Rereading the Black LegendThe Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires

Rereading the Black LegendThe Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires

Margaret R. Greer, Walter D. Mignolo, and Maureen Quilligan

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226307213

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

The phrase “The Black Legend” was coined in 1912 by a Spanish journalist in protest of the characterization of Spain by other Europeans as a backward country defined by ignorance, superstition, and religious fanaticism, whose history could never recover from the black mark of its violent conquest of the Americas. Challenging this stereotype, this book contextualizes Spain's uniquely tarnished reputation by exposing the colonial efforts of other nations whose interests were served by propagating the “Black Legend.” A group of contributors here examine early modern imperialisms including the Ottomans in Eastern Europe, the Portuguese in East India, and the cases of Mughal India and China, to historicize the charge of unique Spanish brutality in encounters with indigenous peoples during the Age of Exploration.