Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/395

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the Catholic Kings. Owing to internal feuds and the treachery of the last of its Naserite dynasty, not more than half of its natural defenders were ranged at one time against the Christians. Some cities, like Malaga, were treated with great harshness, while others capitulated on favourable terms; for the victor was eager to press forward and it lay with him to decide whether or not he would be bound by his word. At last the city of Granada, isolated and helpless, submitted almost without a struggle (1492). The terms of capitulation included a guarantee of the lives and property of the citizens, with full enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, the right to elect magistrates to administer the existing laws, and exemption from increase of the customary taxation. Ferdinand thus sought to gain time to establish his authority over the excitable and still formidable population.

Even before the fall of Granada the problem of the alien races had presented itself. Living under the special protection of the Crown, the Jews in Spain, in spite of occasional massacres and repressive edicts, enjoyed great prosperity and were very numerous. They controlled finance, and had made their way even into the royal Council. The noblest families were not free from the taint of Jewish blood, and it was known that many professing Christians shared their beliefs. In 1478 a bull granted at the request of Ferdinand and Isabel established in Castile the Inquisition-a tribunal founded in the thirteenth century for the repression of heresy. Its object was now to detect and punish Jews who had adopted Christianity, but had afterwards relapsed. Two years of grace were allowed for recantation. In 1481 the Inquisition began its work at Seville; in 1483, in spite of protests on the ground of illegality, it was extended to Aragon, where the first Inquisitor, St Peter Arbues, was murdered in the cathedral of Saragossa (1485). Under the presidency of Torquemada (1482-94) the Inquisition distinguished itself by the startling severity of its cruel and humiliating autos and reconciliations.

Sixtus IV made several attempts (1482-3) to check the deadly work, but was obliged by pressure from Spain to deny the right of appeal to himself. The Inquisitors were appointed by the Crown, which profited by their ruthless confiscations. Their proceedings checked instead of promoting conversion, and a large body of professing Jews remained isolated and stubborn among the Christian population. Against these was turned the religious and national enthusiasm that greeted the fall of the last stronghold of the Infidel. The achievement of political unity made the lack of religious unity more apparent. It was rumoured that the Jews were carrying on an active propaganda; old calumnies were revived; they were accused of plotting against the State, of sacrificing Christian children, and of torturing and insulting the Host. In 1478 an edict expelled them from Seville and Cdrdova; the severest repressive measures were renewed in 1480; and in March, 1492, in spite of