Limpieza of blood

Limpieza of blood ( Spanish: [limpjeθa ðe saŋɡɾe] ), Limpeza of blood ( Portuguese: [lĩpezɐ ðɨ sɐɡɨ] , Galician: [limpeθa ðe saŋɡe] ) or blood Neteja ( Catalan: [nətɛʒə ðə saŋ] ), literally “cleanliness of blood “and meaning” blood purity “, played an important role in the modern history of the Iberian Peninsula .

They referred to the pure ” Old Christians “, without Muslim or Jewish ancestors, or within the context of the empire ( New Spain and Portuguese India ) usually to those without ancestry from the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas , Asia, or Africa .

After the Reconquista

By the end of the Recapture and Expulsion of Muslim Mudejars and Sephardi Jews , the populations of Portugal and Spain were nominally Christian. Out of Spain ‘s population of 7 million, this was up to a million recent converts from Islam and 200,000 converts from Judaism, who were collectively referred to as ” New Christians “. Converts from Judaism Were Referred to as conversos or more pejoratively marranos , and converts from Islam Were Known as Moriscos . A commonly leveled accusation was that the New Christians were false converts, secretly practicing their religion form asCrypto-Jews or Crypto-Muslims . Nevertheless, the concept of purity of blood is more focused on ancestry than of personal religion. The first statute of purity of blood appeared in Toledo, Spain , 1449, [1] where an anti-conversational syndrome was obtained in a conversation with their descendants from most official positions. Initially, these statutes were condemned by the monarchy and the Church; however, in 1496, Pope Alexander VI approved a purity statute for the Hieronymites . [1]

This stratification meant that the Old Christian commoners could have a right to honor even if they were not in the nobility . The religious and military orders , guilds, and other organizations incorporated in their by-laws . Upwardly mobile New Christian families had to contend with their plight, or bribe and falsify documents attesting generations of good Christian ancestry. [2]

The claim to universal hidalguía (lowest nobility) of the Basques was justified by intellectuals like Manuel Larramendi (1690-1766) [3] because of the Umayyad conquest of Hispania had not reached the Basque Territories, so it was believed that Basques had maintained their original purity, while the rest of Spain was suspected of miscegenation . The universal hidalguía of Basques helped many of the positions of power in the administration. [4] This idea was reinforced by the fact that, as a result of the Reconquista, a large number of Spanish noble lineages were already of Basque origin. [5]

Tests of blood limpieza had to lose their utility by the 19th century; Never did they have to endure the grueling inquisitions into distant parentage through birth records. However, laws requiring limpieza of blood were still sometimes adopted even in the 19th century. For example, an edict of 8 March 1804 by King Ferdinand VII resolved That no knight of the military orders Could wed without Having a council vouch for the limpieza de sangre of his spouse. [6]

Official deletion of such entry requirements for the Army was enacted into law on 16 May 1865, [7] and extended to naval appointments on 31 August of the same year. On November 5, 1865, it was decreed to be born to children, for whom ancestry could not be verified, to be able to enter into religious higher education (canons). [8] On 26 October 1866, the test of blood purity was outlawed for the purpose of determining who could be admitted to college education. On March 20, 1870, a decree suppressed the use of blood pressure. [9]

The discrimination was still present in the 20th century in some places like Majorca. No Xueta (Descendants of the Majorcan Conversos) priests were allowed to say Mass in a cathedral until the 1960s. [10]

Procedure to judge purity of blood

The earli is known case judging Limpieza de Sangrefrom the Church of Cordoba, Kneeling, with a Crucifixion on the Image of a Jewish Bible Gold Moorish extraction. Then the candidate provided the names of their parents and grandparents, plus places of birth. Two delegates of the council, church or other public place would then research the information to make sure it was truthful. If the investigation had to be carried out, a person would not necessarily have a member of the council. This researcher would receive a summary of the distance traveled and the time spent. Having collected all the reports, the secretary or the secretary of the board of directors would have decided that the candidate had been approved. A simple majority was sufficient, after which the candidate had to promise to obey all the laws and customs of the Church.[11]

Spanish colonies

See also: Casta

The concept of limpieza of blood , was a significant barrier for many spaniards to emigrate to the Americas, since some of the recent years of the Spanish Empire . However, within Spain’s overseas territories, the concept is related to racial purity for both Spaniards and Indigenous. [12] Proofs of racial purity were required in a variety of circumstances in both Spain and its overseas territories. Candidates for office and their spouses had to obtain a certificate of purity that they had no Jewish or Muslim ancestors and in New Spain, proof of whiteness and absence of any lineage. [13]

Additionally, the colonization of America was initiated, several regulations were enacted in the Laws of the Indies to prevent Jews and Muslims and their descendants to emigrate and settle in the overseas colonies. [14] There was a thriving business in establishing false documentation to allow conversions to emigrate to Spain’s overseas territories. [15] These provisions are repeatedly emphasized in the following sections of the Laws, which provides that the regulations are often ignored, [16]Most of the time, they were badly needed. During the period when Portugal and Spain were ruled by the same monarch (1580-1640), Portuguese merchants, many of whom were so-called crypto-Jews (Jews passing as Christians) became important members of the merchant communities in the viceregal capitals of Mexico City and Lima. When Portugal successfully revolted in 1640 from Spain, the Holy Office of the Inquisition in both capitals initiated intensive investigations to identify and prosecute crypto-Jews, resulting in spectacular autos from the mid seventeenth century. [17]

See also

  • Blue blood
  • Casta
  • Caste
  • Converso
  • Crypto-Judaism
  • Inquisition
  • Judaize
  • Marrano
  • One-drop rule

Further reading

  • Alberro, Solange. Inquisición y sociedad en México, 1571-1700 . Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica 1993.
  • Beinart, Haim. Conversos ante the inquisition . Jerusalem: Hebrew University 1965.
  • Gitlitz, David. Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews, Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2002. ISBN  082632813X
  • Gojman from Backal, Alicia. “Conversos” in Encyclopedia of Mexico . Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, vol. 1, pp. 340-344.
  • Gojman Goldberg, Alicia. Los conversos in Nueva España . Mexico City: Enep-Acatlan, UNAM 1984.
  • Greenleaf, Richard E. The Mexican Inquisition in the Sixteenth Century . Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press 1969.
  • Hering Torres, Max S., et al., Eds. Race and Blood in the Iberian World . Berlin: Lit, 2012.
  • Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition . London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1965.
  • Lafaye, Jacques. Cruzadas y Utopias: El judeocristianismo en las sociedades Ibéricas . Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica 1984.
  • Lanning, John Tate . “Legitimacy and Limpieza of Sangre in the Practice of Medicine in the Spanish Empire.” Jahrbuch für Geschicte 4 (1967)
  • Liebman, Seymour. Los Judíos in México and in Central America . Mexico city: Siglo XXI 1971.
  • Martínez, Maria Elena. “Limpieza de Sangre” in Encyclopedia of Mexico , vol. 1, pp. 749-752. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997.
  • Roth, Norman, Conversos, Inquisition, and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995. ISBN  0299142302
  • Seed, Patricia. To Love, Honor, and Obey in Colonial Mexico: Conflicts over Marriage Choices, 1574-1821 . Stanford: Stanford University Press 1988.
  • Sicroff, Albert A. Los estatutos de limpieza de sangre . Translated by Mauro Armiño. Madrid: Tauros 1985.


  1. ^ Jump up to:b Estatutos of Limpieza de Sangre , Pablo A. Chami.
  2. Jump up^ Maria Elena Martínrez,Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de sangre, religion, and gender in colonial Mexico. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press 2008.
  3. Jump up^ Manuel de Larramendi,Corografía de la muy noble y muy leal provincia de Guipúzcoa, Bilbao, 1986, facsimile edition of that from EditorialEkin, Buenos Aires, 1950. (Also published by Tellechea Idígoras, San Sebastián, 1969.) Quoted inThe idea of ​​Spain between the vultures of Edad Moderna , by Jon Arrieta Alberdi,Anals 1997-1998, Real Sociedad Económica Valenciana of Amigos del País.
  4. Jump up^ Limpieza of bloodin the Spanish-languageAuñamendi Encyclopedia
  5. Jump up^ Aranzadi, Juan (7 March 2012). Milenarismo vasco: Edad de Oro, etnia y nativismo . Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial España. pp. 508-509. ISBN  978-84-306-1581-0 .
  6. Jump up^ Codigos Españoles Tome X. Page 225
  7. Jump up^ Colección Legislativa de España(1870), p. 364
  8. Jump up^ Colección Legislativa de España(1870), page 365
  9. Jump up^ Colección Legislativa de España(1870), page 366
  10. Jump up^ Los judíos en España,Joseph Pérez. Marcial Pons. Madrid (2005).
  11. Jump up^ Sicroff, Albert A. Los Estatutos de Limpieza de Sangre . p. 121.
  12. Jump up^ Maria Elena Martinez,Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico. Stanford: Stanford University Press 2008, p. 270.
  13. Jump up^ Martinez,Genealogical Fictions, p. 273.
  14. Jump up^ Maria Elena Martinez, “Limpieza de Sangre” inEncyclopedia of Mexico, vol. 1, p. 751. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997.
  15. Jump up^ Alicia Gojman of Backal, “Conversos” inEncyclopedia of Mexico, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, vol. 1, p.341.
  16. Jump up^ Avrum Ehrlich, Mark (2009). Encyclopedia of the Jewish diaspora: origins, experiences, and culture . ABC-CLIO. p. 689. ISBN  1-85109-873-9 .
  17. Jump up^ Jonathan I. Israel,Race, Class, and Politics in Colonial Mexico, 1610-1670. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1975, p. 245-46.

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