The lies created by England, France, Germany, the Netherlands or the United States against the Spanish Empire is what is known today as the Spanish Black Legend; this was a propaganda machine created by Spain’s rivals for five centuries that sought to distort historical reality, presenting Spain as a murderous, rapist, slave-owning and racially inferior power.
It is known by Hispanists from all parts of the world that Anglo-Saxon propaganda is very strong globally and that although it is somewhat diminished today, it still continues to spread continuous lies. Thus, for example, it has been said of the Spanish Empire that what happened in America was a genocide, and to the amazement of human intelligence, newspapers such as The New York Times, continue to publish falsified studies with supremacists concepts in which they implicitly suggest that Spaniards are not of “white race”, and consequently, we in Spanish America are not either, implying that we are inferior to the Anglo-Saxons.
Thus, for example, racism as a social and political movement was born in England in a more exacerbated way during the nineteenth century after the appearance of the work of Charles Darwin, which was taken and distorted to suggest not only that there are races, but that between all of them, there are some that are superior (the white one) and others inferior (all the others).
Engravings printed in 16th century Protestant Europe in which the fable of torture and mutilation in the public square by the Spaniards against the American Indians is presented. Although this engraving shows a false fact, it was brought to life in 1797 in France during the French Revolution.
It is very interesting to note that the concept of race never existed in Hispanity, and that despite the humiliations and abuses that may have been committed at some point during the process of formation of the Spanish provinces of the New World, this never originated serial murders, concentration camps, guillotines or racial massacres as seen in the European Protestant world, in the United States or in countries influenced and controlled by the English, as it also was the case in Argentina during the so-called Desert Campaigns where they annihilated entire indigenous populations in the second half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th (when Argentina was already independent and maintained a strong intellectual, political and military siege by the English and other racist nations).
This concept of racism is the product of centuries of the prevailing romanticism in Protestant Europe that differs greatly from the Spanish Empire in its religion since the materialistic idea is taken to its highest level by Martin Luther and his subsequent disciples such as the French Juan Calvin. But racist ideas of hatred are even found in acclaimed “humanists” such as Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Dutchman who hated Spain because he considered it a mix between Moors, Jews, and blacks, as he made clear in the work entitled “Colloquies of Erasmus of Rotterdam”, where he has a marked anti-Semitic and racist accent against what he considered “disgusting people”.
Data like these have been rescued in recent years by different Hispanists, both Spanish and from other nations, including non-Spanish speakers such as the Swedish Sverker Arnoldsson or the American Stanley G. Payne.
The advance of the propaganda machine against Spain and Hispanic America had a tremendous boom during the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte, who coined and ordered to call Hispanic America Latin America with the aim of being able to justify his military invasions in Mexico and also in Spain. From this historical fact, an attempt was made to erase the heritage of Spain in America, and the work to destroy the Spanish Empire was coordinated not only by foreign powers such as France, England, or the Netherlands, but also had the help of traitors such as Simón Bolívar, Bernardo O’Higgins, José de San Martín among many others, who were later proclaimed as heroes and founders of nations. When in reality they were nothing more than traitors who disunited what was already united: the Hispanity.
Idealised image of the encounter between Hernán Cortés and Moctezuma, a story that has been manipulated by the Black Legend.
Just these liberators counted from the beginning with the help of England, France, and Holland, to carry out civil wars in the Spanish provinces in the Indies. The most famous was Bolivar who enlisted in the so-called British Legion to destroy Spain in America. Bolívar received arms and money from the English, the same José de San Martín, and many others. In fact, many republican heroes in Hispanic America studied in and visited London regularly, as was the case with Juan Rafael Mora Porras, a consummate admirer of the English.
A fact that is always hidden by those in charge of education in Hispanic America is that Spain never considered populations in America to be colonies, but rather as Provinces, for which they had the same rights as those present in the Peninsula. This means that, for example, Spain founded the first university in the New World in 1538, the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo being the first in America, even one hundred years older than the one founded by the English slavers in the current US territory.
Another even more interesting fact is that Spain was the first empire to found a university on the Asian continent since Miguel de Benavides founded in 1611 the University of Santo Tomás in Manila, today the Philippines, the same country that was invaded by English pirates in 1762, turning Filipinos no longer into Spanish citizens, but into Asian slaves.
We will have more time to tell about the robbery attempts by the English, French, Dutch, and Americans in another installment, for the moment here we show historical data that continues to be manipulated in formal education in Spain and Hispanic America.
Thus, for example, one of the most powerful tactics against Hispanity has been the creation in Hollywood of a funny, kind, and loving caricature of the English and their multiple attempts at robbery and slavery in the Hispanic American region. An enormous amount of films have been produced where English, Dutch and French pirates are presented as good-natured beings with high moral principles, such as the Pirates of the Caribbean saga where an admirable, loving, and ethical English pirate is represented; something that is far from historical reality.
Today the Black Legend continues to spread using as vehicles of its propaganda the very ones it mistreated and annihilated: indigenism.
The autochthonous populations of Hispanic America, the same ones that Isabel La Católica defended by means of royal decrees where she abolished slavery in the year 1500, are today used by the elites to continue with the legendary black lies.
The Black Legend was spread With false information and with envy
Thus, for example, one of the greatest accusers against Spain was Bartolomé de las Casas, who repeatedly exaggerated the acts of violence of which he was never particularly a witness. It is known with all certainty that from a letter sent (La Brevísima Relacion) by the Spanish friar to Emperor Felipe II, where he allegedly denounced the abuses of the comendadedos, the figures shown were totally adulterated by the same author. Precisely, this document was widely used by the traitor William of Orange (who was the inciter that generated the so-called War of the 80 years in which hundreds of thousands of innocents died), who did not tire of trying to destroy the Spanish Empire and its enemy King Felipe II.
William of Orange, one of the greatest enemies of Spain and Hispania, who declared himself a tacit personal enemy of King Philip II and swore to destroy and crush him like filthy cockroaches. Portrait from 1579 in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza by Adriaen Thomasz Key.
This campaign undertaken by the Dutch William of Orange gave results since he was in charge of translating and printing De Las Casas’s story from his own pocket into all European languages, thus spreading an image that the Spanish were murderers and convicts as well as rapists and slavers. An idea that still persists today in the popular mind and in the educational system in almost the entire continent and in the world. In fact, the idea that the Spaniards who came to America were criminals and convicts has become viral. Something that has never been proven, and that also shows the obvious perversion of the truth when even the world-renowned writer Miguel de Cervantes applied to travel to America and was rejected for not having the basic skills for hard work in the New World. Luckily for the world, his request was rejected as if accepted perhaps it would have meant depriving us of the most important novel of all time, not only of the Spanish language but also of world literature: Don Quijote.
But all these arguments collapse loudly when it is noted that the Spanish married and mixed their blood and genes with the aborigines or Native Americans. If the Spaniards had been racists, slavers as Bartolomé de Las Casas and Guillermo de Orange painted, how could this have happened?
However, this was never considered, even in their dreams, by other enemy powers of the Hispanic world, which on the contrary, undertook mass extermination campaigns against the indigenous people, such as those carried out by the English in the territories of Canada and the United States. And it still remains for Dutch, English, and French are still conscious today of mixing mix their blood with other ethnic groups.
On the other hand, since 1500, the Royal Decree of Isabel la Católica tacitly prohibited slavery and cataloged the natives of the New World as Spanish citizens, thus allowing marriage between these and the Spanish, while the English took more than three centuries in prohibiting slavery (1834), France ended it in 1848, fifty-one years after the human carnage called the French Revolution. Needless to say in the case of the United States, which continued to maintain slavery until 1863 and so on. This caused such outrage among Americans that they decided to go to war to stop it.
Westerns, a genre of American cinema depicting Anglo-Saxons massacring aboriginal populations based on an idea of racial supremacy that was the norm during the founding of the United States.
Interestingly, whilst there is talk of an alleged genocide in Spanish America committed by Spain, the United States interracial marriage was illegal until very recently, in 1967.
And in the case of Costa Rica, it is necessary to remember the so-called National War or National Campaign, in which the Costa Ricans of the time were forced to duel against an army of racist Anglo-Saxon Americans commanded by William Walker in 1856 and 1857.
So what is the Spanish Black Legend based on? In my opinion, in a deep contempt and envy against Spain and the Hispanity, in which for centuries the concept of races has been raised, and where precisely those who invented this concept are the same ones who say that there were superior and inferior races, and being white was being superior and not being white is being inferior. The same people who unleashed huge crimes like the 80 Years War, the French Revolution, the two World Wars, and the Jewish genocide. Or is it true that the Hispanity has ever tried to do such a thing?
We will see in the following text how the Black Legend has been enhanced using the topic of the aborigines or Native Americans.
This post was translated from:
Dávila, H. (2021) ‘Datos interesantes que nunca te contaron de lo que hizo España en las Américas’, 30 April. Available at: https://hdavila.com/2021/04/30/datos-interesantes-que-nunca-te-contaron-de-lo-que-hizo-espana-en-america/ (Accessed: 3 May 2021).