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Spains Middle Ages were marked by dramatic cultural contrasts rapidly changes boundaries and constant interaction both good and bad among the Christian Muslims and Jewish societies that shared the Iberian peninsula throughout the time frame until nearly the start of the 16th century Until the late 1200s religious tolerance and multiculturalism was a hallmark of Spanish royal society Isabel Isabella was born at Madrigal on April 22 1451 the daughter of John II of Castile and his second wife Isabella of Portugal Almost against her own volition she was drawn into the political intrigue of Castilian politics Because of her familys importance she was brought to court at the age of thirteen to be under the eye and the protection of her half-brother the king As the heiress of Castile the question of Isabels future marriage became a matter of frenzied diplomatic activity both in Spain and throughout the other royal courts of Europe France Portugal and Aragon each put forward a potential suitor Ultimately between her advisors and her own strong will the decision came down to Ferdinand of Aragon She married Ferdinand in October of 1469 Ferdinand was born in Sos on March 10 1452 the son of John II of Aragon and Juana Enriquez both of Castilian heritage He was the focus of a bitterly contested succession when his father named him heir apparent and the governor of all his kingdoms and lands When Ferdinand came of age in 1466 his future was assured His father had put all the pieces in place for Ferdinand to be accepted into the Castilian court exactly where John II wanted him In addition to participating in the world of intrigue at court Ferdinand also saw battle in the Catalonian wars When he began to sow his first wild oats he went courting and was very favorably received in the home of King Alfonso of Aragon Isabels half-brother Ferdinand had an imposing personality but was never
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