The Spanish Inquisition became an infamous event in history that would interest and shock people for centuries to come. King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella of Spain started the Spanish Inquisition in September of 1480; however, it was two years earlier in the November of 1478 that Pope Sixtus IV actually authorized the two monarchs to set up and start the Inquisition. (The Spanish Inquisition, n.d.)
The Inquisition mostly dealt with the conversos, or "Jews who had converted either under duress or out of social convenience, and were suspected of secretly practicing the Jewish faith." (The Spanish Inquisition, n.d.) While this is given as a definition of conversos, some people believe that the majority of conversos were excellent Catholics who took pride in their Jewish heritage. (Madden, 2003) It is important to know that the Spanish Inquisition had no power over practicing Jews and Muslims. It only could affect professed Christians who were suspected of being false and who may be a risk to the country. (The Spanish Inquisition, n.d.)
Sixtus IV set specific guidelines for the judges for the Inquisition. They had to be 40 years or older, have an impeccable reputation, be incredibly distinguished for virtue and wisdom, and be masters of theology or doctors, or licentiates of canon law. (Blotzer, 1910) On September 17, 1480 the King and Queen of Spain appointed two Dominicans to be the inquisitors, Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San Martin. However, complaints of the two's actions soon reached Rome. On January 29, 1482 in a meeting with Pope Sixtus IV they were blamed to have unjustly imprisoned people, tortured them cruelly and declared them false believers. (Blotzer, 1910)
The real organizer and head of the Inquisition was really Fray Tomás Torquemada. Sixtus IV gave him the office of grand inquisitor, or inquisitor general, of Castile, Leon, Aragon, Valencia, and other cities. Torquemada happened to be from a converso family himself. (The Spanish...
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