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Wars of the Spanish Succession (Fidem Pacis)

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Wars of the Spanish Succession
Beginning:

1522

End:

1605

Place:

Spain

Outcome:

Treaty of Lisbon, accession of the House of Baetica to the throne

Combatants

Kentian supporters
Prydain
England (from 1594)
Aquitaine

Baetican supporters
Lyonesse
Burgundy

Commanders

Arthwr II of Prydain
Arthwr III of Prydain
Branwen of Prydain
Fatima of Prydain
Athelstan I of Prydain

Charles, Duke of Baetica
Ferdinand II, Duke of Baetica
Ferdinand III, Duke of Baetica
Alfonso I, Duke of Baetica
Ramiro V of Spain

Strength

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Casualties and Losses

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The Wars of the Spanish Succession were a series of conflicts in the 16th and 17th centuries between rival contenders to the throne of Spain and their supporters, following the death of King Ramiro IV. Initially the main candidates were Ramiro's grandson in the female line, King Arthwr II of Prydain, and his nephew Charles, Duke of Baetica, who had the support of many Spanish nobles. However, the dispute lasted long after their deaths and was continued by their heirs.

After ten years of war Arthwr overcame Charles' forces and was confirmed as King of Spain, a position which he was successfully able to pass on to his heirs. Charles fled into exile in Italy, where he and his descendants plotted their return.

In 1594 the House of Kent came to an end with the death of Queen Fatima I of Prydain and Spain. She was succeeded in Prydain by Athelstan I, King of England and Norway, but in Spain the uncertainty and sudden lack of central authority quickly degenerated into civil war. Alfonso, Duke of Baetica, took the opportunity to invade and quickly won over much of the country before Athelstan's forces had a chance to consolidate power. By 1605 Alfonso's son Ramiro was in almost complete control of Spain. In the Treaty of Lisbon signed that year Athelstan renounced the throne in favour of Ramiro, thus finally bringing peace to the kingdom.

Death and Succession of Ramiro IV

Ramiro IV died in December 1522, having reigned for nearly fifty years in an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity. During his reign Spain had become wealthy through trade and colonization in Leifria, culminating in the establishment of permanent diplomatic relations with the Sapa Inca of Tawantinsuyu.

Ramiro's only surviving child was his daughter, Isabella. His eldest grandchild was her son King Arthwr II of Prydain of the House of Kent, who also held positions in the Spanish nobility as Duke of Galicia and Count of Porto. Under the customary Spanish laws of succession Isabella would be next in line for the throne, followed by Arthwr. 

However, much of the Spanish high nobility were wary about the prospect of being ruled by a woman, and even more so about being ruled from far-off Prydain. They threw their support therefore behind the ambitious Carlo, Duke of Baetica, a nephew of King Ramiro and a male-line member of the dynasty, and pressured the king to name him as official heir. Ramiro died before he could make a decision, and both Carlo and Isabella laid claim to the throne and began preparing for a fight.

Outreak of War

In February 1523 Arthwr arrived in Spain with his household troops, hoping on behalf of his mother to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. Encouraged by the promises of the Galician and Lusitanian lords of their support, he marched inland and took control of Toledo before sending his emissary to Carlo.

Carlo rejected any negotiations, asserting that he, according to the wishes of the people and of the late king, was the only lawful king. His wealthy and populous estates in Baetica, as well as his many allies across southern and eastern Spain, gave him a formidable army to call upon, and he expected to be able to seize most of the country and have himself crowned before Arthwr was able to receive any reinforcements. With some 12,000 mercenaries and men at arms he marched on Toledo, gathering allied units along the way.

In May, however, news arrived that Isabella had died, meaning that Arthwr inherited her claim. He lost no time in gathering his Spanish allies and having himself crowned in Toledo, then sent messengers all across Spain urging the locals to support their rightful king. A number of Carlo's captains deserted him when the news spread, so that by the time the two forces eventually faced one another just south of Toledo the Kentian army actually outnumbered the Baeticans by a small margin.

At the Battle of Consuegra on the 4th August the Baeticans were beaten decisively and forced to retreat. A number of mercenary companies defected at this point and joined Arthwr in harrassing the remaining Baeticans south. Carlo escaped south and took up positions in the fortress of Alacrenejo, blocking the route south into Baetica, while waiting for the forces of his cousin the Duke of Valencia to relieve him.

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