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Creating A Christian Spain

The Spanish Inquisition and Saving Souls

King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella


King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were so devoted to their
religion that the pope in Rome called them The Catholic
Monarchs.
The Reconquesta was a long process, and carried on for almost
300 years. By 1269, the only part of Spain that was in Muslim
hands was Granada- wich was captured on January 2, 1492.
From the Pyrenees Mountains in the north to the Rock of
Gibraltar in the south, Spain was now a Christian land.
This long and terrible struggle affected Ferdinand and Isabella
rule in many ways. The first step they took to uniting Spain
under one religion was to take over the Spanish Inquisition
from the church.
The inquisition became a state run system of courts where
Church officials put Non- Catholic believers on trial. Once the
Reconquista was complete, Muslims and Jews living in Spain
were given a choice- convert or be exiled.
Both Muslims and Jews lived in constant fear that they would
be discovered and punished by the Inquisition.

The Spanish Inquisition


The expulsion of the Jews and Muslims had serious negative effects on Spain. Spanish Jews and
Muslims had formed a large part of the educated middle class.
Many of them were financiers and business people. The loss of their skills made it difficult for Spain
to maintain economic growth at the end of the 1400s.

Saving Souls

As the Catholic Monarchs were pushing all non-Christians


out of Spain, they also began to think about people in
other countries. They knew that Islam was spreading
though out the Middle East and into Asia. King Ferdinand
and Queen Isabella viewed this as a threat to the unity
of Catholicism.

The King and Queen believed they had a religious duty


to convert as many people as possible to the Catholic
faith, both in Spain and beyond Spain.
This became entrenched in the Spanish worldview.
Converting people to Catholicism is one of the main
reasons why Columbus was given the means to explore
West.
Starting with Columbus, all the Spanish explorers and
conquistadors brought missionaries with them on their
voyages and expeditions. Missionaries were men and
women from religious orders, priests, and other clergy,
who had the authority to teach and convert people to
Catholicism.