Tuesday 10th December – Peter Atkinson, History of Spain Series Part III: Inquisition and Empire – Spain in the 16th to 18th Centuries.
The Spanish Armada
We shall begin with the same principal players who concluded Part 2: Isabella I of Castilla and Fernando II of Aragón. As well as completing the Christian Reconquest of Spain, they set in motion two threads which were to run through the tapestry of the following three centuries: the Inquisition and the rise and decline of the Spanish Empire.
In addition to exploring these themes, key individuals on whom the spotlight will fall include two Felipes: Felipe II who built the Escorial from which to micro-manage the empire and, in 1588, send his ill-fated armada north to rid England of Protestantism; and Felipe V, a French prince whose accession to the Spanish crown in 1700 triggered the War of the Spanish Succession, which led to Britain acquiring Gibraltar.
Columbus’ fleet, 1492
Sevilla, 16th century