The Spanish Reconquista

2625 Words May 21st, 2014 11 Pages
Spain has always been a melting pot of ethnicity and culture. From the Celts and Visigoths that came from the north to the Africans and Arabs from the south to the Romans from the East, empires, kingdoms, and tribes all over the world have recognized and tried to take advantage of the benefits of Spain. War, conquest, and reconquest are frequent throughout the entire history of Spain, and the history of Moors in Spain is no exception. It began in the year 711 when the Moors first crossed over to the Iberian Peninsula, until their expulsion from Granada in 1492 which marks the end of the Reconquista, they influenced the native Iberians in many ways including culture and religion. The Moors were people of Berber, Black African, and Arab …show more content…
Christians and Jews were heavily taxed for the right to practice their own religions. Those who converted to Islam, however, paid lesser taxes and had more privileges. Around 718, Pelagius, a Visigoth nobleman, established an independent Christian state in opposition to the Moorish dominance in Spain. Due to his opposition of Muslim control, Pelagius and a group of 30-some men were exiled and lived in a cave, refusing to pay taxes and harassing the Moors. Between 718 and 722, Pelagius and his small band of warriors fought and triumphed against the Moors at the Battle of Covodonga. This is considered the beginning of the Spanish Reconquista. The Reconquista was a period of around 774 years where the Christian kings reclaimed the Iberian Peninsula from the Islamic Moors. The Reconquista was not carried out by the Spanish alone, however. King Charlemagne of France reclaimed the western Pyrenees and formed the Marca Hispanica to defend the border between the Frankish Kingdom and the Muslims. Christians from all over Europe traveled to the Iberian Peninsula to participate in the reclaiming of Spain in the name of God. The Reconquista was not all war and conquest, but also the re-population of Christians on the peninsula. As the Berbers abandoned towns and fortresses, the Christian kings took their people and re-inhabited those areas. In some places, Christian peasants, monks, and nobles were granted lands by their king or lord to cultivate

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