Five Characteristics Of The Spanish Empire

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Spain’s empire was vast and held possessions in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa for centuries. Even though the Spanish Empire lasted for many years, there are some important characteristics that defined it; I will name five characteristics that defined the Spanish Empire and what it was like to live there are, these include: the emphasis on religion that the Spanish crowns placed, the incorporation of other races as Spanish subjects, the opportunities for social mobility presented for some despite social stigma, the Hapsburgs’ soft politics and the changes brought by the Bourbons’ ascent to power, and the motives for Spanish Independence. To begin, the Spanish Empire placed a great importance on religion as seen through the creation of the Inquisition, whose primary purpose was to defend the Catholic faith, and further demonstrated by the empire’s justifications for their expansionist ideas. To illustrate, a Needlemaker in Tarragona, Spain was accused by his wife of being a Lutheran since he did not attend mass, cursed God and the church, among other things. Consequently, he had to present himself before the Inquisition, in order to get acquitted or receive an punishment. This example demonstrates the importance of religion in everyday life, as the Holy Office had jurisdiction over Spaniards’ religious affairs. Also, Spain’s monarchs justified their expansionism through religious terms, as seen in Columbus’ case. Columbus traveled to and from the Americas, four

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