Today in World History: July 15th

During the reign of Queen Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand II of Aragon, during which Spain became a country and the first colonies in the New World were settled, Spain became the Papal State’s biggest ally. As fervent Catholics, the two monarchs and their successors sought to bring Catholicism to the New World. This resulted in the many missions that were founded mostly around the South-West U.S. and the rest of Latin America. The Spanish Inquisition, however, was an organization in the late 15th century to make sure that all Spanish citizens followed the Catholic religion, especially during a time where heresy was on the rise, as the Protestant movement began to form. These priests went around Spain, and were allowed to torture suspected heretics. The Inquisition invented horrible ways of torture, and forced many non-Catholics out of Spain, or to convert. Although at the beginning they were mostly there to enforce the piety of the newly converted Jewish and Muslim citizens of Spain, upon their expulsion in the early 16th century, they began to enforce their rules more harshly, and by the time the Inquisition was disbanded on this day in 1834 by Isabella II, the Inquisition had forced countless people out of their homes, seizing their property and money, charging more than 150,000 people with crimes, and killing thousands more.

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