The Black legend: Was the black legend merely a butchering of the Indians or a true statment?

Essay by tiger_eyes375High School, 11th grade November 2006

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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 Spanish merely slaughtered, infected and enslaved the Native Americans whom they encountered in the New World. This legend is held false 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 Spanish and other Europeans which reached the Americas helped the gradual development of uniquely American culture.

The Europeans brought over from the old the old world their own culture, religion and traditions. 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. The Europeans brought with them many things new to the Indians such as horses, different crops, plants, swine, technology, colorful beads, clothing and fire water.

The Natives Americans did use this to their advantage for horses contributed to 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.

Slowly and gradually a new and distinct culture emerged, a mix of the Native and European traditions combined into one. New holidays such as Thanks Giving day and Independence Day developed. The Indians adapted Christianity while the Europeans improved their survival skills in the wilderness. Small things such as eating popcorn during entertainment are still left over from...