Portrait of Isabella I (1451-1504), Queen of Castile and León (with Ferdinand V of Aragon) from 1474 to 1504; Queen consort of Aragon (1479-1504), Queen consort of Sicily (1469-1504), 1502
Isabella I (Spanish: Isabel, 22 April 1451 – 26 November 1504) reigned as Queen of Castile from 1474 until her death. Her marriage to Ferdinand II of Aragon became the basis for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles I. After a struggle to claim her right to the throne, she reorganized the governmental system, brought the crime rate to the lowest it had been in years, and unburdened the kingdom of the enormous debt her brother had left behind. Her reforms and those she made with her husband had an influence that extended well beyond the borders of their united kingdoms. Isabella and Ferdinand are known for completing the Reconquista, ordering conversion or exile of their Muslim and Jewish subjects, and for supporting and financing Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage that led to the opening of the New World and to the establishment of Spain as the first global power which dominated Europe and much of the world for more than a century. Isabella granted together with her husband the title "the Catholic" by Pope Alexander VI.
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