*Using examples from at least two different states, analyze the key features of the “new monarchies” and the factors responsible for their rise in the period 1450 to 1550. The Renaissance was a time of revival of ancient thought mixed with new intellectual expressions. However, some areas were experiencing unfortunate setbacks in flourishing during this time. The 100 Years’ war was a war that weakened and depopulated France. The War of Roses was a civil war that created much undesired violence amongst the people. Spain had been composed of independent kingdoms that lacked uniting political organization.
However, with the arrival of “new monarchs”, the royal power commenced taking control of their states once more. Though, the time of the new monarchs was before the time of Machiavelli, his ideas were a large part of the rulers’ strategies: Be effective and feared, rather than loved and weak. The “New Monarchies” arose during the 1450-1550 as a result of placing power within the hands of the middle class, as well as forming agreements between the royal powers and the religious forces, increasing the crowns’ control over the states’ .
During the time of the “new monarchs”, France created royal power as the main controlling force by giving the middle class important purpose, as well as creating the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. After pushing out the English, Charles VII, recognized the royal council must be controlled by uncorrupt aristocrats. Therefore, Charles VII increased the influence of the middle class by placing them in the royal general council. With this action, the royal finances were enhanced due to the taxes on salt and on the land.
Thanks to the middle class work, this income was the “crown’s” main income for a significant period of time. Also, this money helped create the first permanent royal army. Religious compromise also served to be important in the rise of the royal monarchies. Charles VII had established the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, which stated that the main power in control would now be the general council, and not the papacy. With this statement, the french royalty now has control over the church, and the revenues of the church.
This expanded power increases the crown’s influence. However, a little later, Louis XII and Pope Leo X agreed that the church could continue to receive the revenue of the bishops and abbots, but only when the french ruler picks the new bishops and abbots. With this exchange, technically, the main power in charge is still the royal power because they control who is and is not a part of the church. With the new middle class members in the royal council, and religious agreement, the french monarchy was in an ascend. France was not alone in this ascend.
Though Spain was technically separated, it was another state that used it middle class and religious accords to excel. After the marriage of Isabelle of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, the two worked towards the common political goals. One of these goals was to cut the rebellious aristocracy. One way they worked towards this goal was the use of Hermandades, who acted as local police and gave harsh punishments to those who disrupted peace. Another action however was placing people with middle-class background to restructure the royal council.
The middle class now played a major role in executive, judicial, and legislative affairs. This caused a success because the impact of the negative nobility was gravely decreased, and the majority of the people (middle class) were happy and supporting the royal crown because they were a part of it. Other than this success, an alliance with Pope Alexander VI also strengthened the monarch rule. The accord was similar to the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. The Spanish crown would select the higher clergy, in which way the royals majorly impacted the church’s policies, military resources, and revenue.
With the creation of this new deal, the papacy gave the monarchs the title “Catholic Kings of Spain”, which aided the establishment of a national church. Also, with this effort, political centralization of power was mainly run through the services of the church. Though later, religious diversity becomes a slight issue, the national church helped centralize power. With the common people in the royal council, and the the monarchy forming a national church, a new sense of established authority radiated. New Monarchies rejuvenated nations in despair using “ruthlessness, secrecy, and efficiency”.
Though Machiavelli was after the “new monarchs’ ” time, his principles were practiced by them which played a role in their achievements . What seemed to be a common issue was the nobles and aristocrats in control of councils and parliaments. New monarchs put the middle class in the councils to dispose of the corruptive nobles, and made new agreements with the papacies to put more power with in the crown’s possession. These actions resulted in the centralization of power in the king’s/queen’s hands, which increased the financial, political, and economical success of the states.