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Chapter Summary

The sudden end of religious tolerance in Portugal was marked by the proclamation of three separate expulsions in 1496: those of the Castilian conversos in November and of the Jews and Muslims in December. This chapter has sought to challenge the common perception that Manuel was "submitting" to his prospective in-laws' demands in order to satisfy wild ambitions of one day uniting the Peninsula under his sceptre. It presents a very different and much more complex picture of the monarch and his motives for ending religious tolerance. A detailed examination of the situation in 1496-7 reveals that the position of King Manuel I was in reality much more complex. The "general conversion" of 1497 had dramatic consequences for Portuguese society. New Christians constituted the vast majority of those arrested by the Portuguese Inquisition in the sixteenth, seventeenth and most of the eighteenth centuries.

Keywords: Castilian conversos; general conversion of 1497; Iberian Peninsula; Jewish minority; king Manuel I; Muslim minority; new Christian; Portuguese inquisition; religious tolerance



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