Minorities in fifteenth and sixteenth century Spain

An overview in the changes in treatment towards moors and jews in the reigns of Ferdinand and Isabella, Charles and Philip.

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  • Created by: Ruby
  • Created on: 05-06-09 11:22

Background/ Vocabulary

Convivencia- toleration, living together. This was the state of spain prior to F&I's reign

Mudejars-moors in christian territory

moors-muslims from North Africa

Moriscos- converted moors

Conversos- converted jews.

Did F&I seek political unity, or ethnic cleansing?

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F&I's policy towards the Moors

  • After the conquest of Granada, Talavera tried to convert muslims through preaching, and slow assimilation into christian society
  • He respected their culture and would use arabic in religious services.
  • many felt this was too slow, so harsher policies were introduced
  • 1000s then converted through fear, not change in faith
  • there were heavy taxes on muslims in 95 and 99
  • Complulsory conversions and taxes provoked a revolt in 1499 which was only appeased by Tendilla and Talavera
  • Cisneros used these revolts to claim moors had forfeited their rights. By 1501, moors in Granada;
    • forced to abandon their culture
    • couldn't carry arms
  • There was a bonfire of arabic books
  • in 1502 they were told to convert or leave.
  • Ferdinand sypathised with Tendilla and therefore in Aragon for a generation there were no attacks on the mudejars
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F&I's policy towards the Moors continued

  • Islam began to slowly vanish from castilian territory.
  • From 1511, various decrees attacked the cultural identity of Moriscos
    • use of arabic, clothes, jewellery,circumcision, ritual animal slaughter all banned
  • These were all outlawed by 1526 in Granada
  • During the Reconquista
    • the entire moorish population of malaga enslaved 1487
    • 100000 moors killed
    • 200000 fled
    • catilian nobles flocked to Granada for land and spioils
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F&I's policy towards the Jews

  • 1480: The cortes of Toledo called that jews where a distinctive badge, the Aljamas be walled off and ther jews to live in ghettos
  • 1482: partial expulsion of Jews from Andalucia
  • 1483: Jews expelled from various southern cities
  • The inquisition further intensified anti-semitism
  • 1492 Jews given 4 months to be baptised or leave
  • 50000/80000 left to Portugal, North Africa and Itay
  • The sultan of Turkey 'marvelled' at this as Jews were 'the wealth of spain'. though of course, many didn't leave and stayed in the same jobs, now as christians.
  • The expulsion was ironic as it probably doubled the false converso problem
  • The expulsion was not necessarily racist, F and I had jews and conversos as collaberators
  • A cult called 'purity of the blood' began.
  • The inquisition made spaniards more wary of other religions
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F&I's policy towards the Jews Continued

  • 1480s institutions adopted statutes of the Limieza-
    • college of san bartoleme
    • Jeronomites
  • The inquisition made it clear that heresy was in the blood (1484) when they banned descendents of those it condemned from holding public office.
  • Economic Motives?
    • No,the 'jews the wealth of spain'
    • No, many Jews were pooor and disadvantaged
    • No, property gains hardly covered costs of running the inquisition
  • Political motives?
    • Yes, conformity made people easier to control
    • no, there was no possibility of a jewish invasion#
  • Religious Motives?
    • Yes, Isabella was a devout catholic
    • she insisted on religious conformity and even purity of the blood
    • No, the new christians remained persecuted.
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Charles' policy towards the Moors

  • 1520-22:At the start of his reign Moors had been involved in the revolt of the Germania.
  • 1525, Moors banned in Aragon
  • 1529 Aragonese Moriscos are given 30yrs(a generation) to become fully catholic
  • In his reign Charles had many problems with the Ottoman empire and feared a revolt in Spain becasue of the proximity of the Barbary Pirates and North Africa.
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Philip's policy towards the Moors

  • Philip was incredibly devout
    • 'I do not wish, nor do i desire to be the ruler of heretics'
  • The council of trent in 1562 created the tridentine decrees, that lead to a new reforming tendency.
  • Philip was seen as a champion of the catholc faith, one of the leaders of the catholic reformation
  • This meant that Philip wanted more than ever to root out false Moriscos.
  • In 1567, 3 new decrees gave the moriscos 3 years to leave spain
  • reasons were political;
    • the Turks had been launching offensives in the med
    • a fear of 'the enemy within'
  • 1568: Morisco revolt that lasted 2 years.
  • In response, 50000 moriscos were expelled from granada and resettled all over Spain, so that they could not group together
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