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James II of Majorca


King James II of Majorca
Coat of Arms of the Kings of Majorca used only abroad

James II () (31 May 1243 – 29 May 1311) was King of Majorca and Lord of Montpellier from 1276 until his death. He was the second son of James I of Aragon and his wife Violant, daughter of Andrew II of Hungary. In 1279, by the Treaty of Perpignan, he became a vassal of the Crown of Aragon.

Biography

James inherited from his father a realm including three of the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera), the counties of Roussillon and Cerdanya, the dominion of Montpellier, the barony of Aumelàs, and the viscounty of Carladès. He also gained tribute from the fourth Balearic island, Minorca, which remained under Muslim control throughout his life. He ruled as a vassal of his brother Peter III of Aragon, a subordinate status which he sought to escape. In the Aragonese, James allied with Pope Martin IV and king Philip III of France (the widower of his sister, ) against his brother, but was defeated in the Battle of Les Formigues in 1285. His nephew Alfonso III of Aragon annexed the Balearic Islands to Aragon in the conquest, but they were returned by the Treaty of Anagni in 1295. Following this reversion, James made an effort to improve the viability of the kingdom on the domestic front. He devoted himself to running his kingdom by reforming urbanism, establishing agricultural policy, emphasising defense, and reforming the economy. He implemented a vast policy of agricultural colonisation with the creation of rural centres; increase royal rents; favoured the creation of consulates in North Africa and the Kingdom of Granada; created a new monetary system for the kingdom; fomented the creation of textile industries; proceeded to increase the power of the crown over that of the nobility and the Church; and ordered the construction of several palaces and castles, including the palace at Perpignan, the Palace of Almudaina, the Cathedral of Santa María at Palma de Mallorca, known today as [[Palma Cathedral
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