Spain and its black legend



What is the black leyend of Spain and how did it affect Spain?

What is the black leyend of Spain and how did it affect Spain?

The black legend of Spain was a group of invented ideas by the rest of the European nations to discredit the advances and the achievements made by the Spain in the Century of Gold or the XVIth century.

In many cases, a true historical event was distorted or they did not say the whole truth.

Nowadays, this black leyend is still in the history of Spain.

However, today, there are very good historians that have documented deeply in this period.


Long time ago, Spain was a divided country into a series of antagonistic kingdoms that fought for power and for the territories.

Surprisingly, in less than 30 years Spain was unified.

So, Spain became the first world power and dominated half the world.

The rest of the european countries became jealous and they couldn’t understand how one little country divided into many kingdoms became so powerful in very few years.

We can not ignore that politics and religion were intrinsically linked with each other in this era in Spain.

It supposed that with the territorial conquests were united the fervent religious work in the new conquered lands.

Thus, Spain became the vanguard of Catholicism. As a result of the Catholic religion, Spain has dragged and dragged the stigma of the Inquisition.

However, the Protestant religious persecution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in the rest of Europe, reaches death rates much higher than the Spanish, which received the very bad reputation.

It is very true, that the Spanish Inquisition had a longer duration and negative press, that is why the begging of this black legend. And to make matters worse, the Catholics will also be blamed for the great fire in London in 1666.

Spain will export its culture, its ideas, its universities and its thinking.


These are the times when Charles V stopped the advance of the Protestant Reformation in Europe and this Protestantism was fought through the Council of Trent.

So, this black legend is born in Protestant countries such as England, Holland and Germany and not in Catholic countries, for very enemies of Spain that were like France, something that is curious.


One of the points against Spain was his great concern to keep everything in archives, in fact one of the nicknames of King Philip II was the “paper king”.

In this way it will be very easy to look for the abuses committed by some of the new conquerors in America, but we can not question the massacres of the Anglo-Saxons in the current North America against the natives, because there is no documentation to verify it.

It will serve us as an example to see this theme of the black legend, the Philippines: some islands located in the Pacific Ocean that received their name by King Felipe II.

They were governed by Spain during the course of three and a half centuries, until in 1898 they were annexed to North America.

Spain maintained the Philippines although they were not profitable, because they did not come precious metals and were very expensive to maintain by the very expensive crossing of the boats.

There the religion, the culture and the language were exported, in fact the islands served as base for the Jesuit missions for Asia.

The United States is going to conquer Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, they are going to send their fleet whose trigger is the explosion of one of their ships “El Maine” that blame Spain for having torpedoed it.

When the facts are not clear, and even some voices they point out that it was dynamited by the American ships themselves to blame Spain, a fact that was never clarified.

The truth is that the Philippines will abolish Castilian, impose their English language and abolish Catholicism, although all their efforts will be in vain in this last point.

They thought they would break the population, but the Filipino population rebels, so General Jacob Hurd Smith will say: “I do not want prisoners, I want you to kill and burn as much as possible: the more, the better” and “kill anyone who can carry a weapon, that is, to anyone who is more than 10 years old”.

I could put many more examples, but I hope these were enough to stage the meaning of the Spanish black legend.


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