Talk:Black Legend/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Here are some scholarly works to reference on The Black Legend. N.B., these books and articles are written with the intent of identifying historical bias and dispelling The Black Legend or parts thereof.

The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision Henry Kamen. (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1995.)

Spain's Long Shadow : The Black Legend, Off-Whiteness, and Anglo-American Empire by Maria de Guzman. (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, 2005.)

The Black Legends & Catholic Hispanic Culture by Antonio Caponetto. (Central Bureau of the Catholic Central Verein of America, St. Louis, 1991.) but many just don't know howor when this crisis was happening. La Leyenda Negra: Estudios acerca del concepto de España en el extranjero by Julián Juderias. (Editora Nacional, Madrid, 1954.)

The Mediterranean & the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II by Fernand Braudel. (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1995.)

Revival of the Spanish 'Black Legend': The American Repudiation of Their Spanish Heritage by Douglas T. Peck in Revista de Historia de América. (Instituto Panamericano de Geografica e Historia, Mexico, January 1, 2001.)

Spain's Black Legend by Ignacio Barreiro. (The Latin Mass, Santa Paula, Vol. 14, No. 3, Summer 2005.)

Legendas Negras de la Iglesia by Vittorio Messori. (Planeta, Barcelona, 2000.)

Estado e Iglesia en la España del Siglo XVI by Antonio Maria Rauco Varela. (BAC, Madrid, 2001.)

Addio al buon pellerossa by Mauro Calamandrei. (Il Sole-24 Ore, Milano, Sunday Octobre 12, 2003.)

La leyenda negra ya no se mantiene by Ricardo de la Cierva. (Época, Madrid, December 22, 1997.)

El Testamento de Isabel la Católica, exponente de una vida al servicio de la Iglesia by Vidal Gonzalez Sanchez in Isabel la Católica y su Causa de Beatificación (Obra Pía Establicimientos Españoles en Italia, 2003.)

MiguelJoseErnst 17:24, 24 Jun 2006 (UTC)

POV Cleanup

I tried to clean this up and make it a bit more NPOV; most of it seemed to be not a description of the topic but vehement rebuttal of it.

I removed the sentence "Britain was given the exclusive right to slave trading in Spanish America." pending explanation or source; I know for much of the time the UK and Spain were rivals and even at war. -- Infrogmation 20:52 Feb 22, 2003 (UTC)

I believe that the reference is to the Asiento granted to the United Kingdom under the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). To the best of my recollection, between 1713 and Spain's entry into the American War of Independence, Britain and Spain were at peace except for the very brief War of the Quadruple Alliance. Try googling in the English language on "The Asiento". -- Alan Peakall 16:43 Feb 27, 2003 (UTC)
Sorry for the error above. I forgot Spanish entry to the Seven Year's War. Irrelevant to this article but I wanted to correct the misinformation. -- Alan Peakall 09:09 Feb 28, 2003 (UTC)
Thank you. Still, the original was rather misleading, with no note that there had been slavery in Spanish America for some 2 centuries before that treaty, etc. Certainly England, Spain, France, The Netherlands, and Portugal all had trafficed in the slave trade in the era. Another point I'd like to know more about is "white legend" or "pink legend". IIRC, in Guatemala in the 1970s I only heard it discussed as the "white legend". Googling for "leyenda negra" "leyenda blanca" and for "leyenda negra" "leyenda rosa" gets just slightly more hits for rosa; in English "black legend" "white legend" got over 200 hits while "black legend" "pink legend" got only 2, suggesting that white legend may be the more common term in English-- although FAIK correct accademic use may be otherwise. Cheers, -- Infrogmation 18:26 Feb 27, 2003 (UTC)
I think this belongs under the Spanish inquisition article. It seems to be unclear as to a general application of its meaning and a Spain-specific aspect... In other words, what is the thrust and it seems to be perhaps worthy of stubbing, rather than to be a nexus for material elsewhere.. -&#35918&#30505 ps. Ie: Its an article about what they say others say of them. Kinda like other terms describing how other people think - it can get into very vague territory.

This page definitely has some POV elements. De Las Casas' "Short Account..." is a primary historical document, not all of it is verifiable, but there is no evidence that it was "probably exaggerated" in terms of Spanish cruelty as this page, apparently written by revistionists, says. Some errors have certainly been found in his writings as they relate to population estimates and geographic details, however, nowhere can you find proof that events and depredations he describes were especially exaggerated. Furthermore, his account is often viewed as particularly edifying as it represents an example of what Bertrand Russel would call "evidence against interest". Palenque 21:19, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

FWIW, I would say that it is precisely in the area of numbers that de las Casas' account could be considered exaggerated. I would assume that he is essentially accurate about the actual depradations he claims to have observed directly. - Jmabel | Talk 21:50, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Added to Votes for Deletion

I have added this page temporarily to Votes for deletion because of its highly apologetic nature, but now changed into an NPOV stub. For the record, below is the archived discussion from VfD. --Eloquence 03:31 Feb 28, 2003 (UTC)

  • Black legend -- the entire article is extremely biased from a Catholic point of view, and can hardly be turned into something useful without a complete rewrite. It is also incomplete. --Eloquence 02:07 Feb 28, 2003 (UTC)
    • You can see a 1994 BBC/A&E production: "The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition,".
      • Yes, I can do this. And I can see many other apologetic productions, they are not hard to come by these days. The point is, we try to write articles from the neutral point of view, and we do not claim that one historical perspective is "correct". I have no objections against an article about the Black Legend (which I do believe to exist to some degree, but less as an exaggeration and more as an unjustified focus -- the Protestants did commit similar crimes), but the current one is an egregiously biased case for the garbage bin. --Eloquence 02:23 Feb 28, 2003 (UTC)
        • And The Witchhunt? (In Spain, Portugal and Italy don't were so important than in protestant countries)
          • And the killing of native american, irish and australian and tasmanian aborigens?
This Talk page, or even Wikipedia in general, is not for discussing which country was most barbaric in its history. It's for explaining terms, supported with facts, and explaining the various sides to a story without taking sides. Reading various articles I came upon an article on Philips II of Spain, which mentioned that English and especially the Dutch (understandably, considering he drove them to revolt against him) saw him as an inhuman monster, whereas in Spain and other catholic countries he as very humane and gentlemanly, linking to Black Legend and White Legend as explanation for those points of view. I expected a neutral article explaining where the term "Black Legend" comes from, the facts that led to the legend, and some historians supporting and criticising it. Instead I find a long rant about how unfair everybody is against Spain, how other countries have done bad stuff too, and claiming lots of unsupported facts (some of them highly debatable).
If "Black Legend" is a term used by serious historians, then Wikipedia should definitely have an article on it, but this one isn't it. This article tries to convince the reader of a specific point of view. Instead, it should neutrally explain the point of view, its origins, proponents and detractors. Mcvos (talk) 19:22, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
There are not serious modern historians who support the statements and ideas of the Black Legend, this is why you won´t find any mention to modern historians supporting it, but you will find a lot of them explaining what the Black Legend is, and how and why it was created. The Black Legend is rather a compendia of ideas based on prejudices and myths coming from ancient propaganda, which is very common nowadays in the folkloric and popular mind worldwide. The books about the Black Legend explain the causes, origin and consequences of a current prejudice, and it is not a matter of points of view.
Your suggestion, is equivalent to say in the article about "racism", that it should include the point of view of the racists. Furthermore, the Black Legend is ultimately a matter of anti-Spanish propaganda, and not "revisionism" or an apology of the Spanish Conquista. And the aim of the article (origin, causes and consequences of anti-Spanish propaganda) has been forgotten by most of the people writing here.
For instance, you say that the opinion of the Dutch about Philip II is Black Legend while the opinion of the Spaniards is White Legend, wich is wrong. The opinion of the English and Dutch about Philip II is Black Legend since it is based on masive propaganda and myths (which are known in the historiography as Black Legend) that have been absorbed by generations which didn´t live at the time of Philip II, while the opinion of the Spaniards about him is just that, ie, a subjective opinion.
The claims of linking the Black Legend and the White Legend in the article are absurd. The Black Legend is a prejudice which lasts 5 centuries now, it has great influence worldwide and it is used as a dialectic weapon even in modern politics (Latin American Populism). This is why there are many books written about it, and it is why it is a field of research in Historiography. On the other hand the White Legend is totally meaningless, it has not consequences nowadays. The White Legend was very limited in duration and influence, it only existed during the Franco's dictatorship as an idealistic view of the Spanish Conquista to conterstrike the Black legend, but the best proof that the White Legend is unsignificant is that there is not a sigle history book dedicated to it. In fact, currently the White Legend has come to be another piece of the Black Legend, since it is now mentioned to neutralize any talk or criticism about the Black Legend, giving to both legends the same importance as if they were equivalents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Upon quick research, it does appear to be revisionism - But ill make the case that revisionism isnt so much about refuting, as it is about degrees of fact. Its perfectly valid to say: "Of what people think of the Inquisition, its wasnt as bad as they say" which may be true - 1. it depends on what they say and 2, it depends on what people think - there is clearly room for dualist views on this. -&#35918&#30505
As I said, I have no objections to an NPOV article about the Black Legend variant of revisionism. The current article does not comply with our rules, and should therefore be deleted or rewritten from scratch (which I don't have time to do).--Eloquence 02:29 Feb 28, 2003 (UTC)

You can't delete Black Legend if you want. Although, the first part is interesting, because is a term used by famous historians. Really, this article was a protest by the originals versions of Conquistador or Spanish Inquisition, that are not an NPOV article.

  • Had the South African Apartheid some equivalent in the Spanish (catholic) colonies? Eloquence, you are a typical guy blinded by the Black Legend. I do not like your insistence on removing the Black Legend article since your reasons are based on your own ignorance. This is the Wikipedia, man.
Note: the listing of the article on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion was back in 2003. It was decided to keep. There is no current listing to delete the article. -- Infrogmation 20:04, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • OK, I did not pay attention to the date, thanks.

This article should remain. You can still see examples of the black legend frame of mind. A few years ago there was a confrontation between Spanish fishermen and Canadians about fishing rights in the Northern Atlantic. The Spanish have been fishing there since way before Canada was Canada. The Canadians quickly resorted to unfounded accusations against the Spanish fishermen as bloodthirsty savages who were intent on ravaging the fisheries, unlike the civilized Canadians.

Think about it! Where is baby seal clubbing still legal? In Canada. The Anglo-Saxon world is very aware of the importance of propaganda. It is interesting that now that the Anglo-Saxon world is in a slow retreat, when the U.S. loses its prominent status, it will suffer from the same black legend problem. The Black Legend will then become a real problem. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 3 March 2006.

I vote against removing this article. Considering the main article about the Spanish Inqusition tilts heavily in an anti-Catholic POV, Wikipedia could use a little balance. If the BBC documentary is accurate, then it leaves a lot of bigots looking foolish.-- 03:28, 19 September 2006 (UTC)


I removed licentious from the original description, for it does not fit the stereotype, whereas fanatic certainly does. The Spaniard of the "Black Legend" is more ascetic than licentious. The comparison to the folk picture of "The Turk" seemed worth mentioning.Wetman 06:52, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Cleaned up

This is turning into a the start of a pretty decent article, though it's got a ways to go. I just cleaned up a lot of text obviously written by a non-native speaker and added some reference points for people more familiar with the history of the English-speaking world than the Spanish-speaking world. The first half of the article is now pretty decent, but it falls way off when it hits the Enlightenment. -- Jmabel 17:44, Jul 11, 2004 (UTC)

White Legend

Also, I see that White Legend is just a link back to this article. I've now bolded accordingly, but we could use a section explicitly discussing the White Legend, which is an equally tendentious matter in its own right. -- Jmabel 17:49, Jul 11, 2004 (UTC)

I took a first shot at this, largely by reviving some material formerly deleted from the article and recontextualizing it as the White Legend. This probably needs more work. -- Jmabel 18:26, Jul 11, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the White Legend is also a tendentious matter, but its influence on the World’s perception about Spain is non-existent, saving Spain, while the Black Legend is a tendentious folklore that has overrun the world, and it is still suffered by the Spaniards now days in many aspects.

There have been two major deletions relating to this topic by two separate anonymous editors in the last two days (one reverted by Jmabel) - are they the same person? I left a reasoned message for the first one, but what's the point? --shtove 22:35, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

The white legend needs to be included in this article or deserves an article of its own for the simple fact that it is important to this topic. Saying it isn't is analalogous to claiming that anti-nazi activism in the jewish community is unimportant to the history of nazi movements (or I suppose, depending on your views of spain, like claiming that nazi apologists are not important to nazi history). This would be a silly thing to do. However, the section needs to be cleaned up, right now its an essay on why everything Spain did way back when either did not occur or was "ok" because everyone else was doing it. This correction (in several cases) is as simple as going through, pointing out that other powers were doing the same things as well, and tacking on "however spain does appear to be disportionately blamed for these and similar actions. The reason people keep deleting and modifying it is because as it stands now it is not info its propaganda. -Anon —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 24 September 2006.

So let me ask you both: do you feel that Spain was uniquely good as a colonial power? Because I have certainly heard people make that claim, which to me constitutes a white legend. I have no problem with the claim that Spain was more or less exactly as "good" or "bad" in the New World as the other major European powers of the era, but claims of extraordinary Spanish benevolence strike me as just as dubious as claims of extraordinary Spanish malevolence. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:40, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Jmabel, I will talk about what I think. First of all, I do not think that Spain was ‘’uniquely’’ good as a colonial power. Spain conquered America because of the gold and the other resources, as everybody with common sense know, and as all the other colonial powers did along the History.

What seems outraging to me is that today, it is still persisting in the mind of many people that only Spain did that as colonial power, or that Spain was the worst one. On the other hand, England, Holland, France, etc, invaded, killed, looted, raped and robbed, and most importantly, attacked and fought Spain, for humanitarian reasons, in the name of the freedom. I know I am Spanish, and I know that is difficult for me being impartial on this topic. But, trying to be impartial, trying to throw away any patriotic or emotive feeling, I would say that, indeed, Spain was among the least bad colonial powers in the History, which make the Black Legend even more molest and difficult to understand for me. Note that I am not the only one who thinks that way, but also many anglosaxon historians claim that Spain was, in fact, among the least destructive colonial powers in the History. Some of them claim that Spain was even the least bad European colonial power. I suggest you to read the work of some Hispanist. Note that the Hispanists, are not pro-Spanish historians or Spaniards that defend our national History, but foreign historians (mainly British, French and Americans) experts in History of Spain. The historic facts talk by themselves.

For instance, in this Wikipedia article, we can read in the White Legend section:

Black Legend proponents of the White Legend tend to excuse the Spanish Inquisition, emphasizing that in form it merely copied institutions already in place in the rest of Europe (the suppression [..] and comparing the Inquisition favorably with […] the witch hunts in many Protestant countries.

As far as I know, the Spanish Inquisition was not copied from anywhere. But the Spanish Inquisition was by a longshot least bloodtshirty than the Witch Hunting in England or Germany. This is a matter of numbers. The maths are equal in the Earth or in Marsh. 2>1, 2+2=4. This is an hitoric fact easily contrastable. This is not White Legend. The question is not whether the Spanish Inquisition was good or bad. Obviously, it was an evil institution. The question is why the idea of the Spanish Inquisition as the paradigmatic institution of the evil, perversion and fanatism is still persisting worldwide? The Black Legend is the answer. As a consequence of that, a lot of people still thinking around the world that Spain is a very religious country. In fact Spain has one of the higher degrees of atheism among the western societies. This is a fact. This is not White Legend. As an anecdotic issue, I would remind “The Pit and the Pendulum” by the anglosaxon poet Edgar Allan Poe. In this tale, even the invaders of Spain (the French) are the good ones. I do not need to say that in the 1800’s nobody was tortured in Spain by the pit and the pendulum. Why Poe wrote such a tale? The Black Legend is the answer. (of course, I think “the pit and the pendulum” is a masterpiece, looking only the artistic side).

Similarly, these advocates tend to excuse the "The Spanish Fury" or the sack of Rome […] They criticized the fact that Belgian, Italian or German rampages were enlarged upon and attributed to Spanish soldiers in order to enhance the anti-Hispanic Black Legend.

The Spanish Fury was carried out mostly by Spaniards. This is a fact, not an opinion. But the Sack of Rome was carried out, by their own, by German pickemen, despite the fact that their were included in the Spanish Imperial army. This is a fact, not an opinion. The soldiers who sacked Rome were born in Germany. This is, indeed, a fact. This is not a subjective matter. This is not White Legend. How would do you feel, if you were a Spaniard, hearing a German blaming your country for the Sack of Rome? It happened to me.

Cortés's army consisted largely of Native American enemies (and disgruntled vassals) of the Aztec Empire and credits accounts of Aztec human sacrifice and cannibalism.

Cortes’ army consisted largely of Native American enemies of the Atec empire. Again we deal with maths. 1<2, 3+2=5. We could make that question: Where were born the major part of combatants who defeated the Aztec empire? The answer is America. This is not a subjective matter. This is pure mathematica. This is not White Legend. This is a fact. But this would mean that the Aztecs, as the Spaniards, were not that good. On the other hand I don’t think that Cortes was too worried about cannibalism. He was thinking, logically, as all the other European conquerors, about the golden and the glory. Dealing with this issue, we could talk about the myth of the fire weapons used by the Spaniards agaisnt the Aztecs. The fire weapons were useless in the major part of the combats that the Spaniards fighted agaisnt Native Americans. The real advantage were the iron swords. But this fact, would mean that the combats were fighted in the short distance, and we could talk about valor and skill, and not only technological supremacy. A valor and skill that have been never admited out of Spain, which is actually an unique case in the History. Anyway, It doesn’t really matter.

There is no English or French equivalent of Bartolomé de las Casas

Is there? Who is him?

Spain was the first European colonial power to pass laws protecting the natives of its American colonies as early as 1542 with the Laws of the Indies (Spanish: Leyes de Indias).

Again we deal with facts, and not with White Legend. The first Laws to protect the Indians were indeed passed in the early XVI century. This is a fact easily contrastable. Did England such a thing before Spain? Did Holland such a thing? Did France such a thing? Did Germany such a thing? Russia? Italy? Japan? China? Turkey? If they did, the previous statament is White Legend.

Today the descendants of the aboriginal Americans constitute the base of the population in many of the countries that comprised the Spanish Empire in America.

Again we deal with facts. Think about a Bolivian. Think about a Mexican. Now think aobout an American. Think about an Australian. Even think about a South African. You have answered yourself.

Some Amerindian languages have reached rank of co-official tongues in Latin American countries […] It is likely that Spanish priests actually spread Quechua beyond its original geographic area. This active spread of a native language by Europeans has no equivalent in the American countries which were originally colonized by other European powers […]

Again, we deal with facts, and not with points of view. Why is this depicted as White Legend? The answer is clear: Because this is a clear evidence agaisnt the Black Legend.

The White Legend plays down the Spanish role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade by emphasizing the role of the English but also that of the Dutch, French, Belgian, Portuguese and other Europeans.

At the end we found in the White Legend Section something that is actually White Legend. The Spanish did not trade with slaves least than the English did.

The expulsion of Jews was quite common in the medieval Europe: France (1182), England (1290), France again (1306, 1321, 1322, 1394), Austria (1421), Spain (1492), Sicilly (1492), Lithuania (1495), Portugal (1496, 1497), Germany (1510), Napoles (1541), Genove (1550, 1567), Germany (1554), Italy (1569, 1593). Why everybody know about the expulsion of the Spanish Jews, and few people know about the other ones? I will allow you to answer.

Another insidiuos and molest part of the Black Legend to me is the depiction of Spanish combatants as cowards, stupid, always outnumbering the enemy and being defeated. The historic fact is that the Spanish combatans have been mostly outnumbered in most of the battles fighted by Spain along the History, and they were able to keep a worldwide empire during 350 years. As an anecdotic issue, I would suggest you the article about the Spanish Armada here, in the Wikipedia. It was pretty funny to see it evolutionig from the first words written talking about a few English patriots defeating the evil and stupid Spaniards (as most of the people think worldwide) to the current structure, talking about a far least pleasant reality for England. Specially interesting is the External Link provided, by Wes Ulm from the Harvard University. It seems that fortunatelly some foreing historians are waking up. In this article you can see the Black Legend working on, and fortunately, being ultimately defeated by the thruth.

I am sorry for my commet took too long and my bad english, but I am an ocasional visitant of the English Wikipedia and I needed to say this. Cheers Recesvinto The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 7 Nov 2005.

I actually agree with the bulk of what you've said. I do have some remarks:
  1. The number of people killed for witchcraft was, in the not too distant past, estimated quite high, but historians have tended in recent years to revise that down; see Witch-hunt#.22The_Burning_Times.22. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a reputable historian today who would say that the numbers exceeded 60,000 in all of Europe (Spain itself included), and most would say about half that.
  2. I suspect that the expulsion of the Jews from Spain is particularly prominent for three reasons. One is, doubtless, the Black Legend. Another is that the ban effectively continued down into relatively modern times, long past the emancipation of the Jews in the rest of Western Europe. (On the other hand, Spain is rarely given the credit it deserves for its actions toward Jews in the Nazi era, particularly remarkable when you consider how much Franco owed his position to Hitler and Mussolini.) The third is that prior to the expulsion, the Jews had played such a prominent cultural role on the Iberian peninsula for so long, and the Iberian Jews had played such a prominent role in world Jewry. When England kicked out the Jews in 1290, it did not particularly change the nature of world Jewry. The expulsions from Spain and Portugal were much more dramatic in what they meant for the Jewish people as a whole.
  3. Yes I certainly agree that Bartolomé de las Casas was remarkable, and unique to Spain, as was the concept of rights-based law developed by the School of Salamanca.
  4. England, FWIW, did eventually try to protect the Indians from its own colonists, but they probably waited too long. It was the 17th century, and there were, by then, an awful lot of English colonists in America.
I do see what you mean when you say that a lot of this should not be consigned to the realm of "white legend". Still, (for example) Bartolomé de las Casas was, after all, describing what he saw within the pale of Spanish colonialism. It's one of those things that can be "worked" in several directions, and a "white legend" arises when people remember de las Casas himself, but choose to forget the abuses he described. Again, not that they were unique to Spain, I'm sure they were typical of all the European nations, but one dissenter does not make a radically different nation.
I really think the only way we are finally going to have a good article here is for someone to take the time to sit down with some scholarly sources; this particular topic is not one where I really want to do that work. It may be that what you are saying is entirely correct, but as I've remarked before, this article is woefully short on citation. Some statements now in the article right strike me as patently false: "Advocates of the Black Legend postulate the existence of a White Legend comparable to the Black Legend in extension, influence and persistence in time." I have never heard anyone assert that, and the weasel-word "Advocates" suggests to me that neither, in fact, has the author of the sentence. And what on earth does "Black Legend proponents of the White Legend tend to excuse the Spanish Inquisition" mean? This article really needs someone who wants to do some heavy lifting: this is a matter of careful research on what has actually been written by scholars who represent a range of views, not a matter of editing to one's taste. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:21, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Jmabel, just some remarks to your comment:
I think you would be hard-pressed to find a reputable historian today who would say that the numbers exceeded 60,000 in all of Europe (Spain itself included), and most would say about half that.
Probably the historian have tended to revise the Witch Hunting number of victims down, but I assure to you that they have done it not so much as they have tended to revise the Spanish Inquisition number of victims down. Apart the fact that the Witch Hunting was virtually inexistent in Spain, we still dealing with the same problem. Why the Spanish Inquisition is the paradigma?
I found particulary interesting your explanation about the fame of the expulsion of Jews from Spain. You used valid and smart reasons. But we still having problems: why is seldom mentioned that the Spanish Crown gave the chance to the Jews to convert themselves to the catholicism? Probably the Catholic Kings were recalcitrant catholic, but also the Jews were quite recalcitrant. In fact, the correct way to name this historic fact would be to say that “the Jews who refused to convert themselves to the catholicism were expulsed”. Note that I do not say this as an apology of the expulsion, which was an execrable act, but to try to show where is the Black Legend hidden in this issue. The Black Legend works by directly inventing lies and difamation, or by deforming the reality in an interested way, or by exagerating the bad side while hidding the good one.
You said
Yes I certainly agree that Bartolomé de las Casas was remarkable, and unique to Spain
First of all, Bartolomé de las Casas was not unique to Spain, but unique during centuries to the World. Secondly, Bartolomé de las Casas was not unique to Spain, since he was the visible head of a considerable group of remarkable people, who dedicated their whole lives to defend the native americans: Gutierre de Ampudia, Pedro de Rentería…Could you name just one englishman, dutchman or any other european citizen who did so before the XVIII century?
You also said
It's one of those things that can be "worked" in several directions, and a "white legend" arises when people remember de las Casas himself, but choose to forget the abuses he described.
I think you lost the path of why the facts surrounding Bartolomé de las Casas are a clear refutation of the Black Legend. Bartolomé de las Casas published his Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias in 1552. This book is a description of the abuses against the native Americans in which the facts are clearly exaggerated. Las Casas presented delirious numbers. He wrote that the Spaniards exterminated a number of about 30-50 millions of native Americans only in what is now known as Haiti and República Dominicana. Firstly, note that supposing that in such island lived such a number of natives (and supposing that 3000 Spanish settlers killed all them off), the density of population would had been almost as high as it is in the modern Bangladesh. Secondly, the Nazis during the XX century were not able to reach such a number of victims by far, despite their actual determination and effort, the modern weapons, machine guns, submarines ,extermination fields, the Zyklon B, the indiscriminate bombing and the use of a true "extermination engineering". But we have that the Brevísima relación... was not only published in Spain, but Las Casas, instead of being burnt or tortured or executed or buried alive or thrown to the pit and the pendulum or so, had a meeting with the Spanish Kings an his book established a true debate about the legitimacy of the Spanish colonization of America as early as the XVI century. This fact had not European (and I would say that Worldwide) equivalent during centuries. Needless to say, the welcoming for the Brevísima relación... in France, England, Italy, etc was enthusiastic. This are, in my opinion, the facts because the existence of Bartolomé de las Casas and his Brevísima relación is a clear evidence against the Black Legend, and can not be worked in several directions as far as it is properly worked. Recesvinto The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 8 Nov 2005.

FWIW, pretty much all expulsions of the Jews prior to the late 19th century offered the alternative of conversion. Jew-hating was always on a religious basis; it wasn't until the late 19th century, when racialism was in vogue but religious bigotry was getting a bad name, that anyone put this on an ethnic/racial basis. In German, one can see this in the replacement of the word Judenhassen by Antisemitismus. Note: Semitismus suggesting a racial rather than a religious characterization. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:56, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I said "unique to", but you are interpreting that as "unique within". "Unique to Spain" means "only Spain had someone like this". We are not disagreeing on this point. -- Jmabel | Talk 08:05, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

While saying that Bartolomé de las Casas "can not be worked in several directions", you provide the evidence that it can: advocates of the Black Legend used it as a condemnation of Spain, ignoring its exaggerations and Spanish authorship, while you point to his being Spanish and to his lack of ill treatment and his provoking serious discussion in Spain as showing just the opposite. -- Jmabel | Talk 08:16, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Article structure

I thought about dividing the article in two parts:

  1. What is the Spanish black legend
  2. History of the Spanish black legend

In #1 I wanted to explain what the black legend is and the four main points: inquisition & religious intolerance, conquest of the Americas (treatment of natives and gold), Philip II of Spain and Spanish character (meanness, lack of culture, etc.).

In #2 the idea was to explain how the legend was used and changed along it's history: from Italy to Britain & the Netherlands, to France, the US, South America and finally the rest of the world (including Spain).

At the end a section for the "white legend".

--Ecelan 19:13, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Ecelan, to be clear: do you propose a reorganisation of the English article into those 3 sections, using the best parts of the Spanish and English articles? If so, I would be happy to assist in editing your text. In case you have not noticed, Jmabel | Talk has problems with the recent treatment of the White Legend part; perhaps you might talk with him as well.--shtove 20:05, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

New World Spaniard speaks out

Jmabel is a classic example of an apologist for the Black Legend. He convicts himself with his own words. His main concern is the article being "apologist for Spain" (see Shtove). He starts out with an anti-Spanish bias but believes that his view is neutral and therefore sees anyone with a neutral view as pro-Spanish. The Black Legend is so deeply ingrained in the Anglo-Saxon psyche that the typical Anglo-Saxon (and please don’t tell me that you are not Anglo-Saxon or that you are Irish or what-have-you because then we will need to get into a discussion about the cultural differences between hereditary Anglo-Saxons and assimilated Anglo-Saxons) believes that there must be some truth to it. “Where there is smoke there is fire” is how the Anglo-Saxon puts it.

The very first sentence in the Black Legend article betrays this bias. "The Black Legend (in Spanish, leyenda negra) is the excessive depiction of Spain and the Spaniards as bloodthirsty and cruel, greedy and fanatical". Excessive depiction? In other words, the depiction is okay if it is not excessive because then it is factual. That sort of thinking is the very essence of the Black Legend. We are dealing here with an attitude, not just words and sentences and articles and stories and histories.

Jmabel and Shtove need to stop and reflect before removing the definition of the White Legend that I have offered. Lets collaborate and not just simply dismiss my contribution as irrelevant. The definition of the White Legend that I am offering perfectly explains (to me, anyway) the intractable nature of the Black Legend syndrome. 04:11, 19 October 2005 (UTC) Anonymous (and for good reason).

Thanks for that. Depiction is a neutral term and probably shouldn't be qualified as excessive (that was my edit); but propaganda forms around a grain of truth, which is admitted in your remarks that there were cruel conquistadors and governors; therefore, to describe the BL as a false depiction (which I think would be your case) is not entirely correct. I put it this way: Not true: the Spanish are bastards - True: some Spanish are bastards - Now, get to the BL bit in between and describe it accurately. It's a tricky introduction to get right, but I think the new first paragraph is balanced (although the following para. about Portugal should go into the body of the article).
My knowledge of the BL is marginal, arising incidentally from my knowledge of Irish 16thC. history - the Armada, Kinsale and all that - which led me to insert the Westward Ho! section (making a point about the reliance of English and American academic historians on BL-influenced work as a factual source); however, I am responsible for the article's one and only footnote. The article needs a complete reorganisation. Maybe the White Legend could have a linked article of its own (I haven't deleted any such material). If you look at the Talk sections preceding this you'll see I've been naively seeking Spanish input. Perhaps you could help.
Since I was raised in Ireland speaking English does that make me assimilated Anglo-Saxon? Perhaps you might remove the beam from your own eye and be more careful with your labellings, before criticising others for their supposed attitudes. Overall, I guess it's difficult to put together an article in neutral terms when the subject matter is essentially non-neutral. Collaboration would be between equals, and I don't have the knowledge to contribute; in fact, the article has introduced me to other aspects of the BL within Spanish-speaking parts of the world. I'm sure there are articles on specific anti-Jewish propaganda that might act as a model - Protocols of the Elders of Zion, or something like that. Plus, it would help if Anonymous had a name - or are there people in the New Fangled World who use that as their name?--shtove 06:20, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
I have only two responses to the anon's remark: (1) The clumsy phrase about "excessive depiction" was not mine, and I agree that it does not belong. (2) Yes, folks, please do see my remarks on Shtove: my concern was with the following sentence: "The supposed existence of a pro-Spanish 'White Legend' is a particularly insidious aspect of the Black Legend in that it purports to bring 'balance' to an imagined 'debate' over the reality, existence, authenticity or accuracy of the defamatory Black Legend." Does our anonymous correspondent consider this NPOV writing? -- Jmabel | Talk 05:04, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I will first address the side issue. My reference above was to so-called hyphenated Americans. My mention of Irish was fortuitous but influenced by the fact that Irish Americans are active in Wikipedia as in all aspects of life in the United States. They enjoy a favored status. They are right below Anglo-Saxon Americans in the ethnic hierarchy. They are among the most vocal and active supporters of the Black Legend. I opened up several Wikipedia fronts and made advances on all fronts except one, where I nevertheless declared victory and moved on. The opposition was bold and ferocious. The leadership was Irish-American (hyphenated), Irish American wannabes, assimilated Anglo-Saxon Americans with a paid grievance and an ax to grind.
A separate linked article for the White Legend may be a good way to proceed as suggested by shtove. The White Legend is not comparable to the Black Legend and treating it as comparable or as a counterbalance to the Black Legend has worked to reinforce the Black Legend although it need not do so. My characterization of the White Legend and the other changes and additions that have been made to the article have blunted that reinforcement. Jmabel’s criticism is directed at an older version of my description of the White Legend. How does he feel/think about the newer version, the last paragraph in the introduction? Anonymous 05:09, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I absolutely disagree with this. There are two separate issues here. One is simply about Wikipedia style: "thinly disguised, insidious" is simply not NPOV. You want to cite someone authoritative as saying that? Fine. But saying it in the narrative voice of the article is absolutely inappropriate in Wikipedia.
As for "characterizing documented historical facts favorable to Hispanics as exaggerated praise of Hispanics and therefore suspect": are you claiming either that the right-wing in Spain has not basically defended the Spanish Inquisition? Or are you saying that defense is simply "factual"? This was, of course, especially so in the Franco era, which I am old enough to remember well (not sure if you are), but as recently as the turn of the millennium, when the Roman Catholic Church was making a set of apologies for certain aspects of its history, there was significant opposition from the Spanish right to apologizing for the Inquisition. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:23, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Just in case I'm misunderstood: (1) this is not a particularly good article as it stands. (2) I have no opinion either way on whether White Legend should be a separate article or part of the same article. (3) I agree that the Black Legend has far more adherents today, and certainly far more in the English-speaking world, than the White Legend, but minimizing the White Legend seems to me to be minimizing, in particular, the semi-fascist ideology that so recently ruled Spain. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:31, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
The Roman Inquisition is indefensible whether it occurred in Spain, in Portugal or anywhere else in Europe. The White Legend has as many versions as the Black Legend. I will neither praise nor criticize the Franco regime. What I will always do is defend the honor of Spain and of the Spanish people. 19:16, 26 October 2005 (UTC) The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) -.
The Inquisition is indefensible everywhere including the Americas. The NW Spaniard is its last known surviving victim. KnowName 08:29, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
Recent edits certainly reduce the prejudice against the White Legend by reducing the most POV phrasing, but the article still claims (without citation) that the very claim of the existence of a "White Legend" is part of the Black Legend. I still doubt the statement, and I would like to see a citation in which someone with a reasonable claim to authority on the topic states this. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:18, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Did major edit to White Legend in intro and in its section. Does it pass muster now? KnowName 05:05, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
It's certainly less bad than it was. Still, "Advocates of the Black Legend postulate the existence of a White Legend comparable to the Black Legend in extension, influence and persistence. An easily refuted straw-man White Legend is then invoked as a rhetorical device in discussions concerning the Black Legend," is hardly NPOV writing. It's polemical.
Clearly this is a controversial topic. The only way we will ultimately solve this is to indicate what notable scholars say on the topic, not to somehow come up with the "right opinions" of our own. Right now, I have a lot else at a higher priority than this article, so I'm not taking on this project, but someone should. -- Jmabel | Talk 19:36, 29 October 2005 (UTC)


For once ([1]), KnowName and I are in complete agreement. These remarks on France may belong somewhere in the article, but the ones on Portugal are very apropos and belong in the lead. The Portuguese-English alliance goes a long way to explain British anti-Spanish propaganda. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:37, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

I have pointed some other arguments that may explain why the Portuguese imperial period may not be considered so oppressive as the Spanish one - and so not be linked with the Black Legend. I may cite some authors by the end of the article, too. Tonyjeff 12:15, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

"genocidal policy" - means the state authorities deliberately set out to wipe out peoples - this is not borne out by the Laws of Burgos, The New Laws or the Valladolid Debate! Despite the brutality and exploitation of colonisers - whose mentality was virtually out of the middle ages, it was the imported diseases that were the true cause of catastrophe - but that would have occured regardless of whoever arrived. Furthermore, the Portuguese were only benevolent to the degree that they were desperately short of man power - this alleged benevolence was hardly shown in the long period they dominated the slave trade until the Brits overtook them. It is truer to say that of English speaking colonisers of North America and Australia - were much more deliberate about ridding the land of indigenous people, and developed theories of racism to back their policies, but even then the word "genocidal" is over the top. Provocateur 03:55, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Too much talk, not enough...

The discussion page is twice the length of the article - is that good or bad? An inquisition is needed.--shtove 21:49, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

The subject raises a valid point in interpreting NPOV. Is it possible to discuss bigotry neutrally? Bigotry is a matter of historic fact, it often exists in several directions, as different camps in a dispute have their own dogma which rarely match their opponents'. Even when they do, it depends on divergent value systems which we should not judge, they are matters of historic fact and it is wrong to apply norms produced by later culture to more primitive circumstances. Moreover, doctrines shift over time, and so it is important in history articles to portray fairly the gamut of criginal opinions, even if they are not neutral according to our own standards. You must also realise that it is rare for an entrenched position to be premeditatedly malevolent, and that the individual participants generally believed in their own position with clear consciences - even if they had to be told by some moral authority that this was the case. Equally, it would be hypocritical to judge according to our own norms, as we don't yet have the advantage of hindsight to be able to defend our own objectivity. We must not rewrite history because of some contemporary definition of neutrality, we must simply define as objectively as possible the situations faced. Now, that can indeed justify rewriting, or at least exposing, bigotry enshrined in history written by the victor - this is, for instance, a project currently underway between the French and German governments, to align their histories to avoid future disputes caused by mutual miscomprehension. They accept there may be different versions and positions, but place them alongside each other to explain why things happened and what the results were, such that students may understand the events in the round.

That being said, there are a number of questions here. Is the subject original, or is it a modern attempt at rewriting history? We know, for instance, that the Franco régime used mythographic techniques as a tool in creating a contemporary ethos, on the one hand, which ran into the British Imperialists such as GA Henty and John Buchan, on the other, whose fiction was every bit as inobjective as the average boys' comic treatment of the Bosch and Japs. Fiction is a poor standard for objectivity, but is often used (John le Carré as a current example) to educate the general population when the details cannot yet be released for security reasons. Policy as a result is set not by facts, but by typological exemplars, yet it becomes hard fact thereby. A current exemplar is the shooting of Jean-Charles de Menezes in London - it has become clear that an innocent man was shot by the police simply because he had a superfifical resemblance to a typographic type of supposed terrorist. Although there were a number of realisations that the victim was innocent, they were ignored, to the point of not even being given a hearing, because the myth had become doctrine in the police officers' minds to the point that they were not even in a Red Haze state, they were simply killing machines. Every legal safeguard was disregarded, the victim was given no warning nor chance to represent himself, let alone surrender. Mythology became hardest possible fact for the victim, whose life was brought to a premature conclusion as a result. The standard we must set in such instances is original evidence. This in general deteriorates over time, so we must sometimes base ourselves on documentation, although we must be careful to keep moderm interpretation in context - there is a general preference here, which I argue against, preferring current exegesic doctrine to original facts. A relevant example to this text is "Kill them all, God will know his own" attributed to the Papal Legate Arnaud-Amaury before the walls of Béziers in 1209 - see the discussion under [Albigensian Crusade]. The purpose of this page is therefore to clarify our viewpoints. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:08, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Oh my goodness!

See there is already a lot of talk on this page, but yowsers! As of now this article is a shameless load of pro-Spanish apologetics! Anyone who can read Las Casas and describe the events he recounts as "excesses" has a serious POV! Babajobu 14:27, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

  • This article is about the Black Legend. It is not about Las Casas. If you believe that what Las Casas wrote is not mostly blatant exaggeration then you believe in the Black Legend. How many Indians did Las Casas say were killed in Hispaniola alone. 30 million? KnowName 14:27, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
The term "excesses" is wildly POV even if you dismiss Las Casas's accounts. Colonialism itself is near universally accepted by scholars as having been characterized by acts of brutality, whether carried out by the British, the French, the Belgians, the Spanish, or whoever. And the Native American population was decimated by colonialism, even taking into account the interbreeding. The numbers of Native Americans dropped precipitously with the arrival of the Spanish. Even if you don't believe this amounts to genocide, to describe as an "excess" is to a adopt a more apologetic tone than 99% of the scholarship on Spanish colonialism in the new world. Reverted. Babajobu 15:21, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
If, as you yourself point out, "Colonialism itself is near universally accepted by scholars as having been characterized by acts of brutality" then the use of the word "brutality" is redundant, pro-Black Legend and "savagely" POV in this context. It has nothing to do with what I believe or don't believe. It has to do with Las Casas' biased characterization of Spanish colonialism which you take as gospel because of your deeply-held, culturally-ingrained belief in the Black Legend. Nobody is arguing that colonialism is not a brutal process. All colonialism is, ancient and modern. Look at Iraq or Palestine today, for two obvious examples. Your statements about the Spanish give you away as a proponent of the Black Legend, however unconscious on your part your advocacy may be. Las Casas' exaggerated descriptions are the bedrock of the Black Legend. Las Casas was a Dominican friar. It was the Dominicans who ran the Roman Catholic Inquisition in Spain. He was running cover for the likes of Tomás de Torquemada, the infamous Inquisitor General. Las Casas was himself an unrepentant slave owner. He argued famously in favor of black slavery. Yes, he defended the Indians who were dying from disease and overwork and rightfully so but for you to take his exaggerations as truth is to play right into the hands of the advocates of the Black Legend. The purpose of the article is to present an unbiased, objective, truthful view of the Black Legend, not to reinforce it or to validate Las Casas' exaggerations which is what you are doing with your edits. Will re-revert. KnowName 04:53, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
There is a wonderfully pithy remark on that in the first sentence of Borges' "El espantoso redentor Lazarus Morell": "En 1517 el Padre Bartolomé de las Casas tuvo mucha lástima de los indios que se extenuaban en los laboriosos infiernos de las minas de oro antillanas, y propuso al emperador Carlos V la importación de negros que se extenuaran en los laboriosos infiernos de las minas de oro antillanas." (Roughly, "In 1517 Father Bartolomé de las Casas took great pit on the Indians who were suffering and dying in the laborious hells of the Antillean gold mines, and proposed to Emperor Charles V the importation of Negroes to suffer and die in the laborious hells of the Antillean gold mines.") Jmabel | Talk 03:23, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I am considering a revision of the Las Casas article under proposed Wikipedia language policy (the so-called two-language rule or TLR) in the case or event of conflict. KnowName 07:32, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Excuse me? You are considering a revision under a "policy" that appears to have been recently and unilaterally created by one person (two if the IP that edited is someone else), has not been discussed, and has garnered no discernable support? -- Jmabel | Talk 07:41, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Hmm... That's "proposed policy". I read two long discussions. You participated in one of them. I looked and couldn't find any IPs. KnowName 18:13, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
And a proposed policy that states: "It shall be Wikipedia policy to identify editor cabals engaged in the..." doesn't have a bat's chance in hell of ever being made actual policy. I suggest you stop considering your revision. Babajobu 08:41, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
  • The idea that there are editor cabals out there enrages some editors. I find that amusing. I don't understand the psychology behind the rage. Forget about policy, proposed or otherwise, and forget about the existence or non-existence of cabals. Are you suggesting that I not improve the Las Casas article? KnowName 18:13, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
We are enraged when you mention "cabal" because you have hit too close to the truth. We can't bear to see someone with the courage to name that which we are to cowardly or too compicit to acknowledge. Yep, go ahead and improve the Las Casas article. If you are brave enough to stare down the powers that stand behind its present form, that is. Weaker men have failed. I wish you luck. Babajobu 18:42, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
"Colonial brutalities" is not redundant any more than "the brutalities of the Iraq occupation" would be redundant. European colonialism was characterized by many brutalities, but this does not make "colonial" and "brutality" synonyms. I'm not concerned with Las Casas's moral consistencies or inconsistencies, nor am I concerned with proving or disproving the Black Legend. But to describe the "excesses" of Spanish colonialism is to suggest that the enterprise itself was good, but occasionally "took things too far". That may even be true! But we should describe the brutalities of Spanish colonialism as what they were, rather than commenting sympathetically on Spanish colonialism itself. Reverted. Babajobu 08:10, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Someone put "abuses" in place of brutalities/excesses, not sure if that was you. I'm fine with that as a compromise. I was going to change it to "violence", and "abuses" is fine, too. Babajobu 08:13, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Are you joking?

  1. Race versus what? Being Spanish is not a religion, the Spanish are of many religions. Being Spanish is not an ethnicity, the Spanish are of many ethnicities. Being Spanish is not a nationality, the Spanish are of many nationalities. Being Spanish is not a population, the Spanish are of many populations. The Spanish are not geographically confined, the Spanish are everywhere. The Spanish are a self-conscious people. The Spanish share a common ancestry, a common history, a common language, a common culture, a common religion, a common enemy, a common persecution across the centuries, a common Creator. The Spanish are a race!! If you can come up with a better term the g-ds themselves will thank you profusely and perchance.
  2. The Duke of Alba link was preserved in spades.
  3. The Black Legend is not anti-Spanish propaganda, first, foremost and uniquely? That's a joke. I should be laughing already. KnowName 14:16, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
For starters, race is a pretty discredited concept, just in general, but insofar as it has any meaning, the Spanish are not racially different from other European Mediterraneans. In no concept of race that I've ever heard of does language, religion, or enemies enter the picture, and if having a common Creator makes a group of people a race, then according to most prevailing theology that would leave exactly one race, the human race: I've never heard a theory that the Spanish were created by a separate deity. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:47, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
For starters lets avoid sophistry. I am not talking theory. I am talking reality. We are a race. We are a subrace of the human race. What is it about reality that you do not understand? KnowName 00:24, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
Are Basques and Spanish citizens of Moroccan descent part of the same "race"? Unless you can find a citation from a mainstream source that argues so, please do not reinsert this far-fetched claim? Babajobu 04:13, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • When and where did I claim that "Basques and Spanish citizens of Moroccan descent" were "part of the same 'race'"?. Unless you can cite a quote from me to that effect please do not make such an accusation. KnowName 03:03, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
The Basques of northern Spain and Spanish citizens of Moroccan descent are both Spanish, and yet it is patent nonsense to claim that they are of the same race. Therefore, it is also patent nonsense to claim that the Spanish comprise a race. Babajobu 04:40, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
There is a great deal about reality I don't understand. Reality is an unfathomably large and complex thing.
I stand by my statement that race, at least in its traditional definition, is a pretty discredited concept. Can you show me any statement from a credentialed anthropologist working in the last 50 years who refers to the Spanish as a "race"? That would be an acceptable citation. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:23, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Do you deny that African Americans are members of the same black race that inhabits the African continent? Do you deny the existence of a black race? Do blacks deny it? Does anyone deny it? I quoted one definition of race: a people and their descendents. Here is another dictionary definition of race: a group of people having a commom parentage; the descendents collectively of a common ancestry. It may not be "scientific" but it is a perfectly reasonable and legitimate definition. There is no other word that conveys that meaning that I know of. And that is how I use the word. KnowName 03:03, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Man if Spaniards are a race. Every country's people is a race. This seems fundamentalists and has no sense. This is an encyclopedia, dont come with homemade definitions. We are a mix of a lot people of different origins, thanksr to God (although i dont believe in your God). --Darkmaiki 18:02, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

May I remind you guys that the word "race" is used rather loosely in English? It's true the Spanish are no race in the narrower (racialist) definition of the term but it's that definition that's discredited.

And the Black Legend is a bundle of prejudice directed both against a religion (Catholicism) as against a culture (Spanish, Mediterraenean, Latin).

Str1977 09:30, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Spanish is a constructed ideology created by the government of Castile, to unify the population and thus create a sort of national identity. That´s a fact: in Spain there are different ethnicities (like descendants mainly from Moors in the Southeast, from Visigothics in the North, from Gaels in the Northwest, from Lusitanians in the East...), different cultures, different languages and so. The process of national recognition has been complex and yet not finished. There is no Spanish language, but yes the Castilian, which overcame other regional languages by oppressive politics along the last three centuries.Tonyjeff 12:35, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Tem o Tarragonês, que se fez claro
Sujeitando Parténope inquieta;
O Navarro, as Astúrias, que reparo
Já foram contra a gente Mahometa;
Tem o Galego cauto, e o grande e raro
Castelhano, a quem fez o seu Planeta
Restituidor de Espanha e senhor dela,
Bétis, Lião, Granada, com Castela.
Luís de Camões, 1572
--Ecelan 19:03, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

In 815 Ludovico Pío referred to County of Catalonia by "that part of Spain that obbeys me" and many catalans were mentioned as Spanish in the same text, so they thought of Peninsula in terms of Visigothic Spain. Castilia was created in part by Basques, as the Spanish language was. First texts written in Spanish were by Basque speakers, as the margin notes in an IX century codex kept in San Millan de la Cogolla (Glosas Emilianenses) reveal. Spanish independentism is unknown until XIX century. The subject about many separate Spanish races is false too. Mitochondrial DNA genome studies reveal that R1b chromosomes are predominant as in the rest of Europe, with no relevant halotype variations in the whole Peninsula, except only a bit for Basques. Anyway, the genetically closest ones are neither moors nor visigoths nor gauls, but british! (Blood Of The Isles, Bryan Sykes). XIX century romantic nationalist politics had nothing to do with scientifical research, so next time you'd better don't trust it as a fact.
The rest I'm not sure, but my passport says I'm Spanish, and I'm living (or confined, if you prefer) in a country with other 40million more like me, so maybe it could be a nationality, don't think so? About the creator, yep, you're right. He was the FSM

1st of all being Spanish is a nationality. Only people from Spain can claim it on their passports. There is no need to argue any further. 2nd of all, this whole notion of the Spanish people being a race apart was not just stupid back when it was first suggested by Anglo-centric writers and their minions, but it is even more stupid now in light many DNA studies the have been conducted just this past decade. These successive genome studies of the Spanish people have conclusively proven that the Spanish people have overwhelming European heritage and not Arab and Moor blood as many English speaking historians write about so vehemently. This Black Legend racial bunk has it's roots in the enmity of England had for Spain when the 2 countries fought each other over control the Americas for over two hundred years. It is a historical fact that the Spanish Empire had greater success in fighting the British over the Americas than any other European colonial competitor. These Spanish military successes left many Anglo-centric writers with a bad taste in their mouths about the Spanish and caused them to invent racial propaganda such as caricatures of Arab looking people in their cartoons. Anglo-centric writers contributed racial overtones in their propaganda war by claiming that Spanish people are racial bastards as a way of making them less White and thus more easy to hate. This racial theory nonsense has hung around to this very day with the creation out of thin air with a new racial category called "Hispanics". The US Census Bureau defines "Hispanics" as people that are descended from a Spanish speaking nation and "Whites" as anybody that has European heritage. Now how stupid is that?--Scipio-62 18:03, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


If the good guys of Spain had their history unfortunately discredited by the bad guys of the UK, then I as a good Belgian could claim that our whereabouts in the Congo were discredited by the bad powers in Europe in order to get access to mineral wealth, and if you don't believe that, how about those poor Germans who suffered under nazi-boots for 12 years, not even knowing that 6 million people were destroyed in their name? This article about "The Black Legend" stinks! The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 5 Nov 2005.

Mr Unsigned, I guess a Holocaust denier would think that an article on Holocaust denial stinks too, because that is the proper parallel. On the one hand we have historical reality, on the other a invented or amplified version of it. Historical articles (on WP or elsewhere) should be accurate and if there is "organised dissent" it merits an article about this as well. Even if that "dissent" is deeply ingrained in popular prejudice. Str1977 09:23, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

You should read the paragraph in this talk page named "Continued disparagement of the "White Legend"". I think its better than most of the article. It is true that there is a black legend about the Spanish colonization. Just loook the fact of the English/American genocide in North America, or there not where population in theses areas?? Native population in USA is less of 1%, while in many South American countries natives and mestizos are a vast majority. Of course, you cant have a bad reputation of being cruel with someone you have already killed.

But in the popular concious, Spain seems as the worst european coloniest, when it can be argued with pretty good arguments (see above, in this talk page), that maybe it was "the least bad". Maybe if we say it is the least bad with no doubt, its part of the "white legend", and there are many details ignored that make part of the white legend, but its importance is smaller, in extension and in deepness. And, in my opinion, more a thing of the past (the white legend). Of course during Franco's dictatorship period, which finished 30 years ago it was systematic. But nowadays the danger in Spain is simply ignoring this part of the history,, and focusing in "European" history.--Darkmaiki 18:23, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Demographic Comment

Just a note... the demographic persistence of indigenous peoples in Latin America in concentrations greater than those in North America cannot form the basis of any argument suggesting that the Spanish were somehow more benevolent. The reality is that pre-contact demographics were the single largest factor in allowing Indigenous peoples to absorb the impacts of disease and conquest. The indigenous societies of South and Central America were decimated by initial contact, but their massive populations allowed for the survival of sufficient numbers resistent to European pathogens to allow an eventual population recovery. In contrast, there were no North American equivalents that matched the great civilizations of MesoAmerica in their ability to absorb the shock of contact, persist and mix with the European population. The way this article is written, with demographic and linguistic 'evidence' of benevolence inserted so unqualified at the end, it fails the test of neutrality. User: 11:12, 14 January 2006

That is nonsense. The reality was that the model used by Spain was similar to the Visigothic conquest of Spain. A minority of occupiers moved to heavily populated areas and exerted control. The purpose was never to decimate the native population. The Romans followed this model, the Visigoths, etc. The Romans were successful, the Visigoths less, the Spanish were successful.

The Anglo model was different. They came to America later and they had large populations they needed to export. Somehow they seem to have the tribal instinct more deeply ingrained and rejected the idea of mixed breeds. In the Spanish speaking world there have been terms to describe mixed breeds: mestizo, mulato, zambo, etc. In 1522 the King encouraged Spaniards to interbreed with the native Americans to convert them to Christianity. In the U.S. even nowadays they are still trying to figure out wheteher the child of a black person and a white person is black or white. If you ever had to fill a U.S. official form that asks about race you know that it doesn't make any sense. The choice of races is mindboggling and very inaccurate.

Spanish, hispanic or latino is not a race. The same way that English speaker is not a race. You may speak English and be black or mulato, or celt, or anglo, or Pakistani. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 3 March 2006.


This article has an incredible amount of POV. Furthermore, very few citations are given for the contentious material therein. I've removed the following paragraph:

Other similar Roman Catholic nations, such as Portugal, have never been subjected to such treatment to the extent that the Spanish have been. The Inquisition was also active in Portugal, the Portuguese Jews were also expelled, slavery was more important in the Portuguese colonies than in the Spanish colonies, there were violent conquerors like Afonso de Albuquerque and brutal governors like Mem de Sá. Perhaps the long friendship between England and Portugal explains why these events and practices were not seen through the same lens as similar matters in Spain.

This must be cited to a credible source, or else it is original research and forbidden under Wikipedia rules. Furthermore, under WP:NPOV, the subject must be presented evenhandedly. The current article is simply an apologia for Spain. Crotalus horridus (TALKCONTRIBS) 18:22, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

That numbers were exaggareted in regard to the Spanish Inquisition is common knowledge in historiography and can be found in many scholarly books. I for my part have it from Rober Lemm: Die Spanische Inquisition (ISBN: 3-423-04700-3), München 1996 - the dutch original is from Kampen, 1993.

Str1977 19:22, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I read most of this page but I have to say: as neither Spanish nor Anglo-Saxon, from an encyclopaedic viewpoint the article is simply garbage. I don't know any milder way to describe it. No disinterested person will take it serious anyway, so don't waste your time on this. At least that would be my advice. Laca 21:38, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Large Deletions

While I agree that the article is in a terrible state, still, large deletions of longstanding material should be noted on the talk page. (FWIW, in my view the article was in a terrible state before these deletions, and remains in one afterward.) The deleted paragraphs follow:

The Black Legend is distinguished from other similar discourses throughout history by its extension, influence and persistence in time. The Legend influenced historical understanding and accounts in most European countries and, through them, much of the world. Its zenith may have come in the 16th century, but it effects can still be seen some 400 years later.

Other similar Roman Catholic nations, such as Portugal, have never been subjected to such treatment to the extent that the Spanish have been. The Inquisition was also active in Portugal, the Portuguese Jews were also expelled, slavery was more important in the Portuguese colonies than in the Spanish colonies, there were violent conquerors like Afonso de Albuquerque and brutal governors like Mem de Sá. Perhaps the long friendship between England and Portugal explains why these events and practices were not seen through the same lens as similar matters in Spain.

A White Legend (leyenda rosa in Spanish, literally, a "rosy" legend) is an historical account that depicts Spain or the Spanish people and their New World descendents in a very positive or highly favorable light. As propaganda there is no such White Legend comparable to the Black Legend in extension, influence or persistence in time.

Recent genetic research contradicts the assumption by Spain's enemies of the alleged genocide of the Indians in the Caribbean. Mitochondrial and Y-chromosome analysis have shown that 62% of Puerto Ricans come from an Amerindian ancestry and well over 70% have a white ancestry; see Demographics of Puerto Rico for further information. Indeed, the irony of the Brevissima Relación has been noted as follows: "The most powerful indictment of Spain's cruelty and avarice is at the same time a monument to its humanitarianism and sense of justice" [2]. And Bartolomé de las Casas towers above his critics, detractors and manipulators as the universal and archetypal Spaniard, more willing than most to submit his thoughts and his actions and those of his country, in their relationship to others, to the self-criticism and introspection that uniquely characterizes and distinguishes the spiritually advanced man from the beast and from the more ordinary run of mankind.

The imprisonment of Don Carlos by his father, King Philip II of Spain, which was followed by the Prince's mysterious death, added to the legend, according to which the young heir had been murdered.

In the 18th century, Barcelona became also a source for these libels. It was the capital and most important city in the old Kingdom of Aragon. This kingdom, after the War of the Spanish Succession, had been unwillingly absorbed into the new House of Bourbon Spanish monarchy. The new monarch promoted in all his territories through a decree (Decretos de Nueva Planta) the laws, language and manners of Castille in return for its help during the aforementioned war, to the detriment of those of Aragon, who had supported the Habsburg candidate.

#^ Maltby, William S., The Black Legend in England (England 1971) p.15.

[end deleted material] -- Jmabel | Talk 03:26, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Jmabel, a lot of what you deleted is true. Was a source not listed or something? I hope someone can find some sources on this stuff and put it back. The comparison between how Portuguese history is presented in contrast to Spain's is a very good point and one of the strongest in providing proof of the existence of the black legend. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) January 29, 2006 .

Excuse me, I did not delete this, I noted here on the talk page what someone else deleted. I agree with you that at least most of this belongs in the article, but I was not in a mood for fighting over it myself, so I just noted what had been deleted (and deleted without comment, I might add). At the time I wrote the comments above, I didn't even try to work out who had done this. It seems to have mostly been removed by Crotalus horridus, so your issue should be with him, not with me for pointing out what was done. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:54, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I have a question

Every time I read about the conquistadores and the American colonies of Spain, there is a strong emphasis on how cruel and greedy the spaniards were and how many indians they killed. On the other hand about the British, Dutch, French or Portuguese colonies there is only names, dates and standard information. And I wonder why.

Maybe there was no slavery in these colonies. Or there was?

Maybe the other countries did not exploit their colonies as much as they could. Or maybe they did.

Moreover, the USA started an expansion towards the west. They killed very many indians looking for gold and new lands. Later they invaded Mexico and force the mexican to sell them their northern territories. Surprisingly, all these "cow-boys" who killed indians and mexicans in the XIX century (not that far in time) are considered heros in all the films and books. They are almost always the good guys. Could anybody give a serious explanation (with no prejudice) on that? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20 April 2006.

I think that too, everybody says that the Spanish Conquistadores were very cruel and bad, but today in Peru, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Uruguay, etc.. the majority of the population is indian, in EEUU, less than the 1%.

That's simply because Native populations in America (i.e. the USA) were much, much smaller than the large religious/political empires of Central and South America. Proportionally, the reduction in population is almost identical. Of course that doesn't excuse either the Spanish or the Enlgish/French/Americans/etc and its not meant to imply that either the Black Legend or White Legend are true in their entirety, but your statements are misleading.

--Anymouse October 2006

How to rehabilitate this article

WP definitely needs an article on the black legend. There is one in Brittanica. Whatever your beliefs about the truth or falsehood of the legend, that the legend exists is factual and verifiable. This means that it is a fact that historians such as Juderías and Maltby have written about it, and therefore it is notable and deserving mention in WP. After reviewing the article and the arguments in this discussion page, it's clear to me that this POV dispute is of the type that is very common in WP and easily resolved through the WP principles of NPOV, no original research, and verifiability. The key is to stick to descriptions and explanations of the black legend published by reputable historians and academics. This is not the place to actively argue the truth or falsehood of the legend. It is acceptable, however, to review the published arguments as one part of the article. Nesbit 16:29, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

What about the following: have a very short article explaining that "Black Legend" is a term used by some - historians, non-historians, apologists, non-apologists - to refer what they see as an exaggerated or denigrating portrayal of Spain, Catholicism, or the actions of Spanish officials/soldiers/clergy in the colonies. Add that "White Legend" denote the opposite: what some people see as others' efforts to whitewash the history of Spain/Catholicism/the Spanish Empire. Keep this almost as brief as a dictionary entry, with some references added.

This should suffice to address the "Black Legend" and "White Legend" as facts of sorts, viz., as the fact that some people refer to them. Hasdrubal 21:46, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

No, their content is also relevant, as is the history of the rise of the use of the term. Yes, this all needs someone to take some time to do some actual research and do a decent job of citation, but there is a topic here worthy of a real article. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:20, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
In so far as their content is verifiable, should it not be stated clearly in other pages? In so far as their content is not verifiable, do we have anything other than a term, and an opportunity, perhaps, to discuss the history of the term? Hasdrubal 21:59, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
If there's not any objection, we can developing a new structure for the text of this article:
  • Introduction
  • Black Legend
(with his historical development: Origin, classic sources, enlightment, westward ho and Black Legend in USA, but no Modern historiography)
  • Comparison with Portugal
  • White Legend
  • And the historical truth
with references to Bataillon (now in Modern historiography), Kamen, ADN studies in Puerto Rico, etc, and Main topics (Expulsion of the Jews and Muyslims, Spanish Inquisition, ...)
--Gimferrer 14:08, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Most of this belongs in the corresponding historical articles; putting the "historical truth" (assuming we can agree on it) in this sort of narrative shapes it in a very particular way. It also seems very difficult to talk about what the Black Legend and the White Legend actually consist in without being POV. Wouldn't it be best to have (a) a history of the rise of the term(s), (b) what some historians (or propagandists) include under either term, (c) quotations from historians confirming and denying the factuality of the statements claimed to be false in (b)?
Also -- couldn't we have the same for any conceivable occurence? One might as well create an article called "The Black Legend of the Gulag" and structure it more or less as the above. Of course, anything can be and has been exaggerated for political purposes; still, writing an article on a charged term, rather than an article on its history (with some examples) presupposes that the term is valid - an iffy preposition in some cases. Hasdrubal 05:49, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Westward Ho!

The claims on the extensive use of a popular romance by the ODNB sound quite incredible to me, but I haven't got a copy. Can somebody check that? Give page numbers, quotations - if true, this is quite interesting. Hasdrubal 05:57, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Maybe not Westward Ho! but similar from Edward Peters Inquisition ISBN 0-520-06630-8
  • Pag 164 “One of the most popular literary genres of the seventeenth century was the traveler's report, and Spain was a popular objective for travelers. Perhaps the most influential of these was the account given by the Countess d'Aulnoy, published in 1691, in which the Spanish character, Spain's artistic and intellectual achievements, and Spanish religion were blackened consistently and articulately. D'Aulnoy's account, with those of Juan Alvarez de Colmenar of 1701, Jean de Vayrac of 1718, and others throughout the eighteenth century provided readers outside Spain with eyewitness descriptive information that confirmed the impression of the disastrous consequences of the Spanish Inquisition. Not without reason has it been pointed out that most of the general knowledge of Spain that Enlightenment writers posessed derived from these late seventeenth-century and early eighteenth-century traveler's reports.
  • Pag. 173 “Some of the Background to Bayle's treatment of the Spanish Inquisition is to be found in his lack of personal familiarity with Spain and Spaniards and his consequent exclusive reliance on textual evidence. Some of his evidence consisted of the Relation d'Espagne of Madame d'Aulnoy, perhaps the most influential description of Spain known to the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French readers, as well as other narratives of the kind. From these Bayle derived his ideas of the Spanish character, its superstitiousness, implacable religious orthodoxy, and it's licentiousness. For Bayle, these characteristics le inexorably to Spain's resistance to new ideas and to the institutionalization of that resistance in the Inquisition”.
--Ecelan 17:21, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
If you delete the coment here, you should delete the same comment in Charles Kingsley too... --Ecelan 17:02, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
I do have a copy of Westward Ho! and it was extensively cited as a historical source in the original Dictionary of National Biography in articles on England's 16thC buccaneers. The author was a well known protestant whose polemics provoked Cardinal Henry Newman in to writing his Apologia Pro Vita Sua. I'll see if I can come up with specific DNB references this week.--Shtove 07:47, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
This seems close to OR. Again, I'd suggest that the best way to improve this article would be to bring forth in more detail what historians have explicitly said about the Black Legend. And where there is a dispute among historians, to report both sides in a balanced way. Nesbit 14:36, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I had a look at the original DNB and found two mentions of WH: one in the William Winter article pointing out an inaccuracy by Kingsley, and another in the Thomas Stucley article simply noting that the adventurer's life was recounted in WH. Hands up: my memory was exaggerated - I surrender. Comment removed.--Shtove 15:47, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Move over

The following sections are

  • OR
  • POV
  • formally substandard (style, orthography etc.)
  • at a great length off topic

Hence I move them over from the talk page. Str1977 (smile back) 16:08, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Spanish Colonization vs. European Colonization

The quest for Gold was the center of the Spanish Colonization of the Americas. Christopher Columbus, as a representative of the Crown, pursued Gold with a vengeance. and used it as a mean to boost the value of his accidental discovery of the West Indies. After all, he promised the Crown that he would find a new route to the East by going West but he came back with the news of finding lots of islands full of naked people. He did not meet the Great Khan and sign a trade treaty with him but the new lands seemed to contain lots of Gold mines. The naked people of the islands appeared to be ready to be enslaved and used as labor in the mines. The Crown wanted to consider the Indians as subjects of Spain if they accepted Christianity. (See King Ferdinand letter to the Tainos people). The Whole colonization it self was done within the agenda of bringing salvation and the word of Jesus Christ to the Indians. So the Spanish thought that the pain and the suffering imposed on the Indians were a small prize compared to what they were offering which was salvation and eternal life. There were no contradiction in their minds between the pursuit of Gold, the massacre of the Indians and their faith in God through Jesus Christ the Redeemer. Bernardo Diaz del Castillo who was with Cortez in Mexico sums up this situation by writing: "We came here to serve God and also to get rich." Diaz wrote a book entitles : True History of the Conquest of Mexico" in which he describes the events which happen from the time Cortes landed on the coast at Veracruz on Good Friday, April 22, 1519; to the surrender of the Aztec capital on August 13, 1521.

The conquest of Mexico by Cortez is one of the darkest chapters of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It is a strong testimony about the absolute disregard for the humanity of the Indians. The Aztecs viewed Cortez and his companions as returning Gods but Cortez viewed them as a barbaric people that should be destroyed. The conquistadors were in awe in front of the beauty of the main city and the achievement of the Aztecs but they forged ahead with their destruction of the city and the killing of the population. Certainly, the conquest and the destruction of Aztecs was not done only by weapons, brutality and alliances with the enemies of the Aztecs but was due in large part to the European infections that weaken the population and killed the defenders of the city. Nevertheless, the Spanish showed not an once of mercy toward the Aztecs and made no effort to save anything that was not Gold. In a short period of time most of what was build through centuries was destroyed. The Aztec Calendar, for instance, was only given importance when it was rediscovered on December 17th, 1760 buried in the "Zocalo" (the main square) of Mexico City. The magnificent Calendar is probably the most famous symbol of Mexico and a vivid reminder to the world of the achievements of the Aztecs.

The acts of destruction, massacres and systematic enslavement committed by the conquistadors are certainly shining examples of the worst atrocities perpetrated by humans beings against other human beings but they were a part of the context of the Spanish perception of the Indians as infantile, barbaric savages regardless of what they had accomplished. In the eyes of Spanish they were just heathens and as such did not belong in the vision of what was real humanity. Destroying their city became then an act of religious zeal which also brought the added reward of seizing lots of Gold.

However, this kind of vision of the Indians was not exclusively Spanish. There is a tendency to blame the Spaniards as if they were the only people of Europe who displayed a huge amount of gratuitous cruelty to the Indigenous people of the Americas and of the rest of the world. The other conquering power of Europe did not treat the Indians better and sometimes treated them worse. The black legend is based mostly on accurate facts but Spain did not have the monopoly of the bad treatments of the Indians. It was certainly the result of an effective propaganda campaign but it created an unfair anti Spanish bias powered by the political imperatives of the competition between the European nations for the leadership of the world. La leyenda negra, in its true depiction of the Spanish brutalities, is nothing but an instance of the inhuman behaviors of the Europeans toward the indigenous people of the world.

Spain, like the other nations of Europe, based its behavior toward the Indigenous people of the Americas and of the world on the Aristotelian Classification of human beings in a group of naturally superior people born to lead and a group of naturally subordinated people born to serve as slaves. The incorporation of this concept into Christian morality gave the European the moral justification they were looking for to appease their conscience. This concept will serve as the intellectual foundation not only for the dispossession of the indigenous people of the Americas but as the justification for the enslavement of millions of African. Further more, it will be used later during the evolution of European colonialism and imperialism as an implicit intellectual anchor for the "white man burden concept" which portrayed the white man as the natural leader of humanity and consequently as the naturally anointed steward of the riches and the natural resources of the world.

It does not take much imagination to understand that the indigenous people of the world and their lands became inside this perspective simple commodities. As such they existed in a limbic zone of Humanity classified as spiritually imperfect, culturally inadequate and intellectually unfinished. This vision of the indigenous people and the non European people of the world was latter humanized when the modernistic movement fuelled by a contextually European rationalism recognized the humanity of all humans but considered the European model as a goal and a level of evolution to which they should aspire in order to become civilized. One can even see the primitive version of this concept in the efforts of the friars who tried to convert the Indians and help them set up social structures where they could live like European Christians. Some of the priest were even given the latitudes to experiment with this vision but they failed because of the preconceived ideas that the Indians had no culture and needed to be raised like children. Seeing how misguided the friars who wanted to treat the Indians well were, in spite of their good intentions, shows the roots of the brutality toward the indigenous people, their dehumanization and their portrayal as savages closer to the animals than to men. Killing them became, in this context, a simple act of cleansing of the environment to allow civilization to sprout. They became pests that needed to be eradicated . One can see this vision in action in the colonization of North America by Anglo Saxons where the only good Indian was a dead Indian. At best, they Indians were viewed by all Europeans powers as human commodities which, when they became almost extinct by disease and massacre, were replaced by other human commodities more suitable for the purpose of the masters, the self anointed natural leaders of humanity.

Being the first to make contact with the Indians, the Spanish set in motion the machinery of the European Colonization of the Americas but the dehumanization of the Indians, the capture and enslavement of millions of African were guided by a General European Vision of Humanity. As the monopolistic power of Spain declined, those action became a European affair which gave an astronomic amount of riches to all the colonial powers of Europe.

Modern interpretation of the Black Legend

A map of the dominion of the Habsburgs following the Battle of Mühlberg (1547) as depicted in The Cambridge Modern History Atlas (1912); Habsburg lands are shaded green. Not shaded are the lands of the Holy Roman Empire over which the Habsburgs presided, nor are the vast Spanish holdings of the New World shown.
Coats of arms of an Habsburg Emperor showing the variety of his territories. The motto was Austriae est imperare orbi universo (Latin "Austria will rule the whole world")

European powers fought a 300 years war against Spain of the Habsburgs(Spain was it major component), how at one point they where menacing to conquer all Europe.This was a breach in the balance of powers of the Multipolar Europe.As a normal reaction of a multipolar system , the other poles where forced to balance them ,scarred been all absorbed ,in the Habsburgs empire (similar cases Napoleon and Hitler) .The dehumanization of the enemy is part of war fair. One wins against an enemy by having better weapons and a better organization of the logistics, but the psychological component of war fair allows one to wins the mind of the people without firing a shot .Closer to us,we could make a parallel with Antiamericanism and the Black Legend, as a similar attempt ,of the international system ,to balance the USA.

We can easily understand the power of the psychological war against Spain by looking, for example, at the modern propaganda campaign of Joseph Goebbels on behalf of the Third Reich during World War II. The Soviet empire used propaganda very effectively in its campaign of demoralization of the west and in its attempt to portray the United States as a land devoid of respect of humanity. The United States responded well by matching the intensity of the Russian campaign with radio broadcasts, books and even jokes about the lives of the people in the Soviet Union. An intense propaganda campaign was directed by the Japanese against the United States during world war 2. This campaign done through radio broadcast from Tokyo was directed mainly at the US soldiers The United States responded in kind by dehumanizing the Japanese and creating an anti Japanese sentiment which mobilized the nation and effectively fueled its desire to fight the Nippon Empire. By looking at the psychological component of the campaign led by the other European powers , one can say that it was indeed overkill. It even outlasted the physical war by providing even today a set of negative standards by which Spain and people of Spanish ancestry are judged by other people.

Those of us who were raised and educated in countries influenced by the enemies of Spain can, without knowing it, carry an intellectual bias against the Spanish and have the tendency to think that the Spaniards were more cruel than the other European.

There is even a tendency to portrait Christopher Columbus as a humanitarian who tried to save the Indians against the cruelties of the Spanish.An instance of this kind of bias which does not reflect the totality of historical truth can be found in the fundamental historical text offered to Haitian children by the Brothers of Christian Instruction ( Les Freres de l'Instruction Chrétienne a French based religious organization). This fundamental book was written by Dr. J.C. Dorsainville, a Haitian historian. It contains, in the part dealing with the discovery of Haiti and the treatment of Indians a strong indictment of the behaviors of the Spaniards. Columbus, however, is portrayed as a gentle soul who was persecuted by the Spanish because of their jealousy. Columbus is not portrayed as the founder of slavery and the repartimiento in the New World. The book interprets each one of those political decisions as the result of the craving for gold of the Spanish. In fact, Columbus is not blamed for anything except his weaknesses that allowed him to yield to the inhuman demands of the cruel and avaricious Spaniards. The child learning Haitian History from this book get a perspective of good and evil where Columbus and his family symbolizes the Good and the Spanish represents the Evil.

The key question emerging out of all the above considerations are the followings: 1. Were the Spanish the cruelest of all the Europeans?Did their actions violated the European Standard of behavior(of the time) toward the indigenous people of the Americas and the Africans who came to replace them as slaves? 2.With the dominance of the Habsburgs in Europe.Was it possible ,that Their reputation,could have been beater?

Posted on my talk page

"The Black Legend (in Spanish, La leyenda negra) is the disparaging depiction of Spain and Spaniards as bloodthirsty and cruel, intolerant, greedy and fanatical."

For you this,is not over exageration?Like if the other european powers where saints.The section you cut out ,wher trying to explane,why all this fuss about the spanish.the hasburg coat of arms is saying ta he will rule the world,if you where a king in that era,whouldn't you be felling menased?You whouldn't whant to respond? User:

Thanks for your query!

  1. First of all, the ssections were linguistically substandard.
  2. They were also not clear as to the point. In other words: not concise enough so that one could understand.
  3. It is not up to us or WP to increase understanding towards those inventing a legend and to take their sides, or to talk likes there were rules that justified that. Balance of power "breached" sounds like that Spain violated a rule in existence, when in fact a) there was no such rule, and b) other nations did the same.
  4. We also shouldn't make wrong claims about coats of arms and alleged plans for world conquests. Such plans are already Black Legend. Remember, Charles V did not try to conquer France but made a treaty with Francis I, even though the breach in fidelity was foreseeable.
  5. Lastly, what were the 300 years about. Habsburg Spain ended around 1700; minus 300 makes 1400: there was no Spain in 1400. Str1977 (smile back) 16:27, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I see now you were referring to the Austria's (not the Spanish) COA. WHich collapses your case: why is there a Black Legend about Spain, when in fact Austria wanted to rule the world? Which BTW is just one of the countless (literally about 100) ways of reading the actual motto: AEIOU. This was the preferred sign of Emperpor Frederick III (Charles's grandfather), a rather powerless ruler. Maybe it no meaning at all and just combined all the vowels. Anyway, your picture caption is incorrect: neither does the COA pictures contain the motto, nor does the motto say what you claim (it just says AEIOU), nor has it anything to do with Spain and the Black Legend. So it's OR at best. Str1977 (smile back) 16:36, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

  1. fix it,don't cut off everything
  2. i am all ears,what you didn't understand
  3. i didn't add enything.The claim is that black legent was propaganda,and spain wasn't particulary more ruthles then the others.Spain was a hasburg posession ,with the colonies,she taked her fair share of love.The rule that the hasburg breach,was a unriten one,like a law of nature.Same thing hapened with napoleon,he tried to conquer everything,as a result everybody allied against him.And yes other breach the same rule,and the result was the same every time,they all allied against them(napoleon hitler ...and the hasburg)
  4. i'm not sure that in centures france wasn't an objective.every time they tried it ,it would have as a result that all the others will allied against him,because they now that they are next.just see the map,hasburg empire has no continuity.
  5. 1500(colonization starts)-1700=200 years,thats not so bad.1800 colonization colapses(most of it)the300 wher a reference to that.the hasburg wher around from 1300(in some form) intil 1900(in some form),and they wher dangerus somewher in the midel

austria,was a hasburg posession,and i'm not siting my case on one picture.thers something riten on top of the cot,but is styled and can't sifer it ,i gess this is the moto.The book rise and fall of great powers of kennedy left me the impression,that they where trying to conquer everything . User:

I decypher it for you. It says "Röm. Kayserliche und Kön. Mag. Wappen", which translates to: "Imperial Roman and Royally Magyarian (=Hungarian) Coats of Arms". The file info says it is from 1605, so it must be the COA of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Bohemia. Str1977 (smile back) 18:49, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Some things are beyond fixing. And I don't care who added that stuff, whether you or another one. It is hard to understand anything, but what I was able to grip is that you think you need to post a justification for the Black Legend. However, this is not what WP is about. We don't discuss such things, we report on definitions and explanations, not think them up ourselves, or take sides in the article. Also, your reasoning is quuite faulty, as I explained in regard to AEIOU (and even more so if you want to include Bourbon Spain), you invent rules and breach of them, and talk about rulers being forced (I won't retord by claiming that Spain was forced to expand). Re France: There is "no everytime they (who's they) tried" - the was no one time they tried. I don't have to look at the map, I know it by heart. I'm a historian. To repeat the gist: We don't take sides and we don't try to justify slander and libel. All in all: your points, if cleansed properly from all POV pushing, linguistic inadequacies and Original research would amount to one sentence: other powers, feeling threatened by the accumulation of Spanish power, began to highlight real or imagined Spanish villanies as a propaganda tool in their warfare. Which is, however, pretty much already included. Str1977 (smile back) 17:40, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

PS: Please respond here and not on my talk page. Also, could you please sign your posts by typing four tildes (~). Str1977 (smile back) 17:41, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

"you invent rules and breach of them".Hasburg,was very expansionist(how did they bild ther empire), the others by instinct of self preservation ,illied against them(what whould have done in ther place).What rules ,did i exacly invented here?Do i have to reference that the sun ,is rising every day(because of my prayers,haha).Can you give me source for,the explanation why spain was considered in that special way and not all the others.User:

How did they build their Empire: largely through fortunate marriages (and other heirs dying - had Isabella's son lived, he would have been King of Spain).
What rulses you are inventing: a rules that says that balance must be kept and that Spain wasn't allowed to expand into the Americas (not because of the Indians but because of France and England). Appearently France was allowed to expand into Italy, Portugal into India and England into Ireland and to indulge in piracy. Sure the rise of a nation creates rivalries and conflicting interests lead to war and other stuff. But you write it as if Spain had broken a rule and was only deserving not just the other powers' opposition but also the slander via the Black legend. And no, that's not a law of nature. It takes human minds and human wills to hate and to spill hatred. The explanation is quite simple: the forces advocating the Black Legend won the conflict in the end, as the Spanish Empire finally came crushing down. These are: the English, the Dutch, the French, the so-called Englightenment and the US of A. Does that settle your curiosity. As I said, the sensible kernel of your posts is already included, has been for a long long time. Str1977 (smile back) 18:49, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

"fortunate marriages",They maried for love then? "balance must be kept" I was refering generaly,the hasburgs whent too far, every body interest was in going against the hasburg, they didn't whant to get dominated,what i 'm saying is hiden in and other stuff.The hasburg broken the inreten rule ,of "don't try to dominate the others" or they will all allie against you.This is bismarkian politics,they all react rationaly.The weaker allie with each other to suvive and the strong expects that this will hapen.Is this what i cauld a law of nature,and humans mind too folow rules,it's not random.In that respect the black legent ,is a normal consequence,when you reseave propaganda from absolutly everybody.Your saying ,that we just live the truth of the winers(it schould be added explicitly),this is half of the story.Why this forces turned against spain in the first place? and no this is far from been simple.Specificly for the hasburg, in "the rise and fall of great powers" it has a chapter cauld "hegemonic atempts of the hasburg".-- 22:12, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

No, they did not marry for romantic love (which is a rather late concept), though some of these marriages were quite happy. But neither did they marry to build an Empire - they married to strengthen alliances with Bohemia-Hungary, with Burgundy, with Spain etc. and it happened that these resulted (after other heirs had died) in the accumulation of lands in one family.
Sure, the rise of one nation/dynasty creates conflicts, but you are trying to justify the Black Legend along the line of "they had it coming". There is nothing more to say in response to your edits. Str1977 (smile back) 10:24, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Missing the point

The article is about anti-Spanish propaganda. It should not concern itself with assessing the comparative cruelty of Spanish colonialism - that can be dealt with by linking to an appropriate criticism section on Spanish Empire or Colonialism. To address that broad subject here misses the point and makes a mess of a half-complete article.--Shtove 20:18, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

it's a responce to how exakly?

Monday night drunks.--Shtove 00:53, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

I am Spanish, and I totally agree with you, Shtove —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 2 August 2006.


Shouldn't sections on "origin" and "the classic sources" — both of which generally describe the legend and its sources — come before "main topics", which is mainly devoted to refuting it? - Jmabel | Talk 01:06, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Or, as Shtove suggests, they could be elswhere entirely, and linked. - Jmabel | Talk 01:11, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Comparison with Portugal

I have copy edited recent additions to the section Comparison with Portugal without endorsing them. Some of this seems correct (the lighter hand of the Inquisition in Portuguese colonies, Portugal as more of a nation state). However, the characterization of Spanish New World policies as "genocidal" strikes me as odd (native populations had a far higher survival rate in Peru than anywhere in British North America, and, unless I'm mistaken, the Portuguese were, proportionately, even bigger slavers than the Spanish). And none of this was cited. But beyond my copy edits and these comments, I'm leaving it for others to sort out. - Jmabel | Talk 05:29, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi there; actually Spanish America received different policies along the centuries concerning the native people. Even so, major part of native people in many places, like Argentina and Uruguay, was simply anihilated (in fact, it is hard to find anyone with indian ascendence in these places). In Peru, I really think that so much Inca descendants survived because it was almost impossible to Spanish colonizers to kill so much people there, finding it would be a better idea to slave them.
The Portuguese colonizers, by their turn, could be considered as slavers as the Spanish ones, but there is an impportant difference: they indeed preferred Africans to be enslaved, not indians. Partially due to the interference of the Jesuits. Even so, Portuguese social dynamics were odd and different from the Spanish colonies. The African slaves - and even the indians - were gradually inserted in the partriarcal system, centred on the family. This was opperated by the miscigenation. Differently from the Spanish-based societies of the XIX century. Also, Portuguese colonization was not so intolerant with native cultures, comparing with what may be find in Peru and Mexico - a lot of churches placed where once were temples. This is such a truth, that by the 1960s you could find almost completed isolated indian tribes living in São Paulo, one of the most industrialized States of Brazil, preserving their traditional habits. Tonyjeff 02:14, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I deleted the following material:

On the other hand, Portuguese colonization promoted a high level of miscegenation between Europeans, Africans and Indians. Notably, the countries that are ex-colonies of Portugal nowadays include a significant population of mestizos. Portuguese colonizers were not so intolerant against other races as were the Spanish, who promoted a more fiercely genocidal policy against native people and created a social hierarchy in their American colonies that can be noted even nowadays.

Not just in race, but in religion, Portugal was more tolerant than Spain. The Inquisition did not reach the Portuguese colonies very strongly, and in many of them—especially Brazil—there was an amalgamation between Catholicism and African cults, producing Catholic rituals peculiar to Brazil, as well as Umbanda. In the case of Brazil, a large number of New Christians found refuge there, mainly in the Northeastern zone between the 17th and 18th centuries. So many New Christians found Brazil an ideal place to keep some of their old traditions that some studies in recent years state that almost 30% of Brazilian people are descended from them.

The first paraphragh makes a very controversial claim. Yes, Brazil has many mixed people but Puerto Rico is very mixed as well, as is Cuba, Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela. In Puerto Rico, Queen Isabella herself encouraged Spaniards to intermarry with natives to accelerate the conversion process.

I have similar problems with the second paragraph. Yes, what you say might be true but there were strong cultural influences from black slaves in Spanish colonies as well. Check out the African Immigration to Puerto Rico article. Santeria is a combination of Catholic and African religious beliefs.

You may know a lot about Brazil but you are obviously ignorant of the history and culture of Spanish speaking Latin America. Read up before you edit WP articles in the future please. KingOfAfrica 22:58, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

To Tonyjeff and KingOfAfrica: please set up user pages, with details of your contributions, so we know where you're coming from.--Shtove 23:58, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Given the neutrality dispute warning on this article, and the conflict on the talk page, I'd say that all new contributions should be accompanied by inline citations, and older unreferenced material should be removed. There really should be more effort to achieve NPOV and NOR in this article. Nesbit 01:57, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that Wikipedia is only trying to present things from how they see it, there is no need to attack them, as everone knows, information is always biased, so they should only consider WIkipedia as a helpful resource, not something that is trying to degrade you. Y'all just need to lighten up, and consider this information, and look somewhere else, or start your own website.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 24 October 2006.

To KingOfAfrica: I really do not have much knowledge about Spanish America, but the text I wrote is centred solely on Portuguese America. You cannot compare Brazil and all the Portuguese colonies in Africa with Puerto Rico. About Mexico, its people promoted a popular revolution, something that did not exist in any other country - what happened in Venezuela, Colombia and Peru is completelly different. I am sorry, but what may be considered an exception in the Spanish colonization was a rule in Portuguese colonization. And please try to read something more trustable than only Wikipedia articles. I´m going to reinsert the text with citations. --Tonyjeff 01:01, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Philip Wayne Powell, Tree of hate:
Page 24: Lima, Peru, in colonial days had more hospitals than churches and averaged one hospital bed for every 101 people, a considerably better average than Los Angeles [California] has today.
Page 25: Spain's three centuries of tutelage and official concern for the welfare of the American Indian is a record not equaled by other Europeans in overseas government of peoples of lesser, or what were considered lesser, cultures. [...] Spain, in relation to the American Indian, need offer no apology to any other people or nation.
Page 25: The Spanish record to some twenty-three colleges and universities in America, graduating 150,000 (including the poor, mestizos and some Negroes) makes, for example, the Dutch in the East Indies in later and supposedly more enlightened times, look like obscurantists indeed. The Portuguese did not establish a single university in colonial Brazil nor in any other overseas possessions. The total universities established by Belgium, England, Germany, France and Italy during later Afro-Asian colonial periods assuredly suffers by any fair comparison with pioneering record of Spain.
Page 26: ...barely more than one hundred persons were executed in Spanish America as a result of Inquisition action during 250 years of formal existence.
Matthew Restall, Seven myths of the Spanish Conquest
Page 73: ...the degree to which native peoples maintained a degree of autonomy within the Spanish empire. This was in part an autonomy permitted and sanctioned by Spanish officials, and it was nurtured by native leaders through illegal means and legal negotiations. As a general rule, Spaniards did not seek to rule natives directly and take over their lands. Rather they hoped to preserve native communities as self-governing sources of labor and producers of agricultural products. [...] For centuries after the arrival of Spaniards, the majority of natives subject to colonial rule continued to live in their own communities, speak their own languages, work their own fields, and be judged and rules by their own elders.
Page 74: In recent decades, scholars have painted a more complex picture of native reaction to Christianity. While some have argued that native religion survived behind veneer of Christianity, and others have proposed that native and European religions blended into a set of unique regional American variations on Catholicism, the most sophisticated interpretations recognize that a combination of both processes occurred.
Cheers, --Ecelan 22:12, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Not exacly one point in the case of "Universities" or High Scools on that quote about Portugal: even in last times and much later(in comparison with Spain - whatever the numbers) of Portuguese admin. and Portugal and Brazil unified crown(end of XVIII 1780s and early XIX centuries) were established High Schools of Medicine, Chimestry, Engineering, Navy and Army Academies in Brazil(firsts in America) altough Royal family presence after 1808 was central for it(and the most of it already in the time of their presence). The Universities of Luanda(Angola)Lourenço Marques-Maputo(Mozambique) and Macau(China), founded by the Portuguese were already established on XX century, altought Macau Jesuitic High College is considered the first University of East Asia from XVI century. That Historian shaal need keep things more right about portuguese colonial history. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:58, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

From Mestizo:
Mestizos are thought to make up the majority of the populations of Colombia (58%), Ecuador (65%), El Salvador (90%), Honduras (90%), Mexico (60%), Nicaragua (69%), Panama (70%), Paraguay (95%) and Venezuela (67%).
In other American countries where mestizos do not constitute a majority, they nonetheless represent a significant portion of their populations; Argentina (approx. 13%), Belize (44%), Bolivia (30%), Peru (37%), and Uruguay (8%). In Brazil, the word "mestiço" is used to describe individuals born from any mixture of different ethnicities, not only First Nations and European; individuals that fit this specific case are commonly known as caboclos or, more commonly in the past, mamelucos, and they comprise approximately 12% of the population[citation needed]. In Chile1 and Costa Rica mestizos are combined with whites and accounted for as a single figure.
--Ecelan 09:51, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Ecelan, in Brazil it is falling in desuse terms like caboclos, mestiços or mamelucos. The late census divided the population into brancos (white), negros (black) and pardos, which may be considered a mixture of the elements. The last one is near 60% (and may be more, since many people do not see themselves as pardos). Not just ethnic, but culturally there was an integration among races in Brazil that almost can't find paralel at Spanish-descended countries. I´m not saying that there were Tupi governors, but habits, vocabulary, were merged. What you wrote about the autonomy of some indian chieftains also occured in Portuguese colonies. The Tamoios, for instance, helped to expulse the French from Rio de Janeiro. In fact, I think it´s much easier to find native tribes living in their traditional ways in Brazil than in Argentina or Colombia, for instance.
About universities, it is really true indeed: many writers like Holanda point that Portuguese colonization was not centered on urban development, instead of Spanish colonization; so, with just a few exceptions like Rio de Janeiro, Ouro Preto and Salvador, it´s not possible to find great cities founded during the colonial period, just like Buenos Aires, Cuzco, Ciudad de Mexico and many others.
Concerning the Inquisition... whell, it really worth some more research, mainly by what I have seen by myself at the Inquisition Museum at Lima. I´d say that 100 people died in 250 years of Inquisition just there.
Spain, in relation to the American Indian, need offer no apology to any other people or nation. Well... --Tonyjeff 23:51, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
The initial point was: Portuguese colonization promoted a high level of miscegenation between Europeans, Africans and Indians. Notably, the countries that are ex-colonies of Portugal nowadays include a significant population of mestizos. Portuguese colonizers were not so intolerant against other races as were the Spanish. And integration among races in Brazil that almost can't find paralel at Spanish-descended countries.
I should have highlighted the important part: some twenty-three colleges and universities in America, graduating 150,000 (including the poor, mestizos and some Negroes), which means the Spanish crown was educating mestizos in the University. And what's even more interesting[]: On January 6, 1534, barely 3 years after the conquest of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) by Hernán Cortés, the first institution for the higher education of the Indians was founded, the Holy Cross College in Tlatelolco. This college turned out Indian scholars as finished as the Spanish who gave great service as translators among both cultures. In Hispanic America, three hundred years before public education would reach the United States; a system of schools, colleges, and universities was founded in what would become the first public educational system in the New World wholly supported by the Crown of Spain. Some of these schools had as many as 800 to 1000 students and there one would find the children of the Spaniards and the Indians in the same classrooms. In 1531 there were more than 10,000 Indians students in the schools of New Spain. The first school for girls in the New World was founded in 1548 by the first archbishop of Mexico City, Juan de Zumárraga.” And from the same web page: Many great Mestizo writers enriched the language, among them the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, who was a precursor of the human rights for women in America.
From the same web page: Humboldt often points out that the Spanish legislation was the most humanae...These laws were always interpreted in favor of freedom. The Government desired to increase the number of freed men. A slave who, by his own industry, has managed to put together some money, can force his master to set him free under payment of the moderate sum of 1,500 to 2,000 francs. Freedom cannot be refused to a Negro under the pretext that he cost three times as much when he was bought, or that he had a special talent for a particular craft. A slave who has been cruelly ill-treated thereby acquires his freedom under the terms of the law...The Spanish law ensures four rights to the slave which all other nations refuse him: to seek a better owner, to whom his previous one is bound to let him go; to marry as he wishes; to buy back his freedom at the lowest market price, or to win it as a reward for good services; to own property and to buy the freedom of his wife and children. Humboldt contrasts this system with the legislation inflicted on the slaves in the French and English possessions. And about integration of african people in Spain: es:Juan Latino
And then also from the web page According to Humboldt, “the Indian farmer was poor but he was free. His state was far preferable to that of the peasants in a great part of northern Europe. The number of slaves was practically zero.” Humboldt "was very emphatic about the superiority of the standard of living of the Indians under the Spaniards compared to that of many European peasants, specially those in Russia and a great part of Northern Germany.”
And don't forget about Brazilian integration: Human rights in Brazil#Racism
From es:Inquisición en América: Durante las primeras décadas del tribunal limeño (1569-1600), fueron condenados a muerte y ejecutados 13 reos; luego (1601-1640) fueron ajusticiados 17, y a partir de entonces sólo hubo un caso en 1664 y otro en 1736. De estas 32 víctimas [...], so 32 deaths in Lima.
I am showing you (with references) that (1) Spanish cared about Indians more than other colonial powers did (schools, hospitals, laws, vaccination...) (2) in many Spanish speaking countries the percentage of mestizos and miscegenation is at least as high as in Brazil (3) religious persecution and indoctrination was not so big as stated (and please, don't try to convince me that the country that created the Goa Inquisition was more tolerant in religion than Spain [3]) (4) Brazil has the same kind of racism against pardos and Indians as the Spanish ex-colonies.
--Ecelan 18:08, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Tonyjeff, we can go back and forth comparing Portuguese and Spanish colonial rule, I think you are a little too rosy with your description of colonial Brazil but I have another reason to delete your contribution, it is irrelevant. This is an article about the black legend which is about an historical bias against Spain. Unless the information relates to this, then it doesn't belong. Comparing Portuguese conquistadors to Spanish conquistadors would be relevant for example, because the latter continue to live in historical infamy while the former are largely unknown. You said it yourself, you don't have much knowledge about Spanish America, and the information you cited is entirely about Portuguese America, therefore it doesn't belong. KingOfAfrica 03:09, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Extent of White Legend

There seem to be two problem with the White Legend section:

  • One trying to equate the White Legend with simply facts.
  • The other trying to equate serious historical scholarship, sometimes challenging to long held conceptions, with the White Lengend.

While the borders are blurred, as WhiteLegenders can use that scholarship, we should be careful about that. Str1977 (smile back) 16:53, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I would agree. The version repeatedly posted by anon is problematic in it's conflation of the historiography, and it is factually incorrect--not to mention misleading-- to lump Kamen and other recent scholarship with "White Legend". The other version has less of a sneering POV, but is not without its problems. If the edit war ever stops, perhaps a neutral synthesis can be achieved.Hobomojo 18:05, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Try neutrally synthesizing then instead of bitching. I'm posting something that is careful and considerate. The other guy is the one that claims there is indeed no such thing as the White Legend when there obviously is. If you have a problem don't complain, EDIT! -Sneering POV Editor

Calling for an "intelligence test", saying "POV crap", and, moreover, lumping Kamen with the "White legend" is hardly careful and considerate. The latter is simply ignorant. The "Black legend" vs. "White legend" debate is almost entirely derived from liberal vs. conservative historiography in Spain under Franco. It bled over into English language historiography in the 70s and 80s as US historiography was reconsidering and reassessing slavery in the Atlantic World, which rightly saw US colonial history as part of British colonial history, including Caribbean slavery which was every bit as harsh as anything the Spanish did. The reaction to this awful fact, that challenged the lilly white Puritan history of the US and its trumpeting of the anti-Slavery movement (largely a post-Civil War construct), was the derogatory creation of a "White legend" hoping to discredit that reassessment of US historiography. The "White legend" vs. "Black legend" language even got thrown around by modern historians arguing about late-20th century dictatorships in Latin America--entirely anachronistically and simplistically, if you ask me. I don't have the materials at hand to revise this section of the article--and even if I did, don't have the time right now, but neither proposed version is at all acceptable. I'd prefer to see both removed until a version that can provide a critical analysis of Spanish historiography during Franco's regime and one that places the issue in the wider context of the discipline can be produced.
And by the way, if you are so invested in this, you should create an identity and user page, rather than stan an Anon Hobomojo 06:54, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

How I edit is none of your business.

Spanish fury

I tagged that term as I never heard of it in regard to the Sacco di Roma, where it in fact it quite out of place, as the army that sacked Rome consisted mostly of German mercenaries. Any explanation of the sack with a Spanish Furor would indeed be a legend. Str1977 (smile back) 16:53, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

The Spanish Fury is the sack of Antwerp as you can see in The Spanish Fury. --Ecelan 23:47, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, then I'll remove the reference to Rome. Str1977 (smile back) 09:21, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Seville Expo '92

Why is a sentence about the Seville Expo '92 in the lead section? It's only barely on topic; it's more about political correctness than abouthte Black Legend. - Jmabel | Talk 05:33, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

The Black Legend is true: The Spanish are the bad guys.

The Spanish are the bad guys. Everyone knows it. When they arrived in America they killed all the Native Americans. The English are the good guys. When they arrived in America with their Pilgrims they shared everything with the Native Americans. This fact can be seen in English America, where Native Americans have survived in harmony wiht the English. In fact, most people in English America is of Native American ancestry, while the bad Spaniards were racist murderers who killed all Native Americans. That is why most people in Spanish America are of pure European Ancestry. Just have a look at Mexico: virtually no Native American left. The poor native Americans did not have a chance in the hands of the bloody Spanish. Thanks to God for English America, that allowed them to survive in the millions, making them the main component of the populations of the United States and Canada. Just look at the population there, pure Native Americans in most cases.

Erm, I don't get the joke ...--Shtove 17:53, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

The joke is very simple: All acts of conquering territories from their rightlful owners have been full of cruelty and injustice by definition, the Spanish Empire was no exception, but if a represented an Amerindian nation, I would have prefered to have survived in Spanish America, either in pure or mestizo form, rather than have been wiped off the face of the earth, which is what happened in Non-Iberian America. If Native Americans still have a chance to claim what was taken away from them by force, it is because they survived in Mexico, Guatemala, Hondura, Peru, Bolivia..., where their descendents still represent the majority of the population. Non-Iberian America, English America, committed the genocide to perfection, leaving just a few thousand in reservations and casinos. That is what is left of Native Americans in North America. That is stuff for a real black legend.```

Please see the letters of Pedro de Valdivia, in which he describes exactly how poorly he treated the Mapuche that he used as slaves, or Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, who wrote at length about the violence perpetrated by the Spanish conquerors of Florida and Mexico. The Spanish conquest had as its aim subjugation of the indigenous peoples, so that the criollos could live richly off their Indian subjects. Intermarriage was accepted because for a long time Spanish women were either not allowed to go to the Americas, or were subjected to strict questioning before being allowed to go. And a lot of racial mixing was not through marriage, but through rape of women who couldn't fight back. The British conquest of North America was for separation, and the pushing of the native peoples out of the way. The Spanish conquest of Latin America was bloody and cruel and, whatever value it said it put on religion, it mainly focused on economic exploitation of the indigenous peoples. The British conquest of North America at least did not try to enslave the native Americans. The worst bit was well after the conquest, during expansion into the West, where Native Americans were brutally massacred. Also, your statement that the Native Americans of the US no longer exist/only live on reservations and live off casinos is racist. DayBaye (talk) 03:32, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
"The British conquest of North America was for separation, and the pushing of the native peoples out of the way." Um, DayBaye, the British incursion into the Americas included the mid-Atlantic and the Caribbean, which included a heavy dose of black slavery, not just the Puritans (who were no saints, either), so if you want to raise the issue of rape and other nasty bits, feel free, but you are just blowing smoke (and promoting the Black Legend) to say that the Brits were not about enslaving Native Americans, rape, pillage, economic gain, etc...Honestly, the Pilgrims were the least of the Brits, the real effort was in economic exploitation of the middle and southern colonies. Hobomojo (talk) 04:22, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
DayBaye, your talk is a typicall spell coming from the heart of the Black Legend itself. You are a typical case of person who will be hard to convince, since you have to forget what you learned about Spanish Conquista and start from zero, as Philip W Powell states in his book Tree of Hate. I wont try to success in what your educational system has failed. But I would like to remark some totally fake statements you did:
The Spanish conquest had as its aim subjugation of the indigenous peoples Totally false, typical statement product of the Black Legend. There is not an unique aim in the Spanish Conquest. There were many different aims in different people who participated on it. For the Kings and government employees, the main aim was to extend the lands and to open new commercial routes. For the priests who went there, the aim was to spread Catholicism as much as possible. For many of the inmigrants there, the aim was to escape away from their poor lifes in Europe. For many soldiers, the aim was the military glory. And for many adventurers the aim was to became rich no matter the means employed. Pretty much like British Conquest.
for a long time Spanish women were either not allowed to go to the Americas Totally false. As you see the list of travellers going to America, you realize that there were many women, daughters, wives, servants, etc since the first moments.
a lot of racial mixing was not through marriage, but through rape of women who couldn't fight back Totally false, typical statement product of the Black Legend. Despite during the Conquest there were of course cases of rapings, as in all wars including the current ones (Like Irak) the rapings were not systematic never. Hugh Thomas in his book 'The Spanish Empire' explains the quick racial mix between Spaniards and indian woman for the simple reason that the Spaniards (as all the other Europeans) came at that time from sexually-repressed societies, while the indians looked at sex as a natural thing, and what is most important, most of the indian women found the Spaniards much more attractive (powerful, exotic) than the indian males.
The British conquest of North America was for separation, and the pushing of the native peoples out of the way. True. And the ones who didn´t want to be pushed were automatically killed. You are right at that point. The Birtish conquest was by a brutal Apartheid, based on racist and delirant ideas of superiority. The point is, why is the Birtish way of conquest better than the Spanish one? mainly looking at the current indian populations in both zones of American continent. You are wrong saying that the indians were naturally slaves in Spanish America. To enslave natives was prohibited by laws since the first moments.
The British conquest of North America at least did not try to enslave the native Americans Of course they couldnt enslave indians, since they pushed away all of them or killed the ones who didn´t want to be pushed. On the Other hand the British found a great and lucrative bussiness capturing black slaves in Africa and taking them to America like animals for a very good price.
Also, your statement that the Native Americans of the US no longer exist/only live on reservations and live off casinos is racist. I don´t think such statements are racist. I rather think the source of your upset is rather Don´t talk about the painful situation of the few Natives living in my country, otherwise I would have to face facts that I dont want to think about, facts that show in a stunning manner how wrong I am, you racist. Anyway, what strikes me the most is the fact that a person so much full of prejudices and stereo-types like you, uses the word 'racist' in such an easy way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:49, 9 September 2009 (UTC)


The black legend had diverse origins, but it became mainly Aglo Saxon porpaganda, first by the English, then by the Americans. See this interesting article:

It all comes from 500 years of propaganda and lies. From evil Spaniards and virtuous Anglo Saxons, virtuous Nordic Protestants according to the myths forged from the XVII to the XIX and up to the XX century, with obvious racist overtones: virtuous Anglo Saxons who must now be disoriented to find out that they are also bloody Spaniards:

Veritas et Severitas 01:16, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there are many thoughtful people in Canada (which is part of so-called 'non-Iberian America' who would today say that 'the Spanish are the bad guys' and the 'English are the good guys'. Nor do I think it's reasonable to suggest that because the populations of many Central and South American nations can claim descent in large part from the original inhabitants, that this proves or is even evidence that the Spanish were better colonialists than the English in the US and the French & English in Canada. What about the preponderance of people of European descent in Argentina? Does this prove that the Spanish committed more atrocities in Argentina than in Mexico? Of course it doesn't. There were different conditions and different population densities of First Nations peoples in different regions of the Americas. There were large cities in Mexico and Peru, for goodness sake. It's not at all surprising that larger numbers of the original peoples might have survived to the post colonial period. There were different settlement patterns and demographics in different parts of the Americas. In the case of Canada, ( I am Canadian) there were certainly shameful atrocities: the Beothuk people of Newfoundland, for example, were deliberately wiped out. I don't deny that. It's a shameful event from our history. But it's also ridiculous to say that there is no indigenous population in 'Anglo' North America because they were all 'wiped off the face of the earth'. Today there are a million aboriginal Canadians (not just a few thousand), despite all the diseases introduced by the Europeans and despite all the conflicts and the examples of atrocities, such as what happened to the Beothuk people. Are there still problems? Still conflicts? Still injustices? Of course. We have a long way to go, but we aren't 'disoriented' about our past. I would hope we are examining it with more objectivity and perspective, acknowledging that there are negative legacies from colonialism.

In an article such as this I would like to be informed in a fair and unbiased way how the actions of the Spanish throughout history have been mischaracterized or exaggerated. Corlyon 21:49, 4 November 2006 (UTC)Corlyon

Well, I doubt very much that this article will ever be of any help. It is in English and the English speaking world is still too much contaminated with the Black Legend to ever be very objective. As I said, the Black Legend had diverse origins but it became mainly an Anglo-Saxon instrument, first by the English, then by the Americans. Sometimes Hispanic Americans are fooled themselves and are ardent supporters of the legend themselves without realizing that at the moment it is more an American thing, more than English, and that the Americans transplanted the negative connotations of the Legend, many of them racial or racist, onto them. You must take into account that the Legend started at the height of Spanish Power but also when Northern European nations, until then very mediocre in European history, were beginning to emerge and tried to get rid of their inferiority complex towards Southern Europeans (Spaniards, Italians, Greeks) with the obvious reaction, the creation and support of a superiority complex that not only originated or was partially responsible for the Black Legend, but also started the Nordic Myth, Nordicism and eventually Nazism, with the great consequencies that we all know. If you really want to know more about the Legend, try and read the following book:

"Tree of Hate: Propaganda and Prejudices Affecting United States Relations with the Hispanic World" by Philip Wayne Powell.

It is probably the most extensive and detailed account written yet about the Black Legend in english.

The book by Professor Powell starts:

Beginning in the sixteen century when Spain was at the summit power in Europe and master of the first global empire, there developed anti-Spanish propaganda and prejudices that became entrenched in history, establishing a Western tradition of denigration and belittlement of Spain, Spaniards, and most of their works. This tradition is known as the Black Legend.

One of the interesting mechanism that generated the Legend, as Powell states, is that it still continues today in relation to Spain, but increasingly fading, while the emergence of a new Black Legend is taking place, only this time the players are different. Americans should know better, because a huge Black Legend is building around them, again with racist connotations. This Black Legend about the Americans is building right now around the world, but especially in the Muslim world, inhabited by one billion people, where Americans are not just depicted as cruel and unjust, but as the real Satan, with real racist connotations, using the poor Jews again and again. Now the Americans are corrupted with Jewish blood.

America is not perfect. It is not free of sin, but it is certainly not Satan. The similarities between the mechanism that is now developing this anti-American propaganda and the Spanish Black Legend are striking, for anyone who goes a bit into the subject.

Veritas et Severitas 05:19, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

I suppose you are entitled to your own prejudices against the English-speaking world, but I would suggest that the reason that this article is not very good is that unlike many other articles in Wikipedia, not one person has yet settled in to do readings of the relevant source materials. For example, there is no evidence in the article that anyone has even sat down and read Julián Juderías' book. People are writing their own opinions and recycling mediocre material from elsewhere on the Web. This is not how good articles get built.
If this article were among, say, my 20 or 30 highest priorities, I'd do it. But it's not. I just wish that one or more of the people who periodically come here to bitch about it would actually do some legwork. - Jmabel | Talk 00:23, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Have you guys ever read Tocqueville's striking pages about the differences between the Anglo and the Spanish conquests ? You guys should not waste your time arguing against each other: everything is there. Phil —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19 November 2006.

Phil, I'd like to read it. Can you provide a link? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20 November 2006.

Well, I didn´t read any work of Tocqueville...but I fear the comparisions this man can come with, for several reasons:
1-He was French. This is not a reason itself. The problem is that he is a French who lived in France in the XIX century, the time of the romantic travellers.
2-He was French Again, this is not a reason itself. The problem is that he is French who lived in France in the XIX century, the century of the French invasion of Spain. The century in which Spaniards, refused being reeducated, dominated and piloted by the French, choosing instead to keep in their fanatism, ignorance and retard, and ultimately kicking the French out of their country the hard way. A Historic fact that indeed fuelled the Black Legend due the brutal way in which the Spanish guerrilla behaved agaisnt the enlighted (and by the way extremely cruel) French invaders. Many explained it by the mytical and fake moorish origin of the Spaniards.
3-He was French Again, this is not a reason itself. The problem is that he is a French who lived in France in the XIX century. France is one of the countries which contributed to the Black Legend the most. And in the XIX century the Black Legend was in very good health. Julián Juderías, wrote his first study (the first one) about the Black Legend at the begining of the XX century, much after Tocqueville had dead.
Maybe I´m wrong but I have the impression that to quote Tocqeville in an article about the Black Legend, making comparisions between Anglo and Spanish conquests before nobody knew what Black Legend was, is not a fair deal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Holocaust Revisionism, anyone???

"In this, they were aided somewhat by being able to cite Spaniards' own critiques of colonialism colonial policies, particularly the works of the School of Salamanca and the dramatic, probably exaggerated, first-hand account of Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas."

I suppose the Holocaust was "probably exaggerated" as well ... a decrease of population from 600,000 to 3000 over the space of 130 years -- due to overwork and starvation -- sounds a lot like Auschwitz, don't you think??? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:06, 17 December 2006 (UTC).

Tree of hate, Powell
Page 34: Las Casas did not allow for diminution of Indian numbers by disease, epidemics, warfare in which Indians willingly participated as Spanish allies in order to massacre traditional enemies, or the obvious lessening of Indian numbers through miscegenation. Las Casas accused the Spaniards of killing more than three million on the island of Española alone, an area that probably could not have supported, with pre-Columbian agriculture, small trade, and small villages, any approximation of that number. And Las Casas' obviously exaggerated figures are repeated uncritically even in our own century by writers who should know better. In short, Las Casas simply did not let either the truth or historical sense interfere with his horrifyingly exciting story; and he threw in just enough circumstantial material to give his work a ring if authenticity. Short of accurate detail and entirely lacking comparative criteria, but long on impossible generalizations, Las Casas' work is believable only to the naively uncritical and those already convinced.
--Ecelan 09:44, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Las Casas is generally considered pretty reliable on what he himself observed, and is certainly rightly lauded for his recognition of the injustice of European conquest of the Americas, but I don't know of any present-day scholar who would trust him on the numbers. It's not like he had any better way than anyone else in his time of knowing these. Nor is it likely that he appreciated as much as we do now the extent to which European diseases rather than direct European violence and maltreatment killed off so many of the natives of the Americas. - Jmabel | Talk 21:09, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

However, we know from indigenous and Spanish texts that the Spanish conquest in the American towbs almost exterminated the native population. ... Two contemporary investigators, Cook and Borah, do not allow for doubt in this respect. They calculate, for example, that of the 23.5 million habitants of the central region of Mexico at the arrival of the Spansh in 1519, in 1523 only 16.8 million survived. [Because of the encomienda system and epidemic disease] the population descended more, until in 1570 on 30%-40% survived. In the Antilles, there was a larger genocide: a tragic 90% of the legitimate occupants of the Caribbean succumbed to the Conquest. Huellas de las literaturas hispanoamericanas, 2 ed, p 86, my translationDayBaye (talk) 04:16, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
towbs?? - Jmabel | Talk 04:23, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

White Legend, redux

In case no one has noticed, I have now several times reverted an anonymous editor who keeps presenting the White Legend as simply fact. I'd really rather not have this be an edit war, but unless this person gives a rationale for why this article should be so drastically changed, and builds a consensus that (for example) the terms "leyenda rosa" nor "Inquisition Revisionists" should not appear in the article at all, I will continue to revert. Indeed, if that person will not come here and discuss, and continues to insert his/her version anonymously, I will request semi-protection. - Jmabel | Talk 20:25, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Diff showing the two contrasting versions. - Jmabel | Talk 20:28, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

See my objections above in the seciont "extent of white legend". Jmabel, you seem to be aware that the White Legend is mainly a product of conservative Spanish historians, though this section doesn't clearly state that. Just as an article about the Black Legend is an analysis of politically motivated historiography, the White Legend should be treated the same way, with the context of Franco's Spain and the relevant Spanish historians who were its proponants. In that regard "today's Inquisition Revisionists" is problematic. I really loath the phrase, since it says nothing. Just about every historian approaching the Inquisition today, and for the last 20+ years, in and out of Spain, is doing some kind of revision. That does not mean that their work is politically motivated, or somehow dubious. The inclusion of Kamen, with the insinuation that he is politically biased, is particularly problematic, since he is both British and Jewish, and considered (by some) the best known "revisionist". As far as I can tell, there is no other historian cited, which implies that Kamen is a White Legend proponant, which is absolutely ludicrous. Hobomojo 01:54, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Fine, I'm perfectly willing to see distinctions made. But, as you can see from the diff I gave, someone simply keeps reverting back to the same version: entirely removing the term "leyenda rosa", removing several completely unobjectionable internal links, and, basically, claiming that the "white legend" is simply fact.

Please, feel free to edit, but please do not feel free to revert me blindly.

Much of this would be helped if someone would take the time to build up some decent citation. I have to admit, this one is not right now a high priority for me to do more than fend off vandals and POV-pushers. - Jmabel | Talk 05:39, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

About Amerindian co-official languages

I cut the last sentence of the paragraph, because the information here was inverted. The Indian languages served as semi-official tongues UNTIL the end of the Colonial rule, when some administrators wanted a "Spanish only" policy. This was a late development.

Should be noted?

I've removed

It should be noted, though, that Amerindians and Mestizos (people of European and Amerindian origins) continue to make up the majority of the population in Spanish America, while they represent a tiny proportion of the population in North America.

I'll explain my reasons now. The Spanish imposed their system over existing civilizations, which already had large populations. In northern Mexico, and Argentina, with small, decentralized native populations, Spanish and post-Spanish(most US genocides took place under the US government, from the Iroquois to Wounded Knee) colonial expansion took much the same pattern as Anglo and Portugese expansion. And in the Carribean, the Spanish enslaved and comitted genocide against the native populations.

Basically, the argument is a fallacy becuase it ignores the disparities in existing populations, and the differences in historical circumstances.

A better argument might be the percentage of the estimated original inhabitants survived.

It also somewhat annoys me, an example of the "you also" fallacy.

And these "should be noted"s I keep seeing in Wikipedia annoy me, (and I'm pretty sure that's against guidelines), which is why I finally snapped here. That said, the pettiness of people in Wikipedia(many with odd agendas, like the one who wanted to call macaws a type of conure) is the reason I stopped editing in the first place, so if somebody feels the need to put it back, I don't really care, go ahead.

It'd be nice if you do decide to put it back if you take some of my comments into account, and rewrite it a bit.

Luke -- 03:21, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I am putting it back for one simple reason: It is not an argument, it is a fact. Veritas et Severitas 21:53, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Tricky one - sourced statements of fact should remain, but is this statement relevant to the Black Legend? Put it another way: if this statement is admitted, then a comparison of death-rates of indigenous populations under all colonial governments is admissible. Maybe the fact that English-style government and ideology in North America has spent so much effort slagging off Spanish-style government in South and Central America makes this a special case. But then, death rates under French-style government in North and South America would come into play. This article is a headache.--Shtove 22:14, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

My friend, in many ethnic and race related articles in which I participate, Americans are only too eager to stress that Hispanic Americans, especially Mexicans, are not as white as they are. They like to stress that they have a lot of Amerindian blood. Then, when this fact may play against them in other articles, then they seem very interested in downplaying tis fact or just deleting it. I still cannot believe the level of manipulation that Anglo-Saxons and North Americans exhibit in Wikipedia. It is interesting, though. Since it is a place where everyone can edit, the world can really see what stuff the Anglo-Saxon world is made ofVeritas et Severitas 20:30, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I see from your talk page you don't hesitate in wading into controversy. And able to communicate in 5 languages? Buala bos! Try the Talk:British Isles for comparable local squabbling between the Irish and English. I once tried to get Spanish editors to balance out this article, but without success - turns out the Spanish WP article on the Black Legend was a translation of the English WP article! I'd be interested to have a list of the articles you refer to and links to WP policy pages that you think uphold the bias you're talking about - I recall coming across a policy page about the inherent bias that comes from most editors being white, male, American, and obsessed with science. Anyway, where would we be without beardy white guys from the USA? They seem to come up with almost all the good ideas on the internet (including WP).--Shtove 21:57, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Do not be confused. I know I have complicated ideas, but the American bias in many of these articles is clear and is one of the problems of Wiki. Anyway, I loathe anti-Americanism (Often very close to Anti-Semitism), which does not prevent me from calling things by their name. In fact I think that the Spanish black Legend has many similarities to the American Black Legend that is building up: See: Anti-Americanism Anyway I think that the role of many American Wikipedians is just adding arguments for the Anti-Americans. By the way, If you choose any of the other languages to communicate, let me know. I like to practise. Veritas et Severitas 22:18, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Just a couple of points:

  1. Personally I think Luke is right in the reasons he gives: comparing Spanish and English colonizations makes no sense, circumstances were different. What you can compare is the philosophy of both colonizations: the manifest destiny and God gave us this land with the we have to bring Gods light to the poor Indians. In one view Indians are superfluous, in the other they are just inferior/unenlightened. To me, that and its implications are the main difference.
  2. The article in the English Wikipedia was actually translated from the Spanish one. I wrote the Spanish one with bits and pieces of Information I had found along the years, making on the way all the errors a newbie can. Right now, the old article is gone and there is just a definition of the concept taken from different authors.
  3. About the anti-Hispanic bias of American editors, I'd have to say it's not just them. That kind of bias is very extended even among Latino American and even Spanish editors of the Spanish Wikipedia. The black legend has become the standard point of view for many, so anything that tends to contradict it is just propaganda, Holocaust denial, white legend or whatever.
  4. If you want to see bias from the beardy white guys from the USA go to [4], that was before we tried to balance things a bit: meta:List of articles every Wikipedia should have. Even so, there still are 7 English and 4 French-speaking authors.

Cheers, --Ecelan 22:44, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Hello, Ecelan. On the origins of the English WP article - you say it was brought over from the Spanish, but I assumed it was the opposite (Talk:Shtove#Black legend). I recall a talk page discussion from about a year ago (can't find it - did I leave an English message in Spanish WP?), which gave me the impression (from you, I think) that the English page was the original - did I completely misunderstand?
- On your first point, the philosophical differences in colonisation are crucial, but every abstract point made ought to be illustrated with an example - so the colonisation comparisons are in order. My impression is that the Spanish model was the best, but results are the better gauge.
- Fourth point: the beardy white guys link goes to the same page as the later link - what's the exact point? Are there pages on WP that deal with anti-Spanish bias?
Where's the guardian of this page, User:Jmabel, when you need him?
Thanks.--Shtove 23:39, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I might have expressed myself badly, English is not my mother tongue. I remember you asking for someone to help here, but all I remember is telling that you should not use the Spanish version.
What I wanted to show you is the difference between the list of Authors, playwrights and poets before and after. Before the changes we did, over 25% were English speaking authors, and over 50% were English, German and French speaking. Most of the Asian literatures weren't even mentioned. On the list of the 11th December, 100 authors, just 4 Asian, 2 Arab, no Persian, no Indian, not even Tagore. Hispanic literature (the third/fourth most spoken language in the world) just four names. But I digress.
Btw, I found another funny fact in Anti-Americanism#See also. You can even find Anti-Australian sentiment and Anti-Canadianism, but no black legend, the oldest of them all.
--Ecelan 17:42, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't going to bother with this page again, but I'm rather impressed that this is the only one of my recent edits which has generated a response. I should have figured that this was a controversial topic, my bad. (Perdon, escribiría este en español, pero me tome 2-4x como largo, y soy poco corto de tiempo ahora.)

Any rate, I should note that just because some Americans are racist (actually many are, our neighbors, who pride themselves on being "progressive Democrats" are upset that their son is dating a Metiza Tejana, when they hoped he'd find himself a nice white "German girl."

I have a bit of an issue with misleading statement, as with false comparisons, but there are so many of them in the world, and on Wikipedia. A large part of why I didn't come back to Wikipedia after my computer crashed. Too many petty controversies and debates over hidden bias (as with some articles on parrots, though the insistance people many had on merging and deleting articles outside their area of interest also played a large part).

I wouldn't have even bothered with the first comment if I wasn't a bit obsessed with American (in the non-English sense of the word) history, so I'll just shut up now.

Any rate, regards, Luke -- 23:20, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Quotes in the Spanish article

The original quotation from Powell used in the Spanish Wiki was:

The basic premise of the Black Legend is that Spaniards have shown themselves, historically, to be uniquely cruel, bigoted, tyrannical, obscurantists, lazy, fanatical, greedy, and treacherous; that is, that they differ so much from other peoples in these traits that Spaniards and Spanish history must be viewed and understood in terms not ordinarily used in describing and interpreting other people

The definition from the American Council of Education is

The "Black Legend" is a term long used by Spanish writers to denote the ancient body of propaganda against the Iberian peoples which began [sic] in sixteenth century England and has since been a handy weapon for the rivals os Spain and Portugal in the religious, maritime, and colonial wars of those four centuries.

Just in case anyone wants to use it ;) --Ecelan 20:31, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

White Legend

I deleted the section titled White Legend under the critisism heading. Going into detail about the white legend and the Franco regime would be getting off topic, so I think including the short bit of information in the introduction suffices. If the reader wants to read further about the white legend, couldn't they simply click the Franco link? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22 February 2007.

I think this goes absolutely the wrong way. The Franco article is on Franco, not on the White Legend. Indeed, the very claim that Francoist propaganda constituted a "white legend" is itself somewhat controversial (as can easily be seen from the history of this article: we've had numerous editors claim that it was simply fact).
Furthermore, we used to have a separate article on the White Legend. That was turned into a redirect and the content was merged here. It should be in this article. - Jmabel | Talk 00:09, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Problematic and unbalanced

This article, as written, is clearly not consistent with WP:NPOV.

For starters, it takes for granted that criticism of Spain constitutes an inaccurate "black legend." Much of the page reads like an apologia for various Spanish practices of the early modern era.

In my opinion, this page should be completely rewritten and moved to Criticism of Spain. There should be a section describing the claims by Spain's defenders that such criticisms constitute a black legend, but there should also be sections describing the criticisms themselves. As written, this page simply describes rebuttals to various criticisms without giving those criticisms any weight, which clearly isn't consistent with neutrality. Crotalus horridus (TALKCONTRIBS) 09:45, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

But I think it's clear that Black Legend is a well defined engine of propaganda, assembled in the protestant Netherlands in the 16thC, and fired up in England (then Britain) and America for a political purpose. Criticism of Spain is an entirely different matter - what you're proposing is like a merger of Protocols of the Elders of Zion with Criticism of Judaism. And "defenders of Spain"? You may be betraying some bias there: WP is about verifiable sources, not taking sides or crusading for the truth.--Shtove 22:40, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

The term "Black Legend" is a well known area of study with very many books written on the subject. It should not be hard to find citations/references to books with that tile, especially in the spanish original "Leyenda Negra". Is there any book at all written with the title "Criticism of spain"? DanielDemaret 13:17, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

You wrote: "As written, this page simply describes rebuttals to various criticisms without giving those criticisms any weight". You have a point there. But this is exactly what the books on "The Black Legend" do. An encyclopedia is supposed to mirror the material that is the subject matter. If we were to start with the accusations, would we not risk doing "original research" ? As an analogy, if this were a book reviewing "Mein Kampf", we should write about Hitlers view on racism. Showing up balanced opinions by pointing out where he was wring might be morally desirable, but it would hardly be encyclopedic, would it?DanielDemaret 13:30, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Why only Spain? (Other meanings of "the Black Legend")

I have heard the term "Black Legend" many times and I could figure out that this term does not necessarily have to be associated only with Spain (and possibly Portugal). It is referred to any period/situation/person presented (according to the user of the term) unfairly by so called "general public". The example can be Richard III. I think the article should be extended. Jasra 19:52, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Anti-Spanish propaganda is a well defined area of academic study, and Black Legend is the accepted term.--Shtove 22:42, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Julián Marías in the chapter dedicated to the Black Legend of his book España Inteligible wrote:
[...]Todos los pueblos de cierta importancia han sido objeto, en ciertos momentos de su historia, de este tipo de tratamientos. Pero eso nada tiene que ver con lo que es una leyenda negra, hecho sobremanera infrecuente, hasta el punto de que, aparte de España, sólo conozco otro ejemplo: los Estados Unidos de hoy en día, aunque durante un tiempo que todavía es relativamente breve [...] that is:
[...] All the countries of some importance have been the target, in some moments of their History, of this kind of treatements. But this has nothing to do with a Black Legend, which is an extremely uncommon phenomenon, to the extent that, apart from Spain, I only know another case: The United States of America in present days, despite this is happening for a period of time which is relatively brief for now.
The Black Legend is a phenomena much more complicated than a simple critic.

See also section

The See also section is getting a bit unwieldy. How about merging some of these wiki links into the text?Plazak 13:27, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

NPOV and Blatent Historical Revisionism involving Spanish Jews

Legally, the inquisition only had jurisdiction over Catholics - as pointed out by its apologists both at the time and later. It never claimed authority over openly practicing Jews or Muslims, and hence never persecuted them. The problem was and remains who should be defined as being "A Catholic" in this context.

However, from the Jewish point of view - as still expressed, for example, in the school curriculums of contemporary Israel - such persons, the Marranos, were Jews who had been forced to adopt the outward seeming of an alien faith, who courageously maintained secretly their true identity, and whose persecution by the inquisition was therefore a persecution of Jews by Christians. Muslims, too, hold a similar view of the matter.

Um, Hello? Is this a joke? This is NOT a question of a "Jewish point of view" (nor a Muslim one). The Spanish Inquisition burned Jews that refused to convert to Catholicism at a stake! Jews were left with no choice but to (at least officially) convert to Catholocism to survive. Those that could fled to Mexico and changed their names to avoid the Inquisition's operation there. Is someone actually disputing this? This article reads in a way as to suggest that only CATHOLICS that converted to Judaism were oppressed. Could we try to write this article per a consensus neutral HISTORICAL point of view? From my point of view, this article is in need of some serious citations and NPOV work. - Eric 00:38, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Please, read:
  • Henry Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision. (Yale University Press, 1999).
Half of what you say is just plain wrong.
Cheers, --Ecelan 20:52, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Please, read
Eric Shalov's comment. It's right above yours and if you do I think you'll find that what he says almost entirely concerns the article needing more citation and then a plea for conformity with wikistandards and practices and a plea for historical accuracy. The only comment he makes that Mr. Kamen could reasonably have written anything about is about Spanish Jews fleeing to Mexico. Also, the Inquisition persecuted people. That's what it was for. Spanish or otherwise, I'm certainly not making a claim that it was worse in Spain than anywhere else but the function of the Inquisition was to PERSECUTE people for their beliefs. The Spanish Inquisitions persecution of Jews and Muslims while (probably) not better or worse than the persecution they faced in other countries is an established historical fact that is not going to go away due to wishful thinking.
Everything you say, with the possible exception of the books title and your username, is wrong.
RecentlyAnon 23:34, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
OK. I'll point out the wrong facts in Eric Shalov for you:
  1. the Inquisition never burned Jews that didn't want to convert. In 1492 Jews could choose between converting or leaving the country. Those who didn't convert and stayed would have been persecuted by the civil justice, as they were disobeying a royal order, never the Inquisition.
  2. very few Jews flew to Mexico, most flew to North and Central Europe and the Ottoman Empire.
  3. it is true that the Inquisition only persecuted converted Jews. If those conversions are valid or not, or if the converted Jews are still to be considered as Jews, that it a disputed matter. But fact remains that the Inquisition could not persecute any Jews that did not convert, as they could only persecute Christians.
Now to your text:
  1. as I have shown, user Eric Shalov does not just ask for more citation.
  2. Mr. Kamen has written about all the points above. If you read the book, you'll see for yourself.
  3. the function of the Inquisition was not exactly to PERSECUTE people for their beliefs. The function of the Inquisition was to assure the purity of the Catholic faith. So they had no authority over Jews or Muslims if they did not convert (which could happen by force, as was the case with some Muslims, but not with Jews).
This is a question of semantics. Persecuting someone for not having 'pure' enough Catholicism is the same thing as persecuting someone for their beliefs.DayBaye (talk) 01:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  1. no one in the article, as far as I can see, is trying to deny that the Inquisition persecuted, tortured and condemned to death people. The fact that the Inquisition did do those things, doesn't mean you shouldn't be accurate with the information given.
The article states "It was not an institution of persecution or torture" (re: the Spanish Inquisition). Um, yes it was. It made Sor Juana scared of writing explicitly, caused other writers to self-censure, and burned books. Sound like persecution. The Inquisition functioned through fear, not peace and harmony.DayBaye (talk) 01:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
And to finish, the information you have deleted in the article was correct.
Cheers, --Ecelan 18:10, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm convinced that these matters of debate will not be resolved easily. This subject is too old and too complicated to be resolved without both expert attention and massive citation in order to satisfy the suspicious reader. I admit that my (uncited) above comments about what happened in Spain centuries ago were based on a mixture of "things I've heard" and "thing's I've read somewhere", and that's just not good enough- no better than Ecelan's knowledge in the matter, if left without citations from numerous and varient sources. We cannot write about a subject that touches on possible holocaust revisionism without being VERY careful to give such a subject it's due attention...
  1. As for Jews being persecuted during the same period, but only by "civil justice", and not by the Inquisition- would it not be appropriate to treat that as an irrelevant technicality? It's not as though a "Catholic" caught with a menorah could just say they were Jews, and get off with a slap on the wrist by the local police. It was all part of the same greater persecution known as the Spanish Inquisition, no? It's like debating whether terrorist actions by a non-IRA group should get mentioned in an article about the Troubles... The term "Spanish Inquisition", although likely defined at the time as a very "well-intended" division of the Church, has come to signify, in modern times, the whole epoch of religious persecution focused against non-Catholics.
  2. As for the Mexico thing, I had "heard somewhere" that a ton of Spanish Jews had moved to Mexico (technically Nueva España) to avoid the Inquisition, which had not yet caught up with Mexico, and that certain common modern Mexican surnames, in particular, were strong indications of descendence from these Jews, and that even several Mexican presidents were among these descendants. Now- this is all uncited, of course, and needs some investigation for citations. Most Mexicans are unaware of a Jewish migration, but most Mexicans are also unaware that Jesus was Jewish, too! Surely someone's done a Haploid-B DNA survey, or something of the sort, and published..
If I'm totally misinformed about this, my apologies- there will be some people to confront! - Eric 19:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't want to get involved in the argument, but I can't help pointing out that forcing people to convert to a religion is oppression in and of itself. How anyone can claim that forced conversion under penalty of death (if the conversos were found/supposed to not be properly practicing they were killed) or expulsion (those Jews who refused to convert in the first place) is not persecution is beyond me. -- (talk) 00:11, 2 January 2008 (UTC) --Harel Newman (talk) 00:12, 2 January 2008 (UTC) (I had forgotten to log in before posting)

Has anyone said that Jews were not persecuted? Please indicate the diff. --Ecelan (talk) 22:25, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Alright, let's wrangle this back to my original points.

  1. Jews were oppressed by the combined Catholic Church / Catholic Royalty authorities. Forced deportations (especially back then), forced conversions, etc, ARE DEFINITELY a form of oppression. I find it of little consequence whether it was technically the directorate of the Church or of the Kingdom to mess with the Jews, since the Kingdom was seeking to please the Church, and the Church was acting under the protection and permission of the Kingdom. They worked together to further the efforts of the Inquisition.
  2. I take issue with the phrase from the Jewish point of view prefixing a description of Jews being forced to convert to avoid persecution (regardless whether that persecution would have been handed down by Spanish Catholic religious authorities or Spanish Catholic government authorities). This phrase does not belong here unless there is a satisfactory reason to believe that this idea is only being believed/propagated by Jews. I would frankly prefer the equally weasely Some people say (at least that doesn't make this into some kind of Catholics vs. deceptive/misled Jews argument). Among other things, it's an obvious indication of ignorance to believe that there is a single Jewish point of view. There is no Zionist conspiracy behind this. The Jews got messed with. So did a lot of other people that weren't Catholic enough for the overzealous Inquisition.

- Eric (talk) 04:02, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Please, read the relevant literature: Kamen, Peters, etc.
It is funny how people tend to be obsessed with the Inquisition and the expulsion of 1492. The fact that this expulsion, in spite of what we can think nowadays, was relatively benign, seems to escape most people (see [5]). Just a hundred years before, in 1391, there had been terrible pogroms that caused possibly thousands of deaths and moved many Jews to conversion just to save their lives. This, a much bloodier fact that can be seen as forced conversion, is usually just ignored. From 1391 to 1492 there were several cases of massacres of Jews and Marranos. Again, ignored. And I'm only talking about Spain. Well, if you still want to be obsessed with one (relatively small) tree and not see the wood, be free.
Relatively benign? Kicking people out of a place they had lived for approx. 500 years is benign? Just because a century before Jews were massacred because of suspicion they were causing the plague, and in 1492 the motivation was more financial, and resulted in poverty and destitution for the displaced Jews, doesn't mean it was benign.DayBaye (talk) 01:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
And now you can go on talking about "deportation", "forced conversions", "persecution", "weasely" words, "deceptive/misled" arguments, "ignorance", "Zionist conspiracy" and "overzealous Inquisition", to show that everyone that doesn't share your (modern) POV is just morally inferior, if not just plain racist and evil.
--Ecelan (talk) 09:41, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
P.S. I'm going to answer you out of politeness. The "discovery" of Jews as victims of the inquisition was made in the 18th and 19th centuries, by authors belonging to the Jewish emancipation movement. They considered marranos (converted Jews) as Jews and not as Christians, and introduced this point of view into the mainstream. García Cárcel shows this POV in the sepharadic communities of the 16th c. in Amsterdam, for whom it was clear that many conversions were not sincere and who despised those that remained in the "land of idolatry" (= Spain). Christian (Protestant) authors tended to ignore the converted victims, as they usually focused on protestant victims (a small minority) or all victims in general (or they thought that the Inquisition was the right thing to do to Jews and/or false converts). I'm talking out of memory, but you already know where you can find the relevant information.
Jewish writers at the time of the Spanish inquisition certain;y considered themselves to be the victims. Do you mean "rediscovery"? (talk) 00:59, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Um, wait - being forcibly expelled from your home is not oppression!?? Does this mean that we have to rectify all other articles that mention forced expulsions on the Iberian Penninsula to make it sound like the authorities of the time were generously inviting the Jewish residents to go on an indefinite holiday?? From the Baruch Spinoza article, for example:
"Spinoza's ancestors were of Sephardic Jewish descent, and were a part of the community of Portuguese Jews that grew in the city of Amsterdam after the Alhambra Decree in Spain (1492) and the Portuguese Inquisition (1536) had led to forced conversions and expulsions from the Iberian peninsula."
..This was ethnic cleansing, and trying to make these expulsions sound like a modern Zionist conspiracy is absurd, even if pro-Israel advocates in the 20th century have cited the Inquisition as yet another instance of historic anti-semitism. Huge populations cannot be forced to move, and then the story be revised to make those people not seem like victims. I cannot see from what futile motive anyone in the 21st Century finds reason to try to re-write history. All nations and peoples have regrettable events in their past - there's little virtue in trying to hide them. - Eric (talk) 05:24, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
This is exactly the essence of the Black Legend: people believing, even today, that the Spanish and the Catholic Church were "evil" in the way they treated non-Christians, "burning them alive", "torturing them", "killing them in hundreds" and "expelling them". This is all rubbish. It is false in the way that it ignores the historical context and the fact that all other European nations also had Inquisitions. It is nothing more than exaggerated, anti-Catholic propaganda. It's exactly that, a Black Legend. It was made up to try to counter Spain's enormous power in the 16th-18th centuries, and it is basically rubbish because:
1) All other Christian, European Nations like France, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom tried to impose Christianity in their territories and did so by means that today would be considered "oppression". They all had Inquisitions and at some moment in time they all expelled their Jewish populatins. Somehow, only the Spanish Inquisition is remembered today (by popular culture and movies).
I do not dispute these facts. But just because everyone else did it, doesn't mean it was okay. The neutrality of the article is in dispute precisely because it tries to excuse the Spanish Inquisition for doing these things, as you are by saying "everyone else did it."DayBaye (talk) 01:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
2) The number of people actually killed for heresy in the 2 centuries of the Spanish Inquisition is comparatively minute. Just go to the city of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia (where supposedly so many natives were "tortured") and visit the Museo de la Inquisición (Museum of the Inquisition). Read the introductory statement at the entrance of the Museum. It says that most stories about the Inquisition are exaggerations, and that like in other European countries this was an institution of religious supervision, and very few people were actually sentenced to death there.
3) All other European countries had Inquisitions. The first such institution was actually started in France, in the 13th century. But nobody today seems to know this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:57, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Maybe you should write a wikipedia article on it, stating how the Spanish Inquisition was not without precedent.DayBaye (talk) 01:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I'll just ignore your other rants, since they are pretty much without foundation and respond to this last comment. This article is exactly what you are requesting. The Spanish Inquisition was not without precedent, the Black Legend is the assertion that it was, and was uniquely cruel, which it was not. This is not an apology for persecution, torture or what have you, it is simply to say that your rants are a modern exposition of the Black Legend, ultimately founded upon ignorance. Hobomojo (talk) 03:29, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
The statement that all other countries in Europe had inquisitions during the relevant time is provably false. The Inquisition was an exclusively Catholic institution. Reformed England, the Netherlands, the northern Holy Roman Empire States, and Scandinavia didn't have it. While Catholics were oppressed to various degrees in Protestant states, secret Catholicism or Judaism was generally not a death penalty offense by itself in Protestant lands, as secret Judaism or Islam were in Spain. Even in other Catholic countries, the Inquisition was often less fearsome than in Spain (see The Cheese and the Worms for an example of how much more lenient the Venetian Inquisition was than the Spanish). Pirate Dan (talk) 20:30, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
All protestant countries were catholic before the reformation and thus had inquisitions.
For information about the "inquisition" after the reformation you can read
--Ecelan (talk) 18:27, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
P.S. And of course, in England catholics were not killed because of their religious beliefs, as they were in catholic countries. They were declared traitors to the country / to the king/queen and killed by the secular power. That's what happens when you have a state religion. --Ecelan (talk) 18:35, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
That's why I said "during the relevant time period." The Black Legend does not refer to any alleged misdeeds by Spain during medieval times, but during the early modern era. To say that all European countries had inquisitions during that time and were doing the same thing is false. Actions like the Calvinists' burning of Michael Servetus were, of course, inexcusable by modern lights, but that does not show that Calvinist Geneva had an Inquisition comparable to Spain's. Servetus was condemned for his very public, published-in-print and eloquent "heresy," not for mere private religious belief. Elizabethan England slaughtered Catholic priests, again against all standards of religious liberty that we adhere to today, but it too did not kill people just for being secretly Catholic; Elizabeth had a policy of "liberty for tender consciences," so long as they did not publicly dispute the Church of England. Oppressive? Yes. The same thing the Spanish Inquisition was doing? No. Pirate Dan (talk) 14:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Funny how when you point to the protestant inquisition, all of a sudden there are a lot fine differences, historical explanations and justifications: "we couldn't be so bad, could we? we are us, aren't we?". But when you just try to be objective (not even justify) with the Spanish inquisition, then "killing is killing and it was wrong, no excuses, you bloody mass murderer".
Please don't bother justifying the protestant inquisition. I really don't care too much. I just find it fascinating how deeply entrenched the black legend still is, in spite of being declared dead several times by important historians (as Kamen).
--Ecelan (talk) 22:26, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
P.S. I have read Kamen and Peters. Have you?
P.S.² Looks like 58 people were killed for heresy in the four years of Calvin's government in Geneva. That's 14,5 per year; the Spanish inquisition lasted about 350 years; 350 x 14,5 = 5.075; calculated deaths for the Spanish inquisition are between 3000 and 5000; thank God Calvin "didn't have an Inquisition comparable to Spain's"...
Your straw man argument is pointless. I never said anything like "we couldn't be so bad." I said that Protestant countries didn't have Inquisitions, which is true, and thus the earlier claim that all European countries had Inquisitions is false. The fact that Protestant countries also executed people for public heresy is deplorable, but completely irrelevant to the question of whether they had Inquisitions.
Incidentally, Calvin never "governed" Geneva. He was a pastor, not a governor; the government of Geneva was in the hands of a secular council.
And I haven't read Kamen or Peters yet, although I intend to do so. If you have an actual citation to Kamen or Peters that Protestant countries had Inquisitions, by all means produce it and I will happily admit error. Pirate Dan (talk) 13:11, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Perhaps this statement of my views may be helpful. Spain was nearly innocent of the witchcraft hysteria that overtook the rest of Protestant and Catholic Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. I have no problem with the idea that the witchcraft massacres were just as bad as anything that the Spanish Inquisition ever did. The record of the Spanish and of other European powers regarding the Indians in North America and the enslavement of Africans were both so atrocious that there is little to choose from between them.
Thus, I agree with those who say that Spain wasn't significantly worse than other European powers, Protestant or Catholic. The Spanish have a fair case that they were unfairly singled out by Protestant historians. That does not mean that they should be whitewashed, as in claims that all European countries had Inquisitions, or that the larger proportion of Indian blood among South Americans is somehow the result of kinder treatment by the Spanish rather than a vastly different ratio of European immigrants to native born.Pirate Dan (talk) 13:29, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Maybe I haven't explained myself correctly. When people talk about the "protestant inquisition", they are not talking about an "institution" at all, they are talking about the persecution of heretics by protestants, as a whole. I guess it's a rhetorical trick used by some catholics to turn the black legend against protestants themselves.
About the "government" of Calvin in Geneva, sorry, that was my misinterpretation. I should have used the word "ministry"; the reference uses "reign", I guess in a metaphorical way.
Again, I may not have explained myself. From what I gather, you tend to think that having no institution persecuting heresy is somehow better. That's no necessarily so, it's just different. And yes, the Inquisition did torture, condemn people to death or destroy their lives. Sometimes even "unjustly" so (if you take into account their sense of justice, of course; from our point of view, all were unjust). But that's not what we're talking about. What we're talking about is that this should be seen as basically and intrinsically different from what other countries were doing at the time.
But I will let it rest here. I am not out to convince anyone of anything ;)
--Ecelan (talk) 17:47, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

On sourcing and OR

Please add specific citations indicating that those aspects of Spanish history that are highlighted in the article are relevant to the Black Legend. In other words, books or academic papers dealing with the Black Legend that have highlighted the use and abuse of the memories of those historical incidents in anti-Spanish propaganda. Failing this, more sections will have to be deleted as unsourced original research. Relata refero (talk) 19:21, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


This article is a whitewash of the Spanish Inquisition and Spain's brutality in the Americas. Let's get some figures re: Spanish Inquisition deaths, mention the destruction of American civilzations by Spain, the forced conversions of Indians, Jews and Muslims and the use of heresy laws to exterminate anyone who held onto their faith, Spain's role in the slave trade, its brutal mining practices at Potasi and in Mexico. Spoonkymonkey (talk) 00:21, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, and the Romans when they conquered Spain slit the throat of anyone who did not surrender, kids included. Now go and read about the Romans. But the only real and vast genocide happened in North America, now go and read about the Americans. About time to stop this cheap propaganda agaisnt Spain, read the section above. Jan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Exactly. It's about time that this endless list of lies are stopped. The "Black Legend" was manufactured in the 16th and 17th centuries, to counter Spain's enormous power on the world stage. Now we know all those accusations of "torture", "burning people" and "mass killings" are simply exaggerations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:12, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
I can provide the victims of the Spanish Inquisition in the Americas. Slightly above one hundred in a period longer than 250 years. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Answering one of Spoonkymonkey's questions: Actually the Spanish had very little role in the transatlantic slave trade; they at first got their slaves primarily from the Portuguese, and then after the War of the Spanish Succession the English got the asiento and became the main suppliers to the Spanish colonies. Pirate Dan (talk) 17:23, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

How is any of this relevant? We shouldn't be discussing whether or not Spain did anything wrong, and if what they did wrong was worse than what other countries did wrong. Romans certainly don't have anything to do with this discussion. What we should be discussing is how to fix this article. Wikipedia is not a platform to convince other people of your opinion, no matter how justified that opinion is. Wikipedia should just inform people that the opinion exists, and who the famous proponents and ctitics of that opinion are. And I find myself wondering, why hasn't this been fixed yet? I see comments from 5 years ago complaining what a terrible article this is, but still nobody has fixed it. I'm not going to do it, because this is the first time I even heard the term "Black Legend". If it's a meaningful and noteworthy term, then people who know more about it should fix it. If they have trouble figuring out how to structure this article better, here's a suggestion:

  • 1. (Intro) What is meant by "Black Legend" - Explain how it refers to criticism of Spain/Spanish people; a (very short!) collection of criticisms of Spain that are considered "Black Legend"; and an explanation who first coined the term.
  • 2. (Origins) How did the term came to be? How did the criticism start (if known), when did historians realise this was unfair? Mention a couple of historians involved in this.
  • 3. (Content) What claims, statements, accusations and criticisms actually make up the black legend? Keep it short and to the point, and link to other articles with more details on the subjects. (Don't attack other articles. Fix them if they're not neutral enough.)
  • 4. (Attacking the black legend) Which historians attacked these claims and criticisms? What arguments did they use?
  • 5. (Critics) If any, list historians who criticise this black legen theory. How did they defend the accusations and criticisms against Spain? How did they attack the apologists?

Cite sources (the relevant historians, presumably) all over the place. This way, the article becomes more neutral, and provides good information on what the term means, how Spain is generally considered to have been criticised unfairly, how others think the criticism is fair, and where to look for more information, which is what an encyclopedia is supposed to do. (Mcvos (talk) 19:57, 14 September 2009 (UTC))

an unexcited note

"The White Legend is sometimes associated with Spanish Nationalistic politics and with the regime of dictator Francisco Franco, or by English or Italian supporters, mainly during the 16th and 17th centuries." does not make sense (since Franco was not a 16th or 17th century figure). Needs amendment or deletion. Diomedea Exulans (talk) 08:44, 17 November 2009 (UTC)