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Spain in Latin America- Black & White legends

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  1. Introduction
  2. The White Legend and focusing on government policies set to protect natives in colonial Latin America
  3. The role played by Political Propaganda played
  4. An obsession with whether or not the Spanish were properly exercising their duty
  5. The Black Legend
  6. Conclusion

The Spanish empire was one of the largest empires in history and its own personal rise to power would coincide with the transition of power from the Asian continent to the European world. As colonial possessions lead to unprecedented wealth and conflicts between Spain and other European nations escalated the ensuing friction would further anti-Spanish sentiment, this escalation in anti-Spanish sentiment would further lead to the creation of the Black Legend that has characterized history in regards to Spanish presence in colonial Latin America.

[...] The creation of the White Legend as a mechanism of defense does little to discredit the Black Legend, however when comparing how and when the Black Legend rose to the similar rise of anti-Spanish sentiment a link is created. The Spanish themselves went through a time where they almost could not justify their own conquest and rule of the indigenous peoples. The Black Legend marked the beginning and would set the tone for the age of European Colonialism. Spanish colonialism was one of the first to exploit the indigenous population, but it was not the last. [...]


[...] The White Legend fails to really find any firm basis to stand upon in comparison to the Black Legend. The origins of the Black Legend however can be traced back to the usage political propaganda in Europe. Political Propaganda played a large role in the creation of the Black Legend stereotype. The highest point of anti-Spanish sentiment occurred when European nations entered into conflict with Spain[15]. For the French it was during their ventures in Florida, with the Dutch it was during revolts against the Spanish in the Netherlands, and for the English it was during the Spanish Armada and during the Glorious Revolution in 1689[16]. [...]


[...] There is substantial truth in the Black Legend even among those who attempt to discredit it, as difficulties lie in the fact that the Spanish were cruel, bigoted, exploitive, and self-righteous, though not consistently and in any simple To organize the tribute labor required for Encomenderos the Spanish would manipulate a system of tribute labor already put in place by the previous Aztec and Inca empires. The conditions of Indigenous labor have been described as being ?sweatshop conditions, with Indian slavery, debt peonage, child labor, and bad food?[3]. [...]

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