Isabella became queen, and Ferdinand inherited the throne of Aragon, so they joined countries.
Ferdinand and Isabella were devout Catholics, and they decided that Spain should be unified as a Christian country.
They set their sites on Granada, the last Muslim kingdom.
After ten years, the Spanish armies defeated the Muslim king of Granada. This ended Moorish rule, and began the years of the Spanish Inquisition.
Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand brought all of Spain together, but they declared it illegal to practice any religion, other than Christianity.
The Jews and Muslims had to either convert or leave the country.
If they converted and stayed, they would remain under scrutiny. If they were suspected of keeping their old practices, they would undergo the Spanish Inquisition – a trial to find a person guilty of heresy.
In the Spanish Inquisition, torturers would use different ways and devices to get the accused to confess to practicing different religions, as well as witchcraft and sorcery.
If the accused confessed while being tortured, it didn’t count. The person had to confess while in a calm state.
Even Galileo Galilei was tried for heresy against the Church.
Meanwhile, Portugal kept its independence from the rest of Spain.
Because of Portugal’s long coastline, it was easy for the Portuguese people to build boats and sail them.
Prince Henry of Portugal became known as Henry the Navigator because he wanted the Portuguese to sail further than anyone else in the world.
Henry built a school for navigation so sailors could learn how to plot stars, use instruments, and learn how to calculate the speed of a ship. astrolabe calculating speed using knots
Henry wanted to reestablish trade in Africa, after the Muslims were forced to leave.
Unfortunately for Henry, the sailors were too scared to sail down the coast of Africa. They called the unfamiliar waters the Sea of Darkness.
Finally, after 14 expeditions, a brave explorer, named Gil Eanes dared to venture the Sea of Darkness. His adventure emboldened other Portuguese sailors to travel further and further down the west coast of Africa.