Most Jews left Spain.
Ferdinand and Isabella[edit source | editbeta]
The hostility toward Jews was brought to a climax by "the Catholic Monarchs" – Ferdinand II and Isabella I, whose marriage in 1469 formed a personal union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile, with coordinated policies between their distinct kingdoms.
Ferdinand and Isabella took seriously the reports that some crypto-Jews were not only privately practicing their former faith, but were secretly trying to draw other conversos back into the Jewish fold. In 1478, Ferdinand and Isabella made formal application to Rome for a tribunal of the Inquisition in Castile to investigate these and other suspicions. In 1487, King Ferdinand established the Spanish Inquisition in Aragon. It is not known how many had not truly converted, had lapsed from their new Christianity, or were attempting to persuade others to revert.
The independent Islamic Emirate of Granada had been a tributary state to Castile since 1238. In 1491, in preparation for an imminent transition to Castilian territory, the Treaty of Granada was signed by Emir Muhammad XII and the Queen of Castile, protecting the religious freedoms of the Jews and Muslims there. In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella completed the Catholic Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula from Islamic al-Andalus by victory in the Battle of Granada. In acquiring the city of Granada a large Jewish and Muslim population came under her rule. Soon Isabella and Ferdinand chose to replace the Treaty of Granada's Jewish protection terms with the Alhambra Decree's Inquisitional Castilian and Aragonite persecution.
Conversions[edit source | editbeta]
Other Spanish Jews (estimates range between 50,000 and 70,000) chose to avoid expulsion by conversion to Christianity. However, their conversion did not protect them from ecclesiastical hostility after the Spanish Inquisition came into full effect; persecution and expulsion were common. Many of these "New Christians" were eventually forced to either leave the countries or intermarry with the local populace by the dual Inquisitions of Portugal and Spain. Many settled in North Africa, Latin America  or elsewhere in Europe, most notably the Netherlands (see Sephardic Jews in the Netherlands).
"Muslims are only well behaved when they are weak, " he said. "When they become strong, they are like a wolf or a jackal; in large packs they hunt down other animals."
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