free ebooks

A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

This time between the Shiite and Sunnite Arabs


Division of the conquered lands.]

[Sidenote: Religious effects of the conquest.]

The lands of the Visigothic state, the Christian church, emigrating nobles, and those who resisted were confiscated, but individuals who submitted, even nobles (and in some cases monasteries), had their estates restored to them in whole or in part, subject to the usual taxation. A fifth of the confiscated lands were taken by the state, and the rest were distributed among the soldiers and the chiefs of the Moslem armies. The state holdings were re-allotted to Spanish serfs, who were required to pay a third of the produce to the government, being allowed to keep the rest for themselves. The Berbers were given lands in the north, while the Arabs took the more fertile south. These lands, too, were given over to serfs on much the same terms as those granted by the state. The mass of the people were not greatly disturbed. Indeed, the agricultural laborer advanced economically, because requirements were lighter than formerly, and, also, since the lands were divided among a great many proprietors, the evil of the vast estates which had existed formerly was for the time being corrected. Slaves profited by the conquest, in part because they were better treated, but also in that they might become free by the mere act of conversion to Mohammedanism if they were slaves of Christians or Jews. A great many Christians became Mohammedans, some of

them to escape slavery, others to avoid the poll tax, and still others from sincere belief, and they came to form an important class of the Moslem world, called "Renegados," or renegades, by the Christians, and "Mulad?es" by themselves. The conquest weighed more heavily on the Christian church, although, indeed, it was allowed to remain in existence. The church had to experience the curious practice of having its bishops named or deposed and its councils called by the Moslem caliph or his representative. The Jews gained more than any other element. The harsh Visigothic laws were repealed and Jews were employed in government and administration as allies of the conquerors.

[Sidenote: Civil wars.]

The Moslem invasion of France was carried on with varying success for several years. In 732 occurred the so-called battle of Tours, in fact fought near Poitiers, when Charles Martel and a Frankish army defeated the Moslems. It was not this battle which caused the retreat of the invaders from France, but rather a civil war in Spain eight years later, necessitating a return to the peninsula. The Berbers of Africa had risen in revolt against their Arabic rulers, and had defeated both them and a Syrian force sent to the latter's assistance. Thereupon the Spanish Berbers rose as well. For a time they were successful, but the emir was able finally to subdue them, being aided by the Syrian army in Africa, which he had induced to come to Spain. Then followed a terrible war between the Syrians and the emir, because the promises to the former had not been fulfilled. The struggle ended with a grant of some of the state lands in southern Spain to the Syrians, who were to receive the government's third of the produce, but not the title to the lands. Shortly afterward there was another civil war, this time between the Shiite and Sunnite Arabs, caused by the harsh treatment of the former by a Sunnite governor. The war lasted eleven years, being then given a new turn by the intervention of a man who was to play an important part in the history of the period.

eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us