The Prosperity of Feudalism in Catalonia

The government is an organized branch of political power and influence on the country or state. Forms of government have been around for centuries, except in the Middle Ages government wasn’t quite like it is now in modern times.

Monarchy has been the prevalent form of government, holding the upmost power in Spain with its kings and queens. During these times Spain was filled with three dominant religions that did divide Spain. The political structure developed into a more complex structure hundreds of years after the defeat of the caliphate of Códoba to Almohads at Las Navas de Tolosa. With the rise of strength Sancho el mayor, King of Navarre extended the rule of his kingdom to his heirs ruling over Argon, Castile, and Leon. One of Sancho’s successor was Ferdinand I who’s successor was Alfonso VII and so forth. The king had the hegemony over the people, his functions are described by Fernando II of Leon, “The office of Kings is to cultivate justice, to extirpate evil, to do good to good men, to conserve the rights of the church, to conserve the rights of the church.” (Joseph F. O’callaghan: A History of Medieval Spain) The king had a royal council to help him with all the decisions made for the country. This council was usually made up of administrative officials, chancellors, vassals and other royal members of the hierarchy. Some of the members of the council had jobs of guarding the king’s rights and revenues.

By the start of the eleventh-century feudalism in Catalonia became the new way of structuring the country. Feudalism broadly flourished in other neighboring countries, its customs were a mix of legal, and economical systems. Ramen Berenguer I, the count of Barcelona promulgated the first Catalan law of the feudal systems. Within the countries, Ampurias, Besalú, Cerdagne, Pallars, and Urgel the viscount’s noblemen ranking held office as fiefs and had military, civil functions. Fiefs were estates of land that were held on feudal law. Below were the vassals who performed public functions under their vicar on obligations that included military duties and seigneurial rights in exchange for protection. The lords over the vessels had the power over them and could dismiss them at any time or have them surrender the fief.

Territorial administrations and municipalities weren’t increased until the twelfth century. The territory’s started to gain municipalities obtained royal recognition. Each hold had royal vessels that were responsible for their district representing the king safeguarding the rights of the crown. Charters were granted to villages by the power of the bailiffs but had a limited obligation to the crown regarding his bound by feudal law. The bailiffs also had the right to appoint a justice leader and tax. The king still held upmost rights such as intervention in a court case regarding that the law must be respected no matter whoever committed an act against it.

Toward the thirteenth century, the system changed a bit where some districts were owned as fiefs by a lord and the bigger more essential fiefs were controlled by the royal crown. Strong laws were passed that accusations would be taken in the king’s court with a fair hearing till justice was done. The finical administration increased greatly where rent was collected from estates and fees from general working classes. Fees were collected from transported goods.

In the fourteenth century, Spain expanded its horizons, which greatly benefitted the king beginning a new age known as the Renaissance era. Spain began to flourish even with downfalls and became what it is known today. The government changed greatly to how it is now.