Raza De Sangre Racism

1247 Words 5 Pages
I argue that Limpieza de Sangre and anti-conversos statutes were tools of racialization and proto-racism in early-modern Iberia because they were used to stratify society based on imagined and embodied cultural and moral attributes. This process of racialization discriminated against conversos both civically and ecclesiastically. In order to substantiate this thesis, I will focus on raza and the evolution of its meaning in connection with Jews. Next, I will examine limpieza de sangre statutes and commentaries on conversos lineage, starting with Toledo in 1449. I aim to examine racial concepts historically, historiographically, and theoretically in a pre-modern context without implicating modern science as a fundamentally necessary aspect of racial processes. It is not, however, the aim of this paper to suggest that racism is a linear …show more content…
Racism is a contested and its definition is widely challenged by historians and sociologists alike, as you will later see. At its most basic level, we can define racism is discrimination based on racial characteristic. However, this definition lacks the complexity that racism demands. Instead, I have chosen to follow Benjamin Isaac’s definition of racism: “An attitude towards individuals and groups of people which posits a direct and linear connection between physical and mental qualities. It therefore attributes to those individuals and groups of people collective traits, physical, mental, and moral, which are constant and unalterable by human will, because they are caused by hereditary factors.” I would add that, as George Fredrickson has suggested, racism expresses itself in “practices, institutions, and structures.” Thus, racism manifests through social and political relations. This definition is helpful because it removes the precise temporal traits that some scholars attribute to

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