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European Monarchs of the Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuri

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Essay title: European Monarchs of the Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuri

In northern Europe after the Middle Ages, monarchies began to build the foundations of their countries that are still in affect today. During the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries these "New Monarchs" made many relevant changes in their nations. During the middle of the fifteenth century Europe was affected by war and rebellion, which weakened central governments. As the monarchies attempted to develop into centralized governments once again, feudalism's influence was lessened. This "new" idea of centralization was reflected in the monarch's actions. Rulers tried to implement peace and restore the idea that the monarchy represented law and order in the nation. These New Monarchs were able to build armies due to taxation, and they enlisted the support of the middle class. The middle class was tired of the noble's constant conflicts and demanded a change from feudalism. Instead, the New Monarchs turned to Roman law. Nations that were run by the New Monarchs include England, France, Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire.

The New Monarchy began in England after the end of civil wars (1485), the Wars of the Roses, when Henry VII acquired the throne by force, thus instituting the dynasty of the Tudors. Henry VII passed laws to increase his power such as laws against "livery and maintenance", which is when a lord maintained a private army that wore their own insignia or emblem. He also used his royal council as a court to maintain public peace. This royal council met in a room that came to be called the Star Chamber and it symbolized the power of the king and his council.

Louis XI, of the Valois line, signified the New Monarchy in France around 1461. Louis XI and the Valois line formed a royal army, overpowered unruly nobles and bandits, and increased the monarch's power over both parliament and the clergy. Louis XI was able to raise taxes without the approval of parliament and eventually parliament asked for him to rule without their input. The monarch's power over the clergy increased due to the Concordat of Bologna. In the Concordat of Bologna, King Francis I and Pope Leo X signed an agreement that stated that the pope was to be paid by French ecclesiastics, religious figures such as priests or the clergy, and the king would appoint bishops and abbots.

The union of Aragon and Castile showed the establishment of the New Monarchy in Spain in 1469. The marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile joined Aragon, which included the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Sicily, and Naples, and Castile, the Americas, in a "personal union" only. Both kingdoms recognized the monarchs, but there were few common institutions. The church court, or Inquisition, was common however. Also, the church was reformed early on so it was free from the corruption that occurred in the church in the rest of Europe. The reconquista was also completed when Granada was taken over from the Moors in 1492. The church was at the center of unification efforts. Palmer states it best as "(t)he rulers, though they made efforts at political centralization, worked largely through facilities offered by the

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