The Crown and abuse of power

Like early 21st century, the 14th century was also a time of deep economic crisis partly because of the thousands of people killed by the Black Death. In the Kingdom of Castile and Leon, the situation was even more poignant as a result of the political instability and the civil war that gave the Trastámara dynasty the throne.

It also revived the conflict between the archbishop and the city council with the 1317-20 revolt. This uprising meant thetriumph of violence as the problem solving mechanism and this would remain to be so until its culmination with the Great Irmandiño War in 1466.

Galicia experiences two centuries of permanent war: a peripheral kingdom , far from the weakened power of the Crown of Castile and Leon, which was forced to make continuous concessions to local nobility to maintain its sovereignty over the land. The economic crisis encouraged the nobility to do as they pleased while the crown looked the other way with the excuse of compensating their decreased revenues from the taxes levied on their vassals who were accosted by bad cops, droughts and widespread violence.

In Santiago de Compostela

The abuses by the nobility were adduced as casus belli during the first siege of the fortress of A Rocha and managed to unite cities and social classes (bourgeoisie, peasantry and the small nobility) in a Brotherhood of rebels that would bring the castle down. This might be the takeaway lesson of the history of A Rocha Forte. Despite the formidable technological deployment represented by the castle, the pride of a medieval world moving towards modernity, it was brought down by the despair of a people up in arms. 

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