Bernardini - Chapter 08 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Bernardini - Chapter 08

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Crypto-Jews and the Mexican Holy Office in the Seventeenth Century

ALTHOUGH CONVERSOS secretly practicing Judaism began arriving at the very beginning of the conquest and colonization of what would soon be called New Spain, their presence—if not massive, at least established— was not registered until the 1580s. The union of the Castilian and Portuguese crowns between 1580 and 1640 made the passage to America possible for families that, after the expulsion from Spain decreed by the Catholic monarchs in January 1492, had taken refuge in Portugal, a kingdom initially more tolerant toward Jews. From 1496 onward, however, a repression even more severe than that which had preceded and accompanied their expulsion from Spain was unleashed upon the conversos of Portugal. Families that were able to fled once again. They sought refuge in some of the cities of southwestern France, in England, in the Low Countries, in some German ports, and, not long after, in the cities of northern Italy, not to mention in countries of the Middle East and of the Maghreb. Nonetheless, many stayed in Portugal, learning to live through and survive clandestine situations made extremely difficult by the Portuguese Holy Office, which acted against them with relentless harshness. These were the families and individuals who took advantage of the politically favorable conditions afforded by the union of the two crowns in 1580 to return to Castile, from where their ancestors had fled a century before.

Crypto-Jews and the Mexican Holy Office in the Seventeenth CenturySolange AlberroALTHOUGH CONVERSOS secretly practicing Judaism began arriving at the very beginning of the conquest and colonization of what would soon be called New Spain, their pres
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