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The Spanish Inquisition is known for the terror it caused the inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula The Inquisition began as a way to cleanse the nation of supposed heretics but eventually came to have more racial and political motives as time wore on The beginning of the Inquisition is generally credited to the reign of Ferdinand V and Isabella though the anti-Jewish sentiments have been shown to begin well before their reign Living in fourteenth century Spain in Seville there was an archdeacon named Martinez who continually tried to incite the people to purge themselves of the Jewish inhabitants of the city He convinced others that the Jewish population was worth nothing and were basically a plague to the city No doubt these accusations were based on his religious piety and on Ash Wednesday March 15 1391 Martinez succeeded in motivating his congregation to riot The crowd of people went to the Juderia the Jewish part of the city Some of the participants were captured by the police and flogged but that did not stop Martinez or his followers who were not arrested Finally on June 6th of the same year Martinez and his followers finally succeeded in sacking the Juderia of Seville It is believed the victims numbered in the hundreds Roth The Spanish Inquisition 1964 After this episode and few others like it it is clear where the sentiments that fueled the Inquisition came from The Jews considered themselves to be free from these problems but this was not to be the caseWhen Ferdinand and Isabella married it united the kingdoms of Aragon and Castille comprising the most powerful states in Spain At this time many non-Christians were forced to profess their beliefs in Christianity to free themselves from persecution These people were to be known as conversos or converted but it is apparent that a lot of those who professed to believe in Christianity likely did not stop practicing other beliefs it
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