By Henry Kamen

Was once the Golden Age of Spain within the 16th century an phantasm? via introducing and reading a number of the key matters and subject matters concerned, Henry Kamen deals a balanced dialogue of this query. the second one version of this publication has been completely revised and rewritten within the gentle of modern study, whereas new chapters were extra which hide such fabric as faith and tradition.

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By the end of the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, the humanist Nebrija was claiming for his 23 Golden Age Spain country’s possessions ‘the title of Empire’ [75]. Commentators in subsequent generations were unanimous that Ferdinand the Catholic, through acquisition of territory in Italy and Africa and the New World, ‘began the greatness of this immense monarchy’ (the writer Fernández de Navarrete, in 1626). Almost from the beginning, then, there was an intentional confusion between the concepts of ‘monarchy’ and ‘empire’.

It seems, for example, that the capacity of the low marriage age in Spain to replace population lost by epidemics must have been restricted by the high level of abstinence from marriage, an abstinence dictated either by choice (religion) or economic status (servant girls) or early widowhood (this would affect the frequency of second marriages). MoliniéBertrand states that in the 1590s ‘single women, either widows or celibate, constituted between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of the population of Castilian cities’ [244].

The most important of the outside benefits gained by Spaniards was the import of the treasures of the New World. The crucial role of precious metals. One factor stands out as contributing to economic growth in Castile and Spain’s emergence as a European 41 Golden Age Spain power: the import of precious metals from America. Without the injection of wealth that stimulated demand, gave life to commerce, and enriched sections of the population, no expansion would have been possible. The wealth also helped to pay for the military costs of the monarchy.

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