What Touches All: Coinage and Monetary Policy in Leon-Castile to 1230
by James J. Todesca
Ph.D, History, Fordham University, 1996
Opening of Introduction
This present study is concerned broadly with the growth of a monetary economy in the kingdom of León-castile. More specifically, it seeks to evaluate how effectively the monarchy of Leon-Castile met the task of supplying the kingdom with an ample and acceptable currency. While Byron no doubt would have found royal monetary policy less inspiring than the deeds of the reconquest, the fate of the kingdom’s coinage was capable of stirring surprising emotions among the inhabitants of medieval Leon-Castile. In 1282, the rebellious son of Alfonso X (1252-84), called a meet ing of nobles, clergy and townsmen to Valladolid to hear grievance s against his father. One of the chief complaints of that assembly concerned Alfonso X’s debasement of the currency. The assembly agreed to support Sancho in his revolt on the condition that he restore the coinage that was current in the kingdom before his father’s time. While manipulation of the coinage was not the only policy that led to Alfonso X’s ruin, the demands of the assembly at Valladolid illustrate the importance that coinage had come to play in the economy of the kingdom by the thirteenth century.