Talk:Expulsion of the Moriscos

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I know there is some discussion about the precise numbers involved in this particular episode, but in places this gets confusing during the article - e.g. we have Castile listed as having 100,000 Moriscos, then later 32,000 leaving Castile, with 10,000 Moriscos left behind across the whole of Spain, which doesn't quite add up. I've got a couple of other sources which we could ref here to capture the slight spread between different writers - any other views on this one? Hchc2009 (talk) 23:39, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

That's mostly my work, and, uh, yeah. Good point, that needs to be fixed if we can find more sources. Most of those figures are from Lynch's book, but there are several other works to consult. In fact I saw a mass-market book on the topic published recently, though haven't read it - "Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain." Will give it another look should I get a chance, but I suspect that the numbers are all "correct" but from different sources Lynch was consulting. Which means we should probably be replacing them with a range. SnowFire (talk) 01:38, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I'll fish out the one's I've got later as well.Hchc2009 (talk) 08:08, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


...the exile was optional for children less than 4 years old. This was later expanded to 16 years of age

This is not quite consistent with the article Philip III of Spain, according to which

Philip paternalistically decreed that Morisco children under the age of seven could not be taken to Islamic countries

Were some of the Morisco children left behind in practice? What happened to these children?

Top.Squark (talk) 12:42, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Huh. Well, it's referenced in the Phillip III article, but as the one who mostly wrote this article, the 4-16 age mark is ref'd too (to Lynch). Weird. The only thing I can say is that the ref in the P3 article is newer (2005) than Lynch's book, so it's possible there's some updated scholarship here. I'd tentatively suggest that we should check some more sources to "vote" on which one seems more supported in the literature, but I personally don't have access to a good research library at the moment.
I will say that regardless of the official government position, it was pretty much moot. My impression is that almost nobody "took advantage" of the offer to leave their kids behind to be raised as Christians. Either the entire family left in exile, or the entire family stayed and pretended to be Old Christians. So there were very few Morisco children left behind to fend for themselves. SnowFire (talk) 13:48, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Citizenship for Morisco descendents[edit]

In reaction to the policy of Spain to facilitate access to Spanish citizenship by descendants of the Jews who were expelled from Spain, there has been demand from Muslims to apply a similar policy to the descendants of the Moriscos. In 2006 this demand received support from the parliament of Andalusia but has not gained broader support. Supporters consider the cases of the Muslims and Jews to be parallel; opponents argue that the Muslims were colonial oppressors while the Jews had a long history in Spain and were not part of the colonial power, so that, while the expulsion of the Jews was a matter of bigotry, the expulsion of the Muslims was a matter of decolonization. Other factors are the belief that while only small numbers of Jews would immigrate, large numbers of Muslims would, and that it is difficult accurately to identify Muslims whose ancestors were expelled from Spain.

That whole paragraph needs citation. Especially as the arguments (which I have no doubt some people make) are pretty nonsensical. At the time of the expulsion, the Moriscos were not Muslim, and there is no way they can be seen as "colonial oppressors". Iapetus (talk) 10:02, 21 March 2014 (UTC)


The expulsion of 4% of the population may seem minor, but it should be noted that the Morisco population was a larger part of the civilian workforce than their numbers would make seem. Practically no Moriscos were trusted to be noblemen, soldiers, or priests.

Does the expulsion of 4% of a population really "seem minor"? That's almost half a decimation, and (in a typical modern nation) equivilent to the loss of a decent-sized town. If the Moriscos were equally distributed across all classes, then that would presumably mean a 4% decline in economic output, which would be a major slump. So shouldn't the assessment actually be "The expulsion of 4% of the population may very serious, and was actually even worse because the Morisco population was a larger part of the civilian workforce..." Iapetus (talk) 10:13, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Hmm, how to put this. People are stupid? I agree, the loss of 4% of the population would be catastrophic. But it sounds small to many people even today, especially those who subscribe to the Lump of labor fallacy. They'd assume that most people getting kicked out are irrelevant underclass, and those that aren't would be quickly replaced, so if you had an unemployment average of say 4%, kicking out 4% of the population would result in only a temporary economic hit as some previously unemployed people take over the kicked-out people's jobs, and then the economy would continue on as before like nothing happened but with a 0% unemployment rate. It certainly seems the case that the Spanish government ministers of 1609 did not think this would be particularly catastrophic, although part of this (as noted in the article) is the fact that the people in charge were in Madrid, and the areas most adversely affected were Valencia & Aragon, so who cares about them. I agree this could possibly be rephrased to be harsher - not sure how without making it too wordy, though. Suggestions? SnowFire (talk) 19:39, 21 March 2014 (UTC)


The article as it stands seems to totally contradict itself: "The Moriscos were the descendants of the ethnically Iberian Muslim population that converted to Christianity under threat of exile from Ferdinand and Isabella in 1502." "Moriscos, contrary to popular belief, were not the descendants of Arab invaders, but rather, were overwhelmingly the descendants of native Iberian Christians who had converted to Islam centuries earlier during Muslim rule.[2] Suspicions and tensions between Moriscos, who were called New Christians, and the other Christians, who were called Old Christians,[3] had been high for some time. While some Moriscos did hold influence and power, and they had some allies such as the nobility of Valencia and Aragon who depended on them as a cheap labor force, their overall political and economic heft in Spain was low. The Old Christian population constantly suspected the Moriscos of not being sincere in their Christianity. However, many of these Moriscos were devout in their new Christian faith,[4] and in Granada, many Moriscos even became Christian martyrs, as they were killed by Muslims for refusing to renounce Christianity.[5] As such the conflict between Old Christians and New Christians was an ethnically inspired one.[6]"

Which is it? Was the expulsion a conflict between muslims and christians, or between arabs and iberians? The article firstly says the former, before saying that, no, it was the latter. (talk) 22:54, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for your comments. It seems that this issue is arising from the contributions of this IP Address, who added the statement "Moriscos, contrary to popular belief, were not the descendants of Arab invaders, but rather, were overwhelmingly the descendants of native Iberian Christians who had converted to Islam centuries earlier during Muslim rule." I, on the other hand, have always understood that the Moriscos were descendants of the Berber/Arab peoples, a fact that seems to be supported by many sources. Feel free to make the corrections if you get an opportunity. I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 07:13, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I've been meaning to clean this article up myself, as various editors have added in specious edits (like the one that changed "Christians" to "Castilians" which is totally 100% wrong). Anyway, both bits are wrong: this is not a magazine article, there's no need to say "contrary to popular assumptions, blah blah blah." However, the general point is correct, so I'd disagree with Anupam; the sources that claims the Moriscos were somehow "foreign" are generally old and creepy (and even if they *were* at some point, who cares? Is there some bloodright prohibition on Northern Africans being in Iberia?). "Muslims in Spain" covers the issue and suggests that, on the whole, Muslims & Moriscos in Iberia were probably *slightly* darker in hue on average due to more interbreeding with Africans (some of them slaves) brought to Iberia; however the effect was likely minor at best.
It should be noted this isn't unique to Spain; a long founding-myth of Great Britain is Anglo-Saxon invaders pushing out the Celts (later joined by the Normans). But actual research shows that the Britons are pretty much the Britons. There was a *cultural* shift by new rulers and new languages, sure, but there was no huge wave of emigration that went with. It's the same in Spain; the Berber invaders maybe added a new 1% of the population at most, which would have promptly mixed in and interbred with Iberians. SnowFire (talk) 16:37, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
User:SnowFire, the change from Christians to Castilians may have not been perfect but it was much better than it read before. However, now, the article properly makes the distinction between Old Christians and New Christians. The way the article formerly read gave into the false Old Christian stereotype that the New Christians were not sincere in their faith. I have fixed those issues. I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 19:05, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
That is a more complicated issue. There obviously were *some* sincere New Christians, especially by the time of the expulsion; however it is pretty much indisputable that many Muslims continued to practice Islam after they were obliged to emigrate or convert earlier in the 1500s. As would be 100% expected, sincere conversion by sword is rare. (See the book "Muslims in Spain, 1500-1614" for more; Harvey likes to just call them "Muslims" and the sincere converts only "Morisco".) Now, Islam was slowly dying out so the number of Muslims by 1609 was smaller, but the old article's comment about the Moriscos not feeling particularly loyal to the government is accurate; why would they be? They were a poorly treated minority, even for the sincere converts.
I see that you've added your comment at the top of the Morisco article as well, and I really don't feel it's warranted. Who cares about the ethnic heritage of the Moriscos? It isn't so important as to be put in the lede. It'd be like adding "Contrary to popular belief, all Australians are not descendants of British criminals" to the article on Australians. It's reasonable to talk about it in the article, but not as a "popular misperceptions" type thing.
Anyway, I'll try and give your edits a closer look since right now I'm just being contrary and not offering much constructive. It is cool that you're interested in improving the article. SnowFire (talk) 21:22, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, there were many Moriscos who were sincere New Christians. As Matthew Carr writes in The Purging of Muslim Spain, "In Granada, Moriscos were killed because they refused to renounce their adopted faith. Elsewhere in Spain, Moriscos went to mass and heard confession and appeared to do everything that their new faith required of them." Those Muslims who did not convert to Christianity were known as Mudéjar. I will not object if you reintroduce the claim that "Moriscos [were] not feeling particularly loyal to the government"; I simply removed it from the article because it did not have a reference. I do not think there is any issue with the other edits, since they are supported by scholarly sources, unlike much of the rest of the article, which is uncited. I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 06:30, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't quite see where the contradiction is. The Moriscos were perceived by Old Christians as different, probably more so in some regions than in others, and that is what an ethnic conflict is always about. Whether the Moriscos were more or less sincere in their new faith, and whether they had more or less African ancestry, is ultimately a secondary question. --Jotamar (talk) 17:39, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Duplicated text[edit]

What is the point of having the exact same text about Population Genetics, duplicated here and in Moriscos? --Jotamar (talk) 18:02, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

I pretty much agree with you and would like to remove it as well, but I haven't had time to look into it further. See above for some of my other kneejerk differences with recentish edits, but I feel like I should research it a little more closely first. SnowFire (talk) 22:39, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

There are two articles here, one focuses on the expulsion, the other speaks of Moriscos generally. Either way, the expulsion is THE key event in Morisco history and there is logically a 90% overlap in both articles. Any "duplication" of material should best be resolved through merging the articles (if it is decided having a separate article for either adds little) rather than deleting core relevant information from either of the two. This issue is aggravated by the fact that Moriscos only "existed" for a century at most prior to expulsion and their identity quite rapidly disolved after expulsion, so it makes it hard to talk about anything else other than their expulsion, its background and consequences in terms of population movements. Its not possible to separate the two in order to give two very different angles in the lines of holocaust and History of Jews in Germany. I personally would find it reasonable to merge the two. Asilah1981 (talk) 18:29, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

I think I'd disagree. I'd argue that for the expulsion, the situation of the Moriscos themselves is less important and worthy of 1-2 paragraphs of background and a "main article" link to Morisco; this expulsion article can focus on the political angle among the Old Christians of Spain, the carrying out of the expulsion, and the aftereffects. The genetic legacy is basically irrelevant to this; all that matters is that the Old Christians *considered* the Moriscos an "other", which is all that matters. SnowFire (talk) 17:34, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, to provide an analogy, I think over-focusing on the genetics obscures the real issue. Imagine adding to the WWI or WWII article sections about how the French & Germans were really identical genetically, so there was no reason for them not to get along. So what? The French & Germans hated each other anyway, that doesn't go away because of genetics. Basically all of humanity is not that different; the differences between Maori, Swedes, and Ethiopian Jews is tiny. Social animosity & tension is real, but it isn't driven by genetics, it's driven by vanilla human prejudices & racism & such nonsense. SnowFire (talk) 17:40, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

SnowFire, I think you misinterpret the purpose of the references to genetic studies, rightly feeling uncomfortable with anything related to race or ethnicity. But in this case its not about race. The moriscos who remained in Spain after expulsion, numbering possibly hundreds of thousands, are the only example of a human group which has been literally wiped out from history. Their mere existence or memory denied by decree and later by traditional Spanish historiography. Population genetics studies cited aim to discover what was of the Moriscos who remained in Spain. It functions much as any archeological tool where other sources of data are scarce. In the case of Spain, other sources are scarce because Moriscos were forced to go "underground", and remained so until they were no more. Furthemore, they explicitly provide support to (and draw support from) recent re-examinations of post-expulsion Morisco history. Genetics, in this case, is like the forensics of history. Asilah1981 (talk) 21:09, 6 April 2015 (UTC)