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Tolerance and Coexistence in Early Modern Spain

Tolerance and Coexistence in Early Modern Spain: The Moriscos of the Campo de Calatrava

Series: Monografías A
Volume: 334
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Tolerance and Coexistence in Early Modern Spain
    Book Description:

    There has been a widely-held consensus among historians that the Moriscos of Spain made little or no attempt to assimilate to the majority Christian culture around them, and that this apparent obduracy made their expulsion between1609 and 1614 both necessary and inevitable. This book challenges that view. Assimilation, coexistence, and tolerance between Old and New Christians in early modern Spain were not a fiction or a fantasy, but could be a reality, made possible by the thousands of ordinary individuals who did not subscribe to the negative vision of the Moriscos put around by the propagandists of the government, and who had lived in peace and harmony side by side for generations. For some, this may be a new and surprising vision of early modern Spain, which for too long, and thanks in large part to the Black Legend, has been characterized as a land of intolerance and fanaticism. This book will help to rebalance the picture and show sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain in a new, infinitely richer and more rewarding light. Trevor J. Dadson FBA is Professor of Hispanic Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, andis currently President of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland. In 2008 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-244-0
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. Illustrations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
    Trevor J. Dadson
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xi)
  6. A Note on Names
    (pp. xii-xii)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    At the beginning of this century Gregorio Colás Latorre wrote that

    The voice of the Mudéjares and New Christians […] is to be found above all in local history. The Mudéjar and, later, the Morisco do not express themselves through the means of communication of the time, but via their deeds, which are to be found in the old and dusty papers of seigniorial, municipal and notarial archives. Here we will find a dimension of their lives very different to that narrated by the dominant historiography, which has practically limited the Morisco problem to a political–religious question.¹

    The aim...

  8. 1 The Inquisition and the Campo de Calatrava in the Sixteenth Century
    (pp. 13-36)

    The Five Towns (‘Cinco Villas’) of Aldea del Rey, Almagro, Bolaños, Daimiel, and Villarrubia de los Ojos in the Campo de Calatrava had relatively large Mudéjar populations, which had lived in the area for centuries.¹ From the twelfth century onwards the whole region came under the control of the military Order of Calatrava, a control which only started to break down at the end of the fifteenth century, when the Order passed into royal hands, and most crucially in the early sixteenth century, when certain towns were sold off by the Crown to private individuals.² What particularly distinguished these five...

  9. 2 Literacy, Education, and Social Mobility
    (pp. 37-64)

    The issue of literacy in early modern Europe is complex. Even when we have defined what we mean by ‘literacy’, we still have to devise ways to measure it. It is important not to confuse current understandings of literacy with those operative in the early modern period. As Jacqueline Pearson has observed of women (although what she says holds good for men as well):

    Literacy has traditionally been tested by the ability to write one’s name: but in this period writing was taught separately from, and at a later stage than, reading, so that even the person unable to write...

  10. 3 Justice and the Law
    (pp. 65-78)

    For many, the title of this chapter will sound paradoxical: if there is one thing which the Moriscos rarely, if ever, enjoyed during the more than a hundred years that passed between their forced conversion at the beginning of the sixteenth century and their expulsion from Spain between 1609 and 1614, it is justice. For anyone who has read the numerous Inquisition trial records or the hundreds of documents created by and for the expulsion, there can be little doubt that the Moriscos were nearly always the victims of justice rather than its beneficiaries. And yet it is not as...

  11. 4 From Heretic to Presbyter: The Herrador Family, 1540–1660
    (pp. 79-100)

    On 19 January 1543 the tranquil, though undoubtedly harsh and uncertain, world of Juan Herrador, called the Elder, a villager from Bolaños in the Campo de Calatrava, changed radically when he found himself before the inquisitors of the Tribunal of Toledo, accused of being ‘a heretic and apostate of our Holy Catholic faith’ for not eating pork or drinking wine. As with so many other Old Moriscos in the Campo de Calatrava, Juan Herrador had just fallen into the net of the inquisitor Juan Yanes, who had been in La Mancha since January 1538 investigating the customs of the Moriscos.¹...

  12. 5 Official Rhetoric versus Local Reality: Propaganda and the Expulsion of the Moriscos
    (pp. 101-122)

    Propaganda has become such a part of twenty-first-century life that we sometimes forget that it is not a modern invention at all but can be traced back many centuries, even to a time when public opinion barely existed as a notion, when governments did not have to face daily on the television or the radio probing journalists, their critics, and their political opponents. The very modern concept of ‘burying bad news’ is not so modern as we might like to think, and even spin doctors spinning the news in artfully favourable ways have their counterparts in early modern Europe.


  13. 6 Opposition to the Expulsion of the Moriscos
    (pp. 123-146)

    It is not uncommon for the reader of many histories of the expulsion of the Moriscos, both those written at the time and more modern ones, to be left with the impression that the expulsion was an enterprise carried out without opposition, an act accepted both by the Moriscos, who directly suffered from it, and by the rest of the population, which was about to lose its neighbours and, in some cases, its relatives. Nothing could be further from the truth. The expulsion of the Moriscos was contested at all times and by a wide variety of people: the Church...

  14. 7 Those Who Stayed
    (pp. 147-160)

    During the last few years, which have marked the four-hundredth anniversary of the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spanish territory, it is understandable that almost all the attention has been drawn to the act of expulsion itself, leaving to one side other aspects of it. however, we ought not to forget that there were at least three groups of Moriscos affected by the expulsion, not just the group that was expelled. There were also those who were never expelled and who, for different reasons, remained in their towns and cities, as well as those who returned after being expelled, some...

  15. 8 Those Who Returned
    (pp. 161-182)

    At the height of the Falklands War, at a moment in which success for either side hung in the balance, the Argentinean Air Force announced that they had brought down two British Harrier Jump jets. For several hours panic reigned in London. Being so far away from the action, it was not easy to ascertain the truth, until the daily nine o’clock evening news, when the BBC correspondent Brian Hanrahan reported from the deck of the aircraft carrier HMSHermes, from where the Harrier jet fighters had taken off two hours earlier. Barred from giving away any details of the...

  16. 9 Rewriting History
    (pp. 183-202)

    In the autumn of 1611 Spain was in the throes of a massive population upheaval. In April 1609 the king, Philip III, had announced the expulsion of all remaining descendants of Spain’s Moorish population, now known as Moriscos. The expulsions began in Valencia, in September 1609, and continued region by region for the next four years; the last group to be expelled, in November 1613, were the Mudéjares of Murcia, who lived mainly in the Valle de Ricote and, in the opinion of all commentators, were completely assimilated. Before them, the also largely assimilated Moriscos of Castile had suffered expulsion,...

  17. 10 Good and Faithful Christians: The Inquisition and Villarrubia in the Seventeenth Century
    (pp. 203-224)

    When Philip IV recognised the validity of the privileges granted to the Old Moriscos from the Campo de Calatrava, he officially put them on the same level as the Old Christians from that region: they were equal in everything, and there could be no discrimination between them. However, the law is one thing; reality, as Pedro de Yébenes discovered when he tried to get the King’s confirmation of the Moriscos’ ancient privilege accepted in the Campo de Calatrava, is another.¹ It was not enough to be a good Christian; that had to be proved on a daily basis, through actions...

  18. 11 Assimilation: Reality or Fiction?
    (pp. 225-244)

    Just over four hundred years ago, on 19 May 1611, a group of leading Morisco villagers from Villarrubia de los Ojos wrote a petition to the king of Spain, Philip III, which was sent via the royal secretary, Antonio de Aróztegui. Two months previously (22 March 1611) the King had published the decree of expulsion of all Moriscos from New and Old Castile, La Mancha, Extremadura, and Andalusia; the two-month period allowing them to sell their possessions and prepare for expulsion to France was now almost up. The petition was a final throw of the dice, as far as they...

  19. Glossary
    (pp. 245-246)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 247-258)
  21. Index
    (pp. 259-280)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 281-281)