The expulsion of the Moors from Spain

The expulsion of the Moors from Spain

One of the most important decisions during the king's government Felipe III of Spain it was undoubtedly that of expel the Moorish people of the country, influenced by the opinions of its ministers. Why did you make this drastic decision?

Philip III was the son of the king Philip II and Anne of Austria. Their territories were very extensive, including the Iberian Peninsula, territories in Europe, North Africa, and the American colonies. With the vastness of its territory, it decided to have valid to manage it everything. The two most prominent were the Duke of Lerma, the Duke of Uceda and the Marquis of Vélez. Some of the measures they did was change the capital from Madrid to Valladolid for a few years, but nevertheless the most important was undoubtedly the expulsion of the Moors from the country.

The Moors were ancient Muslims who had converted to Christianity, most during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs and after the reconquest of the kingdom of Granada. In those years they lived in Spain 325,000 Moors, a not inconsiderable figure considering that the country had approximately 8 million inhabitants. For example, they simply lived in Murcia about 15,000 Moors.

Despite the positive reports, the king Philip III he was afraid that his Islamic past would make him support the Ottoman Empire against an invasion military of Spain. However, it is also thought that it was due to the image that gave the crown that the Moors remained in Spain. On April 9, 1609, Felipe III decreed the expulsion of the Moors.

However, not everyone supported the king. The Castilian and Aragonese nobility opposed, since the Moors were focused on agriculture, something basic. The expulsion started in Aragon that same year, but it would not extend to Castile until five years later, since being so dispersed throughout the territory they did not present any threat.

As has been said before, the presence of the Moors in Murcia was very important. The representatives of the territory in the Cortes claimed the permanence of these people, since, according to them, they had been perfectly integrated into the Christian community. Felipe III decided to make an exception for them and give them some more time.

The king then decided to send the friar Juan de Pereda to make a report to talk about the adaptation and situation of the Moors in the kingdom of Murcia and then decide whether or not to expel them. Pereda decided to consult with informants and with the Church itself. The Holy Inquisition was in favor of the Moors in the Murcian region, since they had not given any problem, some had even professed as priests. Therefore, the report that Pereda gave to the king was supporter of the permanence of the Moorish people in the kingdom.

But not everyone was in favor. Some of the informants claimed that some Moors pretended to have converted and that secretly practiced the Islamic religion. Because of this, the Council of State postponed the final decision on expulsion.

Finally, in the resolution of the March 4, 1613, Philip III ordered the expulsion of the Moors, except for those under eight years of age and the sick elderly. He gave them a time of 10 days to assign or sell your assetsbefore your departure.

The expulsion of the Murcian Moors was under the command of the Count of Salazar. Together with the Spanish thirds, he led the Moors to the port of Cartagena, where the Royal Navy would escort the ships with destinations such as North Africa, France and Italy in December 1613 and January 1614.

However, some had fled and they had hidden in the mountains. After this expulsion, all those who had remained hidden they returned to their homes. Some of them returned on their own feet to their lands, but the king ordered the Count of Salazar to arrest them, being destined to galleys or slavery in the mines.

The expulsion of the Moors had serious consequences, such as the drastic population decline and as a consequence the lack of labor in the fields or the change of ownership in the houses and properties; In addition, the process of religious unification, the Christian being the only one in the country, and the royal coffers were cleaned up.

Images: Public domain

Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.

Video: In the Wake of Expulsion