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TN SPI

  • TN SPI

    • 6.1.8 Recognize how migration and cultural diffusion influenced the character of world societies (i.e., spread of religions, empire building, exploration, languages).
    • 6.6.2 Recognize the impact of individuals on world history – King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
    • 6.6.1 Identify examples of groups impacting world history (i.e., Muslims, Christians)


The Crusades in Jerusalem was not the only place where Christians fought against Muslims.

  • The Crusades in Jerusalem was not the only place where Christians fought against Muslims.

  • In Spain and Portugal, armed Christian warriors fought to drive the Muslim Moors out of their lands.

  • The Moors population consisted of people from North Africa and Arab descent who settled in the lands of Spain for more than 800 years.



By 1002 the once powerful Muslim government of Spain weakened due to battles for power between political and religious leaders.

  • By 1002 the once powerful Muslim government of Spain weakened due to battles for power between political and religious leaders.

  • Caught up in fighting among themselves, Muslim leaders were too busy to guard against the Christian kingdoms of northern Spain.



The Spanish Reconquista (reconquest) was an effort to retake Spain from the Muslim Moors.

  • The Spanish Reconquista (reconquest) was an effort to retake Spain from the Muslim Moors.

  • At the time, Spain was divided into several small kingdoms:

    • Castile
    • Aragon
    • Granada
    • Portugal


Christian armies won victory after victory. By the 1250s, the Moors were nearly pushed completely out of Spain and Europe.

  • Christian armies won victory after victory. By the 1250s, the Moors were nearly pushed completely out of Spain and Europe.

  • In Spain the celebration of 1492 is not for Columbus, but a celebration of the fall of Granada – the last hold that Muslims had on Spain.





In 1469 Ferdinand, the prince of Aragon, married Isabella, a Castilian princess.

  • In 1469 Ferdinand, the prince of Aragon, married Isabella, a Castilian princess.

  • Ten years later in 1479, they became the king and queen of their countries.

  • Together they ruled all of Spain as King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

  • They brought an end to the Reconquista when the last of the Muslims were forced from Granada.



Ferdinand and Isabella only wanted Catholic Christians in their kingdom.

  • Ferdinand and Isabella only wanted Catholic Christians in their kingdom.

  • To ensure that Christianity alone was practiced, they created the Spanish Inquisition – an organization of priests that looked for and punished anyone in Spain suspected of practicing non-Christian religions.



The Spanish Inquisition was ruthless in seeking Muslims and Jews.

  • The Spanish Inquisition was ruthless in seeking Muslims and Jews.

  • People found guilty of heresy (failure to follow church beliefs) were sentenced in public, tortured, and killed.

  • Many were burned to death.

  • In total the Spanish sentenced 2,000 people to die, while the Portuguese put 1,400 to death.

  • The number of people who died in the various inquisitions across Europe are difficult to determine, but the number of victims can be numbered in the thousands.



European Christians wanted to punish Jews because they believed the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.

  • European Christians wanted to punish Jews because they believed the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.

  • Jews were also blamed with the arrival of the Black Death in Europe.

  • During the Inquisition, many Jews were killed and forced to leaves their homes. They were not wanted in Christian cities and towns.

  • Later added to the list of those wanted in the Inquisition were witches.



During the Middle Ages (AD 500-1500), torture was a very common way to punish offenders.

  • During the Middle Ages (AD 500-1500), torture was a very common way to punish offenders.

  • Many devices and methods were invented to slowly punish those accused of crimes, and those arrested during the Inquisition.



The knee splitter does what it says: split victims' knees and render them useless.

  • The knee splitter does what it says: split victims' knees and render them useless.

  • Built from two spiked wood blocks, the knee splitter is placed on top of and behind the knee of its victims.

  • Two large screws connecting the blocks are then turned, causing the two blocks to close towards each other and effectively destroy a victim's knee.



The Iron Gag was used to stifle the screams of a victim. A small hole in the front allowed air to pass in and out but muffled any screams.

  • The Iron Gag was used to stifle the screams of a victim. A small hole in the front allowed air to pass in and out but muffled any screams.

  • A torturer could press a single fingertip to the air-hole and create an extremely distressing situation for the accused.  

  • This was used often during the Inquisition so the accused would not interrupt the ceremony with their irritating cries of distress.



The foot press was designed to uncomfortably fit a single foot between a sharp, ribbed iron plate and a bar of metal attached to a long screw.

  • The foot press was designed to uncomfortably fit a single foot between a sharp, ribbed iron plate and a bar of metal attached to a long screw.

  • When the screw was turned, the bar crushed the foot into a mangled pulp.



First, the mouth is forced open with the Mouth Opener.

  • First, the mouth is forced open with the Mouth Opener.

  • Next, the iron Tongue Tearer was used to grab the tongue within it's rough grippers.

  • Once a firm hold was maintained, the screw could be firmly tightened and the tongue was roughly torn from the prisoner's head.



Used as an efficient way to cut the ears from the victim.

  • Used as an efficient way to cut the ears from the victim.

  • The helmet was placed on the head; the ears sticking out just under the blades.

  • All it took was a quick chop and the ears would be amputated.



The boots was made up of wedges that fitted the legs from ankles to knees.

  • The boots was made up of wedges that fitted the legs from ankles to knees.

  • Pure pain ensues when the torturer violently pounds the wedges with a large, heavy hammer.

  • A process that is done repeatedly until flesh and bone are completely destroyed.



The wrists were tied to one of the rungs, the feet tied to the bottom cylinder.

  • The wrists were tied to one of the rungs, the feet tied to the bottom cylinder.

  • Each turn stretched the victim further and further until the shoulders were dislocated.



The chair was wooden construction with up to 2,000 metal spikes.  

  • The chair was wooden construction with up to 2,000 metal spikes.  

  • The victim was strapped within the chair using tight leather straps.

  • The initial pain of hundreds of sharp rusty spikes penetrating the flesh could always be increased by the torturer pressing the prisoner down or back against the spikes.



The Cat's Paw was used by the Spanish.

  • The Cat's Paw was used by the Spanish.

  • It was attached to a handle and was an extension of the torturer's hand.

  • It was used to rip and tear flesh away from the bone, from any part of the body.



The blade would be dropped separating the head from the body.

  • The blade would be dropped separating the head from the body.

  • The head would neatly drop into a waiting basket, to be retrieved by the executioner and displayed to the crowd gathered to watch.



Victims of this brutal device were made to hang upside down.

  • Victims of this brutal device were made to hang upside down.

  • This position has a purpose: to fill the victims' heads with blood, and therefore allow them to remain conscious as the torturers work the saw sometimes up to their midsection before they pass out or die.



Most recall Ferdinand and Isabella as the monarch to sponsor the Columbus expedition in 1492.

  • Most recall Ferdinand and Isabella as the monarch to sponsor the Columbus expedition in 1492.

    • Columbus was to claim new lands for Spain
    • Spread the Christian religion to those he came in contact with
    • Return with new wealth (gold and silver) from newly discovered lands



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