S450 Cervantes' Don Quijote F. Jehle

Background - Morisco situation in Spain

mudéjar = a Moor who is a Moslem by religion and subject to a Christian sovereign.

morisco = a mudéjar who becomes a Christian.

1525   Under an edict of Carlos V, all mudéjares had to become moriscos; the majority, however, remained Moors in dress, language, and customs, as well as in religion.
1527 Felipe II assumes the throne
1528 The moriscos in the eastern provinces are exempted from the Inquisition for 40 years, but in actual fact the entire morisco population is subject to it.
1530 The farda (a tax) is levied on moriscos in exchange for the use of use of the Moorish language and dress. (In some places, the moriscos are paying taxes as mudéjares, too.)
Most moriscos are not absorbed into the old Christian population, but rather become Spain's enemies because of: 1) lack of opportunities for adequate religious instruction, and 2) injustices to which they were often subjected.
1567 A pragmática is issued forbidding in a stringent manner the more distinctive Moorish customs (e.g., artificial baths, observance of Fridays, and the use of the Arabic language after a period of three years).
1568 Start of a rebellion by moriscos in Granada that turns into a war (December).
1569 (Jan. & Feb.) The Marqués de Mondéjar is generally successful in subduing the rebellion with his policy of pardon or severity; however, his enemies work against him and he is retired by Felipe II. The rebellion grows worse than ever. Don Juan of Austria is put in charge, and eventually is successful. The moriscos are deported from Granada to other parts of Spain.
     Note: Spain is at war with the Ottoman Empire.
1571 Victory over the Turks at Lepanto (a battle off the coast of Greece, in which Cervantes takes part).
1573 Pathways of ambition are closed to able moriscos.
1598 Felipe III assumes the throne of Spain.
1599 The last "edict of grace" (a free pardon for offenses against the faith) is issued. There are two conditions: recorded confession and denunciation of all accomplices. This does not solve the problem. (Voluntary emigration of the moriscos may have helped the problem, but this was forbidden under severe penalties.)
   Danger of the moriscos for Spain: They increased in numbers while the number of old Christians dwindled. They moriscos were in constant league with the Barbary pirates and the Turks, and also made repeated overtures to England and France for the overthrow of Spain. They attempted to get the ruler of Morocco to invade Spain, and it was expected that the Turkish Sultan --now free of external war and internal unrest-- would join in, while Spain's European enemies would also close in.
1609 Various schemes were proposed to rid Spain of the moriscos: enslavement, mutilation, massacre, deportation to Newfoundland, etc.
    Eventual solution: the expulsion of all moriscos. This began in 1609 and lasted in 1614. It was accomplished in a humane manner, but there were stringent restrictions on what they could take along, etc. About 275,000 were expelled (this figure doesn't include those who died in rebellions, sailed away with Barbary pirates, were Christianized, and merged or bribed their way to stay in Spain).

Source: Imperial Spain, 1469-1716, by J. H. Elliot