Black Legend In Light Of Spanish And English Colonization In The Sixteenth And Seventeenth Centuries

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Black Legend in light of Spanish and English colonization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

The Black Legend is merely a false statement that people have used for centuries to depict Europeans as wild uncivilized animals. The legend states that the Spanish merely slaughtered infected and enslaved the Native Americans whom they encountered in the New World in the 16th century ( This Legend is held into question since although the Spanish did treat the natives crudely they also adapted parts of the Native American culture into their own and intermarried with the Native women creating a new Mestizo race. The main supporters of this belief were the French and the English who perpetuated this only to make their competitors in overseas colonies seem like monsters (Maltby, William). However ironically the Spanish did more to help the Indians than the French or English ever did. The Black Legend is a term promoted by the English and French to criticize the Spanish cruelty to the natives, it is false because the Spanish helped the gradual development of uniquely American culture, transformed religion in the new world, instituted education, and created a new society of people.

Slowly and gradually a new and distinct culture emerged, a mix of the Native and European traditions combined into one. New holidays such as Thanksgiving Day developed. The Natives Americans did use horses to their advantage, contributed by the Spanish to produce more efficient hunting methods, and the new crops provided a richer diet therefore more food could be obtained increasing the live expectancy of the Natives ( The Indians also contributed many things to the European culture. Crops such as corn, squash, potato, beans and exotic fruits which helped the Europeans survive in the New World through numerous winters ( To survive in the newly discovered Americas it was necessary for them to adapt some of the Indian ways just as the Indian tribes came to be quite fond of the European products and culture. Many traces of Spanish influence can be seen today in our architecture and diet. Eventually the Spanish and Indian ways of life fused into a new and unique culture.

In the late 16th century, Spain went through a "cleansing" period in which all religions other than Catholicism (mainly Muslims and Jews) were expelled. Therefore, at this time, Spain was very strongly Catholic, and had an intense desire to spread this Catholicism to the new world. The Spanish constructed many missions made to convert the Indians to Catholicism in the New World. They converted the Indians because they felt that by doing this, they were saving the them from hell since they were not of the faith.

Though many Indians did convert to Catholicism, the Spanish began to use force upon the Indians by turning them into slaves and conquering their lands. The Spanish believed the Native Americans to be inferior and savage, therefore ravaging villages and enslaving entire tribes. Soon after the they committed these horrible acts of violence, Spain got wind of the "Black ...
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