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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

A Moslem uprising was the result


Forced conversion of the Mud?jares of Castile.]

The terms of surrender had included numerous articles providing for the security of the Moslem population. Virtually they amounted to a promise that the Mud?jar, or Moslem, element would not be molested in any respect, whether in Granada or elsewhere in Castile. Such a treaty could not long be enforced in the face of the religious ardor and intolerance of the age. The greatest men of the kingdom, and among them the most notable of all, the archbishop of Toledo, Xim?nez de Cisneros, confessor of the queen, joined in urging a different policy. Pressure began to be exerted in direct contravention of the treaty to bring about an enforced conversion of the Mud?jares to Christianity. A Moslem uprising was the result, and this was seized upon by Xim?nez as justifying a complete disregard, henceforth, of the terms of the capitulation, on the ground that the Moslems had nullified the treaty by their rebellion,--a convenient argument which did not enquire into the real causes of the outbreak. Christianization by force, not without a number of serious uprisings, now went on at a rapid rate, and was completed by a royal decree of 1502 which ordered that all Mud?jares in the Castilian domains should accept Christianity or leave the country. Many took the latter course, but the greater number remained, Christians in outward appearance if not so at heart. Officially there were no more Mud?jares in Castile except

slaves. The newly converted element became known, henceforth, as "Moriscos," thus attaching them by association of ideas to their ancient faith, and since their Christianity did not inspire much confidence they were made subject to the dread Inquisition.

[Sidenote: Castilian activities in northwestern Africa and the Canary Islands.]

The discovery of America in 1492, together with other factors, directed Castilian attention to the Canary Islands and northwestern Africa, bringing the Spanish kingdom into contact and rivalry with the Portuguese, who had devoted themselves to exploration, conquest, and colonization in that region for nearly a century. It may suffice here to say that in successive treaties of 1480, 1494, and 1509 Portugal recognized Castile's claim to the Canaries and certain posts in northwestern Africa. The security of the American route was not the principal motive of Castilian interest at that time in northwestern Africa. The wars with Granada and the danger of fresh invasions, coupled with the crusading zeal which had been aroused against the Moslems, and aggravated by the activities of North African corsairs, were perhaps the leading factors affecting the policy of the Catholic Kings. In 1494 the definitive conquest of the Canary Islands was made, and at the same time a post was established on the neighboring coast of western Africa to serve as a centre for the resistance to the Moslems. Meanwhile, private attacks by Spaniards on North African ports were being made, but it was not until 1497 that the Catholic Kings formally embarked on that enterprise. Bent upon checking piracy in that region they took possession of Melilla, which thenceforth became an important Spanish post.

[Sidenote: Ferdinand's European policy.]

While Ferdinand had much to do with the events which have thus far been discussed, he and his subjects of Aragon and Catalonia were more interested in other affairs. Ferdinand aimed at nothing less than a predominant place for Spain in European affairs, to be preceded by the establishment of Aragonese supremacy in the Mediterranean. The principal stumbling-block was the power of the French kings. Ferdinand schemed, therefore, to bring about the isolation

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