Queen Isabella I

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Because they were both devoutly Catholic, they felt that they had to rid Spain of anyone who was not Catholic.  Or at least get them to convert.  For such reason they got Pope Sixtus IV to establish the Spanish Inquisition in 1478.

The Spanish Inquisition, which officially lasted until 1808, was not a good period for Spain.  It was particularly bad during the reign of Isabella and Ferdinand.  Anyone who was not a Catholic was suspected of being against the church.  They risked torture and death if they did not renounce their own religion and become a Catholic.  Unfortunately even converting was not good enough for the Chief Inquisitor, Torquemada.  He convinced, Isabella and Ferdinand that the Jewish people posed a threat to their Kingdoms, even those that had previously converted. 

On March 31, 1492 Isabella and Ferdinand ordered that by July 1st all people of the Jewish faith had to leave Spain or be put to to death.  Some of these people secretly remained in Spain, some settled in Portugal or went to North Africa.  And some decided that they would leave Spain as far behind as possible.  They decided to join with a sea captain who was looking for sailors to help him find a new western route to India.  The name of the sea captain was Christopher Columbus.

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