Una diferente ‘Plus Ultra’ - the Avís-Trastámara Kings of All Spain and the Indies (Updated 5/6)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Torbald, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. Threadmarks: I. Un príncipe perdido, un otro príncipe adquirido (1497-1498)

    Torbald þegn

    Jan 27, 2010

    I. Un príncipe perdido, un otro príncipe adquirido (1497-1498)
    II. "Tra Scilla e Cariddi" (1499-1504)
    III. Austria est imperio optime unita (1499)

    El Siglo XVI:
    IV. El Estado del Reino - Parte I: Un tiempo de preparación
    V. El Estado del Reino - Parte II: Desarrollo del interior
    VI. El Estado del Reino - Parte III: España de Ultramar
    VII. Una Cruzada Africana
    VIII. El Mundo en General - Parte I: A Burgundian Duke and an English Prince survive, a Şehzade dies
    IX. El Mundo en General - Parte II: To Reform or Compromise
    X. El Mundo en General - Parte III: State Churches and Vainglory
    XI. O reino do Jolof, e seus príncipes cristãos
    XII. "No colonias, sino reinos" - Parte I: Fin del Quinto Sol
    XIII. "No colonias, sino reinos" - Parte II: La venida de Supay
    XIV. El Gran Turco Golpeado
    XV. Colonialismo y Conciencia
    XVI. El Estado del Reino - De un Nuevo Mundo a una Nueva España
    XVII. Uma colônia salva por uma vaca
    XVIII. El fin de una época
    XIX. El Estado del Reino - Parte I: América Portuguesa (1500-1550)

    XX. El Estado del Reino - Parte II: Índia Portuguesa (1500-1550)
    XXI. El Estado del Reino - Parte III: As Índias Orientais (1500-1550)
    XXII. "Stormclouds" - Parte I: The Calm
    XXIII. "Stormclouds" - Parte II: Thunder
    XXIV. Der Schwarzkrieg

    XXV. Entra España
    XXVI. Auflösung
    XXVII. "Une peste de filles"
    XXVIII. "Une guerre de vingt ans"
    XXIX. Empire of the East
    XXX. Avalon
    XXXI. Las Reformas Pelagianas - Parte I: "Entre dos perros aullantes"
    XXXII. Las Reformas Pelagianas - Parte II: "Gobernar es prestar"
    XXXIII. Las Reformas Pelagianas - Parte III: Codex Pelagianus
    XXXIV. Las Reformas Pelagianas - Parte IV: Rey del Océano Mar
    XXXV. Ordinatio Imperii

    XXXVI. Der Ewige Protest
    XXXVII. Between the Wild Fields and the Frozen Sea

    XXXVIII. Ventos Divinos

    - Un príncipe perdido, un otro príncipe adquirido -

    El Bautismo de Don Juan - 1478
    On a particularly gloomy September day in the year 1497, Fernando, king of Aragon, and his wife, Isabel of Castile departed Medina del Campo on an important errand. The two monarchs were accompanying their oldest daughter, also named Isabel, to Alcántara, where they would formally release her into the matrimonial embrace of the recently crowned Manuel of Portugal. The Infanta Isabel had formerly been pledged to marry Afonso, heir to the Portuguese throne by his father João II [1], before a horse-riding accident in 1491 had cut their betrothal short. Despite being five years Afonso’s senior, the Infanta was infatuated with her groom-to-be, and his death sent her into a spiral of grief that left her exceedingly weak, making her already frightfully slight frame even slighter.

    Fearing for their daughter’s well being and anxious to fulfill the royal marriage demanded by Treaty at Alcáçovas in 1479, the Catholic Monarchs urged the Infanta to accept the hand of Manuel, who would settle for no other bride. Despite her intense reluctance, Isabel consented to her parents’ wishes and agreed to marry Manuel. Finding her thin build graceful and her knowledge of Portugal charming [2], Manuel quickly became enamored with his new wife and gradually coaxed her out of her grieving shell and back into relatively good health and happiness. [3]

    El puente de Alcántara

    However, as one marriage flourished, another found itself dying on the vine. Don Juan, the Prince of Asturias and heir presumptive to the realms of Aragon and Castile, newly wed and installed in an administrative position in the city of Salamanca, was bedridden with a high fever less than a month after his sister’s departure. It was decided that Isabel would stay in Portugal for her daughter’s wedding while Fernando would hasten to Salamanca to attend to their eldest son. When Fernando arrived, Juan had grown extremely pale but remained articulate and aware. Juan told his father that he had accepted his impending death, but Fernando begged him not to lose hope. Nonetheless, Juan’s condition worsened irreversibly, and he died a mere two weeks later. It was, in fact, a miracle that Juan had survived so many years given his frail constitution, yet his death still brought deep sorrow to his parents - as well as an acute sense of dread concerning the future of Castile and Aragon. The once secure succession under Juan that Fernando and Isabel had so carefully organized was in shambles, finally torn up at the root when the child of Juan and his Habsburg wife Margaret was miscarried a few months later. When Juan’s body was laid to rest, the writer Pedro Mártir captured just how dour this development had rendered the future of Castile and Aragon: “There was buried the hope of all Spain.”

    Yet hope remained. Refusing to let despair sink in, much less hamper their characteristic vigor, the Catholic Monarchs immediately set about re-establishing the line of succession through their eldest daughter Isabel. While Manuel was careful to ensure the continued separateness of Portugal from Castile, he and his wife received the oath from the Castilian Cortes in Toledo on March 16th of 1498, and would be invested with the titles of King and Queen of Portugal and Castile following the deaths of Isabel and Fernando - although Manuel and the Infanta would have proprietary rights only to their respective inheritances. The problem of succession in the kingdom of Aragon would be a trickier matter. By Aragon’s ancient constitution, it was strictly forbidden that a woman ever bear the scepter, thus eliminating the infanta from her father’s inheritance - that is, unless she could produce a male heir.

    A united, Christian Spain had been the grand ambition of practically every Spanish prince and potentate since the demise of the Visigoths, yet it had become much more desperately hoped for over the course of the 14th and 15th centuries, especially in regards to the peace that would accompany it. The desire for peninsular peace was reaching a fever pitch following the Castilian civil war [4] - having occurred a mere twenty years prior to the death of Don Juan and remaining fresh in the Iberian mind.

    The inheritance awaiting the Infanta's child
    (Not shown: Aragon's Italian possessions or Portugal and Castile's American/African possessions)

    With the possibility of an Iberian union in the hands of someone as delicate as the Infanta, the courts of the Iberian kingdoms deemed the Trastámara line all but extinguished, the Infanta’s physical inability to survive a pregnancy or produce anything but a stillborn considered foregone conclusions. In fact, news of the Infanta approaching the critical stages of her pregnancy were greeted not with hopeful anticipation by the grandes and common folk, but with solemn, funerary vigils. Such predictions were not helped by the attitude of the Infanta, who frequently proclaimed that she knew she would die in childbirth, and who kept the viaticum and monks ready to dispense Last Rites close at hand.

    Even though she barely made it through the labor with her life, the Infanta produced a healthy male heir against all odds [5]. This boy would be named Miguel - a break with tradition, as none of his predecessors had borne the name - and would promptly be given the epithet “da Paz” by his father. The dichotomy of this nomenclature - being both deemed “of peace” and named after Michael, the warrior archangel and bringer of the sword - would prove to be telling.

    The Infanta’s recuperation would take nearly eight months, leaving Miguel almost entirely in the care of his wet nurse. Yet the Infanta would indeed recuperate, and the son she had birthed would live for many more decades. While Isabel and Fernando considered the union of Spain of greater importance than dynastic squabbling, the inheritance of Castile and Aragon - Trastámara possessions - by a different house (no matter how close in relation) was a matter somewhat distasteful to the Catholic Monarchs and smacked of Portuguese dominance to Castilian and Aragonese grandes. Manuel and the Catholic Monarchs therefore reached an agreement in the the Treaty of Montehermoso, signed on the 2nd of November 1498, which declared Miguel to be bilineal - of the house ‘Avís y Trastámara.’

    Aérea Montehermoso.jpg
    Montehermoso moderno en Extremadura de España

    1498 was to be a seminal date in Spanish history - the last year in which the kingdoms of Portugal, Castile, and Aragon would be fully independent of one another. This solidarity would be much needed, as Spain’s situation became one of both ever-increasing potential and constant threat all within a very short space of time during 1498: to the far west, the city of Santo Domingo was officially founded on Española under the supervision of Cristóbal Colón; to the immediate east, despite a coalition led by Fernando of Aragon having just driven the French out of Italy, France’s young king Charles VIII had died unexpectedly [6] and was replaced by the older, more pugnacious Louis of Orléans, now Louis XII, who began to eye the Mezzogiorno; and around the Cabo da Boa Esperança, Vasco da Gama and his crew landed at Calicut, becoming the first Europeans to reach India by sea. After 1498 would begin a ‘siglo de oro’ for Spain - while Europe would marvel at the accomplishments of a Spain mostly disinterested with its home continent, the rest of the world would begin to feel the full weight of an empire with a zeal of purpose and a global reach unmatched in history.


    [1] Manuel's predecessor.
    [2] The Infanta Isabel had spent three years of her youth in Portugal. The Infanta was also the favorite daughter of her mother, who also spent a great deal of her youth in Portugal and had a Portuguese mother.
    [3] This is a semi-PoD. The Infanta never really recovered physically or emotionally from her lost love Afonso.
    [4] In which Portugal was essentially Castile's opposition.
    [5] This is more or less the PoD. The Infanta died during childbirth and Miguel died before he reached the age of 2. Here, both survive.
    [6] He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage after hitting his head on a door frame on his way to a tennis match, which - as far as death goes - is pretty hilarious.
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  2. Xenophonte Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non præstat.

    Feb 13, 2014
    South America
    Interesting approach to this classical pod and nice post, formatting and pre-elaboration.
    I will be watching this TL development...
    mrcubfan415 and Torbald like this.
  3. ramones1986 Grumpy and Lazy

    Apr 21, 2012
    Las Filipinas
    *intensive internal screaming*
    Already watched this thread because I loved the possibility of Miguel de la Paz surviving childhood.
    mrcubfan415 and Torbald like this.
  4. Torbald þegn

    Jan 27, 2010
    Thanks you guys :)
    I should have another update up soon!
    mrcubfan415 likes this.
  5. Swede Tech-priest

    Aug 14, 2004
    Yfra Tøør, Suþermanna Land, Sviþjod
    One of my favourite PODs (one I'd love to see combined with a healthy surviving Kalmar Union) and written in a style I enjoy reading. Watching now.
  6. Threadmarks: II. "Tra Scilla e Cariddi" (1499-1504)

    Torbald þegn

    Jan 27, 2010
    - “Tra Scilla e Cariddi” -

    Fernando y Luís XII

    "Increíble. Carlos se queda en Nápoles por una temporada, y después de diez años Luís piensa que es suya."
    - Fernando of Aragon, 1499 (possibly apocryphal)

    The birth of Miguel da Paz and the Treaty of Montehermoso were of great interest to much of Europe, but nowhere more so than France. The sudden inevitability of an Iberian union was an intimidating prospect for Louis XII, notwithstanding the rumors of fantastic wealth falling into Spanish hands across the Atlantic.

    When Louis XII’s predecessor Charles VIII had invaded Lombardy 4 years prior, the antecedent for French involvement in Italy had been set. No matter short in duration, Charles VIII’s temporary occupation of both Milan and Naples were as strong of a claim as any to a sufficiently aggressive monarch. As the conclusion of the Italian War of 1494-1498 was still a nebulous matter, Louis XII made up his mind to dominate the peninsula as soon as the French crown had been set upon his head. However, he also understood that a fully unified Spain would most certainly have the resources to assert its claims to Southern Italy, as well as to pulverize anyone that impeded said claims. Luckily for Louis XII, Spain was not fully unified yet, and therefore if he was to continue meddling in Italian affairs, he would have to do it quickly - every year passed knocked his chances.

    Italia c. 1498 (color code in footnotes [1])

    Almost immediately after his coronation, Louis XII allied himself with the Venetians and purchased as supplement the service of thousands of Swiss mercenaries on royal credit. Practically before these contracts had dried, armies under the fleur-de-lis had overrun the duchy of Savoy (which did not offer a fight) and were streaming into the duchy of Milan, establishing de facto control over Liguria as well. By April of 1500, Louis XII captured Ludovico Sforza (the instigator of the first Italian War) after besieging his refuge at Novara and relieved him of his ducal title, installing the condottiero Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, Louis’ commander in Italy, in his stead as military governor. With Milan secure, Louis XII felt that he was in a comfortable enough position to reach an agreement with the Spanish before the subject of war was even breached.

    Italia c. 1499 (dark blue = French allies)

    If Fernando had desired to keep the French out of Italy entirely, then their armies would not have been able to reach Milan before he had established a frontline against them. However, Fernando was more inclined to avoid another destructive conflict overseas and also felt there was much to be gained by a certain amount of cooperation with Louis XII. The kingdom of Naples had been in Trastámara hands since it was conquered by Alfonso V of Aragon in 1443. Nonetheless, the usefulness of the Neapolitan branch had run its course in the eyes of its Spanish counterpart, and Fernando resolved to reintegrate as much of Naples into the Aragonese crown as he could.

    As Fernando was occupied with assisting the Venetians against the Turks, combined with the fact that a French army composed of 1,000 lances and 10,000 infantrymen (including 5,000 Swiss troops) under the command of Bérault Stuart was headed south to claim Naples in early June 1501, Fernando was persuaded to give due consideration to Louis XII’s terms, which were as follows: Federico IV Trastámara of Naples is to be deposed and the crown lands of the kingdom of Naples are to be divided up between the kingdoms of Aragon and France.

    This agreement, as outlined in the Treaty of Granada, more or less decreed that Aragon shall receive Apulia, Calabria, and Basilicata, while France shall receive the remainder, yet the proper divisions were simply not present in the fine print. Consequently, when Spanish and French troops occupied Naples in August of 1501, the resumption of hostilities became a certainty. The Spanish lacked numerical superiority due to their operations against the Turks and the lateness of their mobilization on the Italian peninsula, and victory against Louis XII’s expensive, well-equipped war machine seemed an impossibility. However, the Spanish possessed a trump card unavailable to their opponents: the instinct and leadership of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba.

    El Tratado de Granada - 1500

    Fresh from expunging the Turks from the Ionian island of Kefalonia, Gonzalo de Córdoba was a veteran of every major conflict in which the Catholic Monarchs found themselves. De Córdoba had held a command in the Castilian Civil War, the conquest of Granada, and the First Italian War - more than 25 years of experience. Under de Córdoba, the military of Castile and Aragon had evolved from a Medieval light cavalry-based harrying force into a relentlessly-drilled and nearly impenetrable modern army, centered around a formation he developed, the ‘tercio’ (third): mixed companies of pikemen, arquebusiers, and swordsmen - capable of consistently deflecting cavalry charges from any flank, leaving the gunners free to mow down scores of enemy troops.

    El tercio en acción

    Trapped in the port city of Barletta by a French siege, de Córdoba bided his time, confident in the superior guerilla tactics of his troops further afield, many of whom were veterans of the guerilla warfare-centric subjugation of Granada. When waging a war of attrition, having huge numbers of high-wage foreign mercenaries on one’s payroll is a recipe for disaster, and Louis XII would learn this lesson quite painfully. Slowly but surely, the French army began to disintegrate - broken up by waves of desertion and further dismembered by being forced to break up into smaller groups in order to chase the harassing Spaniards. One such small group (roughly 600 strong) would be caught by de Córdoba near the town of Ruvo in February of 1503, where it was completely annihilated, resulting in either the butcher or capture of nearly half of the French cavalry.

    The death knell for French Naples came in April that same year, near the city of Cerignola. The French Viceroy of Naples, Louis d'Armagnac (also the Duke of Nemours) sallied forth with a force 9,000 strong to crush de Córdoba and his band of saboteurs. However, the French had not yet been fully tested against the tercio, and, despite outnumbering the Spanish three to two, bloodied themselves with charge after charge, sustaining forty times more casualties than the Spaniards, including Louis d'Armagnac himself. The Spanish would face similar odds nine months later at Garigliano and would achieve almost identical results.

    La secuela de Cerignola

    With the Mezzogiorno completely lost, Louis XII had to own up to the fact that he might have bitten off more than France could chew. With Spanish regiments assembling south of the Pyrenees and his coffers nearly empty, Louis XII swallowed his pride and sued for peace in February of 1504, his terms being that he would recognize the Aragonese claim to the kingdom of Naples in perpetuity if the same could be done concerning his claim to the duchy of Milan. To Louis XII, these terms seemed more than generous, yet Fernando made a counteroffer carrying a certain hefty stipulation: The hand of Louis XII’s 4 year old daughter, Claude, for Fernando’s 5 year old grandson, Miguel.

    Louis XII was tempted to send Fernando’s envoy back with a box of dung, closely followed by all the lancers his kingdom could still muster. Louis XII’s options were few and, with a treaty of nonaggression signed between the Spanish and the Pope, were growing fewer, but he would be damned if his eldest daughter, heiress to the duchy of Brittany and potential heiress to the kingdom of France would be forced into a royal marriage with the future King of All Spain - at least, not without a fight. Thus, warfare was renewed on his orders on May 3rd of 1504.

    De Córdoba was thus ordered to continue a steady march north, and the rapport that Louis XII had built up with the states of Northern Italy began to flag significantly. Ludovico II, the Marquess of Saluzzo in the military employ of the French, his pride and his numbers still hurting since Garigliano, marched an army south through Emilia to link up with Cesare Borgia, Papal condottiero and conditional ally to the French. However, Ludovico II’s scouting parties had become lost among the Apennine passes of the region following a heavy thunderstorm, and his army happened upon de Córdoba’s near the town of Langhirano at midday on June 12th. Hoping to salvage his reputation, as well as mistakenly determining de Córdoba’s southern flank to be open, Ludovico II ordered a general charge.

    While de Córdoba was indeed caught at unawares, he was a master of mountainous terrain due to his years fighting in the Sierra Nevada, and his strong defensive tactics won the day again, leaving roughly 2,300 enemy troops dead at the cost of only 500 of his own. The door to Lombardy now lay wide open for the Spanish, and the possibility of turning the front against the Spanish in Umbria vanished. While a freshly recruited French army was nearing Perpinya on the 21st of that same month, Louis XII received word of the Spanish victory at Langhirano, and ordered his southbound army to halt near Carcassonne. Anxious of what would happen next, Louis XII finally capitulated upon hearing two and a half weeks later of another Spanish victory (albeit a modest one) at Fidenza, almost 100 kilometers from Milan. His Italian armies in tatters, his debt mounting, and his fear that the Spanish would hand Milan over to their Hapsburg allies building, Louis XII was quite ready to surrender.

    Italia c. 1504 (1 = Cerignola, 2 = Garigliano, 3 = Langhirano, 4 = Fidenza)

    On August 18th of 1504, the kingdoms of Aragon and France finally put their Italian dispute to rest with the Treaty of Toulouse. Of great significance was the birth of Louis XII’s first son, Charles, in February of 1504. This new heir relieved Claude of a great deal, thus making her a much cheaper bargaining chip. The treaty would declare the following:
    • Louis XII renounces for himself and all his successors the claim to the kingdom of Naples, acknowledging in perpetuity its constituency in the crown of Aragon.
    • Fernando of Aragon and Isabel of Castile shall make no contest to Louis XII’s claim to the duchy of Milan.
    • Claude of France and Brittany, eldest daughter of Louis XII, shall be betrothed irrevocably to the Infante Miguel, son of Manuel of Portugal and Isabel of Aragon.
    • As long as this betrothal lasts, the kings and queens of France and the kings and queens of Castile and Aragon shall make no investment, temporal or otherwise, in the waging of war against one another.
    • The Duchy of Brittany shall pass to the male heir or successor of Louis XII upon the death of Claude.
    • The Valois bloodline of Claude shall bear no import on the inheritances of Miguel or Miguel’s successors, and vice versa.

    This bloody ten year fiasco in Italy seemingly finished, Isabel and Fernando could finally set about ensuring the stability of the future Spanish union. Yet in their haste to make new in-laws, an older one had been greatly offended. Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and patriarch of the house of Hapsburg, was outraged. Was not his own son the husband of Isabel and Fernando’s daughter? Did their two houses not share this bond in blood? Why would they resign themselves to indifference while the perfidious French had indefinite free rein in Northern Italy, within the sacred boundaries of the Empire? Surely this would be an estrangement that would require decades to mend.


    [1] Off-yellow: Aragon, blue: France, turquoise: Venice, green in center: Florence, green by France: Savoy, off-blue: Milan, grey: Hapsburgs, pink: Siena, mauve: Ferrara, dark brown: Swiss cantons, purple: Modena, orange: Genoa, light brown: Lucca, bright yellow: minor states

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  7. Sceonn Peace at a Bargain Price

    Jun 23, 2014
    So Iberia disengages from the Hapsburg mess before the rot sets in?
    Wonder what the Language of Iberia will be, I'm partial to Portuguese myself.
  8. Torbald þegn

    Jan 27, 2010
    Yessir. They still have a royal marriage, but the Hapsburgs are out for certain. The Austrian Hapsburgs and the French are going to keep going at it in Italy and elsewhere similar to OTL, but it's going to be a much more knock-down drag-out fight without the Spanish tercios for the French to bleed themselves on.

    As for the language, something like Mirandese will probably come to dominate Extremadura and Alentejo, with pure Portuguese becoming a slightly minority language.
  9. Torbald þegn

    Jan 27, 2010
    Also I have to apologize for the length of the last update, it was a lot of OTL history that I had to regurgitate...
  10. ramones1986 Grumpy and Lazy

    Apr 21, 2012
    Las Filipinas
    Mirandese as the dominant language of Extremadura and Alentejo? Woah! That's exciting indeed, especially for a second/third member of the Astur-Leonese branch of Ibero-Romance languages.
  11. General Ripper Banned

    May 21, 2016
    Very interesting. :) Keep it up.
  12. Sevarics Beto for Texas

    Feb 9, 2011
    Me gusta
  13. aap5454 Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2015
    I love it!
  14. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2009
    Actually in this TL the Spanish would be likely conquer at least Bali, Sunda and Timor instead of the Philippines..and perhaps Australia..
  15. Xenophonte Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non præstat.

    Feb 13, 2014
    South America
    While, at least I, can't be than categorical... agree that the colonial implications will be interesting and worth from further and some deep discussions...when the TL reach these 'point'.
    mrcubfan415 likes this.
  16. Positively Indecent Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2010
    Peoples Republic of New Jersey
    Really liking this so far. Subscribed.
  17. Torbald þegn

    Jan 27, 2010
    That's right :) and with less manpower and resources bring sent to Central Europe, there's going to be significantly more development in Spain than in OTL, which is going to cause some interesting demographic changes.

    You're both right that colonization is going to carry on differently, but the Portuguese and Castilian colonial empires are going to be kept mostly separate, which will probably mean some competition between them in the South Seas.

    Muchas gracias a todos :)
  18. Torbald þegn

    Jan 27, 2010
    Also, I won't be able to update for possibly a couple of days, but I'll give a few spoilers:
    • One of the reasons the Hapsburgs didn't involve themselves in TTL Second Italian War (they didn't in OTL also) was because the Swabian War and the fate of the Swiss cantons was turning out very differently.
    • The fact that Louis XII has had a male heir means Francis I is probably not going to become king. Louis XII was a much more decentralized ruler than Francis, so there's going to be some long term effects of a, say, parliamentary nature.
    • One of the Spanish casualties at the Battle of Langhirano was a soldier in his thirties by the name of Francisco Pizarro González.
    • Also, since Isabel of Portugal was never born, Charles V is going to have to find his bride elsewhere, possibly "overseas," one might say.
  19. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2009
    I think the Portuguese colonisation in Brazil might be butterflied and Portugal would focus in Asia and Spanish would focus mostly in America, creating a distribution of tasks between the two Kingdoms and respect the Treaty of Tordesillas..
  20. General Ripper Banned

    May 21, 2016
    Not so sure. I think that both kingdoms Will want their fair share of both the New World and from India.
    mrcubfan415 likes this.