The Black Legend

Essay by lin398432High School, 11th gradeA+, September 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 24 times

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...