New Monarchs were the rulers of European nations during the 15th century who unified their nations, creating a stable and centralized government. It was the centralized governments created under the New Monarchs in the 15th century that allowed for an era of colonization and conquest in the 16th century, and paved the way for rapid economic growth in Europe.
The best examples of New Monarchs are:
- Henry VII of England - Ended the War of the Roses, brought England from bankruptcy to prosperity, built up the Royal Navy, and unified England politically by eliminating potential competitors to the throne, pacifying Yorkist resistance by marrying Elizabeth of York, and checking the power of the nobility
- Louis XI of France - United France, reorganized the French economy, and weakened the power of the French nobility
- Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, joint rulers of modern-day Spain - Unified Spain religiously by expelling the Jews and the Moors, brought their nations together under a single political dynasty, weakened the power of the Spanish nobility, and conquered Granada, the last remaining Muslim Iberian kingdom
Achievements of the New Monarchs:
- Limiting the power of the feudal aristocracy
- Creating efficient, centralized systems of taxation
- Maintaining a standing army loyal to the monarch
- Encouraging some sense of national identity (but by no means nationalism)
- Fostering trade, both internally and externally
- Enforcing religious unity within their countries
While Peter I of Russia ruled two centuries after the New Monarchs, he is sometimes considered the New Monarch of Russia, accomplishing much for his country similar to what the New Monarchs did for theirs.