What ethnicity were the Muslims who were expelled from Spain in 1492?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,680
SoCal
#1
What ethnicity were the Muslims who were expelled from Spain in 1492? Were they of significantly different ancestry than the people who remained in Spain after 1492? Or were they part of the same people--sort of how if a Spanish person converts to Islam today, they remain a Spaniard in terms of their ancestry.

@johnincornwall Do you know the answer to my question here?
 
Nov 2010
7,510
Cornwall
#2
Well I've written it many times before of course but I'll try and summarise it briefly and maybe from a different angle? The main expulsions of moriscos were in 1609-11.

When the Visigoths 'inherited' Hispania they were (very roughly) a people of 400,000 in a population of around 4m (well, between 2 and 7 million, depending who you believe). Some of the Hispano-Roman aristocrary and church particpated in government, at least initially. When the 'arab empire' took over, many local hierarchies stayed in place (usually Visigothic), converting to islam sooner or later. Immigration of 'muslim troops' is estimated between 25,000 and 100,000 in the 8th century. presumably there were some family and whole clans as well, whist the Caliphal army under Almanzor imported thousands of slavs and berbers (more) in the 10th century. Enforcement of islam became harsher with Almanzor, then Almoravids and Almohads. By the milennium and just after, nearly all the population was islamic. Which is basically mostly our original 4m or so plus some immigrants from various arabic and North African countries. Give or take a few nuances this is the basis of the population of muslim Spain.

By around 720 the populations of tiny rump states like Asturias, later Aragon etc were tiny. This was a major problem and eventually led to cunning inventions like the tomb of St James the Apostle, which had an amazing effect on getting Asturias 'European' recognition, increasing immigration economy etc etc. Over time this immigration from France and other areas was needed to fill the big gaps in Christian populations later needed to repopulate conquered areas and 'nomansland' etc.

800 years is such a long time but very roughly the rump of the population of musim Spain, and therefore the rump of the moriscos expelled - usually as a result of misguided uprisings - had to be originally hispano-roman-Visigothic (themselves all a mixture) in etnithicity, if that is what you call it. 'Repopulators' had to be mainly descended from immigranst, due to the tiny populations of Asturias and Aragon to start with.

In many areas (starting with the kingdom of Toledo) populations assimilated to Christianity and disappeared into the population. But in the Kingdom of Valencia, for example, muslim roots were kept alive (and allowed to be, they drove the economy) and hence they came to suffer in the expulsions - many who didn't speak any arabic at all were sent to North Africa. And their encestors may have been in 'Spain' for over 1000 years or more. populations in , for example, Murcia and Menorca, assimilated peacefully. Only to rebel decades later which led to them being thrown out. Cruelly.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,106
Portugal
#3
What ethnicity were the Muslims who were expelled from Spain in 1492? Were they of significantly different ancestry than the people who remained in Spain after 1492? Or were they part of the same people--sort of how if a Spanish person converts to Islam today, they remain a Spaniard in terms of their ancestry.

@johnincornwall Do you know the answer to my question here?
Although the question wasn’t addressed to me, and as usually I mainly agree with johnincornwall, I would like to give some input.

And here, for the purposes of this thread, I will understand “ethnicity” as a set of biological and cultural, including religious traits. Furthermore the correction that John made was relevant, the expulsion of Muslims from “Spain” (in its current meaning) was in the 17th century and not in the late 15th.

Basically when the Visigoths arrived there was a Romanized population that we will call Hispano-Romans. Being the “hispano” part a generalisation of peoples with quite diverse origins, and the “Roman” as in Romanized, totally or partially. And, even in less Romanized areas, like in the North and Northeast parts of the Peninsula, were the Latin probably didn’t penetrated that much, there were strong cultural Roman influences. Furthermore the presence of other Germanic and Iranian tribes, like the Vandals and Alans was ephemeral and minimal. The presence of the Suebi went a little more deep that the two previous and was much more centred in the Northwest of the Peninsula.

So we had a Visigoth-Hispano-Roman population when the Muslims armies arrived. Initially the number of Arabs was quite low. The Berber component was stronger (and we could even suppose that could have been the descendents of Romanized peoples and Vandals). The Arabs came from three tribes, if I am not mistaken (would have to check), ranging from Syria to Yemen. “Colonies” (strongpoint) were established. And a slow process of both Islamization and Arabization begun. And here I think that these processes were much slower than John states. But we can have only hints, here and there, not fully certainties.

Then we had a new flow of Berber invasions… basically three, the Almoravids, the Almohads and the Marinids. The armies came and go, but we can assume that some men (and some women) stayed in the Peninsula and had offspring and cultural impact. Meanwhile there was a huge importation of slaves, apparently mostly Slavs, but also from Africa (from North but also South of the Sahara) and other procedencies.

So around 1492 the Muslims would have been the descendents of Hispano-Roman-Visigoths and of Arabs and Berbers.

By the way, John, some day we will have to cross our references about the “nomansland” in the Douro River and the “repopulation”. I would like to check the last theories on that.

In other words, Futurist, in purely biological terms, the people from the North and from the South, of the Peninsula, aren’t that different. Basically they are from the same species. In cultural terms the difference was a bit bigger.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,970
#4
I don't know much about Spain, but my understanding is that Jews and Muslims were told to convert or leave. Some of what had been the Christian population of Iberia had converted in Islam or intermarried with Muslims, as in Egygt, Syria, etc. So the people who left were probably of mixed descent from Muslims from North Africa and the population of Iberia at the time of the Muslim conquest.
 
Nov 2010
7,510
Cornwall
#5
I don't know much about Spain, but my understanding is that Jews and Muslims were told to convert or leave. Some of what had been the Christian population of Iberia had converted in Islam or intermarried with Muslims, as in Egygt, Syria, etc. So the people who left were probably of mixed descent from Muslims from North Africa and the population of Iberia at the time of the Muslim conquest.
I'm not sure inter-marrying was popular/allowed with anybody to be honest - Visigoths, jews, muslims or other christians.

"Jews and muslims were told to convert or leave' - you're basically talking about the situation post-1492 really and ignoring the previous 700 years. It's far more complex than that and don't forget the Almohad Empire forbade any other religion and all jews were expelled 300 years previously

But the absolute transition from muslim states to Christian Spain and Portugal was quite spectacular really - absolute eradication if you think that Tortosa, for example, of the year 1000 would be like Algiers today. All by a sustained process of 'Limpieza de Sangre' 15th century onward

One tiny point on Tulius's post - Mina in his Historia de Sevilla asserts traces of black Africans in one or 2 villages near to Sevilla. This relates to the Almoravid use of peoples from the 3 rivers in sub-saharan Africa as troops, most especially garrison troops in Sevilla. Legend states these used to bang their hippo-skin shields to frighten the enemy, but Mina suggests they were used in Sevilla as they didn't speak arabic and therefore couldn't be subverted by the rather mixed bag of the population of Sevilla pre-Almohad days, with a lot of jews and christaians - if I remember rightly. Not sure I entirely agree with that but that is what he wrote. Stands to reason some of the poor lads would never get home!

I always find the continuity of infrastructure/beaurocracy interesting. The Visigoths basically took over the Roman systems and also used the hispano-roman nobility, and bishops where it suited them, to run things and keep things ticking along nicely - or as nice as they could (some Duxes had Roman names). Having never run a state before, you can see why they did so. The 'arabs' also used the Visigothic hierarchies and leadership in many local areas as they more or less took over the state lock, stock and barrel - albeit with (or resulting in) 2 centuries of squabbling and chaos prior to Abderraman III, who should really go down as one of the history's great leaders.

Continuity in many muslim areas after Christian takeovers was fully in place in the early centuries of conquest under Aragon and initially Castilla. Whilst not wishing to condone the extreme racism which followed, muslim communities did have a habit of rebelling, shooting themselves in the foot, then reaping the consequences. Obvious examples are Murcia and Menorca, where in both cases a well-settled takeover (with a few grievances) was wrecked by rebellions decades later leading to the expulsion of the muslim citizens (to Granada or North Africa)

The Morisco rebellion of 1569-71 was the final straw of course where, under the pressure of huge racism and grievances, an unrealistic rebellion led to the expulsions, initially from all Andalucia and 40 years later from all Spain. Extremely harsh times.

The truth is the reprisals were enormous, but there were always moriscos plotting away with North Africa and trying to maintain their own religion - basically against the law. Same reprisals as the jews faced, for much the same reasons.

For goodness sake people - just convert to Chritianity and have done
 
Likes: Futurist

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,077
Sydney
#6
the expulsion took two stage , at the reconquista , when some left rather than remain
and the big expulsion of 1609 , at the time the turkish pirates were raiding all the coastal settlements taking christian slaves
it was ( rightly ) believed that some Morisco were supporting the Turkish pirates ,
ready for an insurrection in the very heart of the Spanish Empire
this was an insufferable threat to the crown ,
 
Nov 2010
7,510
Cornwall
#7
the expulsion took two stage , at the reconquista , when some left rather than remain
and the big expulsion of 1609 , at the time the turkish pirates were raiding all the coastal settlements taking christian slaves
it was ( rightly ) believed that some Morisco were supporting the Turkish pirates ,
ready for an insurrection in the very heart of the Spanish Empire
this was an insufferable threat to the crown ,
I'm afraid that's monstruously simplistic. Expulsions took many forms over many hundreds of years. As you say much of it voluntarily, especially in Catalonia/Aragon as more and more Christians moved in and took over the plumb jobs over the centuries. But even as the Kingdom of Granada was chipped away at, people could often leave for Granada or North Africa during capitulation agreements. During the War of Granada King Ferdinand often used it as a cunning weapon - those who resisted strongly would be enslaved or expelled with no goods or money.

Full-on expulsions occurred after the Alpujarra rebellion, when a forced sort of Trail of Tears had all Andalucian muslims march to Castilla and Extremadura, then the main ones of 1609-11 which were, it has to be said, decreed by the Court against the will of the majority of landowners and neighbours, especially those of Valencia who worked all the land and had been settled for 1000 years or more

It was an economic catastrophe driven by dogma, it's quite possible that the link to North African (not Turkish) pirates was mostly imaginary and an excuse. Furthermore, the huge number of Spanish driven out or expelled led to an increase in people with vendettas, need for a living and knowledge of the Spanish coastline and increased the problem of coastal piracy to such an extent that much of the coast was empty in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nests of expelled Spanish moriscos set up in places like Sale and Tetouan, on the Moroccan coastline. This in turn led to wider Atlantic piracy as far as Britain and Ireland. Some were less lucky and were either dropped over the side by unscrupulous sea captains, women, children and all, or massacred in strange North African territory where they didn't speak the language

Fantastic job, well done the Phillips.

Personally I think the whole thing of Catholic Fundamentalism eradicating islam and judaism is an early genocide along the lines of 20th century dictators. Bonkers when you consider most of their lineage been in the country for hundreds and hundreds of years, even thousands
 
Likes: Edratman

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,077
Sydney
#8
there is a reality that Christians and Muslims just don't mix very well
never did
the hostility to Muslims is the general attitude among traditional christians
the hostility to christians is the general attitude among traditional Muslims

like it or not , that a political fact much avoided in the main stream media
to bring economic factors in the equation is totally irrelevant ,
it totally miss the point and is misleading
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,245
Spain
#10
the expulsion took two stage , at the reconquista , when some left rather than remain
and the big expulsion of 1609 , at the time the turkish pirates were raiding all the coastal settlements taking christian slaves
it was ( rightly ) believed that some Morisco were supporting the Turkish pirates ,
ready for an insurrection in the very heart of the Spanish Empire
this was an insufferable threat to the crown ,
Sparky I agree. John´s opinion is well based (as always) but pro-islamic and anti-spanish...

In fact, Morisco were "quintacolumnistas" (fifth column)... the link between Moriscos and Protestants... are well reported.. as the link with Argel.. and the link with the Turk... and the last time.. the link with the French (Henri IV)... so it was necessary to cut the sneak head off... as it is written in El Quixote by Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra ("no era bien criar la sierpe en el seno " (Quixote II. Chapter 54) (It was not right to raise the snake inside).
Moriscos just did a great rebellion against Spain.. supported by ottomans and algerian... for 2 years.. and it was necessary to send some of the best generals as Don Juan de Austria and Don Luis de Requesens.
And Moriscos didn´t learn the lesson... in 17th Century, they were in link with France!!... and everybody know how much the French kings loved Islam and Protestantism... everything against Spain.

Spain was too much tolerant. with Moriscos... tried to integrate in society... it was a failed... So, I will write what Don Gregorio Marañón expulsión y diáspora de los moriscos españoles, ed. Taurus, 2004, página 103) wrote:

" el estudio imparcial de lo sucedido durante los ciento diecisiete años que duró el problema morisco da la impresión contraria: la impresión de un exceso de tolerancia, de generosidad, de celo evangélico, que se estrelló ante el espíritu de independencia del pueblo mahometano, excitado desde fuera con fines políticos por los países adversos a España. Con todos sus inevitables males y dolores, este pleito de los moriscos debe fallarse a favor del Estado español ".


(The impartial study of what happened for 117 years of the Morisco problem give us the oppoiste impression: the effect of an excess of tolerance, of generosity, of evangelical zeal which crashed before the spirit of independence of the Mohammed´s people... excited from outside for political purposes by countries were enemies of Spain. With all its inevitable evils and pains.... this Moriscos matter must be decided in favor of the Spanish State).


Who other country would have accepted for 117 years to have the enemy inside? who? France? never.. they expelled jews and protestant...England? No way! So.. who?

Personally I think it was a great success that left the enemies of Spain (Turk-France-England-Netherland etc) without inside help.

Regards
 

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