|Seventeenth Century Mallorca
The 17th century was marked by the division of the city in two
sides or gangs, named Canamunts and Canavalls (in Catalan "those from the upper town” and “those from the lower"),
commencing with a brawl and lasting for over seventy years.
Plague spread from Valencia (1648),
Catalonia (1649-53) via Sóller to Palma. Some 14-1500 of the 90,000-100,000 inhabitants of Mallorca died, 9,000 of whom
were from Palma.
There were more confrontations during the
XVIIth century than there were peaceful relations. After the occupation of Barcelona by John Joseph of Austria in 1652,
the Islands supported the navy in all the conflicts with the most Christian king.
The Island corsairs were particularly
active in the war with Holland 1674-1678 when their attacks caused heavy losses to French trade and they played a
leading role in the recovery of the city of Messina in Sicily.
Origin of the word chuetas to describe
the Christians descendents of the Jews or Conversos who had converted. Xueta in Catalan, it is normally
used pejoratively. Many lived in the calle del Sagell which became known as the calle de los chuetas. The Inquisition was
redoubling its persecution of the Jews.
Just one of many autos da fé: three Jews were subsequently burned at the stake,
watched by a crowd of some 30,000, eleven more were handed over to the secular authorities, four more were sentenced to be burned in effigy
and three had their bones burned.
The Island corsairs were the primary scourge of the
French during the Lliga de Augsburg War 1698-1707 .