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Nueva Planta decrees: definition and short summary

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Nueva Planta decrees: definition and short summary

At the beginning of the 18th century, Spain underwent major changes in its entire legal and administrative system. The arrival of the Bourbons brought with it the “Nueva Planta Decrees”, a set of decrees that changed the entire territorial system of the Spanish Monarchy. In this lesson from a TEACHER we are going to show you the definition and short summary of the Nueva Planta Decrees and, in addition, we will also analyze what were the causes and consequences of these decrees.

Before talking about the “Nueva Planta Decrees”, the events that led the Bourbons to the Spanish throne must be taken into account. In the year 1700, the Spanish king Carlos II died without issue, and thus left a power vacuum that many tried to fill.

Two sides were created that defended the interests of the two people with the most succession rights, Philip of Anjou and Charles of Habsburg. Felipe had the support of the Kingdom of France and Carlos was supported by the Holy German Empire. Although both sides received external aid, the reality is that the war was more civil than international.

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The side of Felipe de Anjou, the Bourbons, and the side of Carlos de Hasburgo, the Austracists, did not cease to be made up of the vast majority of inhabitants of the Spanish state. The Bourbons being supported mainly by the Crown of Castile, and the Austracists largely by the Crown of Aragon.

The war, called War of succession, spanned from 1701 to 1713, and ended with the victory of Felipe de Anjou who went on to reign in Spain under the name of Felipe V.

Nueva Planta Decrees: definition and short summary - Background of the Nueva Planta Decree

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Felipe V from the beginning wanted to change the Spanish system looking for a more French model, closer to its territory of origin. The king wanted to establish a centralist and uniform monarchy, which was in conflict with Spanish custom. The French system centered the power in the figure of the king, and the foral rights and the courts of ancient kingdoms (such as the Aragonese) were not compatible with these measures.

The continuous revolts that had occurred in the country made the measures that the king wanted to impose more reasonable. The king believed that the revolts and rebellions were the consequence of a not very centralized nucleus of power, and to break this the French model was necessary.

But the reforms of Felipe V were not going to be directed to all the territories that had their own rights. The decrees fell on the kingdoms that made up the Crown of Aragon, because they were territories that had supported Charles of Habsburg in the War of Succession

These causes led to the promulgation of the Nueva Planta Decrees, which greatly affected Catalonia, Aragon, Mallorca and Valencia.

The Decrees had a very important consequences for the Hispanic kingdom.

  • Catalonia, Mallorca and Aragon saw their charters, their institutions, their Provincial Councils and their Courts disappear. And the Spanish was established as an administrative language of the region, except for some exceptions with Basque.
  • The state was centralized in an attempt to expand the power of the absolute monarchy of Felipe V. This also influenced the kingdom of Castile, with the loss of power of the mayors of the Castilian municipalities, whose objective was to increase the power of the monarch.
  • Another objective of these decrees was that there should be greater uniformity, that is, that the gap between Castile and Aragon was less.
  • The "privilege of foreigners" was eliminated by means of which it was tried that personalities Castilian women to occupy positions in Aragon, and that the same happened in Castile with political figures Castilian.
  • The customs between Aragon and Castile were abolished.
  • The legal system became Castilian, abolishing the Aragonese legal characteristics to create a single common legal system.
  • The existing tax system in Aragon was changed, creating new taxes in each of the 4 regions.
  • The Cortes lost power, and went from being called Cortes de Castilla to being called Cortes de Castilla y Aragón. Wanted Castilianize the peninsular kingdoms, that is, to change the Aragonese customs for the Castilian ones in the economic, legal, and political sections.

In conclusion, we can say that the Nueva Planta Decrees carried with them the disappearance of the Crown of Aragon and they entailed a unification in many ways that continues to this day.

Nueva Planta Decrees: definition and short summary - The Nueva Planta Decrees and their consequences

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