Racism In Iberia

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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 …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 …show more content…
Benjamin Isaac defines proto-racism as racism in a full sense but in an early and even developmental form, which precedes Darwin and more modern understanding of race. Proto-racism is still a theory based on biological differences that are sociocultural-imagined realities. By understanding purity of blood laws as proto-racism we reduce the risk of oversimplification or overstating their significance within the history of racism. I have chosen not to utilize “antisemitism” in this essay because, although it may be fitting, readers will undoubtable associate it with 19th and 20th century racism against Jews that do not provide us with a constructive discourse of Jewish persecution. As, Max S. Hering Torres has pointed out “raza” and purity of blood laws implied a “stained and tainted lineage,” but it did not represent a category of a global order of racial

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