All entries for Monday 16 May 2005

May 16, 2005

Spanish History

I've suffered for this essay. Now it is done and I want everyone else to suffer to. Don't care about Spanish history? Tough shit! Here's stuff I've had to learn. Had to learn. No choice! Nooooooooooooooo…

Isabella I (1451–1504) and Ferdinand II (1452–1516).

Hello. We are Isabella and Ferdinand. We are the Catholic monarchs. We are very Catholic. If you asked us how Catholic we were on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being Martin Luther dressed as Neitzsche listening to Marilyn Manson and 10 being the pope in a cathedral feeling guilty) we'd have to be modest and say 11. And a half.

We got married and as a wedding present we got Spain. Isabella used to rule the bit called Castile which has lots of flat bits in it as well as Real Madrid who win lots of things and buy lots of players. Ferdinand used to rule Aragon which doesn't have Real Madrid, or even Athletico Madrid, but does have more calamares. And sunburnt English people.

Despite being responsible for Spain we didn't really do much that was cool. Neither of us ever slew a dragon or conquered Doncaster or invented museli. We were very Catholic though. More Catholic than a nun on a consecrated bicycle.

We also threw the Jews out of Spain which was not very nice. This got us a bad reputation with people in the future but at the time no one could stop us because we got the Inquisition and they didn't. We also met this man who kept telling us there was a quick way to the East Indies. In the end we gave him some money and told him to fuck off and sail off the edge of the world (which is flat). But he came back. His name was Chris. He wasn't as Catholic as us.

We had some children but they were rubbish so we passed on Spain to our grandson Charles who was less rubbish. And less Catholic. Unlike us. Did we mention we were very Catholic?

Charles V or I (1500–1558, reigned 1516–1556)

Hello, I'm Charles V or I depending on who you ask. I don't really care because I like riding around on my horse. I'll ride for ages and sometimes I'll have no idea where I am except what I do know is I own it. I own most of Europe. That bit of Europe you're standing on? Mine. And that bit your mum is standing on? Mine.

The Spaniards weren't that keen on me because I was a bit foreign. But my horse was bigger than theirs so I ruled. I also fought lots of wars because wars are cool and as you can see I am a man. I have a beard and a horse and most of Europe. I am also emperor of the Holy Roman Empire which is just a big excuse to ride around on my horse.

Lots of people revolted against me when I was king. The Spanish revolted in 1521. This was called the Comuneros though not by me because I speak French which might have been part of why they were pissed off. Also my German subjects revolted a few years later. All this meant I got to ride around Europe on my horse a lot.

Eventually I became convinced I was crap and quit. I retired to a monastry because I had gout and was too fat to ride a horse anymore. In the end I did the sensible thing and died.

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Philip II (1527–1598, reigned 1556–1598)

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Hello, my name is Philip. I am the son of Charles and inherited the cool bits of his empire but not Germany which was full of people questioning Catholicism, becoming Protestant and reserving all the sunloungers with towels.

If I was alive today I would be considered a geek. Or a nerd. Or a geeknerd. I liked to sit in my office reading documents and not getting hurt in wars and stuff. I like paper, except when it gives you paper cuts but only Protestant paper does that and I at least tried to stop heretics from making evil paper cut paper.

In my reign we lost the Netherlands after a war. We also didn't capture England despite being married to its queen (Mary I) for a bit, and then creating a fuck-off huge Armada of boats to get it. We called it the 'Invincible Armada' but it wasn't and it sank. Therefore as all we did was talk big and lose when we should have won (but not so much that we were ever in any real danger ourselves) we were the Tottenham Hotspur of history. Unfortunately this makes France Arsenal and they were starting to get quite powerful. In 1598 I solved the problem by dying.

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Philip III (1578–1621, reigned 1598–1621)

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Hello, I'm Philip III of Spain. I was a lazy sod and my dad was one of many who thought I'd be crap… and they were right! I did very little except to trust most of my actual king-ing to the Duke of Lerma. This would have been a good idea if he hadn't been crap.

In my reign we decided to go one better than the Catholic monarchs (because I am very pious as well, despite all the opulent parties at court) and threw out the Moors. This was a bit like throwing out the Jews but with Muslims. Apparently in the future this is considered to be a bit nasty. As it turns out the Moors were quite important in other parts of Spain and I became unpopular as a result.

I'd tell you more but I can't be bothered…

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Philip IV (1605–1665, reigned 1621–1665)

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Unlike my dad I tried. I really did. But it was no use. Spain was buggered and there really was nothing I could do.

Sigh.

People say I was a miserable bastard. Well you'd be miserable too when you realised you'd inherited a country with no money, a cack handed army that couldn't punch its way out of a wet paper bag (or Holland as we sometimes call it here in Spain), no bloody trade because our South American colonies are broken, and, the icing on the cake, I had a stupid moustache.

Grrr.

Yes, by this point it was obvious I didn't have the required Catholicism or manliness or even plain old big fuck-off boats to do anything exciting. Therefore all I get remembered for is for being around when Spain was falling apart. Oh well, at least I got thorugh a whole load of immorality at court which was nice. Then, in accordance to the precedent set by the rest of my family, I died.

Charles II (1661–1700, reigned 1665–1700)

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Alas, here the Habsburgs in Spain end with me, the perfect example of why monarchies should, y'know, get out more and meet people. My parents were uncle and niece and my grandparents on one side were uncle and niece, and I can tell you, when your family tree ain't got many branches it ain't gonna grow good fruit.

Annoyingly this meant I was a perfect physical manifestation of the crappy, broken Spain that I was put in charge of. Me! I could barely hold a conversation I was that inbred. Seriously. My jaw jutted out way too far and I was slow and epileptic and everyone in Spain, in Europe, where ever, spent my entire life wondering when I would die!

How bloody rude!

So I didn't. Ha! I lasted ages longer than they thought. And y'know what? It felt good. It felt like finally I was sticking two fingers up at tha haterz. "No necesito esta mierda", that's what I said. Just when it's all over we finally showed some spirit.

Hoo-ha!

I'd have up there giving them grief if I was capable. Which I wasn't. Oh well… nevermind that I went loopy at the end, nevermind that I was an invalid and a drooly one at that, nevermind that really, for all the prestige on our family name, the Habsburgs weren't very good at their jobs. Nevermind. We had our revenge. We became part of History and then poor children in the future had to write essays about us. Especially English, Dutch and French children because their ancestors caused us all that grief. That'll learn ya!

Carlos II signing out! I'm off for a ciggy and a pizza…


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