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In 1552, Las Casas wrote an account for the decimation of the Native Indians titled A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies.In this document he criticized Spain for its treatment towards Native Indians. Millions of people were killed by burning alive and many were forced for labor. Las Casas said that as the primary motive of colonization was to convert the Indian to Christians, so these practices were not helping the cause. He also believed that Spain has the right to rule over Indian but not to enslave the Indians. As a solution he proposed to bring slaves from Africa.

Printing was available in that time and soon his writings were translated to many European languages which exposed Spain as brutal, abusive and no tolerant colonizer. Black Legend is basically the term indicating unfavorable image of Spain in 16th and 17th century. It is important because English, Dutch and French used Black Legend as a potent justification to challenge Spain's predominance in america. They believed they were better rulers than Spain and they claimed that were trying to help out Indians to save them from Spain's tyranny.

At that Spain was following Catholicism whereas the England was having Protestantism as its religion. So by using Black legend, English colonizers also tried to convert people to Protestantism just as Spain converted local Indian to Catholicism.

In short, Black Legend provided North Europeans a reason to challenge Spain and establish their settlements in North America.

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Q: What is the significance of the black legend to history?
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