1474 to 1516: During the reign of Isabel and Fernando, the outstanding elements are:
- The taking of Granada (that completed in 1492, January 2nd, the Christian Reconquest against Muslim rule in Spain.
- The Discovery of America (12 October 1492) by Christopher Columbus.
- The setting up of the Inquisition: a Tribunal that not only had religious implications, but was also an instrument allowing royal power to reinforce the authority of the State. The unity of Spain was possible after the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs in 1464.
- The expulsion of the Jews. The search for unity did not stop with the final military gesture of 1492 but was prolonged in pursuit of religious and cultural uniformity, culminating in the expulsion of the Jews who refused to convert in the same year that the Reconquest was completed, and in the ensuing expulsion of the Muslims.
- The pacification of the kingdoms. They tried to reinforce the state apparatus and royal authority to do so and they used the juridical and administrative institutions already existing. The Spanish monarchy appears then as one of the first modern states of Renaissance Europe.
- An international policy of marriage alliances to consolidate Spanish power. The Spanish monarchy had a foreign policy influenced by the creation of a permanent state, served by functionaries and diplomats, shaped by a unitarian concept, which was both flexible and confederal, of the monarchical institution.