Catalan Historical Review, No 2 (2009)

The expulsion of the Moriscos from the Catalan Countries: ideology and history

Manuel Ardit i Lucas


The expulsion of the Moriscos from the Catalan Countries, particularly from the Valencian Country, has been interpreted
in various ways. Historians who have dealt with the subject have tended towards one or two main positions that can be
termed Moriscophile and Moriscophobic. The former considered that the expulsion of a very active Islamic minority
brought about a serious check to the process of capitalist development. The latter, taking for granted that the Morisco
minority was not so economically important, believed their expulsion did not have such an influence, and even that if
they did have an influence, it was in the opposite direction. Both interpretations were heavily charged with ideological
presuppositions. The present article attempts to settle the question more objectively by analysing the changes that took
place in the population structure in the wake of the expulsion, the evolution of agricultural production during the entire
Modern Age, and the changes in the structure of land ownership. The results seem to endorse what we have called Moriscophobic
interpretation. This is because the population structure, the evolution of agricultural production, and changes
in the structure of ownership seem to point to an acceleration in growth of the capitalistic economy after the expulsion.

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ISSN: 2013-4088 (electronic edition); 2013-407X (print edition)