The Spanish Inquisition

 

Symbol of the Spanish Inquisition

In 1478,  there was absolute hatred for the Jewish people in Spain that led to the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition. It was meant to be a court that prosecuted heretics, or those how were not of the Christian Religion. Inquisitors believed that they were actually saving the Jews from the hideous fate in the afterlife because they were dying in the hands of God’s children. Though this tactic may seem unethical and immoral in today’s society, during this time in the 13th century, inquisitors were limited to their religiously blind education. The Spanish government also believed in the need for pure and unified Christian blood among families, which means the marriage between a Christian and a Jewish person, for example,  is forbidden. It was said to believe that a marriage between a Christian and non-Christian would destroy the ideal of purity blood . Due to this reason, the Jewish people in Spain were either driven out of the country or murdered.

The Jewish people in Spain were mistreated and forced to convert to Christianity due the rise of Anti-semitism. Throughout the years following the creation of the Spanish Inquisition, many Jews converted into Christians and were known as conversos. Although they were forced into a new religion, they practiced Judaism in private and remained under suspicion since they rejected the conversion initially. Not only was the Spanish Jewish population targeted, the Muslim kingdom in Granada was also. In 1502, there was a order to have the Muslims fall by the hands of the Spanish Inquisition. By 1526, Muslims were either forced to convert into Christianity. Eventually, the Islamic religion was banned in Spain altogether.

From a political standpoint, the Spanish Inquisition was justified due potential threat to the monarchy.Since Christianity was the most wide spread religion at the time, Spanish Christians blamed their problems on the Jewish people and saw that the Inquisition as a way to control the Jewish population , much like the German Nazis later in the future.

From a financial standpoint, Spain was not in the most financial stable position. Due to the wars that went on in Spain and Italy, the country’s resource was used up. The Spanish government feared a reaction from the public due to the prosperous growth of the Jewish community. As an act of revenge, the Spanish Inquisition  seized possessions and murdered the Jewish people.

Unfortunately, the life of the Spanish Inquisition was extended for hundreds of years. When Joseph Bonaparte took over the thrown in 1808, the Spanish Inquisition was removed and it wasn’t until 1834 before it was permanently removed. 

References:

http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/history/spanish-inquisition

http://www.britannica.com/topic/Spanish-Inquisition