. Meanwhile, another upstart, Eduardo, Earl of Palermo, began to poison Fernando's ear against his troublesome subject, who had joined sides with de Lara family and was supporting Enrique, Earl of Ávila, younger brother of Francisco, in his private war with Lorenzo de Figueroa, then Earl of Coruña.

With so many feuding nobles with private armies, and with a king unable to rule the country, Spania was ripe for civil war.

(1) Ragnahilde,the great-grandaughter of Thorismund the Mad through female lineage.
 
The title earl in a country like Spain? I thought I'm expecting to use the continental counterpart (count), but anyway....
When I traslate "conde" into English I always go fro "earl" instead of "count"; too Latin the latter, so Anglosaxon the former.

You're right, in any case.
 
27. The civil war (1416-1443) and its aftermath.

King Alfonso IV of Spania in his "neo-Gothian" clothes
27. The civil war (1416-1443) and its aftermath.

It all exploded when Maria, the mother of king Fernando, decided to restore the strenght and prestige of the monarchy and, in a palace coup (1416), she became the de facto ruler of Spania, even if his son was still the king. However, Maria was a not a gifted ruler and her own supporters turned to Juan, Duke of Huesca just a Fernando, Earl of the Alcáçovas. proclaimed himself as king Fernando I of Portugal in late 1416. Juan, now the regent of Spania for Fernando, became the king in all but in name. His "reign" was characterized by his harsh measures. He resolved to suppress many abuses and limited the power of the nobles. The people, even if the felt the severity of his laws, felt protected by his justice, which kept at bay the rapacity of their lords. However, by 1420, Spania had descended into a terror state. In September that year, Juan began a purge of the court, including the murder of the king, which lead to an open revolt. Francisco de Lara, Earl of Salamanca, who had been freed by Juan, led an 80,000-army, including 5,000 knights, and marched against Toledo, which he took and pillaged ruthlessly as Juan, who claimed to be Juan I of Spania, tried to assemble and army but his supporters deserted him. Eduardo, Earl of Palermo, who had been one of the reasons that had led to the downfall of the late king Fernando I, murdered Juan I and recognized Francisco de Lara as the new king. However, Francisco refused the honour and called for the Royal Council to find a successor.

This would led to the "Anarchy" (1420-1432), when several noblement attempted to claimo the throne for themselves, murdering their way to the top. The first was the governor of Valencia (1420-1421), who died from natural causes when preparing to invade Castille. This would lead to the breakaway regime by Berenguer, earl of Barcelona who, after being defeated in the battle of Tarragona (1422), fled with his followers to the Baleares, where he reigned as a king until his death (from natural causes) in 1429), ,when the Islands were recoverd by the Spanian king. In 1423, Eduardo II, Earl of Palermo, true to his schiming father, proclaimed the "Imperio de Sicilia" (Empire of Sicily, which included the Italian continental lands) and broke away from Spania. This led to a further revolt, by Alfonso, Earl of Zaragoza, who finally managed to "persuade" the Royal Council to choose him as king in 1424. Alfonso III would put down four more revolts by four pretenders to the crown (in 1424, 1425-1426, 1427-1443 and 1429). During the third of those revolts, Ramiro, Duke of Pamplona, followed the Portuguese example and proclaimed himself king of Navarra, which led to the Navarrese War (1427-1443), which ended with his defeat and death and the return of Navarra to Spania.

Alfonso IV (1451-1485), son of Alfonso III, became king afer his father died in a hunting accident in 1451). After defeating two pretenders (the first one in 1452 and the third one in 1454), he reigned for 32 years in almost total peace. He is remembered as a successful ruler who laid the groundwork for thes recovery of Spania. He was successful in maintaining generally peaceful relations with his most powerful neighbor, France, and his network of diplomatic relations extended to the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy, while his armed forces included French and Arab mercenaries. He pacified Occitania, which had been on the verge of beign lost to France during the Anarchy and wage war against Sicly, recovering Sardinia in 1461, and had good relations with Venice. He is credited with a successful campaign to diplomatically isolate the Sicilian Empire. He also developed the internal prosperity and economy of his realm and became famous for his justice and charity. Today he is remembered as "the Father of the Spanians".
 
28. The Conquistadores -1-
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28. The Conquistadores -1-

Alfonso V
(1485-1519) was the last of king of the House of Zaragoza, and one of the most successful and unlucky kings of Spain. Born in Toledo in 1447, he had been introduced by his father into the politics of the kingdom when he was 16 years old, and, in 1467, his father made him duke of Navarra. Almost at once his younger brother Rodrigo resented this and wanted to have as much rights and powers as his elder brother. This was the beginning of a long rivalry betwen the two brother. In 1468 he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land which earned him great reputation.

When his father died in 1485, he was recognized as his successor at once and, on February 2, he was crowned inToledo. In 1490, he entered into the Concordat of Vienna with the Holy See, which remained in force until the XIX century. In 1484, he married the 18-year-old infanta Eleanor, daughter of King Fernando of Portugal. It was a short but unahppy marriage, as soon there were rumours that Eleanor had betrayed the king with his brother Rodrigo. Thus, in 1491, he had the council to declared Eleanor mad and heled her as a prisoner in Tordesillas in perpetuity. Then, in 1510, Rodrigo died in a hunting accident when he raced well beyond the hunt party and broke his neck when his horse dived into a deep ravine.

His second marriage with Isabella of Margaret of Austria, daughter of Maximilian, Duke of Austria (1) was a bit more successful, but not enough. Together they had three children:
  • María of Milan(1490–1518) who married Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan. Together they had four children:
    • Margarita of Savoy (1512–1563), who was first engaged first the French Dauphin and then to Philibert III of Savoy, After her husband's death, she governed Savoy for the heir, Charles.
    • Francesco Sforza(1492-1571), Duke of Milan.
  • Ana (1491–1514), who became a nun.
  • Blanca (1493–1495)
The lack of male heirs led to divorce and a third marriage in 1495, but the king had no better luck.

In 1502 he was forced to go to war with Portugal for Olivenza, who was claimed by both kings. The war last from 1502 to 1512 and ended in a Spanian victory. It was during this conflict that Alfonso began to recruit European soldiers, from Germany instead of the usual source for mercenaries, France, as the Hundread Years War was finally over. It also improved their artillery with new and best cannons, which helped to blast away every single Portuguese castles from 1507 onwards and led finally to the Portuguese defeat.

In 1510 Alfonso agreed to sponsor a Basque sailor, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, on an expedition to reach the Indies by sailing west. His expedition departed on July 24, 1510 and arrived to Trinidad on September 11. In his second trip (1512) he explored the Orinoco River, and in the third, he landed in a place he named as San Salvador (2) and returned to report to the king that he had found a massive continent to the north of Trinidad. Thus Spania entered a Golden Age of exploration and colonisation. From 1515 to 1520, new expeditions would discover Nueva Galicia, and Nueva Valencia, but only the last own was to be sparsely colonized, as the next decade would be devoted to the exploration and conquest of the Caribe. However, that would be under a new king and a new dinasty, as we shall see.


(1) No Empire for you!
(2) OTL Roanoke Island
(3) Newfoundland and Nova Scotia
 
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29. The Conquistadores -2-

Francisco I of Spania in 1561
29. The Conquistadores -2-

Francisco I
(1519-1571) was the first king of the House of Sforza and Duke of Milan. Educated in Milan, his arrival to Spania (1519) was a shock for both him and his people. He was accepted as sovereign, even though the Spanians felt uneasy with his style. Stranger in a stranger land, he surrounded himself by people of his own trust, most of the Italians, and took him some time to trust in his Spanian council. This would come to a head in 1520, when Francisco had to face an open rebellion in Catalonia and Aragon for his attempt to introduce Milaneses into government positions there. Eventually, a settlement would be reached. Milanese would govern in Milan and Spanians in Spania. This was to be the first time where the king proved to be more than an apt diplomat.

Then, in 1521, he would measure his strenght against France when his namesake, Francis I, attempted to invade Occitania in 1521. Main military operations lasted until 1524, but there were cross-border clashes until 1528, when the Treaty of Pamplona closed the rivalry for a while. This was the beginning of a "cold war" with France that would last until the 19th century. His undeniable Italian ancestry meant another battlefield between Spania and France. There, however, Francisco played with an advantage: he had the support of the Papacy and the friendship of the German Emperor, Karl V. When France invaded Milan in 1524, an Imperial-Spanian army defeated him and captured the French king (1). Another war front would be the Mediterranean Sea, when the Ottomans, after conquering Constantinople in 1538, would threaten the southeastern Europe and the trade in the Mediteranean.

Furthermore, the Americas were turning into a complicated scenario that threatened to develop in an international battlefield. Spanian explorers were busy expanding from their colonies at Trinidad, Santo Domingo, San Salvador (2), Nueva Galicia and Nueva Valencia (3), but so where the English (Virginia -4-, and in the shores of what-would-be New England -5- and Georgia 6- shores), French (Nouvelle France -7-) and Germans (Grünland -8- and Neues Bayern -9-. As the colonies expanded and clashed among each other, tensions rose and, after the Italian War of 1526-1530, when France launched another failed invasion of Northern Italy, Francisco I of Spania asked for Papal mediation to hold what it was called, later on, The Field of the Cloth of Gold (June 7, - September 14, 1540), when Francisco, along with king Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France and the Emperor Karl V, met at Rome to fins a suitable and peaceful way of dividing America. The result would be the Vienna Treaty, where the newly discovered lands outside Europe were devided between Spania, England, France and the Empire. Nevertheless, by 1583, this treaty would be a dead letter.

In 1540 he married Catherine (10), daughter of Henry VIII of England. Together they had four children:
  • Juan (1542–1558)
  • Fernando (1547-1593)
  • Fadrique (1552-1591)
  • Beatriz (1555-1647). She married Karl VI, Holy German Emperor.

Ironically, his sons were to become the biggest trouble for the king, as we shall see.

(1) Old habits die hard, I'm sorry.
(2) OTL Roanoke Island
(3) Newfoundland and Nova Scotia
(4) Cuba
(5) Georgia
(6) México
(7) Brazil
(8) Greenland
(9) Quebec
(10) In TTL, good old and fat Henry "Terminator" Tudor of England is luckier and gets several sons and daughters (with several wives, as usual)
  • Elizabeth (1510–1558)
  • Henry (1511-1581), the future Henry IX
  • Catherine (1513–1573)
  • Mary (1516–1565)
  • Edward (1519-1536)
  • Elianor (1523-1593)
  • Richard (1527-1543)
 
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