Ferdinand and Isabella ruled in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. They married in 1469, and Isabella died in 1504 before Ferdinand died in 1516.
The marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella unified two kingdoms that became Spain. They maintained order in the country by employing the Holy Brotherhood to establish a judicial system and reign in Castilian nobles. They also expelled Jews and Muslims from Spain, while forcing others to convert to Catholicism so they could remain in the country. The monarchs persecuted those who secretly practiced religions other than Catholicism, including those who committed blasphemy and heresy. They authorized the expedition of Christopher Columbus in 1492, and his excursions into the New World brought new riches to Spain.