- May 2016
The internal turmoil in the kingdoms of Castile/Leon/Galicia was a constant in history, itself a series of accidents. But without the political will of those o forged a kingdom were it didn’t exist one before, the unrest in the West of the peninsula wouldn’t have created it. Nothing differentiated the Portuguese from the county, from their fellows in Galicia, they shared the same language, same religion and often the same rulers. Not much differentiated them from their fellow neighbours to the East, the Leonese, in a time when the Castilian hadn’t spread West.The Accident of History my old friend was my own theory simply because at the time Portugal became established Castilla's eyes were elsewhere, coupled with a couple of fairly catastrophic defeats here and there. If Castilla had looked west instead of being tied up everywhere else, or the unity of crown had turned out different........................
Regarding the Kingdoms I ignored some others (old muslim) , as certainly Valencia and Granada officially carried on, but were effectively controlled elsewhere
With treaties often in place, the areas of conflict were the Christian-Christian frontiers, always sneaking castles off each other!!
Same can’t be said some centuries later during the dynastic crisis, in 1383 or in 1580 when there was already a collective sentiment of “us” and “them”, let us call it proto-nationalistic, that already differentiated the Portuguese even from the Galician. So it was a political construction. Is a political construction an accident? In my perspective the answer doesn’t mean much, either way.