Spanish Inquisition Research Paper

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The Spanish Inquisition, also known formally as the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, was established by Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, who were the Catholic monarchs in the Iberian Peninsula, in 1478. At that time, the Peninsula was divided into two main groups, the remaining Muslim stronghold at Granada and its tributaries, and the Catholic Kingdoms of Castile, Aragon and Navarre. The Reconquista, finished in 1492, created a serious problem for the Catholic monarchs because it left them with sizeable populations of Muslims and Jews, in addition to their own Catholic subjects. The Inquisition was created in response to the rise of the conversos, those Jews that had converted to Christianity, especially in response…show more content…
The Alhambra Decree was issued in January of 1492 in order to help protect faithful Catholics from the supposed corrupting influence of Judaism. The edict decreed that all Jews who were living in the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon either had to convert to Catholicism, or leave the countries entirely. Historians disagree on the number of Jews that lived in the Peninsula at this time but close examination provides estimates of about 80,000 Jews with around half of them choosing to leave. The ones that decided to convert were viewed as insincere because they converted in order to survive, and not because they had any particular devotion to the Catholic faith. It was these conversos that created a problem for Their Most Catholic Majesties, they were viewed with distrust by the nobles, and despised by the peasantry who were well trained in hating Jews, no matter what religion they claimed to be a part of. This was a very dangerous mix for the crown because it still had not fully consolidated its power over the entire peninsula. Therefore they needed to have some sort of system that would allow them to monitor dissention amongst the population, and also to quell any rebellious inclinations that people might have, throughout Spain. The Inquisition thereby became the main domestic police force of the Spanish crown, in the same vein as the KGB, Stasi and the

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