FERDINAND V., surnamed THE CATHOLIC (1452-1516), King of Spain; as King of Castile, Ferdinand V.; as King of Aragon, Ferdinand IL; as King of Naples, Ferdinand HI. He was the son of John II., King of Aragon, and was born March 10, 1452. In 1469 he married, at Valladolid, Isabella, sister of Henry IV. of Castile. Gn the death of Henry, in 1474, the Cortes proclaimed Isabella and her husband joint sovereigns of Castile and Leon. In 1479 Ferdinand became King of Aragon and Sicily, on the death of his father, and the two kingdoms of Aragon and Castile were united in the 'yr. sons of Ferdinand and Isabella. Isabella, how ever, as long as she lived, maintained her position as Queen of Castile, and allowed her husband no other share in the Government than the priv ilege of affixing his signature to the decrees and of uniting his arms with her own. Nevertheless. his influence in developing the Spanish mon archy was of capital importanee. Ferdinand's reign was marked by uniform good fortune in his wars and his diplomacy. In Castile he dis tinguished himself by the effectual suppression of the banditti, who had become formidable in the confusion resulting from the civil wars. This lie accomplished by reorganizing and putting in force against them the Hermandad. or Holy Brotherhood, a kind of national militia, rep resenting all the cities of Spain. Not content, however, with taking strong measures against the Castilian outlaws, he also resolved to break the power of the feudal nobility, and made good use of the Hermandad in carrying out this de sign. ('it ies and towns were encouraged to make themselves independent of the nobles, who were deprived of many important privileges. Among other humiliations, they were subjected to the ordinary tribunals of justice. The reorganiza tion of the Inquisition in 1478-80, although pri ma rily and mainly intended to further religions ends, likewise helped to lessen their influence. Ferdinand also strengthened his power by vest ing in himself and his successors the grand mastership of the military orders of Calatrava,.
Alciintara, and Santiago. In all his schemes he was ably seconded by his Queen, Isabella, and by the celebrated Cardinal Ximenez. The year 1492 was the most brilliant in his reign, and is one of the most important in the history of the ma terial progress of the world. It signalized by the discovery of America by Christopher Co himbus, though the honor of having aided the great navigator belongs, not to Ferdinand, but to Isabella. The beginning of the same year witnessed the entry of Ferdinand and Isabella into Granada and the end of Moorish domin ion in Spain. This event was immediately followed by the expulsion of the Jews from the Spanish dominions and from Sicily. This act of barbarity entailed the loss of a large and indus trious body in the community. Ferdinand was as successful abroad as at home. Ile was vic torious over Alfonso V., King of Portugal, while his general, Gonsalvo de Cordova, decided the contest for the possession of the Kingdom of Naples between France and Aragon in favor of the Spaniards in 1503. In the following year Isabella died, but Ferdinand regained power after 1506 as Regent of Castile for his daughter, Juana the Mad (who had married Philip, son of the Emperor Maximilian), and her son Charles. In 1505 Ferdinand married Germaine de Foix, niece of Louis X11. of France. Be took part in the famous League of Cambrai. formed against Venice in 1508, made himself master of various towns and fortresses in Africa. and in 1512 conquered the main portion of the Kingdom of Navarre, thus becoming monarch of Spain from the Pyre nees to the Rock of Gibraltar. He died at Madri galejo, January 23, 1516, and was succeeded by his grandson, Charles I. (afterwards Holy Roman Emperor as Charles V.). To Ferdinand and Isa bella Spain her unity and greatness as a nation. Consult: Prescott, Ferdinand and Isa bella (Philadelphia, 1900).