|United Crown of Great Iberia|
Corona Unida de Gran Iberia (Spanish)Timeline: Principia Moderni IV (Map Game)
Corona Unita Magnae Iberiae (Latin)
OTL equivalent: Spain, Morocco, Portugal
|↓ 1460 - present|
|Official languages||Aragonese, Castilian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish|
|Minority languages||Arabic, Occitan, Sardinian, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Basque, Greek, Maltese, Catalan|
|-||Monarch||Ferdinand V and II|
|Legislature||Supreme Council of Great Iberia|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|-||Union of the Crown of Aragon and Crown of Castile||1459|
|-||Conquest of Portugal||1461|
|-||Cession of Navarre||1464|
|-||War of the Grand Mediterranean Coalition||1483 - 7|
Great Iberia, officially the United Crown of Great Iberia, is a federation and absolute monarchy founded on a political, economic, social and military union of the Crown of Aragon and Crown of Castile. It was established in 1459 following the invocation of the Acts of Union, 1434 by the King of Castile, Sancho I, and Queen of Aragon, Eleanor I. The Acts of Union themselves were signed by their predecessors, King Henry IV of Castile and King Alfonso V of Aragon. Great Iberia combined controls all of the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Corsica, Sardinia, Genoa, the Balearic Islands, and parts of the West Indies. It is considered by many to be the single most powerful country in Southern Europe, if not the entire continent.
1434 – 1500
The first mention of a unified "Great Iberia" can be found in the union's founding documents, the Acts of Union of 1434, which were identical legislative acts signed into law by the Kings of Aragon and Castile, Alfonso V and Henry IV respectively. The Acts of Union established the conditions under which the union was to occur, and provided that the two would be united under a semi-federal structure, and thereafter slowly transition into a unitary state under an Iberian central government (This particular provision was later revised to maintain the federal nature of Iberia).
Following the sudden death in 1451 of Alfonso V and his heir, Crown Princess Arianne, the next in line, Princess Eleanor, was crowned the Queen of Aragon, the second queen regnant in Aragonese history. The newly crowned Eleanor I immediately began strengthening Aragon's military and economy, and along with her new husband Crown Prince Sancho of Castile solidified the union upon his own accession to the throne of Castile after the death of Henry IV in 1459.
The union of the Crowns was officially proclaimed on 1 January 1460, and the merger of Aragon's and Castile's political infrastructures commenced. An invasion of Portugal in response to its attempt to control the Atlantic through the Cartaz tax resulted in Portugal's total subjugation under Iberia; King Afonso V was deposed and replaced with Castile's vassal, King Fernando I of Morocco.
The union was interrupted in 1463 when the Kingdom of Italy invaded Aragon's Mediterranean territories in order to secure supremacy in the Mediterranean, a position which up to that point Aragon had enjoyed. France, a long time ally of Castile, suddenly changed political positions and invaded the Kingdom of Aragon itself. In what became known as the Iberio-Franco-Italian War of 1463, Castile chose to fall back, allowing France to occupy the Aragonese heartland, and Italy to annex Sardinia, Sicily and Genoa without much resistance; the Treaty of Zaragoza was signed, ending the war in favour of the Franco-Italian coalition. Thus, it appeared the Union had been ended only but three years after it was formed.
Fortunately for Iberia, the occupation did not last long, as in 1464, the Duke of Burgundy, an Iberian ally and vassal of France, declared his realm's independence from French suzerainty, and began the Burgundian War of Independence, joined by the Kingdom of England under Richard IV. This decisive conflict resulted in the occupation of Paris itself by a coalition of Castilian, Aragonese, English and Burgundian soldiers. Shortly after a French surrender in late 1464, negotiations in the city of Nancy reversed all French gains in the War of 1463, and restored the Union; it also gained territory in the form of Navarre, which was ceded to the Castilian crown. France was also forced by the Treaty to cease recognising Italy's gains in Iberian territory.
However, Italy established the Compact of Valletta with the Abbasid Caliphate, blocking Iberia off from its eastern vassal, the Duchy of Athens and from its main trading partners in the eastern Mediterranean. Italy began to insist that Iberia sign the Compact, with the condition that Iberia renounce its claims to Sardinia, Sicily and Malta, three islands which had fallen under the occupation of Italy. It took until 1475 for the Queen of Aragon, Eleanor I, to reluctantly renounce her claims, and the Sicilian Channel was re-opened to Iberian merchants, barely averting a second Iberian economic meltdown.
Fortunately for Iberia's remaining prestige, the Papal States came to the rescue when it declared its ports of Civitavecchia and Ancona open to Mediterranean merchants, allowing Iberia to completely bypass the Sicilian Channel. Iberia took this opportunity to the fullest, totally redirecting trade through the Papal States, and emptying the Sicilian Channel of Iberian vessels. As a result, Iberia in 1484 withdrew from the Compact and declared war on Italy with the support of a Coalition consisting of, besides Iberia itself, Austria, Burgundy, Bulgaria, Greece, the Knights Hospitaller and the Papal States. Iberia during this conflict seized the lands that Italy occupied during the war of 1463, completing the reversal of said war's effects.
In 1485, Iberia succeeded in retaking Sardinia, and the Queen was crowned Queen of Sardinia in Barcelona with great ceremony. In the same year, the Iberian military was redirected to the Italian heartland, in an attempt to permanently disable the Italian threat to Iberian dominance. Italy surrendered in 1487, and the resulting Treaty of Genoa partitioned Italy into its constituents, with Iberia officially receiving Liguria, Corsica, Sardinia and Malta. This is considered Iberia's greatest victory to date.
Following conclusion of the war, Great Iberia began an attempt to become the first European nation to have its ships cross the Atlantic. A Neapolitan, Esteban Ferrera, was recruited by the government to lead a fleet of ten ships across the ocean starting in 1500, in the hopes of obtaining an alternative route in Asia so as to no longer be dependent on the Silk Road and on the Gurkani Sultanate.
1500 – 1600
Voyage to Arcadia
Iberia opened the 16th century with its first voyage over the Atlantic Ocean. A fleet of 25 ships, led by the Santa Maria and her captain Esteban Ferrera, set out from Lisbon on January 8th to find a new western route to Asia. After a year at sea, the fleet finally made landfall somewhere along the eastern coast of what is today [Florida]. At the time, however, Ferrera believed that he had landed on the coast of India, and upon making first contact with the locals dubbed them "Indians" in his journals.
Ferrera claimed the entirety of the new lands for the United Crown, and began exploring the coast, creating maps and making observations as he went. Accompanying the fleet were several botanists, who recorded sightings of local wildlife, and Catholic ministers on board began introducing Christianity to the local settlements that the landing parties came across.
During the voyage, however, Captain Ferrera died of pneumonia, but a report successfully reached Madrid. The King in response immediately ordered the establishment of a permanent Iberian presence, and in 1504 the settlement of Ferrera was established on the island of Hispaniola, creating the first European colony in the Caribbean. The settlement of Havana was founded on the neighbouring island of Cuba in 1507; the two islands were incorporated as the Colony of the West Indies in 1508. The West Indies Company was founded by the Iberian government in the same year to manage the colonies in lieu of the central government, which at the time was unable to effectively control the colonies from Europe.
Iberian Civil War
The United Crown is a federacy of three constituent Crown Unions, Aragon, Castile and Portugal. While each Crown Union has its own legislature and governmental bodies, all are subordinate to the King and the Supreme Council of Great Iberia, both based in Madrid, who serve as the leaders of the entire Union.
The Crown Unions themselves are federated entities of constituent kingdoms, duchies and counties; each have Royal Councils which create legislation exclusive to their jurisdiction. The central government also drafts laws which have binding effect across the empire.
Representing the King in each Crown Union is a Governor General (Spanish: Gobernador General). Each Governor General is a local member of the nobility appointed directly by the King, and serves at His Majesty's pleasure. The Governors General preside over the Royal Councils as the King presides over the Supreme Council; smaller jurisdictions such as the constituent kingdoms of the Crown Unions have appointed to them Governors or Lieutenant Governors (Gobernadores and Vicegobernadores respectively), depending on said division's category.
The United Crown possesses one of the most sophisticated and largest armed forces in Europe. This is mainly attributed to Great Iberia's comparatively large population, which is as a result able to supply large numbers of men to the military. The Armed Forces of the United Crown are divided into two main sections, the Royal Army (Ejército Real) and the Royal Armada (Armada Real).
The United Crown does not possess a full-fledged standing army. However, a Royal Army is maintained in times of war and peace. Naturally, the Army is larger when the United Crown is in conflict with its enemies; however, in peacetime numbers of troops remain deployed in the various territories of the Union to maintain law and order, as well as to provide a first line of defence against would-be attackers. The United Crown's Royal Army at its maximum extent consists of roughly 100,000 men.
The Royal Armada is considered the pride of the United Crown in a military sense. It is without doubt the largest European navy and is technologically superior to any other maritime force in the region. The history of the Royal Armada stretches back to the beginning of the 15th century, when the Armadas of Castile and Aragon were established. Throughout the 1400s the Royal Armadas remained some of the strongest navies in the world, and upon the unification of the Iberian peninsula in the 1460, the Armadas were combined to form what is now the Iberian Royal Armada. The Royal Armada's grand fleet in total consists of 936 ships of various sizes.