Is there Hispanophobia in Catalonia

You can also read the article "Les catholiques et l’Europe au xixe siècle" in the EHNE.

The origin of the term Leyenda negra

After this Diccionario de la Real Academia Española is the Leyenda negra, the black legend, an anti-Spanish attitude widespread since the 16th century. Even this short and meaningless definition clearly shows that the Leyenda negra in principle has a negative connotation. But it also gives the impression that there has been systematic bad talk about the "Spaniards" outside of "Spain" since the beginning of the early modern period. In this context it seems almost strange that the term itself is only a product of the 20th century. 1913 received a functionary of the Spanish Foreign Ministry, Julián Juderías y Loyot (1877-1918), of the weekly La Ilustración Española y Americana a prize for the best work that should show how the image of Spain abroad is faring. The award-winning text was first published in 1913 and 1914 in five parts in the aforementioned journal and in 1914 also as a monograph under the title La leyenda negra. Estudios acerca del concepto de España en el extranjero1 (The black legend. Studies on the image of Spain abroad). In 1917 Juderías brought out a significantly revised new edition, which was reprinted more often, the last time in 2003, and with his work created a term that from then on would become the established repertoire not only of historiography, but also of journalism and other humanities.

Juderías wrote his work at a time when Spain was in deep crisis, not only because of the loss of the last remnants of its global empire in 1898 and 1899, but also because of the numerous internal social conflicts. In 1909 these confrontations had a temporary climax in the so-called Semana Trágica, the "Tragic Week" in August, during which numerous people were killed in clashes between workers and the Spanish army in Barcelona and Catalonia. At a time when the only external enemies were blamed for the decline of the Spanish world power and the nation seemed to suffer from a collective feeling of inferiority, it was not impractical to look for an explanation for this situation in earlier centuries and to prove that there was always external and also internal enemies had done everything to drag the glamorous Spanish past into the mud and to minimize the positive achievements in Spanish history or even to turn them into negative ones. In his remarks, Juderías came to the conclusion that there had been Hispanophobia since the 16th century, in which the Spaniards were described as intolerant, cruel and fanatical and their allegedly negative behavioral patterns were demonized for propaganda reasons. In the words of Juderías it sounds like this:

- In a word: by Leyenda negra we understand the legend of an inquisitorial Spain, ignorant, fanatical, incapable of surviving among the cultivated peoples today as in the past, always ready for violent repression; Enemy of progress and innovation, or, in other words, the legend that began to spread in the sixteenth century because of the Reformation, has been used against us ever since, especially at critical moments in our state life.2

It is very clear that it was the international protests of 1909 against the execution of the pedagogue Francisco Ferrer y Guardia (1859–1909), who was recognized in Europe []were,3 who gave Juderías the decisive factor for the constitution of his work. He was also criticized on various occasions for this. He was said to be a representative of the conservative reaction. The accusation must, however, be rejected: Juderías, the son of a French mother, fluent in languages ​​- he spoke 16 languages, including German and Russian - was a recognized social scientist who played a key role in the reforms of Spanish social legislation at the beginning of the 20th century. And he knew the scientific and other literature about Spain, in which he recorded the repetitive prejudices that inspired him to create the term "Black Legend".4

In addition, Juderías was by no means the only one who set out to defend Spain against unjustified criticism from abroad. The famous writer and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo (1864-1936) wrote in 1909 in a commentary on the execution of Ferrer in the Argentine newspaper La Nación:

This hostility to Spain begins in the 16th century. Since then it has intensified in one way or another. Our history has been systematically forged, mostly by Protestants and Jews, but not only by them.5

Unamuno's quote clearly shows that at the beginning of the 20th century there was widespread unease about the alleged discrimination against Spain by its enemies. And there are two polluters named in connection with the Leyenda negra occur again and again: the "Jews" and the "Protestants".

Juderías limited himself to his European roots Leyenda negra. It would be nearly thirty more years before the scope of the term was extended again, this time to America. It was the Argentine Rómulo D. Carbia (1885–1944) who also dismissed the descriptions of the atrocities of the Spaniards in the New World as part of the anti-Spanish abuse.6 Since these two "classics" in the description of the phenomenon of Leyenda negra In the first half of the 20th century there were many other attempts to find a short and concise explanation. Pars pro toto is that of the American Philip Wayne Powell (1913–1987):

The basic premise of the Leyenda negra is that the Spaniards have behaved in their history incomparably cruel, intolerant, tyrannical, obscurant, lazy, fanatically greedy and insidious, that they differ so much from other peoples by these characteristics that the Spaniards and Spanish history need to be seen and understood in terms that are not normally used to describe and interpret other peoples.7

After Juderías and Carbia, various authors looked for further roots of the Leyenda negra. The Dane Sverker Arnoldsson (1908-1959) saw their origins in the era of Aragonese expansion in the Mediterranean region from the 14th century and thus in anti-Catalan and anti-Aragonese prejudices in Italy, which would later have been transferred to all inhabitants of the Iberian kingdoms.8 He also located many of the anti-Spanish prejudices in the Holy Roman Empire, for example with Martin Luther (1483–1546) and the Protestant criticism of the Schmalkaldic War.9 The American historian William S. Maltby (born 1940) finally pointed out in a much-noticed study that the English roots of the Leyenda negra should not be overlooked. In 1971, when the book was first published, he obtained the Leyenda negra also to the present. It still affects the complicated relationship between the United States and its Spanish-speaking neighbors and British policy towards Spain. The Leyenda negra is therefore a factor in international relations. He also compared the criticism of the United States in the 1970s with that of the Spanish monarchy in the 16th century.10

In the nineties of the 20th century it was mainly Ricardo García Cárcel (born 1948)11 and Alfredo Alvar Ezquerra (born 1960),12 the existence of the Leyenda negra questioned and interpreted it as nothing other than the Spanish reception of the image of the Spaniards abroad. García Cárcel put it succinctly in his introduction:

The Leyenda negra does not want to bury this book, partly because it would be an imagined carcass. Rather, it seeks ... to help instill belief in the myth called Leyenda negra. Because this is neither a legend nor is it black, because the black is counterbalanced by other colors - from pink to yellow.13

This statement makes it clear that a paradigm shift should be initiated. Because of course there were and are positive and negative aspects in the history of all communities that are easier to interpret ex post than by the contemporaries affected - just think of the vehemence with which the German historians' dispute was fought in 1986/1987. By mentioning the colors pink and yellow, García Cárcel only reminded us that there were and are other legends, pink and gold. In connection with America, its content can be reduced to the fact that it was meritorious to preach the word of a Christian God to the people of the New World and to convey European civilization. The Spanish Inquisition did not really burn many people, says another of these legends, if you consider that more than 3,000 people were killed on St. Bartholomew's Night in Paris alone and that the "witches" who were at the stake in the Holy Roman Empire in the 18th century. Century died, were far more numerous than the victims of the Spanish Inquisition. This list goes on and on.

After all, it was Bethany Aram who again took a critical look at the legends in 2008, this time again in connection with America. Your book title translates as "Black Legend and Golden Legends in the Conquest of America". Pedrarias Dávila (approx. 1468–1531), the first governor of Panama and Nicaragua, had the reputation of being one of the most brutal and cruel of the conquistadors, while Vasco Núñez de Balboa (approx. 1475–1519), the discoverer of the "South Seas", was a martyr was stylized as a victim of the bloodthirsty governor who had him executed. Pedrarias, the epitome of a representative and actor of Leyenda negra, against Balboa, the innocent victim, one of the heroes of the Leyenda dorada, the golden legend. In her book, Aram succeeds in clearing up myths, both positive and negative, in a very subtle and well-founded manner, the origin of which she also locates in the 16th century.14

It was after all these critical arguments about and with the Leyenda negra almost no longer to be expected that something meaningful new could be written. But in November 2009, the old master of French Hispanic studies, Joseph Pérez (born 1931), published a study in which he balanced and exemplary all elements of the Leyenda negra since it was first created.15 The book was immediately a great success, in March 2010 the third edition was published. Even García Cárcel praised the work of his colleague in a review,16 who at the end of his preface asks the question: Has there been a conspiracy against Spain in the past?17

On the genesis of anti-Spanish prejudices: 13. – 16. century

Like Arnoldsson, Pérez sees the beginning of the Leyenda negra End of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century.18 After the so-called Sicilian Vespers, the revolt against the French rulers that began in 1282, the Anjou were driven from the island, where the Aragonese under Peter III settled with papal toleration. (1240–1285) stated. Between 1322 and 1324, the Aragonese also conquered the Kingdom of Sardinia. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Kingdom of Naples also came under the rule of Ferdinand II of Aragón (1452-1516), the husband of the Castilian Queen Isabella I (1451-1504). The expansion of Aragonese power in the 15th and 16th centuries coincided with the rule of two popes who were subjects of the Aragonese kings, namely Calixt III. (1378-1458, Pope since 1455) and Alexander VI. (1431–1503, Pope since 1492). Both came from Valencia, one of the kingdoms of the Crown of Aragón, and as members of the Borja (Borgia) family are still considered the epitome of corrupt and nepotist Renaissance princes on the See of Peter in Rome. And they were "foreigners", subjects of the Aragonese king, who in any case constantly expanded his power in Italy, at the expense of the ruling families there and at the expense of the French royal dynasty. So there was critical talk about the Aragonese, who then controlled the western Mediterranean region.

The increasingly bad reputation of the Aragonese, many of whom spoke Catalan, was finally carried over under the grandson of Ferdinand II, Charles I (1500–1558), who as Charles V was also to become Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire the Castilians, whom he ruled since 1516 as a substitute for his allegedly deranged mother Johanna (1479–1555). The image of the Catalans, Aragonese and Castilians slowly merged in Italy to form an image of the "Spaniards", who were increasing their influence on the Apennine peninsula. A few basic data are sufficient here: In 1525 the "Spaniards" won the battle of Pavia over the troops of the King of France; Sacco di Roma. Many mercenaries from the Holy Roman Empire were also involved in the sacking of Rome, but they were perceived as the soldiers of the "Spanish" emperor. If it was recognized that they came from north of the Alps, they were considered Lutherans, thus "heretics".

The image of the heretic, however, also fitted very well with the "Spaniards" who had lived under Islamic rule for a long time and whose faithfulness was not so certain. After all, many of the Jews who had driven Ferdinand II of Aragón and Isabella I of Castile from the Spanish empires in 1492 had also come to Italy. It is obvious that these people did not speak well about their country of origin. Step by step, the image of Spain in Italy deteriorated, even if the negatives that were ascribed to the Spanish were possibly due to subjects of the Holy Roman Empire. But weren't there many heretics, crypto Jews and followers of the Prophet Mohammed (approx. 570–632) who were still up to mischief there in Spain, asked Italian travelers as early as the 15th century when they visited the Iberian Peninsula? Many Spaniards had strange customs that clearly came from the Orient, ate strange foods, sang strange songs and danced strange dances. Wasn't it the Spaniards who also questioned the Holy Trinity? In this context, Miguel Servet (1511–1553) was especially cited in Italy, who had denied the existence of the Trinity in a publication in 1531. Servet was initially unsuccessfully persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition because of his teachings, ended up in the dungeon of the French-papal Inquisition in Lyon, was able to escape, only to be sentenced to death at the stake by a clerical, Calvinist court in Geneva in 1553.19 Was served, many contemporaries wondered, such a thing maximus haereticusbecause he was Aragonese? Were the Aragonese, and thus all "Spaniards", born heretics, who could still speak of luck that Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile had founded the Spanish Inquisition? The fact that the Spaniards were also accused of the existence of this feared Spanish Inquisition is one of the contradictions that were very common in criticism of Spain.

In addition, the Spanish continued to expand their power in Italy in the 16th century. In 1527 the Republic of Genoa dissolved its alliance with France and sided with Charles V. From then on, thanks to the Genoese galleys, he had clear political supremacy in the western Mediterranean region. And Charles V also expanded his power on land, as the Duchy of Milan fell to the emperor after the Sforza died out in 1535. Some of the elements of anti-Spanish criticism are therefore to be found in Italy, which was largely dominated by the Spanish until the 18th century.

Coming back to the reign of Charles VFrom 1516 he ruled not only the Burgundian lands that had come to him from his paternal grandmother, but also the territories that he had taken over from his maternal grandparents, i.e. the Aragonese kingdoms on the Iberian mainland, on the Mediterranean islands and in southern Italy as well as the most important part of the Kingdom of Castile. This also included the American territories, in which the Castilians expanded their area of ​​influence at an exhilarating speed - just think of the conquest of Mexico in the 1520s and Peru in the 1530s. After the discovery of large silver deposits in Potosí in Peru, and later also in Mexico, the Castilian-Aragonese king, who was increasingly perceived as a "Spanish" king in Europe, seemed to become more and more powerful. In the time of Charles Vthis may not have come to fruition, although after the Schmalkaldic War in the Holy Roman Empire more and more criticism arose against the "Spanish regiment", especially when Charles V tried his own at the Augsburg Diet of 1550/1551 Son Philip II (1527–1598) to be installed on the imperial throne as his successor. The project failed, but even the imperial request provoked massive criticism, as a song popular at the time shows, in which it says: "No Walch should rule us, / No Spaniol, / They are only seducing us, / All being unfaithful .... "20 Especially by the supporters of Luther in the Holy Roman Empire, imperial policy was increasingly viewed as Spanish and Catholic policy, which is why the imperial princes rejected the so-called "Spanish succession" in the empire.

As the successor of his father, Philip II took over an inheritance that spanned territories halfway across the globe. He not only ruled the Iberian kingdoms including large parts of Italy and, from the Burgundian heritage, the Netherlands, but also the territories of the New World and countries in the distant areas of the Pacific that still bear his name today. In 1581 the Portuguese estates recognized in Tomar Philip II, who had married a Portuguese princess, as their king. And that meant not only the government in Portugal, but also in Brazil, in many coastal regions of Africa and India as well as on numerous islands in the Indonesian archipelago to far-away Macao in China. Philip II had thus actually become the first world ruler whose word could be ignored in a few parts of the world, not even by his adversaries and political opponents. This abundance of power contributed to the fact that criticism of the king mixed with criticism of Spain and the Spanish.

Then there was the tragic personal fate of the king. In 1568 his son Don Carlos (1545–1568) died [] under circumstances that have never been fully clarified, then also his third wife Elisabeth von Valois (1545–1568). In 1570 the king married the bride of his son, Anna of Austria (1549–1580), with whom he was to father an heir to the throne, namely Philip III. (1578-1621)