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This construction, the black legend, turns a relatively regular or unremarcable- for the context- event into an exceptionality in scope and nature, attached to one nation alone. Origin[ edit ] Typical 18th-century European image of the Inquisition.
Kamen  establishes two sources for the Black Legend of the Spanish Inquisition. Most historians place most of the weight on the Protestant and Calvinist origin though, since in the Italian propaganda Spaniards were most often portrayed as atheists or Jews than as fanatics. An unfavorable image of Spain grew that naturally ended up involving a negative view of the Inquisition.
Revolts against the Inquisition in Spanish Crown territories in Sicily occurred in and and mere rumors of the future establishment of tribunals caused riots in Naples in and The ambassadors of the independent Italian governments promoted the image of an impoverished Spain dominated by a tyrannical Inquisition.
InContarini, Venetian ambassador, said that all tremble before the Inquisition. Another ambassador, Tiepolo, wrote in that everyone is afraid of its authority, which has absolute power over propertylife, honor and even the souls of men.
He also, commented that the King favors it as a way to control the population. Ambassador Soranzo stated in that the Inquisition had greater authority than the King. Francesco GuicciardiniFlorentine ambassador at the court of Charles Istated that Spaniards were "in appearance religious, but not in reality", almost the same words by Tiepolo in In general, Italians considered the Inquisition as a necessary evil for the Spaniards, whose religion was questionable if not false, after centuries of mixing with Jews and moriscos.
They were proper Christians, not half atheists half Jews in clear need of correction due to natural moral weakness and impure blood. The argument against the inquisition was often one of indignation and not of fear.
When the Inquisition began to persecute Lutheransthe explanation was that the Spaniards were by nature more prone to heresy than Italians, so it was still seen as not necessary in Italy. Another force in this rejection was the force of the Papal States.
The Papal Inquisition had been operating in Naples as a way of controlling the territory since the Middle Ages. One of the reasons why Spain wanted to introduce the Spanish Inquisition instead was precisely to counter or reduce that foreign influence in Spanish territory, and as such the Pope and powers rival to Spain invited, or even brived, disobedience to try and preserve their power in Naples  Italian sources can hardly be considered as "part of the legend" since their deformation of the facts is not systematic and sustained through time but a reasonable reaction to having a foreign institution imposed upon them, but have been used out of context once said legend was already established.
It was created, among other things, to keep both powerful noble families and the Roman Catholic Church in check. This sectors of society had the power to dispute, or dodge, the authority of the king at a local level, and were also the demographics with higher literacy rates, wealth, and international relationships.
The main role of the Inquisition was to prevent internal division in the empire and, even though the religious aspect of it is overly emphasized in the popular image, the fragmentation of power and local coalitions to dispute Royal power were an important part of this cohesion as well.
It investigated nobles who wished to put their own local interests over the interests of the crown, and the Pope's desires to intervene and gain control over the Empire, usually with the aid of foreign powers here is where the religious aspect comes and mixes since said powers usually were Protestant.
As an independent body from the Pope, the Spanish Inquisition also had the ability to judge clergy for both corruption and treason without the interference of the Pope, which allowed the king to hold clergy accountable in his realm and limit Papal influence in it.
As a consequence, the Inquisition systematically ruffled the feathers of the most powerful people inside the Spanish Empire as well as in the Vatican. The Spanish Inquisition's trial records show a disproportionate over-representation of nobility and clergy among those who are being investigated and prosecuted.
The vast majority of the investigations that the Inquisition initiated itself investigations on middle and low-class people were usually the consequence of the denounce of neighbors and rarely self-started by the institution.
Among the trials, those who are conducted over nobility and clergy were also far more likely to be found guilty and convicted. While for the lay Spaniard who had no education to put their thoughts on paper nor the power to spread them, the Inquisition was far more compassionate and lenient than the civil alternative the civil tribunals and the King's prisons, with no food and unrestricted use of torturefor the powerful the Inquisition was far worse than what they were used to in civil courts no accountability at all.
The sectors the Spanish Inquisition was designed to address and control were also the same sectors that had the education and resources to write and spread said writing, as well as the ones with something to win from any propaganda campaign. Either by accident, just as the result of mostly discontent people were the only ones who could write and talk about the institution internationally, or by design, the negative accounts from Spain's very international nobility constituted a large number of the total accounts of the Inquisition produced.
Protestants, who had successfully used the press to disseminate their ideas, tried to win with propaganda the war they could not win by force of arms. On the other hand, Protestants theologians reasoned that this was not true and that theirs was the true Church which had been oppressed and persecuted by the Catholic Church throughout history.
All this despite the fact that in the 16th century heretics were persecuted in both Catholic and Protestant countries.
When the persecution of Protestants started in Spain the hostility felt towards the Pope was immediately extended to include the King of Spain, on whom the Inquisition depended, and the Dominicans who carried it out.
An image of Spain as the champion of Catholicism spread throughout Europe. This image was in part promoted by the Spanish crown.
John Foxe — in an engraving by an unknown artist. This identification by the Protestants with heretics from the time of the conversion of Imperial Rome until the 15th century lad to the creation of martyrologies in Germany and England, description of the lives of martyrs in morbid detail, usually heavily illustrated, that circulated among the poorer classes and which incited indignation against the Catholic Church.Southern Europe, until about the 15th century.
At that time, secular rulers and local bishops began to again These general ecclesial inquisitions are to be distinguished from the Spanish Inquisition, which was requested in by the Catholic monarchs of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, and approved by Pope Sixtus IV. This particular.
The Catholic Spanish government also directly paid the expenses, and received the net income of the Inquisition itself from the accused. According to civil law, people convicted of religious treason were sentenced to death and their goods confiscated while the Catholic Church feasted on their estate.
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