The Black Legend and White Legend: Relationship Between the Spanish and Indians in the New World

The Black Legend and White Legend: Relationship Between the Spanish and Indians in the New World

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The Black Legend and White Legend: Relationship Between the Spanish and Indians in the New World

The Spanish-Indian relationship can be defined in many
ways. One definition used is through the Black Legend and the
White Legend. The interpretation of the Black Legend can
depend on whom you are talking to. The Black Legend speaks of
the Spaniards abusing the Indians and being guilty of much
more misconduct than history has ever recorded. The White
Legend speaks of how the Spaniards benefitted the Indian
society by building communities, hospitals and spreading the
Word of God. There are two reasons why the Spaniards were so
intent on spreading the Gospel. The first is because Spain
wanted to ensure political and military means of safety and
independence of their own religious community and even more so
their predominance over others. The second was a deeper
desire to convert, which included appealing to the minds and
hearts of individual unbelievers by preaching, reasoning and
if needed by force (Plumb 152).

The conquest of the new world began with a small band of
Spanish soldiers. The soldiers proceeded to march against and
subdue the huge population of the mainland (Black 24). The
Black Legend speaks of all that the Spanish had done to the
Indians and the horrible things done to them and the land.
This Black Legend exists only in areas where the people are
"anti-Hispanic" especially where English is spoken, and in
modern Spanish America (24).

The White Legend is true only in reverse. The people who
claim to believe in this Legend hold to the belief that the
Spanish were a credit to society and help the Indians in their
everyday lives by providing livestock and new medici...

... middle of paper ...

... they had never intended to live. They were forced
to lose their families in the name of the Spanish crown and
the Spanish crown had only a vague knowledge of what was
really happening in the new world. Which one, whether Black
or White Legend, a person believes will have to depend on
their own personal view of the truth.


Gibson, Charles. The Black Legend: Anti-Spanish Attitudes
in the Old World and the new. New York: Knopf 1971.

--------- Spain in America. New York: Harper 1966.

--------- Spanish Tradition in America. Ny: Harper 1968.

Haring, C.H. The Spanish Empire in America. New York: Oxford

Ludenfeld, Marvin. 1492 Discovery Invasion Encounter. Massachussets: 1991.

Plumb, J.H. The Spanish Seaborne Empire. New York: Knopf 1966.

Sale, Kirkpatrick. The Conquest of Paradise. New York: Plume

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