Tag Archives: European History

Can Germany Be Made Great Again?

Holy-Roman-Empire-1789-1024x704

When Germany Was Great!

Ever since the start of the deliberately conceived “migrant crisis,” orchestrated by NWO elites, the news out of Germany has been, to say the least, horrific.  Right before the eyes of the world, a country is being demographically destroyed through a coercive plan of mass migration.  The intended consequences of this – financial strain, widespread crime and property destruction, the breakdown of German culture – will continue to worsen if things are not turned around.

Opposition to the societal destruction within Germany have been harassed and persecuted by the authorities and labeled by the mass media with the usual epithets: “far right,” neo-Nazi, “haters,” and heaven forbid, “separatists.”  Because of this and other factors, there has been no mass movement, as of yet, that has coalesce to challenge the German political establishment.

A possible reversal of German fortunes, however, has come from a recent poll of Bavarians.*

A survey conducted by YouGov, a market research company, found that 32% of Bavarians agreed with the statement that Bavaria “should be independent from Germany.”  This percentage has increased from 25% of secession-minded Bavarians when polled in 2011.

Of the some 2000 surveyed between June 24 and July 5, most supporters of  independence come from the southern portions of the country.

Whether Bavarians or their fellow German separatists realize it or not, the only “political” solution to the migrant crisis is secession.  This is not only true for Germany, but for all Western nation states swamped with unwanted migrants.  Once free from the domination of the national government (and just as important the EU), each jurisdiction could make its own immigration policy and would be better able to control population influx at the local level.

Historically, Germany’s past has much more in common with a decentralized political landscape than with a unitary state.  From the disintegration of the Roman Empire until Napoleon wantonly abolished the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Germany was an amalgam of different political units – kingdoms, duchies, confederacies, free cities, etc.  With no grand central state, there was considerable freedom and economic growth as each sovereign entity was largely able to conduct its affairs on its own terms.

Decentralized political power is also conducive for the advancement of culture.  Music, the highest art form, found some of its greatest expression from the German peoples.  And, the monumental figures of Western music were financed in large measure by German princes, kings, and emperors.  Johann Sebastian Bach’s sublime Brandenburg concertos were underwritten, so to speak, by Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg while Beethoven received support from Archduke Rudolph.  Mozart was funded no less by the Austrian emperor himself, Joseph II.

Political decentralization provides an important mechanism as a check on state power.  A multitude of governments prevents individual state aggrandizement as oppressed populations can “vote with their feet” and move to safer and less repressive regimes.  A unitary state, or just a few, throughout the world would negate such an advantage.

Naturally, if nation states are a constant threat to the liberties and economic well being of their citizens, global organizations and states are that much more of a danger and should always and everywhere be opposed.  The European Union, largely based on the principles of the US Constitution, has pressured nations under their sway, such as Germany, to accept the migrants and has threatened members such as Hungary and Poland with penalties if they do not do their fair share.

The empirical evidence is overwhelming in regard to political decentralization and economic growth.  Since the level of taxation and government regulation are crucial factors in an economy’s ability to produce, the limitation on taxation and government oversight tend to be significantly lower if there are numerous states since there would be amble opportunities for producers to go to more conducive areas to set up shop.  This can be seen in the US as thousands of oppressed businesses and firms have left California to lower tax and restrictive climes such as Texas and Nevada.

If Germany is ever to get a handle on the migration crisis before the country is completely demographically dismembered, its only hope is to return to its decentralized political roots.  Let Bavaria lead the way!

*https://www.rt.com/news/396600-bavaria-independence-germany-poll/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

Pope Francis and Angela Merkel: Enemies of European Civilization

Merkel & Pope

Two of Europe’s greatest contemporary enemies recently got together to compare notes and discuss how they were going to further undermine and destabilize what remains of the Continent’s civilization.  Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met on June 17, in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace to discuss the issues which will be raised at a Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, from July 7-8.

The Vatican said that Frau Merkel and the Pope discussed the need “for the international community to combat poverty, hunger, terrorism and climate change.”* Ms. Merkel, in an obvious swipe at US President Donald Trump, said that “we are a world in which we want to work multilaterally, a world in which we don’t want to build walls but bring down walls.”  The reference to “walls,” of course, was to President Trump’s promise to construct a wall on the Mexican-American border.  The pope, too, has been critical of Mr. Trump’s proposed plan.

Ms. Merkel also lamented about the Trump Administration’s decision to opt out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.  Pope Francis urged President Trump to remain in the accord and gave him a copy of his encyclical, “Praise Be,” when they met earlier this spring.  The encyclical elevated “climate change” and protection of the environment as “moral obligations” while it criticized “perverse” economic development models that “enrich the wealthy at the expense of the poor.”

As has been the case since the Second Vatican Anti-Council (1962-65), popes have spent most of their time on secular concerns in which they have little competency and less on matters of the Faith.  Pope Francis has taken this to a new level and rarely preaches on doctrine.  This, in one sense, is good because when he does speak on religion, he usually spouts out some heresy or falsehood which scandalizes the Church.  His many blasphemies and heresies, plus the fact that he was never ordained as a priest in the traditional Catholic rite or traditionally consecrated as a bishop (neither was Benedict XVI), makes him ineligible to be a true Catholic pope.

The latest fraud that these two cretins are now pushing is the supposed threat of global warming.  The idea that “climate change” has had some nefarious effect on the environment has long ago been debunked by legitimate scientists and scholars.  Climate change is a ruse used by global elites to further tax, regulate and enslave humanity.

Facts and sound theory, however, do not bother the collectivist minds of Pope Francis and Angela Merkel. What they are interested in is power and control and they intend to keep it through lies like global warming and by coercive massive migration which will fundamentally alter Europe’s demographics to their New World Order masters’ advantage.

Had it not been for the likes of Pope Francis and Ms. Merkel, it is unlikely that Europe would be under a deluge of mostly Mohammedan “asylum seekers.”  The claim that the invasion was “spontaneous” due to the turmoil in the Middle East from US and Western nation-states military intervention is implausible.  The region has been unstable for decades.  Why all of a sudden is there a mass exodus and why it is mostly of young single Muslim men?

The invasion of Europe was carefully orchestrated and planned by the world’s power elite whose goal is to eliminate what is left of the Continent’s white Christian heterogeneous male population.  Pope Francis and Ms. Merkel are the New World Order’s puppets carrying out their marching orders.

While the outlook for Europeans may currently appear grim, it is not hopeless.  While Pope Francis and Angela Merkel cannot at present be deposed for their crimes, they can be defeated in the court of public opinion.  For Europe to become once again the center of human civilization, the ideals of multiculturalism and the fraud of global warming must be slain on ideological grounds.

This is the duty that confronts those that seek a return of Europe’s previous glories.  While the task appears monumental, it must be remembered that the pagan Roman Empire was eventually converted by the teaching of twelve men and one indomitable former Pharisee from Tarsus.

*Merkel Says Pope Francis Urged Her to Fight for Paris Climate Accord.” New York Times.  17 June 2017.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/17/world/europe/merkel-pope-francis-paris-climate-accord.html?_r=0

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

On the Commemoration of World War I: From Woodrow Wilson to Donald Trump

Trump - Wilson

It is altogether fitting that the US attack on a Syrian airport, the dropping of a MOAB on defenseless Afghanistan, and the potential outbreak of nuclear war with North Korea have all come in the very month one hundred years earlier that an American president led the nation on its road to empire.  President Trump’s aggressive actions and all of America’s previous imperialistic endeavors can ultimately be traced to Woodrow Wilson’s disastrous decision to bring the country into the First World War on April 6, 1917.

This month, therefore, should be one of national mourning for the decision to enter that horrific conflict changed America and, for that matter, the world for the worse.

Had the US remained neutral, the war would most likely have come to a far quicker and more politically palatable conclusion, however, the entry of America on the Entente side prolonged the conflict and extended its economic and political destruction to such a degree that the Old Order could not be put back together again.  The great dynasties (Germany, Russia, and especially Austria) were ruthlessly dismantled at the conclusion of WWI by the explicit designs of Wilson which left a power vacuum across Central Europe.  The vacuum, of course, was filled by the various collectivist “isms” which produced the landscape for another global conflagration even greater than WWI.

For America, after a brief revival of isolationism and non-interventionist sentiment throughout the land, the country, led by another ruthless and power-mad chief executive, provoked and schemed its way into the second general European war within a generation, this time via “the backdoor” with Japan.  A second US intervention, making the war global, could not have come about had there been no WWI, or if that war had ended on better terms.

After the Second World War, the US emerged as the world’s dominant power with bases across the globe and entered into a string of never ending hot and cold wars, regime changes, destabilizations, assassinations, bombings, blockades, and economic sanctions that have continued to this very day and hour.  Quickly after the war’s conclusion, the American media, academia, and the security and military industrial complex had to invent the myth that the Soviet Union and the US were of equal military might which turned out to be a blatant lie.  After being decimated in WWII and its adherence to unworkable and economic destructive socialistic planning, the Soviet Union could never produce the wealth necessary to maintain a global empire as the US did, and still does.  The “Soviet threat” was always a ruse to get gullible Americans to vote for and support greater and greater “defense” spending.

Besides Ron Paul and to a far lesser extent his son, Donald Trump was the only viable candidate who spoke of taking a new, less interventionist foreign policy which is why he was able to garner so much support from millions of empire-weary Americans during the presidential campaign.  He rightly called the Iraqi War a “disaster,” spoke of getting along with Russia, and the US’s commitment to NATO should be rethought, among other refreshing comments on foreign affairs.

In one of the most memorable and hopeful passages of his Inaugural Address, the new president championed non-intervention abroad:

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.

Unlike Ron Paul, however, Trump had no grounding in a true America First foreign policy.  While critical of his predecessors’ foreign policy decisions, Trump was not opposed philosophically to the US Empire or saw it as the greatest threat to world peace which currently exists.

Without an ideological basis against American globalism, Trump was easy pickings against the threats and machinations of the Deep State.  Without a refutation of the ideology which drove Wilson and all of his successors to promote military adventurism abroad, Trump will be little different than his imperial predecessors and with a personality that is thin-skinned, impulsive and unpredictable, Trump could, God forbid, become another Woodrow Wilson.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

California, Nestle and Decentralization

calexit

Nestle USA has announced that it will move its headquarters from Glendale, California, to Rosslyn, Virginia, taking with it about 1200 jobs.  The once Golden State has lost some 1600 businesses since 2008 and a net outflow of a million of mostly middle-class people from the state from 2004 to 2013 due to its onerous tax rates, the oppressive regulatory burden, and the genuine kookiness which pervades among its ruling elites.* A clueless Glendale official is apparently unconcerned about the financial repercussions of Nestle’s departure saying that it was “no big deal” and saw it as an “opportunity,” whatever that means!

The stampede of businesses out of what was once the most productive and attractive region in all of North America demonstrates again that prosperity and individual freedom are best served in a political environment of decentralization.

That the individual states of America have retained some sovereignty, despite the highly centralized “federal” system of government of which they are a part, has enabled individuals and entrepreneurs living in jurisdictions that have become too tyrannical to “escape” to political environments which are less oppressive.  This, among other reasons (mainly air conditioning), led to the rise of the Sun Belt as people sought to escape the high taxes and regulations of the Northeast to less burdensome (and warmer!) southern destinations.

This can also be seen on a worldwide scale.  The US, for a long time, had been a haven of laissez-faire economic philosophy, which, not surprisingly, became a magnet for those seeking opportunity and a higher standard of living.  No longer is this the case as increasing numbers of companies and individuals are seeking to avoid American confiscatory tax and regulatory burdens and move “offshore” or expatriate to more favorable economic climates.

The idea of political decentralization as a catalyst for economic growth has become a part of a “school of thought” in the interpretation of how Europe became so prosperous compared to other civilizations.  After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe for centuries was divided politically among numerous jurisdictions and ruling authorities with no dominant central state on the Continent.  The multitude of governing bodies kept in check, to a large degree, the level of taxation and regulation.  If one state became too draconian, it would lose population to less oppressive regimes.

Just as important, Europe’s governing system was aristocratic and monarchical which has proven to be far more conducive for economic growth than democracies.

While the economic oppressed can escape among the various states, there is no avoidance from the wrath of the federal government unless through expatriation and that option has become less viable with those leaving still subject to tax obligations.  This, fundamentally, is the crux of the problem and has been since the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789.

The chance that a totalitarian state such as California or the Leviathan on the Potomac would actually reform themselves or relinquish power through legislative means is a mirage.  Nor will revolution work as revolutionaries while appearing altruistic, typically get a hold of the machinery of government to plunder society for their own self interest on a far grander scale than the supposed despots which they replaced!

The only viable option for the productive members of society to seek redress of state oppression is to argue, work, and eventually fight for political secession and the fragmentation of states as much as possible.  Decentralization is the only hope for those opposed to the modern, omnipotent nation state.  Moreover, any notion or effort to salvage the current centralized political system must be abandoned.

Naturally, before the breakup of the nation state can become a reality, the ideological case for political decentralization must be made.  Public opinion must be convinced of the superiority of a world consisting of many states.  Such a cause, however, will be considerably difficult after generations have been raised and made dependent upon social democracy.

When Nestle and other oppressed businesses and individuals can easily escape the clutches of totalitarian entities like California and, more importantly, the most dangerous government on the face of the earth for freer destinations, then will individual liberty and economic growth be assured.

*Terry Jones, “Another Big Company Departs California – Will Last One to Leave Shut the Lights?”  Investor’s Business Daily. February 3, 2017.  http://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/another-big-company-departs-california-will-last-one-to-leave-shut-the-lights/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

Feudalism: Was it so Bad?

feudal system

One of the biggest misconceptions held among the independent and alternative media is that of feudalism and the political, economic and social arrangements which characterized that unfairly maligned epoch.

Derogatory language is often used to describe feudal times with commentators often suggesting that today’s political and financial elites seek to return mankind to such a supposedly depressed, stagnate and repressive condition.

Those who receive the most animus from alternative media pundits are the authority figures and institutions which reigned throughout the period – knights, dukes, kings, princes, popes, priests, bishops, churches, monasteries, and cathedrals.

Yet, was this the case; was feudalism which existed throughout much of the Middle Ages really that bad?

Politically, despite the distortions found in contemporary history books and political science texts, state power in feudal times can be categorized in one term – decentralized – which in reality meant a considerable amount of individual liberty and freedom for all, including serfs.

Naturally, feudal political conditions across Europe varied, however, a look through Carl Stephenson’s classic work, Mediaeval Feudalism, is instructive:

So far as eleventh-century France is concerned, we may disregard

the royal authority altogether.  The kingdom of the West Franks,

which had never been more than a political makeshift, now seemed

on the point of final dissolution. . . . The ancient rights of the crown

had long since passed to such men as were able, with or without

legal authorization to organize and defend a local territory. . . .

The greater of the king’s alleged vassals never came near his court,

whether to perform homage or to render any other service.  What

respect could they have for a theoretical lord who was defied with

impunity by petty officials on his own domain?1

Professor Stephenson continues with words that should warm the hearts of anti-statists everywhere:

France, obviously, had ceased to be a state in any proper sense

of the word.  Rather, it had been split into a number of states

whose rulers, no matter how they styled themselves, enjoyed

the substance of the regal power.2

In Germany, too, power was radically diffused as Professor Stephenson describes:

. . . in various other ways the rulers of Germany sought to

maintain the Carolingian tradition of a grandiose monarchy.

They even revived the imperial title and made brave efforts

to reign on both sides of the Alps.  But the task was an

impossible one.  The Holy Roman Empire became a mere

sham; and as the prolonged contest between the royal

and the princely authority ended in the complete victory of

the latter, Germany. . . was resolved into a group of feudal

states.3

Despite their aggrandizing efforts, the German kings could never succeed in establishing absolutist rule:

Vainly trying to be Roman emperors, the successors of

Otto I . . . became [as kings] purely elective, degenerated

into a sort of decoration to be borne first by one local prince

an then by another.4

Germany remained, for the longest time, an area of decentralized political authority as Professor Stephenson explains:

From the Rhineland to the Slavic frontier, armies were

made up of knights, society was dominated by a

chivalrous aristocracy, the countryside was dotted with

motte-and-bailey castles, and governments were

organized on the basis of feudal tenure.5

Political and economic theory have demonstrated that power which is diffused typically leads to low levels of taxation.  In the case of medieval feudalism, this certainly was the case:

. . .  if the lord needed military service or financial aid beyond

what was specifically owed by his vassals, his only recourse

was to ask them for a voluntary grant.  He had no right to tax

or assess them arbitrarily, for his authority in such matters was

determined by feudal contract.6

Likewise, law was not “made up” by legislative acts, but was that of custom and tradition based on the natural law which kings, lords, vassals, and commoners were all obliged to live by:

Nor does he [the king, or lord] have a discretionary power

of legislation.  Law was the unwritten custom of the country.

To change or even to define it was the function, not of the lord,

but of his court.  It was the vassals themselves who declared the

law under which they lived; and when one of them was accused

of a misdeed, he was entitled to the judgment of his peers, i.e.

his fellow vassals.7

Warfare, too, was limited in scope compared to the massive human slaughter and destruction of property which has taken place over the past two centuries:

    The general character of feudal warfare may be easily

deduced from what has already been said about

vassalage and chivalry. . . .  when two feudal armies

met, each knightly participant was apt to conduct

himself as he saw fit.  The final outcome would depend

on a series of duels in which the determining factor was

individual prowess.  But battles on a large scale were

rare in feudal Europe.  The characteristic warfare of the

age consisted rather of pillaging raids into the enemy’s

territory, of skirmishes between small bands of knights,

and of engagements incident to the siege of castles.

[Emphasis mine.]8

While there used to be a debate about the conditions of serfs compared to that of modern day wage earners, the argument is now falling apart with studies showing that real wages and corresponding standards of living have actually contracted over the past half century for most.  Where there can be no debate, however, is the moral condition of the people of the feudal past compared with contemporary times where “gay marriage” and other abominations have now been given legal status.  No right-minded person could argue that marriage, the family, and child rearing are in better shape today than they were in the supposed “Dark Ages.”

In nearly every aspect of societal appraisement, medieval feudalism was a far superior social order than anything which has come in its wake.  Those who denigrate it not only show their historical ignorance, but play into the hands of their elite oppressors who understand that a return to such a social order would be a much greater threat to their power than any presidential candidate or his “movement.”

1Carl Stephenson, Mediaeval Feudalism, Ithaca, NY.: Great Seal books, 1942; 1960, pp. 77-78.

2Ibid., p. 78.

3Ibid., 92-93.

4Ibid., 93.

5Ibid.

6Ibid., p. 31.

7Ibid.

8Ibid., pp. 66-68.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

“Pope” Francis and the Disintegration of Europe

Pope's Wall

A Massive Wall Surrounds Francis-Bergoglio’s Vatican City-State

Despite being rebuked and humiliated by the Republican presidential front runner over his inflammatory statements about U.S. illegal immigration policies, Newpope Francis of the Vatican II sect has continued to opine about the migration crisis.

In an address to a Newcatholic French group, Bergoglio admitted the obvious: “We can speak today of [an] Arab invasion.  It is a social fact.”  Yet, despite the horrific consequences of this fact, mostly orchestrated by New World Order groups and organizations of which his church is a part, Newpope amazingly contends that this will eventually be a positive thing for Europeans: “How many invasions has Europe experienced in the course of its history! But it’s always been able to overcome them and move forward, finding itself complimented and improved by the cultural exchange they brought about.”*

Europe “complimented and improved”?!   Right.  Tell that to the thousands of women who have been raped, assaulted, and terrorized by mostly Muslim fanatics, or look at the widespread destruction of private property that these trespassers have wrought, and worse, the cultural transformation that this deliberately created crisis has produced.

Bergoglio furthered these idiotic statements with some multicultural speak: “the only continent [Europe] that can bring some unity to the world.”  And that Europe must fulfill its “universal role” and “rediscover its cultural roots.”**

If Bergoglio really wants Europeans to “rediscover” their “cultural roots,” they will find that ever since the emergence of Mohammedanism, its fanatical adherents have repeatedly attempted to overrun and conquer the Continent and subject its peoples to the crazed religious and political dictates of its possessed “prophet.”

At one time, Europe fulfilled its “universal role” by engaging in a series of military actions (the Holy Crusades) which were mostly inspired by true popes (which Bergoglio and his Vatican II predecessors are certainly not) to expunge the infidel from the sacred places where the Founder of Christianity lived, preached, was crucified, and gloriously rose from the dead.  These authentic successors of St. Peter, in particular Urban II and Innocent III, understood the threat that Mohammedanism posed to their flocks both spiritually and culturally.

The failure of Christendom to ultimately defeat Islam and drive it out of the former lands of the Roman Empire was not the fault of the popes, but that of the secular powers who increasingly sought their own aggrandizement. If the European principalities had heeded the popes’ calls and driven the Muslims back to their tribal homeland, history would have had a happier outcome.

Bergoglio, if he cared to look, would find that Europe’s “universal role” included the justification of “holy war,” in the use of violence against Islam, not only during the Crusades, but in the re-conquest of Spain, and in the defense of its homeland from numerous Muslim assaults. Moreover, the idea of Muslims living side-by-side with Europeans or being able to create their own autonomous communities would have rightly been considered societal genocide.

No authentic pope would be engaged in “dialogue,” common prayer meetings, or other ecumenical interchanges with Muslims as Bergoglio and his Vatican II predecessors have repeatedly and blasphemously done over the years.  Any pre-Vatican II pope, theologian, bishop, priest, or, for that matter, astute layman would properly consider such actions abominable and would recommend as punishment a rendezvous with some of the scum that abounds at the bottom of the Tiber for its transgressors!

Bergoglio and most of the Newchurch hierarchy’s support for free migration and open borders and their condemnation of those who have opposed such lunacy clearly demonstrates that the Vatican II sect is part and parcel of the New World Order which seeks the eradication of sovereignty and the extinction or at least subjugation of European peoples to the global elites.

Not only is this cretin wantonly overturning two thousand years of traditional Christian teaching on morality, but he is openly encouraging the destruction of those societies which that morality ultimately helped to build.

Despite the skillfully and deceitfully crafted persona as “Mr. Humble” and his white pontifical attire, “Pope” Francis and the sect that he heads are a clear and present danger to what remains of Western civilization and must be opposed and removed from power.

*Tom Wyke, “The Pope says ‘It is a Social fact’ that Europe is seeing an ‘Arab Invasion’ and it’s a Good Thing.”  Daily Mail.com.  4 March 2016

**Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

 

 

Queen Isabella and the Invasion of Europe

Surrender of Granada

The Muslim Surrender of Granada to Fernando and Isabella, 1492

If the Western world ever becomes serious on how to deal with the current, mostly Muslim, invasion of its once sacred soil, all it needs to do is to look to its glorious past.  In particular, it should examine the heroic actions of one of its greatest figures, Isabella of Castile. This is why the historian William Thomas Walsh entitled his magisterial biography of the queen, Isabella of Spain: The Last Crusader.

While the Reconquista was not directed at securing access to the Holy Land and Jerusalem as earlier Crusades had attempted, the ridding of the Spanish peninsula of Muslim power was a definite part of what Jonathan Riley-Smith calls the “paraphernalia of crusading:”

. . . with the union of Aragon and Castile in the

persons of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1479 and

the resurgence of crusading ideas that had followed

the loss of Constantinople the Spanish court, with

Isabella taking the lead, began to seethe with fervour,

nationalistic as well as religious.  The paraphernalia

of crusading – papal letters and crusading privileges –

were in evidence.  [Jonathan Riley-Smith,

The Crusades: A History, p. 312

Isabella and Fernando used their money and resources not for “national greatness,” or their own self aggrandizement as the later “absolutist” monarchs would do, but instead employed their treasures to triumphantly defeat one of Christianity’s mortal foes.

Huge sums of money were spent and large armies

raised and the war was pursued with a remarkable

singlemindedness at the expense of almost

all the country’s other interests.  [Ibid]

If Christian principalities and powers had a portion of Isabella’s ardor for the Faith, the infidel would have long since been vanquished or at least pushed out of the former lands of the Roman Empire which they had brutally overrun.  Unfortunately, the Western world went in an increasingly secular direction after the passing of the great queen, eventually adopting totalitarian social democracy as its governing system while pushing Christianity out from nearly every sector of public life.

Norman Housley in Contesting the Crusades adds, “. . .  the Granada war of 1482-92 had shown not just that the crusading mechanism could still work, thereby confirming the lesson of the Hussite crusades, but that it could generate military success.” (p. 138) He points out that the Reconquista was a part of crusading tradition and not some separate political aggrandizement scheme of Isabella and Fernando: “A significant feature of recent research on the Granada war, however, has been the demonstration that the campaigns were advanced with the help of a cluster of ideas and emotions that had strong links with past crusading.” (p. 139)

Before the final elimination of Muslim power in Spain, Isabella was engaged in crusading activity.  Her forays against the Muslims were undertaken outside of Spain proper and done despite the kind of internal political difficulties which kept other sovereigns from taking up the Cross.

In 1479, the Grand Turk Mohammed II besieged Rhodes which Venice had abandoned, in part, to preserve its own trading privileges in the Levant.  While the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem had held off the Muslims, it did not end the threat as the Turks set their sights on the coast of Italy which, of course, sent shock waves not only throughout the country, but Europe at large.

In August of 1480, the Turks attacked and took the city of Otranto in the Kingdom of Naples.  The atrocities committed were particularly heinous as Walsh details:

Of the 22,000 inhabitants, the barbarians bound 12,000

with ropes and put them to death, thus helpless, with

terrible tortures.  They slew all the priests in the city.

They sawed in two the aged Archbishop of Otranto,

whom they found praying before the altar.  On a hill

outside the city, now known as Martyrs’ Hill, they

butchered many captives who refused to become

Mohammedans, and threw their corpses to the dogs.

[Walsh, Isabella of Spain, p. 192]

The account of these actions became widely dispersed and certainly known to Isabella.

As happened far too often in earlier crusades the political leadership, this time in Italy, was too busy with their own petty squabbles to recognize the Muslim threat despite pleas from the pope: “If the faithful, especially the Italians wish to preserve their lands, their houses, their wives, their children, their liberties, and their lives; if they wish to maintain that Faith into which we have been baptized, and through which we are regenerated, let them at last trust in our word, let them take up their arms and fight.” [Quoted in Walsh, Isabella of Spain, p. 192]

Not only for the rest of Europe, but the Moors’ capture of Otranto was a threat to Spain, especially since Granada, with two important sea ports on the Mediterranean, could easily be used as military bases.  Isabella, however, keenly understood what the establishment of a Muslim foothold on Italian soil would mean for the security of Christendom.  In response, she sent the entire Castilian fleet to assist in the recapture of Otranto.  The queen went beyond just providing arms for defensive purposes, but took the offensive despite delaying much needed domestic reform as Walsh describes:

. . . it was characteristic of Isabella to stop at nothing short of

her utmost.  At a moment when she had need of her new

revenues to complete her program of reform and to prepare

for war with Granada . . . she generously threw all her energies

and material resources into the major struggle for the safety

of Christendom.  She formed the audacious design of raising

a fleet powerful enough not only to defend Italy and Spain,

but if necessary to defeat the Turks on the high seas and

smash their whole offensive.   [Ibid., p. 193]

The idea of compromise or coexistence with the Muslims, a policy which had been taken by crusaders both in the East and in Spain’s case with El Cid was anathema to Fernando and Isabella.  [S.J. Allen & Emilie Amt, eds.,The Crusades: A Reader, pp188-191]  After the sultan of Egypt, al-Ashnat Saifud-Din Qa’it Bay, had won a significant victory over the Ottoman Turks, he demanded that Fernando and Isabella stop their war on Granada.  He threatened, among other measures, to take reprisals on Christian pilgrims and suggested destroying the Holy Sepulcher.  [Warren H. Carroll, Isabel of Spain: The Catholic Queen, p. 190]

Fernando was not to be intimidated.  He quickly retorted with a sharp and detailed history of the Reconquista which showed that it was his and his predecessors’ right to regain their homeland from the Muslim invaders.  Moreover, if Catholics were killed to stop the war in Granada, Fernando would kill Granada Moors in retribution. [Ibid.] To this warning, no response was ever recorded from the sultan!

Isabella’s personal sanctity and love for her people has never been denied.  Prior to the attack on the Muslim held fortress of Loja, Isabella organized a massive army the makeup of which consisted of soldiers from across the Continent eager to join the crusade, inspired, no doubt, by the queen’s indomitable will as the late Warren Carroll shows:

The whole army knew that Isabella . . . was praying night

and day for their success; knowing her holiness, they were

immensely confident in the power of her prayers.  Never

had her prestige among them stood so high; her constant

care for the wounded, her fine and firm hand upon their

supply line, keeping them equipped with all they needed

wherever they might go, were now known and honored by

every soldier.  [Ibid., p. 172]

Even her love for her husband would not dissuade the queen from accomplishing what she believed was a holy mission.  In 1484, Fernando had sought to reclaim rights that his family had in Roussillon, France.  Yet, the financial situation at the time only allowed for one war to be fought so a decision had to be made: a conflict over a dynastic dispute or the continuation of the struggle to expel the Muslims.

Isabella never wavered.  Unlike other sovereigns who became embroiled in internal politics instead of fulfilling their crusading vows, Isabella pressed on, even more determined.  In one of the few instances where her disagreements with her husband became public, the queen wrote:

    This is so just and so holy an enterprise that among all

those of Christian princes there was none more honorable

or more worthy, none more likely to gain the aid of God and

the love of the people. . . .   Two years ago the war with the

Moors began, in which great efforts were made and great

preparations undertaken on land and sea, at immense cost.

In view of all this, it appears unwise to lose all by beginning

another war with the French.  [Quoted in Carroll, Isabel of Spain,

pp, 158-9.]

The Reconquista was not only a part of Spain’s struggle, but became one of Christendom’s, which can easily be seen with the participation of knights and fighting men from across the Continent.  The most important of these were the Lombards whom Isabella recognized as crucial for the achievement of the ultimate goal as Carroll points out:

. . .  the Lombards became the key to the war against Granada;

they were the decisive and irresistible weapon, once brought

to the scene of action.  It was not easy to transport these

monsters over the primitive roads of southern Spain, but

it was done under Isabella’s constant prodding.  [Ibid., p. 159]

While the conquest of Granada at the beginning of 1492 ended seven hundred years of Muslim rule on the Iberian peninsula, the victory would have never been achieved without the sacrifices of Queen Isabella.  Before an attack on Granada could be made, the fortress of Baza had to be captured, however, Fernando’s earlier defense of Sicily and his foray into France left him critically short of funds.  He considered postponing the assault until the needed money and supplies could be procured and sought Isabella’s advice.

Her response was typical, “[Baza] has to be continued and it will continue.”  [quoted in Carroll, Isabel of Spain, p. 192]  Another retreat would be fatal to the spirit of the people and ultimate success.  William Thomas Walsh explains the heroic efforts the queen made to secure the funds, soldiery, and supplies for Baza’s capture:

Money was the first need.  She pawned her gold and plate,

priceless heirlooms from her ancestors; and she sent all

her jewels by speedy messengers to  Valencia and

Barcelona . . . her pearl necklace, her balas rubies, even

the jeweled crown of Saint Fernando.  [Walsh, Isabella of

                                Spain, p. 312]

The amount sold was astronomical totaling some 60,000 gold florins.  [Carroll, Isabel of Spain, p. 192]  “The pawning of Isabella’s jewels,” Walsh contends,” was the turning point in the Crusade, and the fall of Baza marked the beginning of its third and final phase.”  [Walsh, Isabella of Spain, p. 314]

The capitulation of Granada and the restoration of Christianity throughout Spain was celebrated throughout Europe and recognized at the time for its supreme significance.  Probably no one summed up the accomplishment of Fernando and Isabella than King Henry VII who proclaimed:

These many years the Christians have not gained new ground

or territory upon the infidels, nor enlarged and set farther the

bounds of the Christian world.  But this is now done by the

prowess and devotion of Fernando and Isabella, sovereigns

of Spain, who to their immortal honor have recovered the

great and rich kingdom of Granada, and the populous and

mighty  city of the same name from the Moors . . . for which

this assembly and all Christians are to render laud and thanks

to God, and to celebrate this noble act of the King of Spain, who

in this is not only victorious but apostolical, in the gaining of

new provinces to the Christian faith.  [Quoted in Walsh, Isabella

of Spain, pp. 333-34]

While it took some 700 years to rid Spain of the Muslim yoke, at least Isabella and her predecessors had only to contend with the infidel.  Today, however, those who oppose the invaders have a two-fold problem: not only must they battle a hostile, alien group which may freely roam within their midst, but they must counter the Continent’s political elites who are allowing and, often times, encouraging the catastrophe to take place.

If victory is to be achieved, those who seek to preserve Europe’s cultural and demographic heritage must adopt Isabella’s uncompromising policies and replicate her own tremendous sacrifices.  Many have done so already and will certainly be honored by history for their gallant stand, but many more must join if the contest is to be ultimately won.

 

Selected Bibliography

Allen, S.J. and Amt, Emilie, eds., The Crusades: A Reader.  2nd ed., Toronto:

University of Toronto Press, 2014.

Carroll, Warren H.  Isabel of Spain: The Catholic Queen.  Front Royal, VA.:

Christendom Press, 1991

Housley, Norman.  Contesting the Crusades.  Malden, MA.: Blackwell

Publishing, 2006.

Smith, Jonathan Riley.  The Crusades: A History.  3rd ed., London:

Bloomsbury Academic, 1987; 2014.

Walsh, William Thomas.  Isabella of Spain: The Last Crusader.  New York:

Robert M. McBride and Company, 1930; Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and

Publishers, Inc., 1987.

 

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas