How did the Muslim conquest change Spain?

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== Socio-Economic changes after the invasion==
Islamic Spain was under the control of one religious group, namely the Muslims, who ruled Iberia in their own interests and who frequently exploited the population. Muslim Spain was, in fact, a society that was dominated by a military elite. To maintain their position, they had to dominate the other groups especially the majority Christian population. They imposed a series of legal disabilities on Christians and Jews and both religions were denied all political rights <ref> Roth, Norman, The Jews in the Muslim Conquest of Spain. Jewish Social Studies, 38, 2, (1986) 145-158</ref>. They Christians and Jews were expected to pay a poll tax that was used to support the Muslim army and administration. It also seems that the Arabs appropriated many of the lands of Christians and they seemed to have taken over the vast estates of the Visigoths. The invasion saw a revolution of who owned the land in Iberian society. Christians were no longer privileged and they were now subjects of a foreign ruling class who had a different religion. The Christian community was in many instances reduced to the status of serfs. As the Muslims entered the local society they caused great disruption and they destroyed an Iberian society that had been in large measure like that which had existed under Roman rule. Muslim rule brought a some rapid change in changes to Spanish society and no aspect of life was left untouched. The Muslims re-defined the relationships between the Christian and the Jews and the Peninsula became integrated into the Muslim Empire. The Peninsula became part of the Muslim world politically and economically. This was to benefit the Spanish economy enormously. The invaders introduced many new crops and advanced irrigation technologies. After Spain was integrated into became part of the Muslim world, the Peninsula became part of a large free trade bloc and as a result, there was a marked increase in trade. This led to an increase in wealth and to the growth of towns and cities. Soon cities like Toledo were sprawling metropolis and they became major centers of culture. Another of the areas where there was a rapid change was in the legal code. As in other societies that they conquered the Muslims imposed their own legal code. The traditional laws were overturned, and this impacted on every aspect of society. Before the Muslim conquest the law was structured to represent Christian values but now it reflected the conquerors' religion. The Christian’s were now classed as the Dhimmi. They enjoyed legal protection in the eyes of the law and their person and body were fully protected<ref> Bernard Lewis. History of the Middle East; a brief history of the last 2000 years (Touchstone Books, University of Michigan, 2008), p. 45</ref>. However, they legally inferior to their Muslim overlords. The Arabs introduced a new language into the territories that they conquered, and Latin went into decline. Arabic became the official language, and this was the lingua franca of the bureaucracy and the army. This led to the emergence of a scribal class that was versed in Arabic and a culture that was decisively influenced by Islamic culture.
[[File: Muslim Spain 2.jpg|200px|thumb|left|Muslim soldiers from a Spanish Medieval manuscript]]