Study Guide for Granada war
· Type of War
The War of Granada was a series of military campaigns between the years of 1482 and 1492. It took place during the reign of Catholic Monarchs, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, against the Nasrid dynasty’s Emirate of Granada.
-The dynastic cause of the war was based on the territory of Granada rejecting the Reconquista (a campaign that kicked the Arabs out of Spain in the 1200’s and which had come to a halt after the fall of Jerez de la Frontera in 1264- and thus, the only Arab Emirate in the otherwise unified country.) Its dwellers wouldn’t submit to the kingdom’s rules.
Granada’s status as a tributary state and its favorable geographic location, with the Sierra Nevada as a natural barrier, helped to prolong Nasrid rule and allowed the Emirate to prosper as a regional port with the Maghreb and the rest of Africa.
– Ferdinand and Isabella did invade Granada for religious reasons, as they wanted the Catholic faith to be the faith of everyone.
– In 13th century Spain, Christianity was at a high, after winning the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212. It broke the power over the land that Muhammad al-Nasir (Moorish ruler) had. Forcing Moorish rule out of Spain all but a tiny area in Siberia. But suffered during the 14th centuary when events like the black plague fell upon the people of Spain. It wasn’t until the marriage of Isabell (heiress to crown of Casteil) and Fernando II (heir to crown of Aragon) was power, territory and religion restored back to Spain.
– Isabella was a very devout Catholic and as queen she wanted her country’s religion to be a united one, and her hope was that by taking over Granada she would also convert them all to the Catholic faith, she wanted to fight for the glory of God.
– It was primarily a crusade against the Islamic religion. She hoped that this conquest would be the beginning of more journeys into Africa, converting people to Catholicism as she travelled.
– The Pope was very much in support of them and gave them a huge silver cross to carry with them to show that their main aim was a religious one.
· Causes of War
– The win of Granada had a major attack to Islam and a triumph of Christianity. In Castile and Aragon, celebrations and bullfights were held. People rejoiced in the streets.
– About 200,000 Muslims are thought to have immigrated to North Africa after the fall of Granada. Initially, under the conditions of surrender, the Muslims who remained were guaranteed their property, laws, customs, and religion.
– For Jews as well, a period of mixed religious tolerance and persecution under Muslim rule in Spain came to an end with their expulsion by the Christian monarchy in 1492.
– The Christian ousting of Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula with the conquest of Granada did not extinguish the spirit of the Reconquista. Isabella urged Christians to pursue a conquest of Africa.
– Eventually, Castile started to revoke some of the more tolerant attributes of the treaty.
– This initiative was led by Archbishop Cisneros, who ordered mass conversions, the burning of valuable Arabic manuscripts and other measures detrimental to the Muslims (and Jews).
– This sparked a revolt that ended in many Muslims being forced to choose between baptism, exile, or execution.
– Tensions from then onward would remain high, and Castile was obliged to maintain a large military force in Granada to deter future revolts.
– Isabella also strengthened the Spanish Inquisition, and Ferdinand brought the Inquisition to Aragon where previously it had not held power.
· Roles of Significant leaders
a. Abu `Abdallah Muhammad XII (Boabdil)
– In the ten years before Boabdil’s fall in 1492, his kingdom of Granada was the theatre of one of the most significant wars in European history.
– The sultan’s territory was the last Spanish stronghold of a Muslim empire that had once stretched to the Pyrenees and beyond.
– Includes the cities of Barcelona, Pamplona and Cordoba, which had been home to paved roads, street lighting and more than 70 libraries at a time when London and other European cities were backwaters of disease, violence and illiteracy.
– Muhammad XII soon sought to gain prestige by invading Castile. He was taken prisoner at Lucena in 1483.
– On Boabdil’s first military venture (1483) against the Castilians, he was captured and to obtain his release signed the Pact of Córdoba, promising to deliver to the Castilians that part of his domain that was in the control of al-Zaghal in return for their help in recovering the part that was held by Ab? al-?asan; the death of his father in 1485 enabled Boabdil to reoccupy the Alhambra.
– Surrendered loja to Fernando and converted it to Christianity
– In 1491, Muhammad XII was summoned by Ferdinand and Isabella to surrender the city of Granada, which was besieged by the Castilians
– Made a stunning and surprise assault on the castles of Salobrena in rebellion of Castilian rule, though Fernando quickly shut it down and then heavily raided the Granada countryside
– Eventually surrendered Granada by November 25, 1492
– January 2, he renounced Granada
b. Rodrigo Ponce de Leon
– Initiated the first Christian offensive by leading his men into the heart of Granada undetected
– February 27, 1482 he secretly captured the city of Alhama
– Led an assault undetected by moors alongside castle walls of Zahara leading to the recapture of Zahara
– Then named Duke of Zahara because of his incredible capture of it
c. Fernando ii
– Once the capture of Alhama he immediately sent out an army in hopes of arriving there before the relieving Moorish forces arrive to purge away any Christians.
– Besieged the city of Loja, but withdrawed after 4 days
– Then ravaged Vaga and took Setenil, forcing Muley Abul Hassan proposed truce that got denied.
– Pardoned and allowed people of Ronda to flee to Granada or Africa
– Also pardoned many Moorish people the same rights
d. Ali Atar (Governer of Loja)
– Ambushed King Fernando when withdrawing from Loja
e. Muley Abul Hassan( King of Granada)
– Besieged Alhama after Rodrgio Ponce de Leon captured it
– But withdrew before Fernando ii arrived
f. Queen Isabel
– Declared It to be cowardly to leave Alhama as her goal was to capture all of Granada
– Kept poise throughout the War, after hearing about the defeat at Loja she immediately organized supplies to arrive at Alhama to allow them to maintain control as long as they can
– Refused to postpone the crusade against Granada because of how weak Fernando sought it to be at that stage
– Went to Cordaba to gain support and nobles for the continued campaign against Granada
– Insisted a new conquest to be made to humble El Zegal after his victory at Moclin.
– Boosted army moral when she tagged along campaigns.
g. Abdallah “El Zegal”
– Defeated the Castilians near the city of Malaga
– The defeat pronounced to be the greatest Moorish victory in their history.
– Drove Boabdil out of Moorish territory completely
– When Fernando retired to Cordoba for the time being he raided lands surrounding Alhama
– Ambushed and killed hundreds of men when Count of Cobra attempted to attack the Moorish capital of Moclin. Beheaded every Christian corps.
h. Qait Bay
– Insited that the Castilians stop the campaign against the city of Granada or he will kill large amounts of Christians in his area
– After King Fernando responded with ” I will kill large populations of moors if I hear so” he withdrew
i. Hamet Zeli
– Appointed by El Zegal to lead the city of Malaga
– Refused Ferdinand’s proposal to turn over the city to them
– After hearing that queen Isabel will be joining the campaign many Moorish people broke in panic as they heard the atrocities and wrath of Christianity she brought onto the Moorish people, Hamet Zeli told the people that anyone who proposed surrender will be mutilated and killed.
– When eventually captured he threatened to kill all the Christian prisoners in the city only to be told that if he does King Fernando will kill every moor in the city. He then surrendered the city of Malaga
– Was executed as an example to show Moorish people the effects of rebellion
· Role of the Following
– The Christian force was made up of troops provided by Castilian nobles, towns, and the Santa Hermandad, as well as Swiss mercenaries. All contributed as they brought various fighting tactics and technology to the Castilian army.
b. Military Service
– Allowed either side to gain an advantage over one another
– Castilian recruits from Cordoba consisted of French artillery experts that were skilled in the use of the massive cannons. Which were sent to aid the Castilians in Alhama to withstand constant Moorish threats
– The Swiss mercenaries contributed as another form of aid to the Castillian army
– The people of Granada were taxed heavily by the ruling moors in Granada to pay for a considerable army in the event of a Christian invasion.
– Coordination and logistics was difficult due to the mountainous terrain, but the Christians earnestly built a series of roads through the mountains to supply their troops with food and supplies.
– Allowed the transport of the massive cannons that would become crucial to the Castilians in the war of Granada.
– The most notable facet of the Granada War was the power of bombards and cannons to greatly shorten the many sieges of the war.
– Primitive arquebuses (gun supported on tripod or forked rest) also saw use in the war, though only to a small degree.
– Heavy cavalry knights were a much smaller factor in the Granada War than seen in earlier warfare. Light cavalry jinetes( horsemen) took on a more prominent role instead.
g. Organization of the war
– The Castilian armies reached between 50,000 and 70,000 soldiers the years of the greatest military effort.
– The Christian force was made up of troops provided by Castilian nobles, towns, and the Santa Hermandad, as well as Swiss mercenaries.
– The Catholic Church also encouraged other Christian countries to offer their troops and their finances to the war effort.
· Role and Importance of Women in The War of Granada
a. Queen Isabell
– At the end of the Reconquista, only Granada was left for Isabella and Ferdinand to conquer.
– Isabella received the title of Catholic Monarch by Pope Alexander VI, a pope of whose behavior and involvement in matters Isabella did not approve. Along with the physical unification of Spain, Isabella and Ferdinand embarked on a process of spiritual unification, trying to bring the country under one faith
– She brought the wrath of Christianity upon the Moorish people
· Role of Treaties and Truces in the War
– The treaty’s terms for Granada’s surrender were quite generous to the Muslims, considering how little they had left to bargain with.
– They were similar to the terms offered to towns which surrendered earlier, when the outcome of the war was in doubt.
– For three years, Muslims could emigrate and return freely. They were allowed to keep weapons, though not firearms, a provision that however was to be annulled a month later.
– No one would be forced to change religion, not even former Christians who had converted to Islam.
– Eventually after the departure of King Boabdil, Castile started to revoke some of the more tolerant attributes of the treaty. This initiative was led by Archbishop Cisneros, who ordered mass conversions, the burning of valuable Arabic manuscripts and other measures detrimental to the Muslims (and Jews) leading to a revolt that ended in many Muslims being forced to choose between baptism, exile, or execution.
· Impact/effect of War of Granada on the land, government, and people of the Iberian Peninsula.
– An entire genre, romances fronterizos, developed around stories of the war and the battles on the Granada frontier which reached their culmination in Granada’s fall.
– A number of stories and songs appear to have been sponsored by the royal government to help steel morale for the long struggle; Sobre Baza was a poem written in 1479 encouraging persistence in the long siege.
– The Día de la Toma de Granada is a civic and religious festival held each year in Granada on the anniversary of the city’s conquest, January 2.
– Castile was the main beneficiary of the war, it helped secure Castilian support in Italy and France, where Aragon’s interests lay.
c. Land & people
– Increasing oppression of the Moors—now known as Moriscos or “New Christians”.
– Soon almost all the Moriscos of the former Kingdom of Granada were exiled to other parts of Spain.
– Once freed the former Christian slaves that were held under Moorish rule were received by Queen Isabela and immediately sent to Santa fee where they would be greeted with food and gifts.