The Spanish Inquisition
The Spanish Inquisition officially started in the mid- to late- fourteen hundreds. The Spanish Inquisition was a country wide persecution of Jews for which there are several different reasons as to why it began. The actual reason, or reasons, that motivated the
King and Queen are not known at this time, and may never be known for sure.
Depending on whom you ask, there are different reasons of that vary in importance for the start of the Spanish Inquisition. Most historians seem to stress three important reasons which are: Politics,
Economics, and Religion. My own opinion as to which of these reasons is correct is that it was a combination of Religious and Economic reasons. This thought will be expanded on at a later time.
Religion was one of the most predominant reasons given for the start of the Spanish Inquisition. The Jews and Christians already hated each other prior to the start of the Inquisition : "It is inevitable that there has been disagreement between
Jews and Christians: The Christians hating the Jews on account of the
Crucifixion; the Jews contemptuous of a sect which had taken their
Religion and grafted a new one on it."
The Christians were angry because the Jews crucified Christ. The Jews were angry because the Christians took their religion, changed some ideas and principles, and called the outcome Christianity. The Jews and Christians were never friendly after the Crucifixion of Jesus
Christ, and this was just the climax of their hate for each other.
However, the Christians were the ones that were in the position to get revenge, and they did, by persecuting the Jews to a murderous extent, and calling it the Inquisition.
Those who did the persecuting and the killing of the Jews were called Inquisitors. These people did not mind doing the killing or torturing. Some thought that the Jews were causing sicknesses and the
Black Plague. Others thought that what they were doing was God's work: "It has been said that the zealots of the Inquisition, even in their greatest cruelty, believed themselves to be justified in what they did. We are asked to accept as a fact that they were deeply religious men who honestly and sincerely believed that they were serving God in what they did. We are told that they believed Jews were destined for damnation, and that it was their duty to save them from that no matter what pain they inflicted on the bodies of the Jews here on Earth."
The Inquisitors believed that they were saving the Jews for a hideous fate in the Underworld. They believed that since the Jews were dying at the hands of one of God's children who was a follower of God, that they would get the Wisdom and knowledge of this person, and therefore go to heaven. Although now, this may incomprehensible, at the time of the Inquisition, the Inquisitors were not educated in any manner other than a religious one, and had become highly religious individuals.
This added up to what we would now call blind faith. This means believing in something for no reason other than religious custom or tradition.
The Government and its religious officials wanted to maintain
Limpeza de Sangre or Purity of Blood. They wanted to have a pure and unified Spanish-Christian race and community, and in order to do so, they founit necessary to prevent any more intermarriage between
Christians and conversos or Jews that would destroy the possibility of
Limpieza de Sangre. They saw that the only way of ahieving this goal through the Inquisition. They would kill or drive out all of the Jews from Spain, and therefore achieve Limpieza de Sangre, or so they thought. The killed many Jews, but after the three-hundred and fifty year period of the Inquisitionwas over, many thousands of practicing
Jews were still living in Spain.
Aside from religious reasons, there were also some very strong political reasons for the Spanish Inquisition. The main political reason for the Spanish Inquisition was that there was a threat to the monarchy. The Christians of Spain, who at the time were the majority, were outraged at the Jews for many reasons, some which refer back to the religious reasons. The Monarchs of Spain, King Ferdinand and
Queen Isabella, began to realize that if the tension of