Civil Disobedience In The Modern Age: The Moorish Of Villarubia De Los Eye

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Civil disobedience in the Modern Age: The Moorish of Villarubia de los Eye


On April 9, 1609, Felipe III decreed the expulsion of the Moors of all Hispanic kingdoms; measure that was made public on September 22. Despite what it may seem by name, the Moors were Christians, "new Christians," such as the Jews converts, descendants of the Mudejares who had become a century earlier, at the beginning of the 16th. That is, they were families who had five or six generations baptizing their children.

Between 1609 and 1614, about 300 were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula.000 people, 4% of the population (the equivalent to now throw about two million inhabitants from Spain); Although, in areas of Valencia and Alicante, it meant the loss of one third of the population. A demographic catastrophe of gigantic dimensions that, in addition to its social and human, terrible aspect, had disastrous consequences for the Spanish field, especially for the Lift Huerta areas. Whole regions were ruined, and for decades, the kingdoms of Aragon and Valencia became a dead weight for the whole of Spain. The expulsion was a calamity for the local economy and the life of the rest of the population in an era of hunger, wars and generalized loud.

The main reasons used to justify the expulsion were religious. He appeared to the Moorish as a minor. Unreliable subjects that formed a true fifth column in the heart of the Hispanic monarchy.

Actually, expulsion evidenced the inability to socially absorb this minority and failure when evangelizing them. But it was something that occurred in very specific areas, such as the kingdom of Valencia, where the Moors continued to form a social group section. In the rest of the Peninsula, after the strong pressure exerted by the Inquisition in the first half of the 16th century, and the dispersion of the Granada Moorish after the rebellion of the Alpujarras (1568-1571), most of the communities had lost the use of the Arab language, and the knowledge of the religion of their ancestors was very poor. At most, they retained some customs and traditions. In large part of Castile not even that.

But the Austrias had been looking for a homogeneous country around religion too long, something that had pushed them to expensive wars of religion in the heart of Europe and had caused persecutions and revolts within their borders. Peace with the Protestant powers at the beginning of the seven.

“The expulsion of the Moors, by Joaquín Roda (1894). Museu de Belles Arts de Castelló ".

As can be seen, it was a measure imposed from the top, but that was not sued or backed, on many occasions, by the flat people. There were even cases in which the expulsion edict was found with passive resistance phenomena, a kind of civil disobedience. This is what happened in Villarrubia de los Eyes, a population located at the foot of the southeast foothills of the Montes de Toledo, bordering on the stain.

In Villarrubia one could not speak of a minority, since the Moors formed almost 50% of the town’s population. There were many mixed marriages. Since the forced conversion of 1502, in which all Muslims (Mudejares) were forced to be baptized, the Moorish of La Mancha had gradually assimilated to the rest of the population to the point that there were no differences between them. In the case of Villarrubia, it is documented that they even occupied important administrative or judicial positions. There was a full tolerance and acceptance climate. And they had the approval and protection of the nobility, as they constituted a cheap and submissive workforce.

In May 1611, Felipe III commission the Count of Salazar to expuls. In Villarrubia de los Eyes it was something quite unexpected and, of course, unwanted. No one hoped that the expulsion measures carried out in Valencia and Andalusia could have an impact on that area of ​​La Mancha, where the Moorish were fully integrated. From the Count of Salinas, whose lordship belonged Villarrubia, to the poorest farmer, through the officers themselves, they all believed that the measure would not affect their fellow citizens.

And they rebelled. A fight against expulsion sides began, a fight that secretly directed Count of Salinas himself. There were up to three attempts to expulsion, in 1611, 1612 and 1613, since, when the authorities expelled the Moors, they returned from France or from North Africa, and the people welcomed them. The last time came in person Count de Salazar himself, who no longer felt even from his own servers. But the Moorish continued to return, and their neighbors helped them. They often hid them in their homes or installed them in the mountains and wore food. The actions of Governor Gabriel Zurita, the accountant Antonio Laso and the Bartolomé de la Vega.

When the expulsion officially ended in 1614, most of Villarrubia’s Moors were the town. Those who were hidden and expelled were also returning and occupied their properties and offices again. They even recovered the houses and land confiscated by appealing to the courts throughout the following decade, since many of them were lawyers and graduates.

Little by little, over time, normality for the Moorish of Villarrubia, except for some isolated process carried out by the Inquisition. At the beginning of the 18th century, no distinction was remembered; They were all simply Villarubieros. They had resisted and defeated intolerance.


  • Alonso Garcia, D.: Brief History of the Austrias, Ediciones Nawtilus, Madrid, 2007
  • Dadson, t.: The Moorish of Villarubia de los Eye (XV-XVIII centuries). History of an assimilated, expelled and reintegrated minority, Ibero-American-Vuret, Madrid, 2007
  • Author: Javier G. Alcaravan (@iaberius). I also published this article in Steemit.

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