Volume 12, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1932-2798
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2700
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This article explores the uses of Las Casas’s in the United States of America, with a focus on the Spanish-American War. After introducing the concept of the Black Legend and its use in England, Spain’s main rival in the Americas during the early modern period, I briefly discuss the first two English translations of the tract by Las Casas. The ideological manipulation carried out by M. M. S. and by John Phillips set the tone for the future use of Las Casas as part of the anti-Spanish propaganda characteristic of Renaissance England first and of modern America later. I then proceed to examine how the narrative ascribed to Las Casas has contributed to forge an anti-Spanish feeling in the US, evident in the years before and after the Spanish-American War of 1898. This section suggests that Las Casas’s text was violated in many ways in order to support a narrative of hatred, as shown in the sermons of American Protestant ministers, books, and, above all, in the 1898 US edition of his work.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): 1898; anti-Spanish propaganda; appropriation; Las Casas; Spanish-American war
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