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Alfonso X the Wise fostered culture and the arts, as well as laying the foundations for legislation and taxation in a new kind of monarchic state.Jaime I of Aragon and his successors strengthened the political union of the territories of the Aragonese Crown and their overseas expansion into the Mediterranean.
Catholic, the traditional title or form of address granted to the Monarchs of Spain by Pope Alexander VI in 1496 to Fernando, Isabel and their successors, referred in its time to the specific religion professed by the Monarchs and their defence of the Catholic faith, although according to certain interpretations it also inferred their ecumenical and universalist nature at a time in which, for the first time ever in the world, a political power, in this case the Spanish Monarchy, had attained a global dimension, with sovereignty and effective presence in all the continents (America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania) and in the main seas and oceans (the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Mediterranean).Said long title explicitly mentioned the territories and titles with which the Spanish monarch reigned, with which his ancestors had reigned or over which he was considered to have legitimate rights.By way of an example the vast titles of Carlos IV, still in 1805, laid down in the Royal Letter preceding the Novísima Recopilación de las Leyes de España on its enactment: "Carlos by the grace of God, King of Castile, León, Aragon, the Two Sicilies, Jerusalem, Navarre, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Minorca, Seville, Sardinia, Córdoba, Corsica, Murcia, Jaén, the Algarve, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Isles, the East and West Indies, islands and solid land in the Ocean sea; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Burgundy, Brabante and Milan; Count of Hapsburg, Flanders, Tirol and Barcelona; Lord of Vizcaya and of Molina".Sancho III the Older, King of Navarre, in the 11th century brought together under his throne a substantial part of Christian Spain.Like other medieval Hispanic kings, however, due to the traditional heritage view of the Monarchy, he ordered that his domains be split up upon his death.The culmination of the Reconquest at the end of the 15th century resulted in the disappearance of the Spanish-Muslim space and the political and territorial convergence of the most important Spanish crowns (Castile and Aragon) under the same monarchs, the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Fernando.
This merger of monarchies was shortly joined by Navarre, and, with Felipe II, at the end of the following century by the Kingdom of Portugal, thus achieving the full union of the Hispanic or Iberian Peninsula, under a shared Monarchy.
The collapse of the Hispanic-Goth Kingdom, due to its internal conflicts and the Muslim conquest gave rise to the process conventionally and historically known as the Reconquest.
Several Christian hubs in the north of the mainland, particularly in Asturias, founded kingdoms and monarchically governed spaces which, gradually and without respite, went on to recover the mainland, their figurehead being the extinct Hispanic-Goth Kingdom and their object its full restoration to power.
Hence, while in Western Europe the highest formal political rank was held by the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, in Christian Spain there were several kings, Alfonso VI and Alfonso VII of León and Castilla in particular, who held the title of Emperor of Spain or of the Spains.
In Spanish-Muslim lands, the monarchs of Córdoba took the titles of Emir and Caliph, like their counterparts in the Afro-Asian Islamic universe with centres in Damascus and Baghdad.
he Monarchy in its different conceptions and modes, has been the prevalent form of government or the institution holding the utmost political power in Spain and its adjacent territories throughout history.