The Crown of Aragon (/ˈærəɡən/; Aragonese: Corona d'Aragón, Catalan: Corona d'Aragó, Spanish: Corona de Aragón)[nb 1] was a composite monarchy, also nowadays referred to as a confederation of individual polities or kingdoms ruled by one king, with a personal and dynastic union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona. At the height of its power in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Crown of Aragon was a thalassocracy controlling a large portion of present-day eastern Spain, parts of what is now southern France, and a Mediterranean "empire" which included the Balearic Islands, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta, Southern Italy (from 1442) and parts of Greece (until 1388). The component realms of the Crown were not united politically except at the level of the king, who ruled over each autonomous polity according to its own laws, raising funds under each tax structure, dealing separately with each Corts or Cortes. Put in contemporary terms, it has sometimes been considered that the different lands of the Crown of Aragon (mainly the Kingdom of Aragon, the Principality of Catalonia and the Kingdom of Valencia) functioned more as a confederation than as a single kingdom. In this sense, the larger Crown of Aragon must not be confused with one of its constituent parts, the Kingdom of Aragon, from which it takes its name.
In 1469, a new dynastic familial union of the Crown of Aragon with the Crown of Castile by the Catholic Monarchs, joining what contemporaries referred to as "the Spains" led to what would become the Kingdom of Spain under King Philip II. The Crown existed until it was abolished by the Nueva Planta decrees issued by King Philip V in 1716 as a consequence of the defeat of Archduke Charles (as Charles III of Aragon) in the War of the Spanish Succession.
Crown of Aragon
Territories subject to the Crown of Aragon in 1446, after Alfonso V's conquest of Sardinia.
|Status||Composite monarchy, confederation of kingdoms, or individual polities ruled by one king|
|Capital||see Capital below|
|Common languages||Official languages:|
Catalan , Aragonese , Latin
Occitan, Sardinian, Corsican, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Castilian, Basque, Greek, Maltese, Andalusian Arabic, Mozarabic
Sunni Islam, Sephardic Judaism, Greek Orthodoxy
|Government||Feudal monarchy subject to pacts|
|Philip IV (last)|
|Historical era||Middle Ages / Early modern period|
• Union of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona
• Conquest of the Kingdom of Valencia
|19 October 1469|
|1446||250,000 km2 (97,000 sq mi)|
Formally, the political center of the Crown of Aragon was Zaragoza, where kings were crowned at La Seo Cathedral. The 'de facto' capital and leading cultural, administrative and economic centre of the Crown of Aragon was Barcelona, followed by Valencia. Finally, Palma (Majorca) was an additional important city and seaport.
The Crown of Aragon eventually included the Kingdom of Aragon, the Principality of Catalonia (until the 12th century as County of Barcelona), the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, the Kingdom of Sicily, Malta, the Kingdom of Naples and Kingdom of Sardinia. For brief periods the Crown of Aragon also controlled Montpellier, Provence, Corsica, and the twin Duchy of Athens and Neopatras in Latin Greece.
The countries that are today known as Spain and Portugal spent the Middle Ages after 722 in an intermittent struggle called the Reconquista. This struggle pitted the northern Christian kingdoms against the Islamic taifa petty kingdoms of the South and against each other.
In the Late Middle Ages, the expansion of the Aragonese Crown southwards met with the Castilian advance eastward in the region of Murcia. Afterward, the Aragonese Crown focused on the Mediterranean, acting as far as Greece and Barbary, whereas Portugal, which completed its Reconquista in 1249, would focus on the Atlantic Ocean. Mercenaries from the territories in the Crown, known as almogàvers participated in the creation of this Mediterranean "empire", and later found employment in countries all across southern Europe.
The Crown of Aragon has been considered an empire  which ruled in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years, with the power to set rules over the entire sea (for instance, the Llibre del Consolat del Mar or Book of the Consulate of the Sea, written in Catalan, is one of the oldest compilation of maritime laws in the world). It was indeed, at its height, one of the major powers in Europe.
However, its different territories were only connected through the person of the monarch, an aspect of empire seen as early as Achaemenid Persia. A modern historian, Juan de Contreras y Lopez de Ayala, Marqués de Lozoya described the Crown of Aragon as being more like a confederacy than a centralised kingdom, let alone an empire. Nor did official documents ever refer to it as an empire (Imperium or any cognate word); instead, it was considered a dynastic union of autonomous kingdoms.
The Crown of Aragon originated in 1137, when the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona (with the County of Provence, Girona, Cerdanya, Osona and other territories) merged by dynastic union upon the marriage of Petronilla of Aragon and Raymond Berenguer IV of Barcelona ; their individual titles combined in the person of their son Alfonso II of Aragon, who ascended to the throne in 1162. This union respected the existing institutions and parliaments of both territories. The combined state was initially known as Regno, Dominio et Corona Aragonum et Catalonie, and later as Corona Regum Aragoniae, Corona Aragonum or simply Aragon. This was due to the reduction of Catalan influence, the renunciation of the family rights of the counts of Barcelona in Occitania, and the extinction of the House of Barcelona in 1410. Consequently, the monarchs denominated themselves de Aragon, and Aragon became prominent as an Iberian kingdom linked to the House of Jiménez which ruled over Navarre (905–1234), Castile, Leon and Galicia (1035–1126) and Aragon (1035–1137).
Petronilla's father King Ramiro, "The Monk" (reigned 1134–1137) who was raised in the Saint Pons de Thomières Monastery, Viscounty of Béziers as a Benedictine monk was the youngest of three brothers. His brothers Peter I (reigned 1094–1104) and Alfonso I El Batallador (The Battler, reigned 1104–1134) had bravely fought against Castile for hegemony in the Iberian peninsula. After the death of Alfonso I, the Aragonese nobility that campaigned close him feared being overwhelmed by the influence of Castile. And so, Ramiro was forced to leave his monastic life and proclaim himself King of Aragon. He married Agnes, sister of the Duke of Aquitaine and betrothed his only daughter to Raymond Berengar IV of Barcelona, member of one of the most influential families in southern Occitania. The wedding agreement provided Raymond Berengar IV the title of Princeps Aragonum and Dominator Aragonenesis (Ruler of the Kingdom and Commander of the Aragonese Military) and kept the title and honors of King of Aragon to Ramiro II.
Raymond Berengar IV, the first ruler of the united dynasty, called himself Count of Barcelona and "Prince of Aragon".
Alfonso II inherited two realms and with them, two different expansion processes. The House of Jiménez looked south in a battle against Castile for the control of the middle valley of the Ebro in the Iberian peninsula. The House of Barcelona looked north to its origins, Occitania, where through family ties it had significant influence, especially in Provence and Foix, towards the south along the Mediterranean coast and towards the Mediterranean sea.
Soon, Alfonso II of Aragon and Barcelona committed himself to conquer Valencia as the Aragonese nobility demanded. But like his father, he gave priority to the expansion and consolidation of the House of Barcelona's influence in Occitania.
Alfonso II signed the treaties of Cazorla, a multilateral treaty between Navarre, Aragón, León, Portugal, and Castile to redefine the frontiers and zones of expansion of each kingdom. Alfonso II assured Valencia by renouncing the Aragonese rights of annexing Murcia in exchange for securing the Aragonese frontier with Castile. This action should be seen as result of the aforementioned priority given over the Occitan and Catalan dominions of the Crown of Aragon.
From the 9th century, the dukes of Aquitaine, the kings of Navarre, the counts of Foix, the counts of Toulouse and the counts of Barcelona were rivals in their attempts at controlling the various pays of Occitania. And the House of Barcelona succeeded in extending its influence to the area that is now south of France through strong family ties, in the areas of the County of Provence, County of Toulouse and County of Foix. The rebellion of the Cathars or Albigensians, who rejected the authority and teachings of the Catholic Church, led to the loss of these possessions in southern France. Pope Innocent III called upon Philip II of France to suppress the Albigensians—the Albigensian Crusade, which led to bringing Occitania firmly under the control of the King of France, and the Capetian dynasty from northern France.
Peter II of Aragon and I of Barcelona returned from the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in autumn 1212 to find that Simon de Montfort had conquered Toulouse, exiling the Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, who was Peter's brother-in-law and vassal. Peter's army crossed the Pyrenees and arrived at Muret where they were joined by Raymond of Foix and Raymond of Toulouse's forces, in September 1213 to confront Montfort's army. The Battle of Muret began on 12 September 1213. The Catalan, Aragonese and Occitan forces were disorganised and disintegrated under the assault of Montfort's squadrons. Peter himself was caught in the thick of fighting, and died as a result of a foolhardy act of bravado. Thus, the nobility of Toulouse, Foix and other vassals of the Crown of Aragon were defeated. The conflict concluded with the Treaty of Meaux-Paris in 1229, in which the Crown of Aragon agreed to renounce its rights over the south of Occitania with the integration of these territories into the dominions of the King of France.
King James I (13th century) returned to an era of expansion to the South, by conquering and incorporating Majorca and a good share of the Kingdom of Valencia into the Crown. With the Treaty of Corbeil (1258), which was based upon the principle of natural frontiers, the Capetians were recognized as heirs of the Carolingian dynasty, and the Capetian king renounced his feudal overlordship over Catalonia. The general principle was clear, Catalan influence north of the Pyrenees, beyond the Roussillon, Vallespir, Conflent and Capcir, was to cease. James I had realized that wasting his forces and distracting his energies in attempts to keep a footing in France would only end in disaster. On January 1266, James I besieged and captured Murcia, then settled his own men, mostly Catalans, there; and handed Murcia over to Castile with the treaty of Cazorla.
The Kingdom of Majorca, including the counties of Cerdanya and Roussillon-Vallespir and the city of Montpellier, was held independently from 1276 to 1279 by James II of Majorca and as a vassal of the Crown of Aragon after that date, becoming a full member of the Crown of Aragon in 1344.
Valencia was finally made a new kingdom with its own institutions and not an extension of Aragón as the Aragonese noblemen had intended since even before the creation of the Crown of Aragon. The Kingdom of Valencia became the third member of the crown together with Aragon and Catalonia. Majorca's legal status was not ranked at the same level of the aforementioned three members.
In 1282, the Sicilians rose up against the second dynasty of the Angevins on the Sicilian Vespers and massacred the garrison soldiers throughout the island. Peter III responded to their call, and landed in Trapani to an enthusiastic welcome five months later. This caused Pope Martin IV to excommunicate the king, place Sicily under interdiction, and offer the kingdom of Aragon to a son of Philip III of France.
When Peter III refused to impose the Charters of Aragon in Valencia, the nobles and towns united in Zaragoza to demand a confirmation of their privileges, which the king had to accept in 1283. Thus began the Union of Aragon, which developed the power of the Justícia to mediate between the king and the Aragonese bourgeois. 
In 1297, to solve the dispute between the Anjevins and the Aragonese over Sicily, Pope Boniface VIII created ex novo a Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica and entrusted it as a fief to the Aragonese King James II, ignoring already existing, indigenous states. In 1324, James II finally started to seize the Pisan territories in the former states of Cagliari and Gallura. In 1347 Aragon made war on the Genoese Doria and Malaspina houses, which controlled most of the lands of the former Logudoro state in north-western Sardinia, and added them to its direct domains. The Giudicato of Arborea, the only remaining independent Sardinian state, proved far more difficult to subdue. The rulers of Arborea developed the ambition to unite all of Sardinia under their rule and create a single Sardinian state, and at a certain point (1368–1388, 1392–1409) almost managed to drive the Aragonese out. The war between Arborea and Aragon was fought on and off for more than 100 years; this situation lasted until 1409, when the army of Arborea suffered a heavy defeat by the Aragonese army in the Battle of Sanluri; the capital Oristano was lost in 1410. After some years during which Arborean rulers failed to organise a successful resurgence, they sold their remaining rights for 100,000 gold florins, and by 1420 the Aragonese Kingdom of Sardinia finally extended throughout the island. The subduing of Sardinia having taken a century, Corsica, which had never been wrested from the Genoese, was dropped from the formal title of the Kingdom.
Through the marriage of Peter IV to Maria of Sicily (1381), the Kingdom of Sicily, as well as the duchies of Athens and Neopatria, were finally implemented more firmly into the Crown. The Greek possessions were permanently lost to Nerio I Acciaioli in 1388 and Sicily was dissociated in the hands of Martin I from 1395 to 1409, but the Kingdom of Naples was added finally in 1442 by the conquest led by Alfonso V.
The King's possessions outside of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands were ruled by proxy through local elites as petty kingdoms, rather than subjected directly to a centralised government. They were more an economic part of the Crown of Aragon than a political one.
The fact that the King was keen on settling new kingdoms instead of merely expanding the existing kingdoms was a part of a power struggle that pitted the interests of the king against those of the existing nobility. This process was also under way in most of the European states that successfully effected the transition to the Early Modern state. Thus, the new territories gained from the Moors—namely Valencia and Majorca—were usually given fueros—Catalan furs—as an instrument of self-government in order to limit the power of nobility in these new acquisitions and, at the same time, increase their allegiance to the monarchy itself. The trend in the neighbouring kingdom of Castile was quite similar, both kingdoms giving impetus to the Reconquista by granting different grades of self-government either to cities or territories, instead of placing the new territories under the direct rule of nobility.
In 1410, King Martin I died without living descendants or heirs. As a result, by the Pact of Caspe, Ferdinand of Antequera from the Castilian dynasty of Trastámara, received the Crown of Aragon as Ferdinand I of Aragon.
Later, his grandson King Ferdinand II of Aragon recovered the northern Catalan counties—Roussillon and Cerdagne—which had been lost to France as well as the kingdom of Navarre, which had recently joined the Crown of Aragon but had been lost after internal dynastic disputes.
In 1469, Ferdinand married Infanta Isabella of Castile, half-sister of King Henry IV of Castile, who became Queen of Castile and León after Henry's death in 1474. Their marriage was a dynastic union which became the constituent event for the dawn of the Kingdom of Spain. At that point both the Castile and the Crown of Aragon remained distinct territories, each keeping its own traditional institutions, parliaments and laws. The process of territorial consolidation was completed when King Charles I, known as Emperor Charles V, in 1516 united all the kingdoms on the Iberian peninsula, save the Kingdoms of Portugal and the Algarve, under one monarch—his co-monarch and mother Queen Joanna I in confinement—thereby furthering the creation of the Spanish state, albeit a decentralised one.
The literary evocation of past splendour recalls correctly the great age of the 13th and 14th centuries, when Valencia, Majorca and Sicily were conquered, the population growth could be handled without social conflict, and the urban prosperity, which peaked in 1345, created the institutional and cultural achievements of the Crown. The Aragonese crown's wealth and power stagnated and its authority was steadily transferred to the new Spanish crown after that date—the demographic growth was partially offset by the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492), Muslims (1502) and the expulsion of the Moriscos (1609). It was unable to prevent the loss of Roussillon in 1659, the loss of Minorca and its Italian domains in 1707–1716, and the imposition of French language on Roussillon (1700) and Castilian as the language of government in all the old Aragonese Crown lands in Spain (1707–1716).
The Crown of Aragon and its institutions were abolished in 1716 only after the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) by the Nueva Planta decrees, issued by Philip V of Spain. The old regime was swept away, the administration was subsumed into the Castilian administration, the lands of the Crown were united formally with those of Castile to legally form a single state, the kingdom of Spain, as it moved towards a centralized government under the new Bourbon dynasty.
Some of the nationalist movements in Spain consider the former kingdoms of the Crown of Aragon to be the foundation of their nations, the Catalan nationalist movement being the most prominent. Spanish nationalism, on the other hand, tends to place more importance on the later dynastic union with the Crown of Castile, considering it the origin of one Spanish nation.
The reprisals inflicted on the territories that had fought against Philip V in the War of Succession is given by some Valencian nationalists and Catalan nationalists as an argument against the centralism of Spanish nationalism and in favor of federalism, confederation, or even independence. Some Catalans associated their ancient privileges with their Generalitat and resistance to Castile. Because restoration of fueros was one of its tenets, Carlism won support in the lands of the Crown of Aragon during the 19th century.
The Romanticism of the 19th century Catalan Renaixença movement evoked a "Pyrenean realm" that corresponded more to the vision of 13th century troubadours than to the historical reality of the Crown. This vision survives today as "a nostalgic programme of politicised culture". Thus, the history of the Crown of Aragon remains a politically loaded topic in modern Spain, especially when it comes to asserting the level of independence enjoyed by constituents of the Crown, like the County of Barcelona, which is sometimes used to justify the level of autonomy (or independence) that should be enjoyed by contemporary Catalonia and other territories.
The origin of Coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon is the familiar coat of the Counts of Barcelona and Kings of Aragon. The Pennon was used exclusively by the monarchs of the Crown and was expressive of their sovereignty. James III of Majorca, vassal of the Kingdom of Aragon, used a coat of arms with four bars, as seen on the Leges palatinae miniatures.
Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia each had a legislative body, known as the Cortes in Aragon or Corts in Catalonia and Valencia. A Diputación del General or Diputació del General was established in each, becoming known as a Generalidad in Aragon and Generalitat in Catalonia and Valencia.
The house of the Crown was the Cathedral of the Savior of Zaragoza from Peter II (12th century). The parliament used to gather at Monzón (13th to 16th centuries), the remaining meetings took place at Fraga, Zaragoza, Calatayud and Tarazona. The councillor headquarters were located at Barcelona (13th to 16th centuries) and Naples during the kingdom of Alfonso V. 
On the other hand, the General Archive of the Crown of Aragon, which was the official repository of royal documentation of the Crown since the reign of Alfonso II (12th century), it was located in the Monastery of Santa María de Sigena until the year 1301 and then moved to Barcelona  .
In the early 15th century the de facto capital was Valencia, until Alfonso V came to the throne. During the 15-16th century the Crown's de facto capital was Naples: after Alfonso V of Aragon, also Ferdinand II of Aragon settled the capital in Naples. Alfonso, in particular, wanted to transform Naples into a real Mediterranean capital, lavishing also huge sums to embellish it further. Later the courts were itinerant until Philip II of Spain. The Spanish historian Domingo Buesa Conde has argued that Zaragoza ought to be considered the permanent political capital, but not economic or administrative, due to the obligation of the kings to be crowned at the Cathedral of the Savior of Zaragoza.[nb 2]
Sort by "Earliest annexion" to see the states in the chronological order they were joined to the crown.
|Name||Type of entity||Notes||Earliest annexion|
|Andorra||Co-principality||Briefly annexed by Aragon in 1396 and again in 1512||1396|
|Aragon||Kingdom||Joined with the County of Barcelona in 1162 to form the Crown||1162|
|Athens||Duchy||Inherited through the Kingdom of Sicily in 1381; lost in 1388||1381|
|County of Barcelona, eventually formed the Principality of Catalonia||Principality, originally a county||Joined with Aragon in 1162 to form the Crown. Between the 12th 14th centuries, it developed common institutions and legislation with the rest of the Catalan Counties, such as the Usages of Barcelona, the Catalan Courts and the Generalitat, creating the Principality of Catalonia as political entity.||1162|
|Gévaudan||County||Inherited in 1166 by Alfonso II; lost in 1307||1166|
|Majorca||Kingdom||Established in 1231 by James I, including Roussillon and Montpellier, as part of the Crown||1231|
|Naples||Kingdom||Successfully wrested by Alfonso V from Capetian rule in 1442; briefly gained independence, contended again by the French King Louis XIII, then reconquered by Spain in the Italian War of 1499–1504; lost permanently in 1714, after the War of the Spanish Succession||1442|
|Neopatria||Duchy||Inherited through the Kingdom of Sicily in 1381; lost in 1390||1381|
|Provence||County||Inherited with the county of Barcelona in 1162||1162|
|Sardinia||Kingdom||In 1297 Pope Boniface VIII created ex novo this kingdom and entrusted it in fiefdom to the Aragonese King James II, ignoring already existing, indigenous states; Aragonese conquest of the island did not start until 1324 and was completed only by 1420. The kingdom was lost in 1714.||1324|
|Sicily||Kingdom||Ruled as an independent kingdom by relatives or cadet members of the House of Aragon from 1282 to 1409; then added permanently to the Crown; lost in 1713||1282|
|Valencia||Kingdom||Established in 1238, as part of the Crown, following the conquest of the Moorish taifa||1238|
Cervera (Catalan pronunciation: [səɾˈβɛɾə]) is the capital of the comarca of Segarra, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. The title Comte de Cervera is a courtesy title, formerly part of the Crown of Aragon, that has been revived for Leonor, Princess of Asturias. The city is also the birthplace of five-time MotoGP world champion, Marc Márquez.Coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon
The so-called Bars of Aragon, Royal sign of Aragon, Royal arms of Aragon, Four Bars, Red Bars or Coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, which bear four red paletts on gold background, depicts the familiar coat of the Kings of Aragon. It differs from the flag because this latter uses fesses. It is one of the oldest coats of arms in Europe dating back to a seal of Raymond Berengar IV, Count of Barcelona and Prince of Aragon, from 1150.Today, this symbol has been adopted and/or included in their arms by several former territories related to the Crown of Aragon, like the arms of Spain, which wears it in its third quarter whereas the kings of Spain are heirs of those of Aragon; the shield of Andorra, which also shows it in its third quarter. It is also the main element of the arms of the present Spanish Autonomous Communities of Catalonia, Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands; the fourth quarter of the Spanish Autonomous Community of Aragon; of the French regions of Languedoc-Roussillon (Department of the Pyrénées-Orientales, whose territory regroups the old province of Roussillon and French Cerdagne); and in the Italian provinces of Reggio de Calabria, Catanzaro in Calabria and Lecce in Apulia. It figures also in numerous located municipal blazons in the territories of the Crown, either by explicit concession of the king, or because they were cities or towns of realengo (that is, directly dependent on the Crown and subject to no kind of manorialism); and others outside it, in which case the symbol is because of the presence of the king or knights of the Crown at some moment of their local history.Consulate of the Sea
The Consulate of the Sea (Catalan: Consolat de mar; pronounced [kunsuˈlad də ˈmaɾ]) was a quasi-judicial body set up in the Crown of Aragon, later to spread throughout the Mediterranean basin, to administer maritime and commercial law. The term may also refer to a celebrated collection of maritime customs and ordinances in Catalan language, also known in English as The Customs of the Sea, compiled over the 14th and 15th centuries and published at Valencia in or before 1494.
In the 21st century, the Catalan term Consolat de mar is today used for a commercial arbitration service operated by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, and also for a series of trade-promotion offices operated by the city of Barcelona.Corregimiento
Corregimiento (Spanish: [korexiˈmjento]; Catalan: Corregiment, IPA: [kurəʒiˈmen]) is a Spanish term used for country subdivisions for royal administrative purposes, ensuring districts were under crown control as opposed to local elites. A corregimiento was usually headed by a corregidor.Count of Barcelona
The Count of Barcelona (Catalan: Comte de Barcelona, Spanish: Conde de Barcelona, Latin: Comites Barcinonenses) was the ruler of Catalonia for much of Catalan history, from the 9th century until the 15th century.County of Barcelona
The County of Barcelona (Latin: Comitatus Barcinonensis, Catalan: Comtat de Barcelona) was originally a frontier region under the rule of the Carolingian dynasty. By the end of the 10th century, the Counts of Barcelona were de facto independent, hereditary rulers in constant warfare with the Islamic Caliphate of Córdoba and its successor states. The counts, through marriage alliances and treaties, acquired the other Catalan counties and extended their influence along Occitania. In 1164, the count of Barcelona, Alphons I, inherited the Kingdom of Aragon (as Alphons II). Thenceforward, the history of the county of Barcelona is subsumed within that of the Crown of Aragon, but the city of Barcelona remained preeminent within it.Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and, some decades later, the parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then Castilian king, Ferdinand III, to the vacant Leonese throne. It continued to exist as a separate entity after the personal union in 1469 of the crowns of Castile and Aragon with the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs up to the promulgation of the Nueva Planta decrees by Philip V in 1715.
The Indies, Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea were also a part of the Crown of Castile when transformed from lordships to kingdoms of the heirs of Castile in 1506, with the Treaty of Villafáfila, and upon the death of Ferdinand the Catholic.
The title of "King of Castile" remained in use by the Habsburg rulers during the 16th and 17th centuries. Charles I was King of Aragon, Majorca, Valencia, and Sicily, and Count of Barcelona, Roussillon and Cerdagne, as well as King of Castile and León, 1516–1556.
In the early 18th century, Philip of Bourbon won the War of the Spanish Succession and imposed unification policies over the Crown of Aragon, supporters of their enemies. This unified the Crown of Aragon and the Crown of Castile into the kingdom of Spain.
Even though the Nueva Planta decrees did not formally abolish the Crown of Castile, the country of (Castile and Aragon) was called "Spain" by both contemporaries and historians.
"King of Castile" also remains part of the full title of Felipe VI of Spain, the current King of Spain according to the Spanish constitution of 1978, in the sense of titles, not of states.Duchy of Athens
The Duchy of Athens (Greek: Δουκᾶτον Ἀθηνῶν, Doukaton Athinon; Catalan: Ducat d'Atenes) was one of the Crusader states set up in Greece after the conquest of the Byzantine Empire during the Fourth Crusade, encompassing the regions of Attica and Boeotia, and surviving until its conquest by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century.House of Barcelona
The House of Barcelona was a medieval dynasty that ruled the County of Barcelona continuously from 878 and the Crown of Aragon from 1137 (as kings from 1162) until 1410. They descend from the Bellonids, the descendants of Wifred the Hairy. They inherited most of the Catalan counties by the thirteenth century and established a territorial Principality of Catalonia, uniting it with the Kingdom of Aragon through marriage and conquering numerous other lands and kingdoms until the death of the last legitimate male of the main branch, Martin the Humanist, in 1410. Cadet branches of the house continued to rule Urgell (since 992) and Gandia. Cadet branches of the dynasty had also ruled Ausona intermittently from 878 until 1111, Provence from 1112 to 1245, and Sicily from 1282 to 1409. By the Compromise of Caspe of 1412 the Crown of Aragon passed to a branch of the House of Trastámara, descended from the infanta Eleanor of the house of Barcelona.Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon (Aragonese: Reino d'Aragón, Catalan: Regne d'Aragó, Latin: Regnum Aragonum, Spanish: Reino de Aragón) was a medieval and early modern kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain. It should not be confused with the larger Crown of Aragon, that also included other territories — the Principality of Catalonia (which included the County of Barcelona and the other Catalan Counties), the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, and other possessions that are now part of France, Italy, and Greece — that were also under the rule of the King of Aragon, but were administered separately from the Kingdom of Aragon.
In 1479, upon John II of Aragon’s death, the crowns of Aragon and Castile were united to form the nucleus of modern Spain. The Aragonese lands, however, retained autonomous parliamentary and administrative institutions, such as the Corts, until the Nueva Planta decrees, promulgated between 1707 and 1715 by Philip V of Spain in the aftermath of the War of the Spanish Succession, finally put an end to it.Kingdom of Majorca
The Kingdom of Majorca (Catalan: Regne de Mallorca, IPA: [ˈreŋnə ðə məˈʎɔɾkə]; Spanish: Reino de Mallorca; Latin: Regnum Maioricae) was founded by James I of Aragon, also known as James The Conqueror. After the death of his firstborn son Alfonso, a will was written in 1262 and created the kingdom to cede it to his son James. The disposition was maintained during successive versions of his will and so when James I died in 1276, the Crown of Aragon passed to his eldest son Peter, known as Peter III of Aragon or Peter the Great. The Kingdom of Majorca passed to James, who reigned under the name of James II of Majorca. After 1279, Peter III of Aragon established that the king of Majorca was a vassal to the king of Aragon. The title continued to be employed by the Aragonese and Spanish monarchs until its dissolution by the 1715 Nueva Planta decrees.Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily (Latin: Regnum Siciliae, Italian: Regno di Sicilia, Sicilian: Regnu di Sicilia, Catalan: Regne de Sicília, Spanish: Reino de Sicilia) was a state that existed in the south of the Italian peninsula and for a time the region of Ifriqiya from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of the southern peninsula. The island was divided into three regions: Val di Mazara, Val Demone and Val di Noto; 'val' being the Arabic word meaning 'district'.
In 1282, a revolt against Angevin rule, known as the Sicilian Vespers, threw off Charles of Anjou's rule of the island of Sicily. The Angevins managed to maintain control in the mainland part of the kingdom, which became a separate entity also styled Kingdom of Sicily, although it is commonly referred to as the Kingdom of Naples, after its capital. The island became a separate kingdom under the Crown of Aragon.
After 1302 the island kingdom was sometimes called the Kingdom of Trinacria. Often the kingship was vested in another monarch such as the King of Aragon, the King of Spain, or the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1816 the island Kingdom of Sicily merged with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In 1861 the Two Sicilies were amalgamated with Sardinia and several northern city-states and duchies to form the Kingdom of Italy.Kingdom of Valencia
The Kingdom of Valencia (Valencian: Regne de València, IPA: [ˈreŋne ðe vaˈlensia]; Spanish: Reino de Valencia; Latin: Regnum Valentiae), located in the eastern shore of the Iberian Peninsula, was one of the component realms of the Crown of Aragon. When the Crown of Aragon merged by dynastic union with the Crown of Castile to form the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Valencia became a component realm of the Spanish monarchy.
The Kingdom of Valencia was formally created in 1238 when the Moorish taifa of Valencia was taken in the course of the Reconquista. It was dissolved by Philip V of Spain in 1707, by means of the Nueva Planta decrees, as a result of the Spanish War of Succession.
During its existence, the Kingdom of Valencia was ruled by the laws and institutions stated in the Furs (charters) of Valencia which granted it wide self-government under the Crown of Aragon and, later on, under the Spanish Kingdom.
The boundaries and identity of the present Spanish Autonomous Community of Valencia are essentially those of the former Kingdom of Valencia.List of Aragonese monarchs
This is a list of the kings and queens of Aragon. The Kingdom of Aragon was created sometime between 950 and 1035 when the County of Aragon, which had been acquired by the Kingdom of Navarre in the tenth century, was separated from Navarre in accordance with the will of King Sancho III (1004–35). In 1164, the marriage of the Aragonese princess Petronila (Kingdom of Aragon) and the Catalan count Ramon Berenguer IV (County of Barcelona) created a dynastic union from which what modern historians call the Crown of Aragon was born. In the thirteenth century the kingdoms of Valencia, Majorca and Sicily were added to the Crown, and in the fourteenth the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica. The Crown of Aragon continued to exist until 1713 when its separate constitutional systems (Catalan Constitutions, Aragon Fueros, and Furs of Valencia) were swept away in the Nueva Planta decrees at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession.List of monarchs of Majorca
The Kingdom of Majorca (1231–1715) was created by James I of Aragon following his conquest in 1229 and the subsequent surrender of sovereignty by the Muslim rulers in of the Balearic Islands in 1231. It was ruled in conjunction with the Crown of Aragon until his death when by will it passed to a younger son, James (II), who ruled the kingdom as nominal vassal of the Aragonese Crown. He was removed by his nephew Alfonso III of Aragon, who conquered the island of Menorca in 1287, effectively recovered Menorca from Moorish rule.
By the Treaty of Anagni of 1295, however, these island territories were yielded back to James. In 1344, the kingdom was again united with the Crown of Aragon but still disputed by pretenders until 1403. It subsequently formed an administrative kingdom within the Crown of Spain periodically included in the royal style – as in Philip II's in the 1584 Treaty of Joinville – until the Nueva Planta Decrees abolished these divisions in 1715.Northern Catalonia
Northern Catalonia (Catalan: Catalunya del Nord [kətəˈluɲə ðəl ˈnɔɾt], also known as Catalunya Nord French: Catalogne Nord [katalɔɲ nɔʁ]), French Catalonia or Roussillon refers to the Catalan-speaking and Catalan-culture territory ceded to France by Spain through the signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659 in exchange of France's effective renunciation on the formal protection given to the recent founded Catalan Republic. The area corresponds exactly to the modern French département of the Pyrénées-Orientales which were historically part of Catalonia since the old County of Barcelona, and lasted during the times of the Crown of Aragon and the Principality of Catalonia until they were given to France by Spain.
The equivalent term in French, Catalogne Nord, is used nowadays, although less often than the more politically neutral Roussillon (the French word for Catalan: Rosselló). Sometimes the term French Catalonia can also be used.Nueva Planta decrees
The Nueva Planta decrees (Spanish: Decretos de Nueva Planta, Catalan: Decrets de Nova Planta) were a number of decrees signed between 1707 and 1716 by Philip V—the first Bourbon King of Spain—during and shortly after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession by the Treaty of Utrecht.
Angered by what he saw as sedition by the Aragonese and taking his native France as a model of a centralised state, King Philip V suppressed the institutions, privileges, and the ancient charters (Spanish: fueros, Catalan: furs) of almost all the areas that were formerly part of the Crown of Aragon (Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands). The decrees ruled that all the territories in the Crown of Aragon except the Aran Valley were to be ruled by the laws of Castile ("the most praiseworthy in all the Universe" according to the 1707 decree), embedding these regions in a new, and nearly uniformly administered, centralised Spain.
The other historic territories—Navarre and the other Basque territories—supported Philip V initially, whom they saw as belonging to the lineage of Henry III of Navarre, but after Philip V's military campaign to crush the Basque uprising, he backed down on his intent to suppress home rule.
The acts abolishing the charters were promulgated in 1707 in Valencia and Aragon, in 1715 in Majorca and the other Balearic Islands (with the exception of Menorca, a possession of the Kingdom of Great Britain at the time), and finally in Catalonia on 16 January 1716.The decrees effectively created a Spanish citizenship or nationality, that judicially did not distinguish between Castilian and Aragonese anymore, both with respect to rights and law. They abolished internal borders and customs except for the Basque territory, giving grant to all Spaniards to trade with American colonies (not only Castilians, as before).
Philip of Anjou won the War of the Spanish Succession and imposed unification policies over the Crown of Aragon, which had supported the claim of Karl of Austria. These acts constituted the first successful realisation of Spain as a centralised state and were meant both as a modernising element, in line with other European countries where their monarchs were increasing their powers, and also as a punishment on these territories which had fought against Philip V in the War of Succession. Henceforth, top civil servants were appointed directly from Madrid, the King's court city, and most institutions in these territories were abolished. Court cases could only be presented and argued in Castilian, which became the sole language of government, displacing Latin, Catalan and other Spanish languages.Principality of Catalonia
The Principality of Catalonia (Catalan: Principat de Catalunya, Latin: Principatus Cathaloniæ, Occitan: Principautat de Catalonha, French: Principauté de Catalogne, Spanish: Principado de Cataluña) was a medieval and early modern political entity in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. During most of its history it was in dynastic union with the Kingdom of Aragon, constituting together the Crown of Aragon. Between the 13th and the 18th centuries it was bordered by the Kingdom of Aragon to the west, the Kingdom of Valencia to the south, the Kingdom of France and the feudal lordship of Andorra to the north and by the Mediterranean sea to the east. The term "Principality of Catalonia" remained in use until the Second Spanish Republic, when its use declined because of its historical relation to the monarchy. Today, the term Principat (Principality) is used primarily to refer to the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain, as distinct from the other Catalan Countries. and usually including the historical region of Roussillon in southern France.
The first reference to Catalonia and the Catalans appears in the Liber maiolichinus de gestis Pisanorum illustribus, a Pisan chronicle (written between 1117 and 1125) of the conquest of Menorca by a joint force of Italians, Catalans, and Occitans. At the time, Catalonia did not yet exist as a political entity, though the use of this term seems to acknowledge Catalonia as a cultural or geographical entity.
The counties that would eventually make up the Principality of Catalonia were gradually unified under the rule of the Count of Barcelona. In 1137, the County of Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon were unified under a single dynasty, creating what modern historians call the Crown of Aragon; however, Aragon and Catalonia retained their own political structure and legal traditions, developing separate political communities along the next centuries. Under Alfons I the Troubador (reigned 1164–1196), Catalonia was regarded as a legal entity for the first time. Still, the term Principality of Catalonia was not used legally until the 14th century, when it was applied to the territories ruled by the Courts of Catalonia.
Its institutional system evolved over the centuries, establishing political bodies (such as the Courts, the Generalitat or the Consell de Cent) and legislation (constitutions, derived from the Usages of Barcelona) which limited the royal power and secured the political model of pactism. Catalonia contributed to further develop the Crown trade and military, most significantly their navy. Catalan language flourished and expanded as more territories were added to the Crown, including Valencia, the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples and Athens, constituting a thalassocracy across the Mediterranean. The crisis of the 14th century, the end of the rule of House of Barcelona (1410) and a civil war (1462–1472) weakened the role of the Principality in Crown and international affairs.
The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1469 laid the foundations of the Monarchy of Spain. In 1492 the Spanish colonization of the Americas began, and political power began to shift away towards Castile. Tensions between Catalan institutions and the Monarchy, alongside the peasants' revolts provoked the Reapers' War (1640–1659). By the Treaty of the Pyrenees the Roussillon was ceded to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), the Crown of Aragon supported the Archduke Charles of Habsburg. After the surrender of Barcelona in 1714, the king Philip V of Bourbon, inspired by the model of France imposed the abolutism and a unifying administration across Spain, and enacted the Nueva Planta decrees for every realm of the Crown of Aragon, which suppressed the main Catalan, Aragonese, Valencian and Majorcan political institutions and rights and merged them into the Crown of Castile as provinces.Senyera
The Senyera (Eastern Catalan: [səˈɲeɾə]; meaning "pennon", "standard", "banner", "ensign", or, more generically, "flag" in Catalan) is a vexillological symbol based on the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, which consists of four red stripes on a yellow field. This coat of arms, often called bars of Aragon, or simply "the four bars", historically represented the King of the Crown of Aragon.
The senyera pattern is nowadays in the flag of four Spanish autonomous communities (Catalonia, Aragon, the Balearic Islands, Valencia), and is the flag of the historically Catalan-speaking city of Alghero (Catalan: L'Alguer) in Sardinia. It is also used on the coat of arms of Spain, the coat of arms of Pyrénées-Orientales and of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, the flag of Roussillon, Capcir, Vallespir and Provence in France, one quarter of the coat of arms of Andorra, and on the local flags of many municipalities belonging to these territories. The Senyera (sometimes together with the flag of Andorra) is also used more informally to represent the Catalan language.
It is also a synonym (in Catalan Senyal Reial or Senyera and old Spanish Señal Real or Señera) for Royal Flag, although the word normally refers to the Catalan and Aragonese flags. Also in Aragonese, it is usually referred to as O Sinyal d'Aragón, i.e. "The Sign of Aragón".