Kingdom of Navarre
|Capital||Pamplona (Basque: Iruña)|
|Íñigo Arista (first)|
|Louis II (last. French kingdom)|
|Isabel II of Spain (last. Spanish kingdom)|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|1300||10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi)|
|Today part of||Spain|
The Kingdom of Navarre (/nəˈvɑːr/; Basque: Nafarroako Erresuma, Spanish: Reino de Navarra, French: Royaume de Navarre, Latin: Regnum Navarrae), originally the Kingdom of Pamplona (Basque: Iruñeko Erresuma), was a Basque kingdom that occupied lands on both sides of the western Pyrenees, with its northernmost areas originally reaching the Atlantic Ocean (Bay of Biscay), between present-day Spain and France.
The medieval state took form around the city of Pamplona during the first centuries of the Iberian Reconquista. The kingdom had its origins in the conflict in the buffer region between the Carolingian Empire and the Umayyad Emirate of Córdoba that controlled most of the Iberian Peninsula. The city of Pamplona (Latin: Pompaelo; Basque: Iruña), had been the main city of the indigenous Vasconic population and was located in a predominantly Basque-speaking area.
In an event traditionally dated to 824, Íñigo Arista was elected or declared ruler of the area around Pamplona in opposition to Frankish expansion into the region, originally as vassal to the Córdoba Emirate. This polity evolved into the Kingdom of Pamplona. A series of partitions and dynastic changes led to a diminution of its territory and to periods of rule by the kings of Aragon (1054–1134) and France (1285–1328).
In the 15th century, another dynastic dispute over control by the king of Aragon led to internal divisions and the eventual conquest of the southern part of the kingdom by Ferdinand II of Aragon in 1512 (permanently annexed in 1524). It was annexed by the Courts of Castile to the Crown of Castile in 1515 as a separate kingdom with its own Courts and judiciary until 1841.
The remaining northern part of the kingdom was once again joined with France by personal union in 1589 when King Henry III of Navarre inherited the French throne as Henry IV of France, and in 1620 it was merged into the Kingdom of France. The monarchs of this unified state took the title "King of France and Navarre" until its fall in the French Revolution, and again during the Bourbon Restoration from 1814 until 1830 (with a brief interregnum in 1815).
The ancient Kingdom of Navarre covered, approximately, the modern-day Spanish autonomous communities of Navarre, Basque Autonomous Community and La Rioja and the French community of Pays Basque.
There are similar earlier toponyms but the first documentation of Latin navarros appears in Eginhard's chronicle of the feats of Charles the Great. Other Royal Frankish Annals give nabarros. Several Frankish sources mention the nabarri/navarri and the Hispani wascones, and also pampilonensi.
There are two proposed etymologies for the name of Navarra/Nafarroa/Naparroa:
The linguist Joan Coromines considers naba as not clearly Basque in origin but as part of a wider pre-Roman substrate.
See also: Duchy of Vasconia
The kingdom originated in the southern side of the western Pyrenees, in the flatlands around the city of Pamplona. According to Roman geographers such as Pliny the Elder and Livy, these regions were inhabited by the Vascones and other related Vasconic-Aquitanian tribes, a pre-Indo-European group of peoples who inhabited the southern slopes of the western Pyrenees and part of the shore of the Bay of Biscay. These tribes spoke an archaic version of the Basque language, usually known by linguistics as Proto-Basque, as well as some other related languages, such as the Aquitanian language. The Romans took full control of the area by 74 BC, but unlike their northern neighbors, the Aquitanians, and other tribes from the Iberian Peninsula, the Vascones negotiated their status within the Roman Empire. The region first was part of the Roman province of Hispania Citerior, then of the Hispania Tarraconensis. It would be under the jurisdiction of the conventus iuridicus of Caesaraugusta (modern Zaragoza).
The Roman empire influenced the area in urbanization, language, infrastructure, commerce, and industry. During the Sertorian War, Pompey would command the foundation of a city in Vasconic territory, giving origin to Pompaelo, modern-day Pamplona, founded on a previously existent Vasconic town. Romanization of the Vascones led to their eventual adoption of forms of Latin that would evolve into the Navarro-Aragonese language, though the Basque language would remain widely spoken, especially in rural and mountainous areas.
After the decline of the Western Roman Empire, the Vascones were slow to be incorporated into the Visigothic Kingdom, which was in a civil war that provided the opportunity for the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Basque leadership probably joined in the appeal that, in the hope of stability, brought the Muslim conquerors. By 718, Pamplona had formed a pact that allowed a wide degree of autonomy in exchange for military and political subjugation, along with the payment of tribute to Córdoba. Burial ornamentation shows strong contacts with the Merovingian France and the Gascons of Aquitaine, but also items with Islamic inscriptions, while a Muslim cemetery in Pamplona, the use of which spanned several generations, suggests the presence of a Muslim garrison in the decades following the Arab invasion.
The origin and foundation of the Kingdom of Pamplona is intrinsically related to the southern expansion of the Frankish kingdom under the Merovingians and their successors, the Carolingians. About 601, the Duchy of Vasconia (Latin: Wasconiae) was established by the Merovingians, based around Roman Novempopulania and extending from the southern branch of the river Garonne to the northern side of the Pyrenees. The first documented Duke of Vasconia was Genial, who would hold that position until 627.
The Duchy of Vasconia then became a frontier territory with varying levels of autonomy granted by the Merovingian monarchs. The suppression of the Duchy of Vasconia as well as the Duchy of Aquitaine by the Carolingians would lead to a rebellion, led by Lupo II of Gascony. Pepin the Short launched a punitive War in Aquitaine (760–768) that put down the uprising and resulted in the division of the Duchy into several counties, ruled from Toulouse. Similarly, across the eastern Pyrenees the Marca Hispánica was established next to the Marca Gothica, a Frankish attempt at creating buffer states between the Carolingian empire and the Emirate of Córdoba.
The Franks under Charlemagne extended their influence and control southward, occupying several regions of the north and east of the Iberian Peninsula. It is unclear how solidly the Franks exercised control over Pamplona. In 778, Charlemagne was invited by rebellious Muslim lords on the Upper March of Al-Andalus to lead an expedition south with the intention of taking the city of Zaragoza from the Emirate of Córdoba. However, the expedition was a failure, and the Frankish army was forced to withdraw. During their retreat, they destroyed the city walls of Pamplona to weaken the city and avoid a possible rebellion, reminiscent of the approach the Carolingians had used elsewhere against Christian cities that seemed content to live under Córdoban control.
However, while moving through the Pyrenees on 15 August 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, led by Roland was attacked by the Basque tribes in a confrontation that came to be known as the Battle of Roncevaux Pass. Roland was killed and the rearguard scattered. As a response to the attempted Frankish seizure of Zaragoza, the Córdoban emir retook the city of Pamplona and its surrounding lands. In 781 two local Basque lords, Ibn Balask ("son of Velasco"), and Mothmin al-Akra ("Jimeno the Strong") were defeated and forced to submit. The next mention of Pamplona is in 799, when Mutarrif ibn Musa, thought to have been a governor of the city and a member of the muwallad Banu Qasi family, was killed there by a pro-Frankish faction.
During this period, Basque territory extended on the west to somewhere around the headwaters of the Ebro river. Equally Einhart's Vita Karoli Magni pinpoints the source of the Ebro in the land of the Navarrese. However, this western region fell under the influence of the Kingdom of Asturias.
The Franks renewed their attempts to control the region and in 806 took Navarre under their protection. Following a truce between the Frankish kingdom and Córdoba, in 812 Louis the Pious went to Pamplona, likely to establish there a county that would prove short-lived. However, continued rebellion in Gascony rendered Frankish control south of the Pyrenees tenuous, and the Emirate was able to reclaim the region following victory in the 816 Battle of Pancorbo, in which they defeated and killed the "enemy of Allah", Balask al-Yalaski (Velasco the Gascon), along with the uncle of Alfonso II of Asturias, Garcia ibn Lubb ('son of Lupus'), Sancho, the 'premier knight of Pamplona', and the pagan warrior Ṣaltān. North of the Pyrenees in the same year, Louis the Pious removed Seguin as Duke of Vasconia, which initiated a rebellion, led by Garcia Jiménez, who was killed in 818. Louis's son Pepin, then King of Aquitaine, stamped out the Vasconic revolt in Gascony then hunted the chieftains who had taken refuge in southern Vasconia, i.e., Pamplona and Navarre, no longer controlled by the Franks. He sent an army led by the counts Aeblus and Aznar Sanchez (the latter being appointed lord, but not duke, of Vasconia by Pepin after suppressing the uprising in the Duchy), accomplishing their goals with no resistance in Pamplona (which still lacked walls after the 778 destruction). On the way back, however, they were ambushed and defeated in Roncevaux by a force probably composed both of Basques and the Córdoba-allied muwallad Banu Qasi.
Out of the pattern of competing Frankish and Córdoban interests, the Basque chieftain Íñigo Arista took power. Tradition tells he was elected as king of Pamplona in 824, giving rise to a dynasty of kings in Pamplona that would last for eighty years. However, the region around Pamplona continued to fall within the sphere of influence of Córdoba, presumably as part of its broader frontier region, the Upper March, ruled by Íñigo's half-brother, Musa ibn Musa al-Qasawi. The city was allowed to remain Christian and have its own administration but had to pay the traditional taxes to the Emirate, including the jizya assessed on non-Muslims living under their control. Íñigo Arista is mentioned in Arab records as sâhib (lord) or amîr of the Vascones (bashkunish) and not as malik (king) or tâgiya (tyrant) used for the kings of Asturias and France, indicating the lower status of these ulûj (barbarians, not accepting Islam) within the Córdoba sphere. In 841, in concert with Musa ibn Musa, Íñigo rebelled. Although Musa was eventually forced to submit, Íñigo was still in rebellion at the time of his death in 851/2.
Pamplona and Navarre are distinguished in Carolingian chronicles. Pamplona is cited in 778 as a Navarrese stronghold, which may be due to their lack of information about the Basque territory. The chronicles did distinguish between Navarre and its main town in 806 (In Hispania, vero Navarrensis et Pampelonensis), while the Chronicle of Fontenelle refers to "Induonis et Mitionis, ducum Navarrorum" (Induo [Íñigo Arista] and Mitio [perhaps Jimeno], dukes of the Navarrese). However, Arab chroniclers make no such distinctions, and just refer to the Baskunisi, a transliteration of Vascones, since a big majority of the population was Basque. The primitive Navarre may have comprised the valleys of Goñi, Gesalaz, Lana, Allin, Deierri, Berrueza and Mañeru, which later formed the merindad of Estella.
The role of Pamplona as a focus coordinating both rebellion against and accommodation with Córdoba seen under Íñigo would continue under his son, García Íñiguez (851/2–882), who formed alliances with Asturias, Gascons, Aragonese and with families in Zaragoza opposed to Musa ibn Musa. This established a pattern of raids and counter-raids, capturing slaves and treasure, as well as full military campaigns that would restore full Córdoban control with renewed oaths of fidelity. His son Fortún Garcés (882-905) spent two decades in Córdoban captivity before succeeding in Pamplona as vassal of the Emirate. Neither of these kings would make significant territorial expansion. This period of a fractious, but in the end subservient, Navarre came to an end amidst a period when generalized rebellion within the Emirate prevented them from being able to suppress the inertial forces in the western Pyrenees. The ineffectual Fortún was forced to abdicate in favor of a new dynasty from the vehemently anti-Muslim east of Navarre, the founders of which took a less accommodationist view. With this change, al-Andalus sources shift to calling the Pamplona rulers 'tyrants', as with the independent kings of Asturias: Pamplona had passed out of the Córdoban sphere.
After taking the political power from Fortún Garcés, Sancho Garcés (905–925), son of Dadilde, sister of Raymond I, Count of Pallars and Ribagorza, proclaimed himself king, terminating the alliance with the Emirate of Córdoba and expanding its domains through the course of the River Ega all the way south to the Ebro and taking the regions of Nájera and Calahorra, which caused the decline of the Banu Qasi family, who ruled these lands. As a response, Abd-ar-Rahman III undertook two expeditions to these lands, earning a victory at the Battle of Valdejunquera, after which the Emirate retook the lands south of the river Ebro, and by 924 attacked Pamplona. The daughter of Sancho Garcés, Sancha, was married to the King of Leon Ordoño II, establishing an alliance with the Leonese kingdom and ensuring the Calahorra region. The valleys of the river Aragón and river Gállego all the way down to Sobrarbe also ended up under control of Pamplona, and to the west the lands of the kingdom reached the counties of Álava and Castile, which were under control of the Kingdom of Asturias. The kingdom had at this time an extent of about 15,000 km2. The Chronicle of Albelda (last updated in 976) outlines the extent in 905 of the Kingdom of Pamplona for the first time. It extended to Nájera and Arba (arguably Araba). Some historians believe that this suggests that it included the Western Basque Country as well:
In era DCCCCXLIIII surrexit in Panpilona rex nomine Sancio Garseanis. Fidei Xpi inseparabiliterque uenerantissimus fuit, pius in omnibus fidefibus misericorsque oppressis catholicis. Quid multa? In omnibus operibus obtimus perstitit. Belligerator aduersus gentes Ysmaelitarum multipficiter strages gessit super Sarrazenos. Idem cepit per Cantabriam a Nagerense urbe usque ad Tutelam omnia castra. Terram quidem Degensem cum opidis cunctam possideuit. Arbam namque Panpilonensem suo iuri subdidit, necnon cum castris omne territorium Aragonense capit. Dehinc expulsis omnibus biotenatis XX' regni sue anno migrauit a seculo. Sepultus sancti Stefani portico regnat cum Xpo in polo (Obiit Sancio Garseanis era DCCCCLXIIII).
In the Era 944 [AD 905] arose in Pamplona a king named Sancio Garseanis. He was a man of unbreakable devotion to the faith of Christ, pious with all the faithful and merciful with oppressed Catholics. What more? In all his actions he performed as a great warrior against the people of the Ismailites; he inflicted multiple disasters on the Saracens. This same captured all the fortified places in the Cantabria, from the city of Nájera to Tudela. Indeed he possessed all the land of Degium [Monjardín, near Lizarra] with its towns. The "Arba" of Pamplona he submitted to his law, and conquered as well all the country of Aragon [then Jaca and nearby lands] with its fortresses. Later, after suppressing all infidels, the twentieth year of his reign he left this world. Buried in the portal of Saint Stephen [Monjardín], he reigns with Christ in Heaven (King Sancho Garcés died in the era 964 ).
After the death of Sancho Garcés, the crown passed to his brother, Jimeno Garcés (925–931), joined by Sancho's underage son, García Sánchez (931–970), in his last year. García continued to rule under the tutelage of his mother, Sancho's widow Toda Aznarez, who also engineered several political marriages with the other Christian kingdoms and counties of northern Iberia. Oneca was married to Alfonso IV of León and her sister Urraca to Ramiro II of León, while other daughters of Sancho were married to counts of Castile, Álava and Bigorre. The marriage of the Pamplonese king García Sánchez with Andregoto Galíndez, daughter of Galindo Aznárez II, Count of Aragon linked the eastern county to the Kingdom. In 934, he invited Abd-ar-Rahman III to intervene in the kingdom in order to emancipate himself from his mother, and this began a period of tributary status by Pamplona and frequent punitive campaigns from Córdoba.
García Sánchez's heir, Sancho II (970–994), set up his half brother, Ramiro Garcés of Viguera, to rule in the short-lived Kingdom of Viguera. The Historia General de Navarra, by Jaime del Burgo, says that on the occasion of the donation of the villa of Alastue by the king of Pamplona to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña in 987, he styled himself "King of Navarre", the first time that title had been used. In many places he appears as the first King of Navarre and in others the third; however, he was at least the seventh king of Pamplona.
During the late 10th century, Almanzor, the ruler of Al Andalus, frequently led raids against the Christian kingdoms, and attacked the Pamplonese lands on at least nine occasions. In 966, clashes between the Islamic factions and the Kingdom resulted in the loss of Calahorra and the valley of the river Cidacos. Sancho II, while allied with Castilian militias, suffered a grave defeat in the Battle of Torrevicente. Sancho II was forced to hand over one of his daughters and one of his sons as tokens of peace. After the death of Sancho II and during the reign of García Sánchez II, Pamplona was attacked by the Caliphate on several occasions, being completely destroyed in 999, the King himself killed during a raid in the year 1000.
After the death of García Sánchez II, the crown passed to Sancho III, just eight years old at the time, and probably completely controlled by the Caliphate. During the first years of his reign the Kingdom was ruled by his cousins Sancho and García of Viguera until the year 1004, when Sancho III would become ruling king, mentored by his mother Jimena Fernández. The links with Castile became stronger through marriages. The death of Almanzor in 1002 and his successor Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan in 1008 caused the decline of the Caliphate of Córdoba and the progress of the County of Castile south, while Pamplona, led by Sancho Garcés III, strengthen the position of his kingdom on the borderlands of the Taifa of Zaragoza, controlling the territories of Loarre, Funes, Sos, Uncastillo, Arlas, Caparroso and Boltaña.
In the year 1011 Sancho III married Muniadona of Castile, daughter of the Count of Castile, Sancho García. In 1016 the County of Castile and the Kingdom of Navarre made a pact on their future expansion: Pamplona would expand towards the south and east, the eastern region of Soria and the Ebro valley, including territories that were at the time part of Zaragoza. Thus, the Kingdom of Pamplona comprised a territory of 15,000 km2 between Pamplona, Nájera and Aragón with vassals of Pamplonese and Aragonese origin.
The assassination of Count García Sánchez of Castile in 1028 allowed Sancho to appoint his younger son Ferdinand as count. He also exerted a protectorate over the Duchy of Gascony. He seized the country of the Pisuerga and the Cea, which belonged to the Kingdom of León, and marched armies to the heart of that kingdom, forcing king Bermudo III of León to flee to a Galician refuge. Sancho thereby effectively ruled the north of Iberia from the boundaries of Galicia to those of the count of Barcelona.
By the time of the death of Sancho III in 1035, the Kingdom had reached its greatest historical extent. Sancho III wrote a problematic will, in which he divided his territory into three kingdoms.
In this period of independence, the ecclesiastical affairs of the country reached a high state of development. Sancho the Great was brought up at Leyre, which was also for a short time the capital of the Diocese of Pamplona. Beside this see, there existed the Bishopric of Oca, which was united in 1079 to the Diocese of Burgos. In 1035 Sancho III re-established the See of Palencia, which had been laid waste at the time of the Moorish invasion. When, in 1045, the city of Calahorra was wrested from the Moors, under whose dominion it had been for more than three hundred years, a see was also founded there, which in the same year absorbed the Diocese of Najera and, in 1088, the Diocese of Alava, the jurisdiction of which covered about the same ground as that of the present Diocese of Vitoria. The See of Pamplona owed its re-establishment to Sancho III, who for this purpose convened a synod at Leyre in 1022 and one at Pamplona in 1023. These synods likewise instituted a reform of ecclesiastical life, with the above-named convent as a centre.
At its greatest extent the Kingdom of Navarre included all the modern Spanish province; the northern slope of the western Pyrenees the Spaniards called the ultra puertos ("country beyond the mountain passes") or French Navarre; the Basque provinces of Spain and France; the Bureba, the valley between the Basque mountains and the Montes de Oca to the north of Burgos; and the Rioja and Tarazona in the upper valley of the Ebro. On his death, Sancho divided his possessions among his four sons. Sancho the Great's realm was never again united (until Ferdinand the Catholic): Castile was permanently joined to Leon, whereas Aragon enlarged its territory, joining Catalonia through a marriage.
Following the traditional succession customs, the first-born son of Sancho III, García Sánchez III, received the title and lands of the Kingdom of Pamplona, which included the territory of Pamplona, Nájera and parts of Aragon. The rest of the territory was given to his widow Muniadona to split among all the legitimate sons: thus García Sánchez III also received the territory to the northeast from the County of Castile (La Bureba, Montes de Oca) and the County of Álava. Ferdinand received the rest of the County of Castile and the lands between the Pisuerga and the Cea. Another son of Sancho, Gonzalo, received the counties of Sobrarbe and Ribargoza as vassal of his eldest brother, García. Lands in Aragon were allotted to Sancho's bastard son Ramiro.
García Sánchez III (1035–1054) soon found himself struggling for supremacy against his ambitious brothers, especially Ferdinand. García had supported the armed conflict between Ferdinand and his brother-in-law Bermudo III of León, who was ultimately killed in the Battle of Tamarón (1037). This allowed Ferdinand to unite his Castilian county with the new-won crown of León as king Ferdinand I. For several years a mutual collaboration between the two kingdoms took place. The relationship between García and his step-brother Ramiro was better. The latter had acquired all of Aragon, Ribagorza and Sobrarbe on the sudden death of his brother Gonzalo, forming what would become the Kingdom of Aragon. García and Ramiro's alliance with Ramon Berenguer, the Count of Barcelona, was effective to keep the Muslim Taifa of Zaragoza at bay. After the capture of Calahorra in 1044, a period peace followed on the southern border and trade was established with Zaragoza.
The relationship between García and Ferdinand deteriorated with time, the two disputing the lands on the Pamplonese-Castilian border, and ended violently in September 1054 at the Battle of Atapuerca, in which García was killed, and Ferdinand took from Pamplona the lands in La Bureba and the Tirón River.
García was succeeded by Sancho IV (1054–1076) of Peñalén, whom Ferdinand had recognised as king of Pamplona immediately after the death of his father. He was fourteen years old at the time, and under the regency of his mother Estefanía and his uncles Ferdinand and Ramiro. After the death of his mother in 1058, Sancho IV lost the support of the local nobility, and the relations between them worsened after he became allied with Ahmad al-Muqtadir, ruler of Zaragoza. On 4 June 1076, a conspiracy involving Sancho IV's brother Ramón and sister Ermesinda ended with the murder of the king. The neighboring kingdoms and the nobility probably had a part in the plot.
The dynastic crisis resulting from Sancho's assassination worked to the benefit of the Castilian and Aragonese monarchs. Alfonso VI of León and Castile took control of La Rioja, the Lordship of Biscay, the County of Álava, the County of Durango and part of Gipuzkoa. Sancho Ramírez, successor to his father, Ramiro of Aragon, took control of the rest of the territory and was recognised as king by the Pamplonese nobility. The land around the city of Pamplona, the core of the original kingdom, became known as the County of Navarre, and was recognised by Alfonso VI as a vassal state of the kingdom of León and Castile. Sancho Ramírez began in 1084 a renewed military expansion of the southern lands controlled by Muslim forces. That year, the city of Arguedas, from which the Bardenas region could be controlled, was taken. After the death of Sancho Ramírez in 1094, he was succeeded by Peter I, who resumed the expansion of the territory, taking the cities of Sádaba in 1096 and Milagro in 1098, while threatening Tudela.
Alfonso the Battler (1104–1134), brother of Peter I, secured for the country its greatest territorial expansion. He wrested Tudela from the Moors (1114), re-conquered the entire country of Bureba, which Navarre had lost in 1042, and advanced into the current Province of Burgos. He also annexed Labourd, with its strategic port of Bayonne, but lost its coastal half to the English soon after. The remainder has been part of Navarre since then and eventually came to be known as Lower Navarre. Toward the south, he moved the Islamic border to the Ebro river, with Rioja, Nájera, Logroño, Calahorra, and Alfaro added to his domain. In 1118, the city of Zaragoza was taken by the Aragonese forces, and on 25 February 1119 the city of Tudela was taken and incorporated into Pamplona.
The 1127 Peace of Támara delimited the territorial domains of the Castilian and Aragonese realms, the latter including Pamplona. The lands of Biscay, Álava, Gipuzkoa, Belorado, Soria and San Esteban de Gormaz went back to the Pamplonese kingdom.
The status quo between Aragon and Castile stood until the 1134 death of Alfonso. Being childless, he willed his realm to the military orders, particularly the Templars. This decision was rejected by the courts (parliaments) of both Aragon and Navarre, which then chose separate kings.
García Ramírez, known as the Restorer, is the first King of Navarre to use such a title. He was Lord of Monzón, a grandson of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid, and a descendant by illegitimate line of king García Sánchez III. Sancho Garcia, known as Sancho VI "the Wise" (1150–1194), a patron of learning, as well as an accomplished statesman, fortified Navarre within and without, granted charters (fueros) to a number of towns, and was never defeated in battle. He was the first king to issue royal documents entitling him rex Navarrae or rex Navarrorum, appealing to a wider power base, defined as politico-juridical by Urzainqui (a "populus"), beyond Pamplona and the customary rex Pampilonensium. As attested in the charters of San Sebastián and Vitoria-Gasteiz (1181), the natives are called Navarri, as well as in another contemporary document at least, where those living to the north of Peralta are defined as Navarrese.[a]
The Restorer and Sancho the Wise were faced with an ever-increasing intervention of Castile in Navarre. In 1170, Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor, daughter of Henry II Plantagenet, married, with the Castilian king claiming Gascony as part of the dowry. It turned out a much needed pretext for the invasion of Navarre during the following years (1173–1176), with a special focus on Navarre's coastal districts, coveted by Castile in order to become a maritime power. In 1177, the dispute was submitted to arbitration by Henry II of England. The Navarrese made their point on a number of claims, namely "the proven will of the locals" (fide naturalium hominum suorum exhibita), the assassination of the King Sancho Garces IV of Navarre by the Castilians (per violentiam fuit expulsus, 1076), as well as law and custom, while the Castilians made their case by citing the Castilian takeover following the death of Sancho Garces IV, the dynastic links of Alfonso with Navarre, and the conquest of Toledo. Henry did not dare issue a verdict based entirely on the legal grounds as presented by both sides, instead deciding to refer them back to the boundaries held by both kingdoms at the start of their reigns in 1158, besides agreeing to a truce of seven years. It thus confirmed the permanent loss of the Bureba and Rioja areas for the Navarrese. However, soon, Castile breached the compromise, starting a renewed effort to harass Navarre both in the diplomatic and military arenas.
The rich dowry of Berengaria, daughter of Sancho VI the Wise and Blanche of Castile, made her a desirable catch for Richard I of England. His mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, crossed the Pyrenean passes to escort Berengaria to Sicily, eventually to wed Richard in Cyprus, on 12 May 1191. She remains the only Queen of England who never set foot in England during her reign. The reign of Sancho the Wise's successor, the last king of the male line of Sancho the Great and the kings of Pamplona, Sancho VII the Strong (Sancho el Fuerte) (1194–1234), was more troubled. He appropriated the revenues of churches and convents, granting them instead important privileges; in 1198 he presented to the See of Pamplona his palaces and possessions there; this gift was confirmed by Pope Innocent III on 29 January 1199.
In 1199 Alfonso VIII of Castile, son of Sancho III of Castile and Blanche of Navarre, was determined to take over coastal Navarre, a strategic region that would allow Castile much easier access to European wool markets and would isolate Navarre as well. He launched a massive expedition against Navarre. Sancho the Strong was abroad in Tlemcen (modern Algeria) seeking support to counter the Castilian push, by opening a second front. Pope Celestine III intervened to frustrate the alliance.
The towns of Vitoria and Treviño resisted the Castilian assault but the Bishop of Pamplona was sent to inform them that no reinforcements would arrive. After nine months of siege, Vitoria surrendered, but Treviño did not, having to be conquered by force of arms. By 1200 the conquest of western Navarre was complete. Castile allowed these territories (with the exceptions of Treviño and Oñati, which were directly ruled from Castile) the right to keep their traditional customs and laws (viz., Navarrese law), which came to be known as fueros. Alava was made a county, Biscay a lordship and Gipuzkoa just a province. In 1207, an arrangement in Guadalajara between both kings sealed a 5-year truce over the occupied territories; still Castile kept a fait accompli policy.
Sancho the Strong would join in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212), where he added his small force to the Christian alliance that was victorious over the Caliph Muhammand An-Nasir. He suffered from a varicose ulcer in his leg that led him to retire to Tudela, where he died in 1234. His elder sister Berengaria, Queen of England, had died childless some years earlier. His deceased younger sister Blanca, countess of Champagne, had left a son, Theobald IV of Champagne. Thus the Kingdom of Navarre, though the crown was still claimed by the kings of Aragon, passed by marriage to the House of Champagne, firstly to the heirs of Blanca, who were simultaneously counts of Champagne and Brie, with the support of the Navarrese Parliament (Cortes).
Further information: Fuero § Basque and Pyrenean fueros
As the Kingdom of Navarre was originally organized, it was divided into merindades, districts governed by a merino ("mayorino", a sheriff), the representative of the king. They were the "Ultrapuertos" (French Navarre), Pamplona, Estella, Tudela and Sangüesa. In 1407 the merindad of Olite was added. The Cortes of Navarre began as the king's council of churchmen and nobles, but in the course of the 14th century the burgesses were added. Their presence was due to the fact that the king had need of their co-operation to raise money by grants and aids, a development that was being paralleled in England.
The Cortes henceforth consisted of the churchmen, the nobles and the representatives of twenty-seven (later thirty-eight) "good towns"—towns which were free of a feudal lord, and, therefore, held directly by the king. The independence of the burgesses was better secured in Navarre than in other parliaments of Spain by the constitutional rule which required the consent of a majority of each order to every act of the Cortes. Thus the burgesses could not be outvoted by the nobles and the Church, as they could be elsewhere. Even in the 18th century the Navarrese successfully resisted Bourbon attempts to establish custom houses on the French frontier, dividing French from Spanish Navarre.
The institutions of Navarre which maintained their autonomy until the 19th century included the Cortes (The Three States, precursor to the Parliament of Navarre), Royal Council, Supreme Court and Diputacion del Reino. Similar institutions existed in the Crown of Aragon (in Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia) until the 18th century. The Spanish monarch was represented by a viceroy, who could object to the decisions made in the Navarrese context.
During that period Navarre enjoyed a special status within the Spanish monarchy; it had its own cortes, taxation system, and separate customs laws.
Further information: End of Basque home rule in Spain
By the time of the War of the Pyrenees and the Peninsular War, Navarre was in a deep crisis over the Spanish royal authority, involving the Spanish prime minister Manuel Godoy, who bitterly opposed the Basque charters and their autonomy, and maintained high duty exactions on the Ebro customs against the Navarrese, and the Basques as a whole. The only way out the Navarrese found was an increased trade with France, which in turn spurred the importation of bourgeois, modern ideas. However, the progressive, enlightened bourgeois circles strong in Pamplona—and other Basque towns and cities like Donostia—were eventually quelled during the above wars.
After the French defeat, the only source of support for Navarrese self-government was Ferdinand VII. The king wielded the flag of the ancient régime, as opposed to the liberal Constitution of Cádiz (1812), which ignored the Navarrese and Basque fueros and any different identities in Spain, or the "Spains", as it was considered legally until the 19th century.
During the Napoleonic wars, many in Navarre took to the bush to avoid tax exactions and the military abuses over property and people during their expeditions, be they French, English, or Spanish. These parties sowed the seeds of the later militias of the Carlist Wars acting under different banners, Carlists most often, but also pro-fueros liberals. However, once the local, urban based enlightened bourgeois were suppressed by the Spanish authorities and bristled at despotic French rule during the occupation, the most staunchly Catholic rose to prominence in Navarre, coming under strong clerical influence.
This, and the resentment felt at the loss of their autonomy when they were incorporated into Spain in 1833, account for the strong support given by many Navarrese to the Carlist cause. In 1833, Navarre and the whole Basque region in Spain became the chief stronghold of the Carlists, but in 1837 a Spanish Liberal, centralist constitution was proclaimed in Madrid, and Isabella II recognized as queen. Following the August 31, 1839, armistice putting an end to the First Carlist War, Navarre remained in a shaky state.
Its separate status was acknowledged on the Act promulgated in October that year, but after arrival of Baldomero Espartero and the anti-fueros Progressives to office in Madrid, talks with Navarrese Liberal negotiators led to a near-assimilation of Navarre with the Spanish province. Navarre was not a kingdom any more, but another Spanish province. In exchange for giving up self-government, the Navarrese were compensated with the Compromise Act (Spanish: Ley Paccionada) in 1841, a set of tax, administrative and other prerogatives, conjuring an idea of 'compromise between two equal sides', and not a granted charter.
Main article: Navarre § Province of Spain
Following the 1839–1841 treaties, conflict with Madrid's central government over Navarre's agreed administrative and fiscal idiosyncrasies contributed to the Third Carlist War (1872–76), largely centred in the Basque districts. Myriad parties and factions emerged in Navarre demanding different degrees of restoration of native institutions and laws. Catholicism and traditionalism became major driving forces behind Navarrese politics.
The Church in Navarre became a mainstay of the reactionary Spanish Nationalist uprising against the 2nd Spanish Republic (1936). The figure of progressives and inconvenient dissidents exterminated across Navarre is estimated at around 3,000 in the period immediately after the successful military uprising (July 1936). As a reward for its support in the Spanish Civil War, Franco allowed Navarre, as it happened with Álava, to maintain some prerogatives reminiscent of the ancient Navarrese liberties. Navarre's specific status during Franco's regime led to the present-day Chartered Community of Navarre during the Spanish transition to democracy (the so-called Amejoramiento, 1982).
The territory formerly known as Navarre now belongs to two nations, Spain and France, depending on whether it lies south or north of the Western Pyrenees. The Basque language is still spoken in most of the provinces. Today, Navarre is an autonomous community of Spain and Basse-Navarre is part of France's Pyrénées-Atlantiques département. Other former Navarrese territories belong now to several autonomous communities of Spain: the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, La Rioja, Aragon, and Castile and León.
Historic languages of the Kingdom of Navarre (824–1841):
The new kingdom of Castile had roughly tripled in size to some 335,000 square kilometers by 1300 but, at the same time, its population had increased by the same factor, from one to three millions [...] Little Navarre with its area of only 10,000 square kilometers and some 100,000 people still had a Muslim minority of about 10,000.