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How did the fall of Granada in 1492 affect Muslims in Spain?

The fall of Granada in 1492 led to the end of Muslim rule in Spain, initiating a period of persecution and expulsion.

The fall of Granada in 1492 marked the end of the Reconquista, a series of campaigns by Christian states to recapture territory from the Moors, who were Muslim. This event signalled the end of Al-Andalus, the region of Spain under Muslim rule for nearly eight centuries. The aftermath of this event had profound implications for the Muslim population in Spain.

The Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, initially allowed religious freedom for the Muslim population in Granada. However, this tolerance was short-lived. In 1499, the Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, began a campaign of forced conversions, leading to the First Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1499-1501). This rebellion was brutally suppressed, and as a result, the terms of the Treaty of Granada, which had guaranteed religious freedom, were revoked. Muslims in Granada were given the choice of conversion to Christianity or expulsion.

The situation worsened in the following decades. In 1502, a royal decree ordered the expulsion of all Muslims from the Kingdom of Castile. This policy was extended to the Kingdom of Aragon in 1526. Many Muslims chose to convert to Christianity to avoid expulsion, becoming 'Moriscos'. However, these converts were often suspected of secretly practising Islam and were subject to intense scrutiny and persecution by the Spanish Inquisition.

The Moriscos were marginalised and discriminated against, leading to the Second Rebellion of the Alpujarras (1568-1571). This rebellion was also brutally suppressed, and in its aftermath, the Moriscos were dispersed across Spain to prevent further uprisings. Finally, in 1609, King Philip III ordered the expulsion of all Moriscos from Spain, effectively ending the Muslim presence in the country.

In conclusion, the fall of Granada in 1492 marked the beginning of a period of intense persecution and expulsion for Muslims in Spain. Despite initial promises of religious freedom, the Catholic Monarchs and their successors implemented policies of forced conversion, repression, and expulsion, leading to the end of the Muslim presence in Spain.

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