Harold L Carter



(1)  Netanyahu, The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteen Century Spain, 2nd edition (New York Review Books, published by the New York Review of Books,reprinted by arrangement with Random House, Inc.), 1995, 2001

(2)  George H Sabine, A History of Political Theory (Holt, Rhinehart and Winston: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and London), 1937, 1950, 1961

(3)  Gustavus Myers, History of Bigotry in the United States (Random House: New York), 1943

(4)  Robert Reed, The Ohio State University, Anthropology 597.01:  Cultural Conflict and Developing Nations – Robert Chirot, The University of Washington, “The Rise of the West”:  Max Weber’s explanation of the rise of western progress becomes the best available.  It needs to be blended with an awareness that geographic coincidence and medieval class conflict were instrumental in allowing strong bourgeois-dominated towns to emerge from feudalism.  This and the very long-lasting political stalemate between contending forces in the Middle Ages and early modern Europe were the key elements in the development of Western nationality.  Proof comes from comparing Europe to other major agrarian civilizations, particularly China.  Twentieth century historical scholarship confirms Weber more than it supports some recent fashionable sociological theories about the rise of the Westsuch as “world system theory.”  “The most important question historical  sociology can ask is:  Why did the West take such an enormous economical and political lead over the rest of the world.  This question is at the heart of Max Weber’s work and it is central to Karl Marx and his followers.  Even today the issue dominates historical sociology as well as much as economic history, anthropology, and comparative political science.  After almost 150 years of work on this problem, is it possible to provide a reasonably succinct answer?    A coherent answer cannot be elegant and it is unlikely to generate theoretical propositions about the future.  Rather a combination of narrative reference to basic geographical facts, and a few assumptions about the relationship between politics and economics contains the best possible solution.  Those look for the simplicity of a few equations and universal theories about social change can only be disappointed .  Nevertheless , the answer is available for those who want to know it.  … “

(5)  Harry G. Good, A History of Western Education (The Macmillan Company: Collier, Macmillan Limited:  London), 1947, 1960 – Part II:  Education and the Church:  Decline After Charlemagne – In Medieval England – The Crusades

(6)  The American Heritage:  Book of the American Revolution, By the Editors of The American Heritage, The Magazine of History, Editor in Charge, Richard M Ketchum, Narrative by Bruce Lancaster with a Chapter by J. H. Plume, Introduction by Bruce Catton – The World Beyond America:  “The temper and character which prevail in our colonies, are, I am afraid, unalterable by any human art.  An Englishman is the unfittest person on earth to argue another Englishman  into slavery.”  Edmund Burke, March 22, 1775 – :  “The sovereignty of the Crown I understand;the sovereignty of Britain I do not understand.  We have the same King but not the same legislature.”  Benjamin Franklin,

[Excerpts – Rough Draft:  Harold L Carter, The Human Odyssey:  The African Odyssey:  The African Heritage in World History and Human Biological and Cultural History:  From Prehistoric Times:  4.6 Billion Years Ago and the Earliest Civilizations:  5,000 Years Ago to the 21st Century (Winter, 2014)]:

Chapter 20: …

From the 11th Century (1000 A.D. – 1100 A.D.) to the 15th Century A.D. (1400 A.D. – 1500 A.D.):

1066 A.D. – England:

“Rise of Parliament in England:   The ancient Witen of the Anglo-Saxon kings, an advisory council of the chief (“wise”) men of the kingdom replaced by the Great Council composed of all who held land by feudal tenure directly from the king after the Norman conquest in 1066..

1100-1200 A.D.

The Roman Catholic Church:

“The Inquistion was organized as part of the justice systemof the Roman Catholic Church in the 12th century with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy and other offences against canon law.  Prior to the 12th century the Roman Catholic Church had suppressed heresy through a system of ecclesiastical proscriptions or imprisonments but without using torture and seldom resorting to executions although some countries through overzealous populace actions did punish heresy with the death penalty.  [Footnotes:  Foxe’s Book of Martyrs ( ) Chapter V and Blotzer, J. (1910).  “Inquisition” ( ).  The Catholic Encyclopedia.  Robert Appleton Company.]

Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241 A.D.) assigned the duty of carrying out inquisitions to the Dominican Order who judged heresy using the local authorities to establish a tribunal and to prosecute heretics.  After 1200 a Grand Inquisitor headed each Inquisition.

To combat the heresy and then schism of the Protestant Reformation Paul III (Pope from 1534 to 1549 A.D.) established a system of tribunals, administered by the “Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition staffed by cardinals and other Church officials.  In 1908 Pope Saint Pius X renamed the organization and it became the “Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office” which in turn became the “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1965 which name continues to this day.  Sentences were not pronounced by the Inquisition but convicted heretics were turned over to secular authorities.  [Footnote:  Lea, Henry Charles, “Chaptr VII.  The Inquisition Founded” ( ).

“A History of the Inquisition In the Middle Ages.  I. ISBN 1-152-29621-3.  “Obstinate heretics, refusing to abjure and return to the Church with due penance, and those who after abjuration relapsed, were to be abandoned to the secular arm for fitting punishment.”  ]

The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition – The Spanish Inquisition:

“:The Roman Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile established The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition in 1480 A.D.  It was intended to maintain Roman Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and replace the Medieval Inquisition which was under Papal control by ensuring the orthodoxy of those who were newly converted from Judaism and Islam.  Royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1501 ordered Jews and Muslims to convert or leave Spain.  Among the reasons for funding the Spanish Inquisition were increase political authority and weaken the opposition, suppression of conversos profiting from confiscation of the property of convicted heretics, reduce social tensions and protect the kingdom from the danger of a secret uprising.  It was under the direct control of the Spanish monarchy and was not abolished until 1834 during the reign of Isabella II.

[Encyclopedia Wikipedia]

1215 A.D.:  England – The Great Charter:

“A group of barons thoroughly reactionary and in their own self interest rose in rebellion against King John and forced the king to sign the agreement called the Great Charter or Magna Carta which placed restrictionson his powers.  Though its original intention  was reactionary and in the self interest of the barons its historical importance is not its original intention but its ultimate result.  Reinterpreted to suit changing times, the Magna Carta was appealed to in in later years as the bulwark of the rights of Englishmen and served as a reminder of when armed rebellion against the monarch had occurred and it became the most imprtant landmark in the tradition of the supremacy of the law as opposed to the king’s arbitrary will.

1350-1200 A.D. – England – George H Sabine, A History of Political Theory (Holt, Rhinehart and Winston: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and London), 1937, 1950, 1961:

“In the middle of the thirteenth century (1350 A.D. – 1200 A.D.) England’s King Henry III, King John’s successor, aroused great opposition by his subservience to the financial demands of the Pope and through the resistance of the barons consequently there was then establishment in

Parliament as an elective and representative body containing commoners as well as the great feudal lords.

“Early in the fourteenth century (1400 A.D. – 1300 A.D.) there was a formal separation of Parliament into two houses, Lords and Commons.  In the European continent countries during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries A.D. (1300 A.D. – 1400 A.D. – 1400 A.D. – 1500 A.D.)  kings and princes ruled by decree.

Gustavus Myers, History of Bigotry in the United States (Random House: New York), 1943

,p. 73 – France:

1297 A.D. – “King Louis IX of France – burned the Talmud – Jews were compelled to wear a f

+blue infamy cloth – canonized as a Saint by Pope Boniface VIII in 1297 A.D.

  1. 74 – Germany

Pope Innocent IV:  Germany:

1243-1254 A.D. – Germany – “Pope Innocent IV in a bull to the archbishops, bishops and nobles of Germany treated with incredulity and denounced with scorn the murders attributed to Jews and branded as crimes the systematic cruelties inflicted on them … Germany had been rift with fantastic stories of ritual human sacrifice made by Jews and mob uprisings were frequent and bloody [Footnote 17:  Milman, History of the Jews, Vol. 3, p. 207

  1. 75 – France:

1394 – “Pedro de Luna, Benedict XIII – intensely anti-Jewish – burned the Talmud

The Roman Catholic Church:  1300 A.D. – 1564 A.D.

The Spanish Inquisition:

Gustavus Myers, History of Bigotry in the United States (Random House: New York), 1943: p. 226

End Of Chapter 20: Rise Of Christianity

The Book of Jewish Knowledge: an Encyclopedia of Judaism and the Jewish People, Covering All  Elements of Jewish Life from Biblical Times to the Present by Nathan Ausubel (Crown Publishers, Inc: New York), 1964, Nathan Ausubel


“The Gentle philosopher of Amsterdam, Spinoza, himself driven out of the Jewish Community …

“Spinoza – Expulsion from the Jewish Community:

“On July 27, 1656, the Talmud Torah congregation of Amsterdam issued a writ of cherem (Hebrew …, a kind of ban, shunning, ostracism, expulsion, or excommunication) against the 23 year old Spinoza.  The following document translates the official record of the cherem.

‘The Lords of the ma’amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza, have endeavored by various means and promises to turn him from his evil ways.

‘But having failed to make him mend his wicked ways and on the contrary, daily receiving more and more serious information about the abominable heresies which he practiced and taught and about his monstrous deeds, and having for this numerous trustworthy witnesses who have deposed and born witness to this effect in the presence of the said Espinoza, they became convinced of the truth of the matter, and after all of this has been investigated in the presence of the honorable chachamin, they have decided, with their consent, that the said Espinoza should be excommunicated and expelled from the people of Israel.  By the decree of the angels, and by the command of the holy men, we excommunicate, expel, curse and damn Baruch de Espinoza, with the consent of God, Blessed be He, and with the consent of all of the Holy Congregation, in front of these holy Scrolls with the six-hundred-and-thirteen precepts which are written therein, wih the excommunication with which Joshua banned Jerico, with the curse with which Elisha cursed the boys, and with all the curses which are written in the Book of the Law.  Cursed be he by day and cursed be he by night, cursed be he when he lies down, and cursed be he when he rises up, cursed be he when he goes out, and cursed be he when he comes in.  The Lord will not spare him, the anger and wrath of the Lord will rage against this man and bring upon him all the curses which are written in this book, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven, and the Lord will separate him to his injury from all the tribes of Israel with all the curses of the covenant, which are written in the Book of the Law.  But you who cleave unto the Lord God are all alive this day.  We order that no one should communicate with him orally or in writing or show him any favor, or stay with him under the same roof, or within four ells of him, or read anything composed or written by him.’

“The Talmud Torah congregation issued cherem routinely, on matters great and small, so such an edict was not unusual.  The language of Spinoza’s cherem is unusually harsh, however, and does not appear in any other cherem known to have been issued by the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam.  The exact reason for expelling Spinoza is not stated.  The cherem refers only to the ‘abominable heresies that he practiced and taught,’ to his ‘monstrous deeds,’ and to the testimony of witnesses ‘in the presence of the aid Espinoza.’  There is no record of such testimonhy, but there appear to have been several likely reasons for the issuance of the cherem.

First, there were Spinoza’s radical theological views that he was apparently expressing in public.  As philosopher and Spinoza’s biographer Steven Nadler puts it:  ‘No doubt he was giving utterance to just those ideas that would soon appear in his philosophical tretises.  In those works, Spinoza denies the immortality of the soul, strongly rejects the notion of a providential God—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob , and claims that the Law was neither literally given by God nor any longer binding on Jews.  Can there be any mystery as to why one of history’s boldest and most radical thinkers was sanctioned by an orthodox Jewish community?

“Second, there is ample basis to assume that the Amsterdam Jewish community, largely comprising former ‘conversos’ having within the last century fled from the Portuguese Inquisition (and their children and grandchildren) must have been concerned to protect its reputation from any association with Spinoza lest his controversial views provide the basis for their own possible persecution or expulsion.  There is little evidence that the Amsterdam municipal auhorities were directly involved in Spinoza’s cherem itself.  But in 1619, the town council expressly ordered [the Portuguese Jewish community] to regulate their conduct and ensure that the members of the community kept to a strict observance of Jewish law,’ and other evidence such as bans adopted by the synagogue itself on public wedding or funeral processions and on discussing religious matters with Christians, lest such activity might ‘disturb the liberty we enjoy,’ makes clear that the danger of upsetting the civil authorities was never far from mind.  Thus, the issuance of Spinoza’s cherem was almost certainly, in part, an exercise in self censorship by the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam.

“Third, it appears likely that Spinoza himself ha already taken the initiative to separate himself from the Talmud Torah congregation and was vocally expressing his hostility to Judaism itself.  He had probably stopped attending services at the synagogue either after the lawsuit with his sister or after the knife attack on its steps.  He might already have been voicing the view expressed later in his “Theological Political Treatise,” that the civil authorities should suppress Judaism as harmful to the Jews themselves.  Either for financial or other reasons, he had in any case effectively stopped contributing to the synagogue by March 1656.  And he had committed the ‘monstrous deed,’ contrary the regulations of the synagogue and the views of certain rabbinical authorities (including Maimonides), of filing suit in a civil court rather than with the synagogue authorities to renounce his father’s heritage, no less  Upon being notified of the issuance of the cherem, he is reported to have said: ‘Very well; this does not force me to do anything that I would not have done of my own accord, had I not been afraid of a scandal.  Thus, unlike most of the cherem issued routinely by the Amsterdam congregation to discipline its members, the cherem issued against Spinoza did not lead to repentence and so was never withdrawn.

“After the cherem, Spinoza is said to have addressed an “Apology” (defense) written in Spanish to the elders of the synagogue, ‘in which he defended his views as orthodox, and condemned the rabbis for accusing him of ‘horrible practices and other enormities’ merely because he had neglected ceremonial observances.  This “Apology” does not survive, but some of its contents may later have been included in his “Theological Political Treatise.” …


About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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