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 
 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 

 "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 
 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 the citizens 
increased a little more, riots and mass killing would break out, 
possibly leading to a religious civil war. The method they used to 
control the citizens was the Spanish Inquisition. Using the 
Inquisition, they were able to soothe and calm the majority of the 
Spanish citizens. At the same time, they believed they were removing 
the source of the problem. The King, Queen, and the rest of the rest 
of the entire government was able to secure their positions in the 
 The officials were also able to use the Inquisition as a way 
to fulfill their personal desires: "It is to solve their problems and 
theirs alone that the Spanish Inquisition was started." There were 
many officials who wanted governmental position that were held by 
Jews. After many futile attempts to get these Jews thrown out of 
office, the officials had to devise a plan to get the Jews out of 
office. The method that they devised was to introduce the Inquisition 
to Spain. The officials started to spread rumors that the Jews were 
the cause of all misfortunes including any bad weather, crop, or any 
other mishap. This was a brilliant plan, since the first Jews that 
the public wanted to be killed were the popular and high ranking 
officials. This immediately opened up the positions that the 
officials desired. 
 The Government officials were also fearful of these powerful 
Jews. Many Jews had risen up in the political rankings through the 
years, and this caused other s to fear the potential power of the 
Jews. They were assuming that if the Jews became too powerful, that 
they would be a threat to Spain, either by threatening the Monarchy as 
previously mentioned , or by revolting against the Christian 
officials and try and take over or overthrow the government, or even 
by starting a religious Holy War with the Christians. The officials 
needed to stop this uprising of the Jews. They knew that just rallying 
the people for their cause would not be enough, something more 
powerful was needed. Their solution is what is now known as the 
 Another principle reason for the start of the Inquisition was 
 economics and money. When the idea of the Inquisition was becoming 
more widely known of, Spain was not in a very prosperous time. Spain 
had used a lot of money and resources during the reconquest of 
Granada, and the wars in Spain and Italy. The government began to 
realize that they were low on money, and that they needed to replenish 
their financial funds, before their signs of weakness were evident to 
the public. If that ever happened, the people might take advantage of 
the weakness and try to overthrow the government. Therefore, the 
officials and monarchs needed to find a way to acquire money. They 
were able to get the necessary money using the Inquisition. They 
killed hundreds of thousands of Jews and took their possessions, 
their money, and anything else they could find. They used these things 
to replenish the wealth of the government.
 The government officials of the time were also a bit low on 
money. They were very greedy, and wanted to be rich as they once were. 
They were able to use the Inquisition as a manner of attaining money 
and riches. They would hire people or go themselves, and ransack the 
houses of Jews. They would kill the inhabitants of the houses, and 
take anything they could find, including money, furniture, and 
 The King and Queen had the same selfish desires as the 
officials had. They wanted to get more money for themselves, and they 
had to find a quick source it. They did the same thing as the 
officials did. They hired people to pillage the houses of the Jews, 
and to take their money and possessions. 
 The Jews were becoming a powerful and rich group in Spain, and 
had always been the type of people who wanted to be wealthy and let 
everyone know it:

 "The Jews...were a people who not only wished to make fortunes 
but to flaunt their wealth.... As it was, not only did they rouse the 
righteous indignation of Christians on account of the murder of Jesus 
Christ, but the envy of those Christians who were less successful." 

The Jews were successful, and everyone in Spain knew that they were. 
The Christians were constantly seeing the wealth of the Jews and 
became very jealous. The Jews were more important in Spanish Society 
than the Christians, and this made some Christians insanely jealous. 
The Inquisition was once again used as a method of getting revenge.

 My belief as to which of the above reasons was the reason for 
the Spanish Inquisition is that it was started for both religious and 
economic reasons. One must take into consideration the fact that money 
is a tremendously strong force that can drive people to do just about 
anything to get it including lie, steal, cheat, and yes, even kill. 
This is what took over and controlled the government for three-hundred 
and fifty years. The government was money hungry, and had no steady 
source of money, so they started to persecuting the Jews. 
 The reason that the common people started to persecute the 
Jews was different. The commoners truly believed in their hearts that 
the Jews were sinners against God and that they were destined for 
eternal damnation unless they were killed by a Christian. 
 There were many possible reasons for the start of the 
Inquisition. However, as no one knows exactly what was going through 
the heads of the King and Queen, or the government officials, or the 
religious officials at the start of the Spanish Inquisition, no one 
can know for sure the true reason for the start of the Inquisition.


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