What is The Black Legend?

” In Spanish historiography, the Black Legend (Spanish: La Leyenda Negra) is an alleged style of tendentious, subjective historical writing or propaganda demonizing Spain, its people, and its culture in an intentional attempt to damage its reputation.

While those who defend the existence of the Black Legend acknowledge that there is much-documented evidence of atrocities by all European nations during the conquest of the Americas, and the Inquisition represented a period of cruel excess; they suggest foreign authors lay this legacy on the Spanish without balance and as a somehow intrinsic element of Spanish character. Its proponents claim that the Black Legend originated in the 16th century, a time of strong rivalry between European colonial powers, and served as anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic propaganda.

Though the term black legend for describing a supposed anti-Spanish bias in European historiography was coined by Emilia Pardo Bazán in a conference, Paris, April 18, 1899, Julián Juderías was among the first to describe and denounce this phenomenon. His book The Black Legend and the Historical Truth (Spanish: La Leyenda Negra y la Verdad Histórica), a critique published in 1914, claims that this type of biased historiography has presented Spanish history in a deeply negative light, purposely ignoring positive achievements or advances. Later writers have supported and developed Juderías’ critique. In 1958, Charles Gibson explained that Spain and the Spanish Empire were historically presented as “cruel, bigoted, exploitative and self-righteous in excess of reality” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend

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