The Kingdom of NavAARe
The Kingdom of Navarre traditionally evolved from the county of Pamplona, its traditional capital, when the Basque leader Inigo Aritza was chosen King in Pamplona, traditionally in 824, and led a local revolt against the Franks.
The kingdom of Pamplona and then Navarre formed part of the traditional territory of the Vascones, the Basques and Gascons, who occupied the southern slope of the western Pyrenees and part of the shore of the Bay of Biscay. In the course of the 6th century there was a considerable emigration of Basques to the north of the Pyrenees, resulting from the pressure of attacks of the Visigoth kings to the west and south and responding to a power vacuum at the limits of Frankish control in Aquitaine. Thus the Basques maintained their independence.
The name "Navarre" derives from nava a common name for a flat valley surrounded by hills (compare Las Navas de Tolosa) and Basque herri, a region or country. The name "Navarra" began to appear towards the end of the Visigoth epoch in Spain in the 7th century.
The pass of Roncevalles in Navarrese territory was the scene of a minor defeat of Charlemagne's baggage train in 778, which features as an epic event in the Chanson de Roland. The first historic king of Navarre was Sancho II Garces, who ruled from Pamplona as king of Navarre and count of Aragon from 970 to 994. 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 Pena in 987, he titled himself "King of Navarre," the first time that title had been used. In many places he appears as the first King of Aragon and in others the third.
Under Sancho and his immediate successors, Navarre reached the height of its power and its extension. Sancho III el Mayor married the heiress of Castile. On his death the kingdoms were divided once more, but a Navarrese line ruled as kings of Castile and Leon, and of Aragon. At its greatest extent the Kingdom of Navarre included all the modern Spanish province; the northern slope of the western Pyrenees called by the Spaniards 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; the Rioja and Tarazona in the upper valley of the Ebro.
The rich dowry of Berengaria, the daughter of Sancho VI the Wise, and Blanche of Castile, made her a desirable catch for Richard I of England. His aged mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, crossed the passes to escort Berengaria to Sicily, eventually to wed Richard in Cyprus, May 12, 1191. She is the only Queen of England who never set foot in England.
In the 12th century the kings of Castile gradually annexed the Rioja and Alava. As long as Navarre was united to Aragon (I076 – 1234) it was free from aggression on the east, but never recovered the western territory taken by Castile. About the year 1200 Alfonso VIII of Castile annexed the other two Basque provinces, Biscay (Vizcaya) and Guipúzcoa. Tarazona remained in possession of Aragon. After 1234 Navarre, though the crown was claimed by the kings of Aragon, passed by marriage to a succession of French rulers.
In 1511 or 1516 Spanish Navarra, the part of Navarre south of the Pyrenees (the majority of the Kingdom), was finally annexed by Ferdinand the Catholic; it was governed as a viceroyalty and not formally annexed to the kingdom of Spain until 1833.
The tiny portion of Navarre north of the Pyrenees known as Basse-Navarre, along with the neighboring Principality of Béarn survived as an independent little kingdom which passed by inheritance to King Philip IV of France in 1304, and in the 15th century to the counts of Foix and then to the house of Albret. The last independent king of Navarre, Henry III (reigned 1572–1610), succeeded to the throne of France as Henry IV in 1589, founding the Bourbon dynasty. In 1620, French Navarre and Béarn were incorporated into France proper by Henry's son, Louis XIII of France. The title of King of Navarre continued to be used by the Kings of France until 1791, and was revived again during the Restoration, 1814 – 1830.
As the Kingdom of Navarre was originally organized, it was divided into merindades, districts governed by a merino ("mayorino"), 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 of 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. Yet the Navarrese were loyal to their Spanish sovereigns, and no part of the country offered a more determined or more skilful resistance to Napoleon.
Navarre was staunchly Catholic and much under 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 absolutist Carlist cause.
Today, Navarre is an autonomous community of Spain and Basse-Navarre is part of France's Pyrénées Atlantiques département.
Scenario: Hive's AoI's 1492.
Settings: easy/normal to start with and survive war with Aragon, normal/normal later on and after 1600 maybe vhard/coward,
Houserules: Ah, well, none, it seems I aim for WC.