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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Being fought mostly in Catalonia

and at her wish, consented to

by their son, Charles, Prince of Viana, had continued to act as king of that land after his wife's death. He had contracted a second marriage with a Castilian lady, Juana Enr?quez, and her intrigues against Charles of Viana had already caused that prince no little trouble. In the interests of her own children (one of whom, the later great King Ferdinand, was to be a worthy exemplar of the scheming traits of his mother) she plotted to deprive him of his rights, first to the throne of Navarre, and later, after Juan had succeeded to the Aragonese crown, to that of Aragon. The Catalans took up the cause of Charles of Viana with enthusiasm, and when Juan refused to declare him his heir civil war broke out, not only in Catalonia, but also in Aragon and Navarre. Charles was at first successful, and his father consented to recognize him as his successor and to appoint him governor of Catalonia, but the agreement had hardly been signed when the young prince died. Public opinion ascribed his death to poisoning at the instigation of his step-mother, and so great was the general indignation over this event that civil war in Catalonia broke out afresh. The Catalans were at a legal disadvantage in not having a legitimate lord to set up against Juan II. They elected various individuals as count of Barcelona, and even thought of organizing a republic, but the successive deaths of their chosen rulers, and the length of the war, which had already lasted twelve years, inclined many, toward the close
of the year 1470, to make peace with the king. The very misfortunes of the latter, despite the crimes which he had committed, tended to this end, for he had again become a widower, and was blind and alone, for his son, Ferdinand, had remained in Castile after his important marriage with Isabella in 1469. Finally, in 1472, a peace satisfactory to both sides was arranged. It is to be noted that this war had nothing to do with the earlier struggle of the lords against the king, but was sustained rather by the city of Barcelona and the permanent committee, or deputation, representing the _Cortes_ of Catalonia, against the king, being fought mostly in Catalonia, and being involved also with the attempts of the Catalan peasant classes to shake off the social burdens which they had so long been obliged to bear. The former seigniorial stronghold of Aragon proper was in this war the most powerful royalist element. The closing years of Juan's reign were devoted to a war against France for the reconquest of Cerdagne and the Roussillon, which had previously been granted by Juan to the French king in return for support against the former's Catalan enemies. This war was still going on when, in 1479, Juan died, and Ferdinand ascended the throne, to rule, jointly with Isabella, the entire realms of Castile and Aragon. Thus had the evil intrigues of Juana Enr?quez redounded to the benefit of Spain.


[Sidenote: Navarre re-enters the current of peninsula history.]

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