The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision by Henry Kamen

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The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision by Henry Kamen, was released in 1997 and is the third edition of the acclaimed book centered around the infamous tribunal. The years following the first publication saw increases in the quality of scholarship and an influx of research. New historical interpretations subsequently began to demonstrate an enhanced insight, as works like Benzion Netanyahu’s The Origins of the Inquisition presented original perspectives. Kamen was consequentially compelled to reevaluate the evidence surrounding the Inquisition, ultimately causing him to divert from his previous conclusions and adopt a revisionist perspective exploring historical causation. The Spanish Inquisition has been repeatedly studied for…show more content…
Kamen notes the ambiguous pressure on Jews, as despite the anti-semitism of contemporary Europe, the ‘Aragonese crown protected the Jews and conversos firmly, rejecting all attacks on them‘ and how any existing anti-Semetic legislation went unenforced (Kamen 15). Even after Ferdinand and Isabella initiated their reign in 1474, the monarchs were ‘never personally anti-Semitic’ and their intervention in domestic politics demonstrated an ‘impressive picture of the monarchy protecting its jews’ (Kamen, 16). In actuality, the inception of the Inquisition and the subsequent expulsion of the Jewish population was prompted by the actions of ‘Judaizers’, who were made up of conversos who had attempted to persuade newly assimilated Christians to return to their original Jewish faith. The efforts of these Judaizers concerned the crown and as a result the Inquisition was officially founded on September 27, 1480 as a means of regulating the the disruptive and disobedient conversos.
Although the Jews were not immediately affected by the tribunal, as only Christians were prosecuted, they experienced increased tension with the conversos that prompted their imminent expulsion. Many jews offered their cooperation upon its inception yet vindictive members who provided false witnesses were often exposed; the government eventually concluded that ‘the only solution

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