Shortly after the Reconquista...

After the recapture of Granada, Spain was finally unified and liberated from the Muslims. However, as devout Catholics, Isabella and Ferdinand also tried to acheive religious unity. The Moors and Jews were allowed to remain with their faiths or convert to Christianity. For a period of time, the religions all lived together in relative peace. However, as time went on, anti-Semitism began to sprout. As the Moors and Jews began getting higher positions in offices, Christians felt that they were competition, and harbored an enmity toward them. Jews were forced to wear a patch, wear rough clothing and keep their hair long. From this law, many decided to convert to Christianity.

The Spanish Inquisition

          Being a firm believer in Christianity, Isabella felt that heresy must be eradicated. Pestered by a religious official, the King and Queen decided to create the Inquisition in Castile to enforce their religion. In 1483, Tomas de Torquemada was made inquisitor general, using torture to get a confession. Only baptized converts could be guilty of heresy, but over time, to achieve religious unity, Jews and Moors were eventually included. Many people were arrested as simply being accused would be reason enough. Some even abused this rule to put despised neighbors in prison. The seed of paranoia was scattered and thousands of Christians tried to flee, but most were unsuccessful. During Isabella's reign, about 2,000 people died through the Inquisition. Jews were expelled from Spain in order to create stability according to Isabella and Ferdinand, but in actual fact, hurt the economy as many Jews were bankers or doctors. Moors were also persecuted and the Inquisition organized book burnings. Some decided to convert, but those who fled were quickly killed.

          Isabella was a great advocate of the arts and humanity, but her devotion to Catholicism was even greater. Although the Inquisition murdered thousands of innocent people, it eventually cleansed the corrupt clergy. The efforts of the archbishop Cisneros and Isabella had greatly reformed Spain. Despite her actions for a united, stable Spain, Isabella had also created a conservative country forbidding new ideas.