“The Spain Among Us” by Henry Wiencek Essay

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer

The article “The Spain Among Us” written by Henry Wiencek (1933) discusses the Spain’s influence on the history of the United States. The author begins by laying out an account of Walt Whitman’s visit to Santa Fe in 1883 where the writer suggested a different approach to the view of American history. Wiencek is concerned with the notion of national character and the role of Spain in it (Wiencek par. 1). He examines the meaning of the Spanish legacy and argues that it goes beyond the architectural structures and toponyms. He traces the history of the great Spanish explorer Francisco Vâsquez de Coronado who discovered the Grand Canyon in the attempt to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean (Wiencek par. 6). The author compares the Spaniards’ need for exploration with that of British and argues that the period of English settlement from 1492 to1607 in Jamestown was almost nonexistent in the American history (Wiencek par. 13).

The article examines the history of scientific development in the United States and provides the accounts of the impact of Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Alejandro Malaspina and Father Fermín Francisco de Lasuén on the natural science. Wiencek lays out the details of the role of the military campaign headed by a governor of Louisana Bernardo de Gâlvez in 1780 (Wiencek par. 18). The author claims that his contribution to the Spanish war on England was indispensable.

The article provides a critique of the Black Legend—a long-lasting mixture of the anti-Hispanic falsehoods depicting Spanish as cruel settlers driven only by greed. Wiencek states that the majority of Catholic priests were against the barbarous treatment of the Indian populations and vehemently protested against it (Wiencek par. 27).

Work Cited

Wiencek, Henry. The Spain Among Us. n.d. Web.

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