The position of the Jews had been fairly favorable in the second half of the 15th century, during the reigns of Henry IV of Castile (1454-74) and John II of Aragon (1456-79). For example, wealthy Jews who had converted to Christianity occupied prominent positions at both courts. However, as soon as Ferdinand and Isabella ascended their respective thrones, the situation changed.
After the Cortes (or Advisory Council) met in Toledo in 1480, the Catholic Monarchs confined Jews and Muslims to separate districts which were surrounded by a wall. Muslims and Jews were forced more than ever before to wear special emblems or signs and they were not allowed to have Christian names or to mix socially with Christians.
Moreover, since 1478, the Inquisition had persecuted these people (especially those of them who were held to be ‘false converts’) to enforce uniformity of religious practice.