Friday, May 6, 2011

Why is it so important to understand Spanish Inquisition if one is to really understand the culture of the Middle Ages?

Why is it so important to understand Spanish Inquisition if one is to really understand the culture of the Middle Ages?
          The Spanish Inquisition was established in 1478 and lasted for over 350 years.  It was one of man inquisitions that occurred between the 12th and 19th century.  During this time period many Jews, Jews, Muslims and Protestants were put in Inquisitional Court and doomed to torment, custody, exile and death.  During this time period many people were converted to Christianity, some out of their own free will and others because they were terrified for their life.  The Spanish Inquisition was incredibly gruesome; however, it plays a major role in understanding the culture of the Middle Ages.  Although the Spanish Inquisition was a terrible event in history, it does not help to better understand the culture of the middle ages.  
          The Political aspects and court hearings were greatly affected by the Spanish Inquisition, “The inquisitorial system was based on ancient Roman law. It was different from other court systems because the court actually took part in the process of trying the accused. (History How Stuff Works Shanna Freeman)” When people were sent to court as a result of their religion, they were not allowed a lawyer. Another aspect of this new system was that anybody could be put on trial against them, family, neighbors, or friends.  The person at trial was also not given the knowledge of who their accusers were.  Political disadvantages were a result of the Spanish Inquisition.
Many people were also emotionally distraught due to the events of the Spanish Inquisition, “It has been estimated that during Tomas de Torquemada's tenure of office over 200,000 souls were tortured and killed.  (BBC The Spanish Inquisition)”  The vast majority of gruesome deaths left an emotional aftermath.  Many people were scared to think for themselves or go against the Church. People no longer felt free with religion and everyone lived in fear.  The events of the Spanish Inquisition were terrifying. 
During this time period Christianity was a very powerful religion.  The Church believed other people should be force to convert because they were, “right”.  “If there are many or few cases, it doesn't matter. What's important is you don't say, 'I am right and you are wrong and I burn you’ (BBC Thomas Noffke 2004)” The measures people took on others to change their religion were unreal.  The hatred in their hearts were burning and because of this religion was greatly affected.  Many of people converted to Christianity resulting in many more Christians than there had been before.  Religion was severely affected by the Spanish Inquisition.  
The era in which the Spanish Inquisition occurred many changes were experienced.  Religion was one of the biggest cultural changes because many people were forced to convert to Christianity.  There were also cultural changes in politics and the citizens.  This was a terrifying time that stuck with many people for years afterwards.  In conclusion, the Spanish Inquisition is a major part of understanding the culture of the middle ages.

"BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - In Our Time, The Spanish  Inquisition." BBC -        Homepage. Web. 05 May           2011.    <>.
"BBC - H2g2 - The Spanish Inquisition." BBC - Homepage. Web. 05 May   2011.             <>.
"HowStuffWorks "How the Spanish Inquisition          Worked"" Howstuffworks  "History" Web. 05 May             2011. history/spanish-        inquisition.htm
Murphy, Verity. "BBC NEWS | Europe | Vatican 'dispels Inquisition   Myths'" BBC News          - Home. Web. 05 May             2011.  <>.

No comments:

Post a Comment