Writing that gave rise to the Spanish Black Legend
+ The Spanish Black Legend
The Order of King Philip II of Spain against William of Orange spread rapidly throughout Europe. The Spanish King promised a whole fortune 25,000 crowns and a noble title to whoever gave the Prince.
Faced with the problem posed to him, he decided to ask for help and damage the image of the Spanish King as much as possible. The Apology in defense of Guillermo de Orange, is considered as the main writing against King Felipe II and against the Spanish in general and the beginning of the Spanish Black Legend. This writing was presented at the General Assembly of the Netherlands held in Delft, a walled city and the third largest population in the country.
But his main idea was to ask for the help of other European princes against Philip II of Spain. It was soon translated into several languages and sent to the most important European Kings and Princes.
The accusations were of all kinds, especially murder and lack of morals. He is accused of having murdered his wife Isabel de Valois and even his son Prince Charles. And all this within a cold and premeditated plan. He needed to murder his wife if he wanted to get married again. And he needed to murder his son, to justify the new marriage since he needed royal descendants. He also finished off the job by accusing him of being an adulterer and a bigamist. Nor was the accusation of incestuous missing since the new wife was his niece.
At a time when kings and nobility across Europe were licensed to do whatever they wanted, these accusations more than scandal caused rejoicing. For this reason it had to be accompanied by all kinds of bad qualities in the king as an example of the evil and vices of the Spanish.
In this way, Guillermo de Orange not only fought against King Felipe II, he fought against a race, which embodied almost all the defects. As a form of their individual and people identity, avarice, cruelty, fanaticism, brutality, vengeful spirit, pride, hatred towards everything foreigner, ignorance etc. were attributed to the Spaniards.
This was used politically to create the black legend. Writings such as Las Phillippiques or Antispagnoles were added. Authors such as Clairy and Arnauld, L`Hospital, Harault etc. Famous mathematicians such as Johanes Studius or Rembertus Dodoneus, assured prophecies for King Felipe II, predicting his murder and exile from the country.
All this literature and the need to disparage Spain to win over the Protestant or Anglican population. created a substrate that was perpetuated for centuries. The 300-year rivalry between France, England and the Netherlands, kept this Black Legend alive. Centuries passed, but the interests of the countries remained. Until Spain began its decline, the legend continued. And later, as History is made by the victors, the legend continues. Creating a strong bond between religions and populations against the common Spanish enemy. Even reasonists like Voltaire went to history to attack the spirit, and religious and historical acts of the colonization of the Spanish, especially in America.