Spanish Inquisiton

Over the years in history, there have been many formidable executions that were caused by the aspect of different faiths and races. Period after period there have been many leaders who lashed out onto others because of what they believed in. All of these incidents have never been forgotten; one very infamous one would be the Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish Inquisition was started to “cleanse” the Church of heretics and purify Spain. They executed Jews, Muslims, and other minorities not of Christian faith. Ferdinand and Isabella were in crown of Spain and appointed the Church to start the Spanish Inquisition. These cases will be discussed in the fallowing paper.

Isabella promised whenever she reaches the throne she would devote herself to the termination and persecution of the Jews. The person who made her promise this did not realize that she would ever reach the throne. When she was queen she did what she promised and cleansed Spain of heretics. She appointed the main inquisitor, Thomas of Torquemada. Thomas was the one who had Isabella vow that she would purify Spain. Besides her vow, she already wanted “one country, one ruler, one faith.” (Slade, 1996)

The Inquisition executed Jews and Muslims. However, even the ones who converted to Christianity or born Christian were tortured if they once were of another faith or if it could be traced back in their roots. The ones who had the Jewish blood, or of any other faith and were born Christian, were tortured more severely. The accused was not allowed to have a lawyer or counsel for their defense.

They tortured people to gain confessions. The church handled all confessions, however could not witness the bloodshed that they caused to get the accused to confess. All punishments were vary physical two of the most infamous were the strappado and aselli. The strappado, meaning pulley, was a device containing ropes to strap a person down from their arms and legs and weights were attached on the ropes. The person would be raised and their body would stretch causing mass amounts of pain and sometimes-immediate death. The aselli was a water torment. A person would lie down and be drowned rapidity until it looked like their veins would explode.

According to the Church’s law: if a torture was stopped then you could not start it again with the same person but a break could be taken. Once a person confesses the Spanish felt pure and convinced that the torture was heinous enough, and then the person would be sentence to death. A sentenced death was carried out as the accused is thrown into a fire which they called auto de fe (act of faith). (Slade, 1996) However, if one died in the prisons, the Spanish felt un-pure and felt the need to throw that persons family in the fire as well.

The Spanish Inquisition, brought up by prejudices and greed, went on well longer then the reign of Isabella. It lasted for 330 years. Almost half a million people were burned just because of their beliefs.