The Reconquest

   1. The reconquest before 1212

   The reconquest is the set of struggles that the Hispanic people do to eject the Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula. It lasted almost eight centuries, from 711 to 1492. It is One of the most interesting and fruitful eras in the history of Spain.

   We distinguish two periods: from 711 to 1212, with the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa and from 1212 to 1492, with the conquest of Granada.

   - Kingdom of León: in 711 Muslims defeated the King Roderic. Thus the invasion began and it seemed its progress was unstoppable. But several Visigothic nobles were reorganized in Asturias (Galicia and Cantabria). Pelagius of Asturias, the son of a duke, conducted a small army that defeated the Muslim expedition in Covadonga. It was the first victory.
   The Asturian capital was Oviedo and they conquered many territories until the river Douro.
   Then moved the capital to Leon forming the kingdom of León.

   - Castile: Several counties in Southern León conquered flat lands where they built castles to defend. Hence the name of Castile.

   - Pyrenean kingdoms and COUNTIES: In the area of the Pyrenees, three cores of resistance emerged:
   + Navarre: with Sancho III the king who unified the Christian monarchs.
   + Aragon: the King Alfonso I the Battler conquered Zaragoza and Calatayud.
   + Catalonia: Several counties formed the Marca Hispanica dependent of Frank kings.

   - Unification of CHRISTIAN kingdoms. The Christian kingdoms united and this allowed them to conquer vast territories. First Aragon and Catalonia forming the Crown of Aragon. Then Castile and León. King Alfonso VIII reunited a large army and in July 16, 1212 they defeated the Muslims at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, after a mass.


   2. Indicate if these facts refer to the kingdom of Leon, to Castile, to the Pyrenean kings or to the unification:

Sancho III united the Christian kings

Pelagius of Asturias won in Covadonga

They built castles

They formed the Crown of Aragon

Batlle of Las Navas de Tolosa

The kingdom's capital was Oviedo

Their lands were very flat

Alfonso I conquered Zaragoza

Galicia and Cantabria united

They formed the Marca Hispánica

Alfonso VIII joined a large army






    3. Reconquest after 1212

   - THE CROWN OF ARAGON: This Crown was formed by Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia, although each kingdom kept its institutions. Alfonso I, after conquering the Balearic Islands, took control of Sicily, the kingdom of Naples and some territories in Greece. It was the Sea power of the Mediterranean and assisted the Catalan and Valencian trade.
   The kingdom of Portugal became independent from Castile and initiated the maritime and commercial expansion along the coast of Africa.
   The Kingdom of Navarre did not expand to the south and was oriented towards France.

   - LA CORONA DE CASTILe: Castile and León is definitely united under the reign of Ferdinand III. This king organized a major offensive against Islam and conquered the cities of Córdoba,Jaén and Seville. Alfonso XI, helped by Aragon and Portugal, defeated the Muslims at the Battle of río Salado and occupied the Strait of Gibraltar. The Castilian kings favored the bourgeoisie of the cities and the privileges of the nobility decreased.

   - THE CATHOLIC KINGS: Queen Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon were united in marriage, thus the reign of the Catholic Monarchs started. Its main objective was to finish the reconquist and in 1492 they conquered the kingdom of Granada and the King Boabdil gave the city to the Catholic Monarchs.
   After Queen Elizabeth died, Fernando invaded Navarro and entered to Pamplona in 1512. Thus, the entire peninsula, except Portugal, was united under the same crown.


   4. Indicate if these sentences refer to the Crown of Aragon, to Castile or to the Catholic Monarchs:

He conquered the kingdom of Naples

Isabella and Ferdinand married

Ferdinand III

Alfonso I conquered Balearic

They Conquered Córdoba, Jaen and Seville

They took control of the kingdom of Granada

Alfonso XI won the battle of río Salado

They came to Greece

They occupied the Strait of Gibraltar

It was a sea power

Ferdinand conquered Navarra



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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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