Inquisition in New Spain

Inquisition in New Spain

Inquisition meant that catholic bishops had the right to inquire about faith and morals of the Christians. It was committed in the name of societal conformity and catholic orthodoxy whereby one once converted to catholic was not allowed to leave it (Steinberg-Spitz). Everyone is afraid of violence torment, oppression and this is what inquisition was all about (Perez 4).

In New Spain, all individuals were required to be Catholics. The middle class of New Spain consisted mainly of Jews, and the inquisition was meant to eradicate them who were rising in power (Khalifian). The Jews who transformed to be Catholics were referred to as conversos, or the new Christians (“Crypto-Jews”). The converts lived in fear; they had to practice morals conforming to Catholicism, and their faith was not to waver. Some of the Jews who converted still practiced Judaism in secret and had to hide behind catholic.

The Jews were terrified since if caught practicing Judaism they were forced into exile, some were sent to trial whereby capital punishment such as execution were given, and they would be killed. Others were excommunicated, and their properties were seizing (Chuchiak 263). The converses lived in fear of condemnation to inquisitions as the bishops used to torture them by strapping them. They looked like they burn from frames where the hands we tightened by turning frame and this had a feeling of excruciating pain and also they would tie a cloth around the mouth and pour water whereby the water would fill the stomach the pain was unbearable as stated by Kamen.

Those who came across inquisition were terrified of it as the phrase stated. The cruelty of the bishops and the torture method used to scare people out of their wits.


Works Cited

Khalifian, Shahrouz. “The Spanish Inquisition and Spread of Conversos in America.” The Algemeiner, 27 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

Chuchiak, John. The Inquisition in New Spain, 1536- 1820: A Documentary History. Maryland: John Hopkins University Press, 2012. Print.

Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition: A Historic Revision. New York: Yale University Press, 1965. Print.

Perez, John. The Spanish Inquisition: A History. New York: Yale University Press, 2006. Print.

“Crypto-Jews and the Spanish Inquisition in the New World.” Southwest Crossroads, n.d.Web. 10 Nov. 2015. Web.

Steinberg-Spitz, Clara. “The Inquisition in the New World.”, 1999. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.

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