Saturday, August 08, 2020

Hispanophobia "Black Legend" Exposed (from St. Augustine Report, by former Mayor George R. Gardner)


History's highlight
la Leyenda Negra
aa"Black Legend" is the accumulated traditions of propaganda and Hispanophobia accord­ing to which Spanish imperialism is regarded as cruel, bigoted, exploitative and self-righteous in excess of the reality. - Dr. Charles Gibson (1958)
aaPerhaps the most effective weapon against Spain in its 16th century world dominance was a public relations campaign, la Leyenda Negra, the Black Legend. 
aaThe term was coined by Julián Juderías in his 1914 book La leyenda negra y la verdad histórica (The Black Legend and Historical Truth), to describe the allegedly biased depiction of Spain and Spaniards as "cruel", "intolerant" and "fanatical" in anti-Spanish literature starting in the 16th century. 
aaThe Black Legend propaganda is said to be influenced by national and religious rivalries as seen in works by early Protestant historians and Anglo-Saxon writers, describing the period of Spanish imperialism in a deliberately negative way. 
aaOne of the strongest and earliest supporters for the Legend was the Englishman John Foxe, author of the Book of Martyrs (1554). Other critics of Spain included Antonio Pérez, the fallen secretary of King Philip II of Spain. Pérez fled to England, where he published attacks on the Spanish monarchy under the title Relaciones (1594).
aaThese books were extensively used by the Dutch during their fight for independence from Spain, and taken up by the English to justify their piracy and wars against the Spanish.
Foxe's book was among Sir Francis Drake's favorites; Drake himself was and is regarded by the Spaniards as a cruel and bloodthirsty pirate.
aaThe two northern nations were not only emerging as Spain's rivals for worldwide colonialism, but were also strongholds of Protestantism while Spain was the most powerful Roman Catholic country of the period.
aaFormer Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, a student of Spanish colonial history, in his Coronado and our Spanish Legacy: To the Inland Empire, noted, “Only once since the invention of the printing press has a successful campaign of defamation lasting centuries been waged against an entire people.
aa“That nation is Spain, and that campaign of calumny - known to modern historians as the ‘Hispanophobia Black Legend’ - made Span­iards pariahs and demeaned the character of the Spanish people. This myth, I am convinced, has influenced earlier generations of Americans to cast a cold eye on the achievements of our Spanish pioneers.”

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