Mexican Inquisition
Overview
The Mexican Inquisition was an extension of the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

 into the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

. The Spanish Conquest of Mexico was not only a political event for the Spanish, but a religious event as well. In the early 16th century, the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

 and the Inquisition
Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

 were in full force in most of Europe. The Spaniards had just re-conquered the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, giving them special status within the Roman Catholic realm, including great liberties in the conversion of the native peoples of Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

.
Encyclopedia
The Mexican Inquisition was an extension of the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

 into the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

. The Spanish Conquest of Mexico was not only a political event for the Spanish, but a religious event as well. In the early 16th century, the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

 and the Inquisition
Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

 were in full force in most of Europe. The Spaniards had just re-conquered the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, giving them special status within the Roman Catholic realm, including great liberties in the conversion of the native peoples of Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

. When the Inquisition was brought to the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

, it was employed for many of the same reasons and against the same social groups as suffered in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 itself, minus the Indians to a large extent. Almost all of events associated with the official establishment of the Holy Office of the Inquisition occurred in Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, where the Holy Office had its own “palace”, which is now the Museum of Medicine of UNAM
Unam
UNAM or UNaM may refer to:* National University of Misiones, a National University in Posadas, Argentina*National Autonomous University of Mexico , the large public autonomous university based in Mexico City...

 on Republica de Brasil street. The official period of the Inquisition lasted from 1571 to 1820, with an unknown number of victims.

Spanish Catholicism

The Mexican Inquisition was an extension of what had been going on in Spain and the rest of Europe for some time. Spanish Catholicism had been reformed under the reign of Isabella the Catholic (1479– 1504), which reaffirmed medieval doctrines and tightened up discipline and practice. She also introduced the Holy Office of the Inquisition in 1480, combining secular and religious authority in the matter. Much of the zeal to reaffirm traditional Catholic tenets came from the history of the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

. Those who overthrew Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 domination of the peninsula were very committed to the purpose of making Catholicism completely dominant wherever they could. After the discovery and conquest of the New World, this effort to spread the faith included the belief that the non-Christians there would benefit from instruction in the “true faith.”

Introduction of Christianity to New Spain

This intermingling lead to the Spanish crown’s complete domination of religious matters in New Spain. Pope Alexander VI in 1493 and later Pope Julius II in 1508 gave the crown extensive authority over this domain with the goal of converting the Indians to Catholicism. Spanish officials appointed religious authorities in Mexico and even had ability to reject papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

s there. The evangelization process and later Inquisition had political motivations. The objective of Christian conversion was to strengthen alternative sources of legitimacy to the traditional authority of the tlatoani
Tlatoani
Tlatoani is the Nahuatl term for the ruler of an altepetl, a pre-Hispanic state. The word literally means "speaker", but may be translated into English as "king". A is a female ruler, or queen regnant....

, or chief of the basic political unit of the city-state.

Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 friars began the work of evangelization
Evangelization
Evangelization is that process in the Christian religion which seeks to spread the Gospel and the knowledge of the Gospel throughout the world. It can be defined as so:-The birth of Christian evangelization:...

 in the mid-1520s and continued under the first Bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of Mexico, Fray Juan de Zumarraga
Juan de Zumárraga
Juan de Zumárraga was a Spanish Basque Franciscan prelate and first bishop of Mexico.-Origins and arrival in New Spain:...

 in the 1530s. Many of the Franciscan evangelists learned the native languages and even recorded much of native culture, providing much of the current knowledge about them. The Dominicans arrived as well in 1525. They were both seen as intellectuals and agents of the Inquisition, due to their role as such in Spain. These two orders, along with the Augustinians
Augustinians
The term Augustinians, named after Saint Augustine of Hippo , applies to two separate and unrelated types of Catholic religious orders:...

, provided most of the evangelization effort in Mexico. By 1560, these three orders had more than 800 clergy working in New Spain. Later the Jesuits would arrive in 1572. The number of Catholic clergy grew to 1,500 in 1580 and then to 3,000 by 1650. In the early years, the clergy’s attention would be focused on the conversion of the Indians. In the latter years, however, emphasis on struggles between religious orders as well as segments of the European society would take precedent.

A series of three ecclesiastical councils met during the course of the 16th century to give shape to the newly established Church in New Spain. In 1565, the Second Mexican Ecclesiastical Council met to discuss how to implement to the decisions of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

 (1546–1563). The Catholicism being imposed here was heavily influenced by the Counter-Reformation and required total assent from its believers. Its main thrust was not on individual belief or conscience but on collective observation of clerically ordained precepts and practices. This combination of authoritarianism and collectivism became transferred to the Indies during the course of the 16th century.

This sense of collectivism allowed for a certain amount of laxity in the conversion of the Indian population as many outward practices were indeed similar. Both systems intertwined religious and secular authority, practiced a type of baptism with subsequent renaming of the child and the practice of communion had parallels with eating replicas of Aztec divinities with blood. Franciscan and Dominican studies of Indian culture and language led to a certain amount of appreciation for it. It was definitely different from the Islam that the Reconquista had created such hatred for. Instead, indigenous religion was branded as paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

, and as an authentic religious experience but corrupted by demonic influences. Much of this was helped by the fact that many parallels could be drawn between the gods and the cults of the saints as well as the Virgin Mary. For this reason, evangelization did not result in a direct onslaught against indigenous belief but rather more an attempt to shift existing belief into a Christian paradigm. In the end, while in theory Christianity was to have absolutely supremacy in all things religious, in practice, the Church did not oppose any practices that did not directly conflict with doctrine.

Indigenous adaptation to new religion

The native population adjusted to those aspects of Christianity that accorded itself to the view of the cosmos they already knew, including the notion of the intertwining of both religious and secular authority. Many European and indigenous practices continues side-by-side and many indigenous beliefs and practices were redesigned with Christian names and references. The goal was to preserve as much of the ancient symbols that had always given meaning to the universe. The further away a community was from direct Church intervention, the thinner the Christian veneer was. Pre-Hispanic beliefs and practices therefore survived in the new religion and colored its expression. The most famous example of this may be the emergence of the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Franciscan Fray Bernardino de Sahagún
Bernardino de Sahagún
Bernardino de Sahagún was a Franciscan friar, missionary priest and pioneering ethnographer who participated in the Catholic evangelization of colonial New Spain . Born in Sahagún, Spain, in 1499, he journeyed to New Spain in 1529, and spent more than 50 years conducting interviews regarding Aztec...

 suspected it was a post-Conquest adaptation of the Aztec cult of Tonatzin, a mother goddess. There was even some speculation at the time that the god Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and has the meaning of "feathered serpent". The worship of a feathered serpent deity is first documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BCE or first century CE...

 was being refashioned as the Apostle Thomas.

However, not all native reaction was docile. There was strong resistance early on in Tlaxcala
Tlaxcala
Tlaxcala officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Tlaxcala is one of the 31 states which along with the Federal District comprise the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided into 60 municipalities and its capital city is Tlaxcala....

. The Oaxaca
Oaxaca
Oaxaca , , officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Oaxaca is one of the 31 states which, along with the Federal District, comprise the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided into 571 municipalities; of which 418 are governed by the system of customs and traditions...

 sierra violently resisted until the late 1550s as well as the Otomi
Otomi people
The Otomi people . Smaller Otomi populations exist in the states of Puebla, Mexico, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Guanajuato. The Otomi language belonging to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family is spoken in many different varieties some of which are not mutually intelligible.One of...

 and peoples in parts of Michoacan
Michoacán
Michoacán officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Michoacán de Ocampo is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 113 municipalities and its capital city is Morelia...

 state as late as the 1580s.

Arrival of Inquisition

At the time of the discovery and conquest of the New World, Cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

 Adrian de Utrecht was the Inquisitor General of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. He appointed Pedro de Cordoba as Inquisitor for the West Indies in 1520. He also had inquisitorial powers in Mexico after the conquest but did not have the official title. When Juan de Zumarraga
Juan de Zumárraga
Juan de Zumárraga was a Spanish Basque Franciscan prelate and first bishop of Mexico.-Origins and arrival in New Spain:...

 became the first Bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of Mexico in 1535, he also had these duties. One of Zumarraga’s first act as inquisitor was the prosecution of an Aztec lord who took the name of Carlos upon baptism. He was likely a nephew of Nezahualcoyotl
Nezahualcoyotl
Nezahualcoyotl was a philosopher, warrior, architect, poet and ruler of the city-state of Texcoco in pre-Columbian Mexico...

. Zumarraga accused this lord of reverting back to worship of the old gods and had him burned at the stake on 30 November 1539. However, this persecution was not considered prudent by either the Spanish secular or religious authorities and Zumarraga himself was reprimanded for it. For a number of reasons persecution of the Indians for religious offenses was not actively pursued. First of all, since many native practices had parallels in Christianity, and since this “paganism” was neither the Judaic or Islamic faiths that Spanish Christians had fought so zealously against, ecclesiastical authorities opted instead to push native practices in Christian directions. Also, many of the monks sent to evangelize the native peoples became protectors of them from the extremely cruel treatment at the hands of secular authorities. This would contrast sharply with treatment of European heretics later in the colonial period. However, as a practical matter it was probably not prudent to pursue such rigid enforcement in an environment where native peoples vastly outnumbered the European conquerors, who also needed to rule through indigenous intermediaries.

This is part of the reason why the Inquisition was not formally established in New Spain until 1571. However, this is not to say that Inquisition-like tactics were never used after the Aztec lord Carlos’ execution. Antagonism with the Spanish led to the Maya
Maya civilization
The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period The Maya is a Mesoamerican...

 resistance in the Yucatan
Yucatán
Yucatán officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Yucatán is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 106 municipalities and its capital city is Mérida....

 in 1546-1547. The failure of this movement prompted more aggressive evangelization, with the Franciscans finding out that despite their efforts much of traditional beliefs and practice survived. They, under the leadership of Fray Diego de Landa
Diego de Landa
Diego de Landa Calderón was a Spanish Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Yucatán. He left future generations with a mixed legacy in his writings, which contain much valuable information on pre-Columbian Maya civilization, and his actions which destroyed much of that civilization's...

, decided to make an example of those they considered back-sliders without regard to proper legal formalities. Large numbers of people were subjected to torture and as many of the Maya sacred books
Maya codices
Maya codices are folding books stemming from the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, written in Maya hieroglyphic script on Mesoamerican bark cloth, made from the inner bark of certain trees, the main being the wild fig tree or Amate . Paper, generally known by the Nahuatl word amatl, was named by...

 as could be found were burned.

Colonial period Inquisition

When Holy Office of the Inquisition had been established in New Spain in 1571, it exercised no jurisdiction over Indians, except for material printed in indigenous languages. Its first official Inquisitor was Pedro Moya de Contreras
Pedro Moya de Contreras
Pedro Moya de Contreras , prelate and colonial administrator who held the three highest offices in the Spanish colony of New Spain, namely inquisitor general, Archbishop of Mexico, and Viceroy of Mexico, September 25, 1584 - October 17, 1585...

, who established the “Tribunal de la Fe” (Tribunal of the Faith) in Mexico City. By this, he transferred the principles of the Inquisition set by Tomas Torquemada in Spain. However, the full force of the Inquisition would be felt on non-Indian populations, such as the “Negro,” “mulatto” and even certain segments of the European. Historian Luis Gonzalez Obregon estimates that 51 death sentences were carried out in the 235–242 years that the tribunal was officially in operation. However, records from this time are very poor and accurate numbers cannot be verified.

One group that suffered during this time were the so-called “crypto-Jews
Crypto-Judaism
Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith; practitioners are referred to as "crypto-Jews"...

” of Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 descent. Jews who refused to convert to Christianity had been expelled from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1537. When Spain and Portugal united shortly thereafter, many converted Portuguese Jews came to New Spain looking for commercial opportunities. In 1642, 150 of these individuals were arrested within three or four days, and the Inquisition began a series of trials. These people were accused of being ‘judaisers,’ meaning they still held Judaic beliefs. Many of these were merchants involved in New Spain’s principal activities. On 11 April 1649, the viceregal state staged the largest ever auto da fe
Auto Da Fe
Auto Da Fe were an Irish new wave musical group formed in Holland in 1980 by former Steeleye Span singer Gay Woods and Trevor Knight. The band's sound incorporated keyboards and electronics. Woods stated "It was the happiest musical time I ever had so far. I learned so much. I was ridding myself...

 in New Spain, in which twelve of the accused were burned after being strangulated and one person was burned alive. Most of the remainder were ‘reconciled’ and deported to Spain.

The best known case of this type was that of Luis de Carvajal. Born Jewish in Spain in the 16th century, he was a sincere convent to Christianity. However, he was married to a woman who would not give up her Hebraic faith even though he tried to convert her. Finally, when she decided to stay behind as he went to the West Indies to trade wine, he moved on to New Spain. There he became a businessman but was more noted as a soldier. He fought for the Spanish against the Indians in Xalapa
Xalapa
Xalapa-Enríquez, commonly Xalapa or Jalapa, is the capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz and the name of the surrounding municipality. In the year 2005 census the city reported a population of 387,879 and the municipality of which it serves as municipal seat reported a population of...

 and the Huasteca areas. Having made something of a name for himself, he brought a number of his family over from Spain to live there. His economic and political fortunes gradually reversed themselves as businesses failed and it was rumored that the family were secretly practicing Judaic rites. He was brought before the Inquisition and had 22 chapters of charges read against him but the main charge was reverting back to the Judaic faith. Under torture he not only confessed to abandoning the faith, but denounced associates and even members of his own family. On 8 January 1596, he was executed in the Zocalo
Zócalo
The Zócalo is the main plaza or square in the heart of the historic center of Mexico City. The plaza used to be known simply as the "Main Square" or "Arms Square," and today its formal name is Plaza de la Constitución...

 along with his mother and three sisters.

After a series of denunciations, authorities arrested 123 people in 1658 on suspicion of homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

. Although 99 of these managed to disappear, the Royal Criminal Court sentenced fourteen men from different social and ethnic backgrounds to death by public burning, in accordance to the law passed by Isabella the Catholic in 1497. The sentences were carried out together on one day, 6 November 1658. The records of these trials and those that occurred in 1660, 1673 and 1687, suggest that Mexico City, like many other large cities at the time had an active underworld.

The last group that had to be careful during this time was scholars. Early attempts to reform the educational curriculum to keep pace with contemporary European influences were exterminated during the 1640s and 1650s by the Inquisition. The central target was Fray Diego Rodriguez
Diego Rodríguez
Diego Rodríguez was a mathematician, astronomer, educator, and technological innovator in New Spain. He was one of the most important figures in the scientific field in the colony in the second half of the seventeenth century....

 (1569–1668), who took the First Chair in Mathematics and Astronomy at the Royal and Pontifical University in 1637, and tried to introduce the scientific ideas of Galileo and Kepler to the New World. For thirty years, he argued the removal of theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 and metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 from the study of science. He was the leader of a small circle of academics that met semi-clandestinely in private homes to discuss new scientific ideas. Political struggles of the 1640s, however, brought the suspicions of the Inquisition down upon them and a series of investigations and trials followed into the middle of the 1650s. When academics worked to hide books banned by the Holy Office’s edit in 1647, the Inquisition required all six booksellers in the city to subject their lists to scrutiny under the threat of fine and excommunication
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

.

Those sentenced under the Inquisition usually had these punishments carried out in a ceremony called the “auto de fe,” almost all of which were carried out in Mexico City. For such, all notables and most of the populace would turn out in their finest garb. The Church set up a stage with pulpits, rich furnishings for the noble guests, tapestries, fine cloth draped for decoration and to serve as a canopy over the stage. No expense was spared in order to show the power and the authority of the ecclesiastical authorities in this matter. In addition, all nobles from the viceroy himself, his court, and all others in position of authority would be conspicuously in appearance. The ceremony began with a sermon and a long declaration of what constituted the true faith. The assembly was required to swear to this. The condemned were led onto the stage dressed capes with marks showing their crime and their punishment. They also were a kind of dunce cap
Dunce cap
A dunce cap, also variously known as a dunce hat, dunce's cap, or dunce's hat, is a pointed hat. In popular culture, it is typically made of paper and often marked with a D or the word "dunce", and given to schoolchildren to wear as punishment by public humiliation for misbehavior and, as the name...

. They were given a chance to repent, in many cases, to modify their sentences, such as strangulation instead of burning alive at the stake. Then sentences were carried out.

The Inquisition remained officially in force until the early 19th century. It was first abolished by decree in 1812. However, political tensions and chaos led to something of its return between 1813 and 1820. It was abolished for good in 1820.

External links

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