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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Continued to accuse the Moriscos


[Sidenote:

War with the Granadine Moriscos.]

While Philip had no such widespread discontent in Spain to deal with as had characterized the early years of the reign of Charles, there was one problem leading to a serious civil war in southern Spain. The Moriscos of Granada had proved to be an industrious and loyal element, supporting Charles in the war of the communities, but there was reason to doubt the sincerity of their conversion to Christianity. The populace generally and the clergy in particular were very bitter against them, and procured the passage of laws which were increasingly severe in their treatment of the Moriscos. An edict of 1526 prohibited the use of Arabic speech or dress, the taking of baths (a Moslem custom), the bearing of arms, the employment of non-Christian names, and the giving of lodging in their houses to Mohammedans whether free or slave. The Moriscos were also subjected to oppressive inspections to prevent Mohammedan religious practices; they were obliged to send their children to Christian schools; and a branch of the Inquisition was established in Granada to execute, with all the rigors of that institution, the laws against apostasy. The full effect of the edict was avoided by means of a financial gift to the king, but the Inquisition was not withdrawn. For many years the situation underwent no substantial change. The clergy, and the Christian element generally, continued to accuse the Moriscos, and the latter complained of

the confiscations and severity of the Inquisition. In 1567, however, the edict of 1526 was renewed, but in harsher form, amplifying the prohibitions. When attempts were made to put the law into effect, and especially when agents came to take the Morisco children to Christian schools, by force if necessary, an uprising was not long in breaking out. The war lasted four years. The Moriscos were aided by the mountainous character of the country, and they received help from the Moslems of northern Africa and even from the Turks. The decisive campaign was fought in 1570, when Spanish troops under Philip's half-brother, Juan (or Don John) of Austria, an illegitimate son of Charles I, defeated the Moriscos, although the war dragged on to the following year. The surviving Moriscos, including those who had not taken up arms, were deported _en masse_ and distributed in other parts of Castilian Spain.

[Sidenote: Wars with the Turks.]

[Sidenote: Juan of Austria.]

The external peril from the Moslem peoples had not confined itself to the period of the Morisco war. Piracy still existed in the western Mediterranean, and the Turkish Empire continued to advance its conquests in northern Africa. Philip gained great victories, notably when he compelled the Turks to raise the siege of Malta in 1564, and especially in 1571, when he won the naval battle of Lepanto, in which nearly 80,000 Christians were engaged, most of them Spaniards. These victories were very important in their European bearings, for they broke the Turkish naval power, and perhaps saved Europe, but from the standpoint of Spain alone they were of less consequence. Philip failed to follow them up, partly because of the pressure of other affairs, and in part because of his suspicions of the victor of Lepanto, the same Juan of Austria who had just previously defeated the Moriscos. Juan of Austria was at the same time a visionary and a capable man of affairs. He was ambitious to pursue the Turks to Constantinople, capture that city, and restore the Byzantine Empire, with himself as ruler. Philip withdrew his support, whereupon Juan devised a new project of a great North African empire. Juan even captured Tunis in pursuance of his plan, but Philip would give him no help, and Juan was obliged to retire, thus permitting of a Turkish reconquest. Philip was always able to offer the excuse of lack of funds,--and, indeed, the expenditures in the wars with Turkey, with all the effects they carried in their train, were the principal result to the peninsula of these campaigns.


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