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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

In 1391 a great massacre of the Jews took place in Seville


popular sentiment was bitterly

hostile to them, due not only to the influence of the church, but also in part to hatred of the Jewish tax collectors, and partly to the avarice awakened by the wealth of the Jews (fabulously exaggerated as a rule). This enmity was evidenced in more and more restrictive laws and in the open insults and violence of the Christian populace. Popular feeling began to make itself more rigorously felt from about the year 1391. In 1391 a great massacre of the Jews took place in Seville, and this was a signal for similar massacres in other parts of Spain. Shortly afterward the Jews lost their separate law courts; they were forbidden among other things to engage in commerce with Christians, to rent the taxes[38] or hold public positions, to be artisans, to carry arms, or to have intimate relations with Christians; and they were even compelled to listen to sermons preached with a view to their conversion. These laws were not always enforced, but the position of the Jews was far from equalling that of the Mud?jares. Great numbers of them were converted, but it was believed, probably with truth, that they continued to practise the Jewish faith in secret. The converts were insulted by their Christian brethren, even in the name "Marranos" (pigs) applied to them as a class. They were also envied because of their industry and wealth, and were accused of diabolical practices of which they were almost certainly not guilty. In the last years of the reign of Henry IV the massacres of Jews began to
be extended to them as well as to the unconverted element.

[Sidenote: Changes in the laws of marriage, the family, and property.]

Two forces combined to change the former type of family life: the Roman civil law (of tremendous importance); and the doctrines of the church, which indeed in their judicial expression were influenced profoundly by the Roman law. They were able to strike a death-blow at the marriage _? yuras_; henceforth the law required the sanction of the church. _Barragan?a_ still maintained a legal though restricted standing. Cases of marriage and divorce were taken away from civil jurisdiction and turned over to the ecclesiastical courts. As an illustration of the individualistic tendencies springing from the influence of Roman jurisprudence it may be noted that up to twenty-five years of age a daughter had to have her father's consent in order to contract marriage, but could dispense with his permission after that time. The most important reform in family life was the establishment of the rule of primogeniture, a practice which rapidly became customary. The Roman law was equally influential in its effects upon property. Whereas formerly the wealth of Castile had been based on agriculture and stock-raising, with the land concentrated in few hands and cultivated by serfs, now urban lands and personalty, based on industry and commerce and adapted to Roman principles, became the more important; and despite the _latifundia_ of the era a large part of the former seigniorial lands was now given over in small lots to free proprietors protected by the law. The Roman formalism appeared to some extent also in the law of property, contract, and wills, especially in the legislation of Alfonso X.


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