Establishment of the Spanish Inquisition (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The establishment of the Spanish Inquisition allows the Catholic Church to prosecute converted Jews suspected of heresy, but is soon expanded to enforce orthodoxy by pursuing converted Muslims, alleged witches, Protestants, and others within Spain for more than three hundred years.
Summary of Event
The term “inquisition” denotes the judicial persecution of heretics by special church courts. The so-called Spanish Inquisition differed from other such tribunals in that it was directly under the authority of the Crown, but it was not the first inquisition to operate in Spain. Although no medieval inquisition was ever organized in the kingdom of Castile, one had been founded in the kingdom of Aragon in 1233 to combat the Catharist religion centered in neighboring France. By the fourteenth century, few traces of heresy remained among Iberian Christians, and since the inquisition had no jurisdiction over unbaptized Jews and Muslims, it almost ceased to function. In its place, Spain’s crusading Christians focused on the “Reconquest” of southern regions still occupied by Muslims.
While Jews were expelled from England in 1290 and from France in 1306, they were allowed limited rights to reside in Spain until 1492. When Jewish communities grew and prospered, however, anti-Semitism became increasingly widespread. After Barcelona and other cities experienced terrible pogroms in 1391, thousands...
(The entire section is 1315 words.)
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