Chapter 22: Lessons in decline: Spain and Portugal
Spain and Portugal are two countries in Western Europe which have both been marked by phases of great wealth and power and then decline—the classic characteristics of the rise and fall of civilizations. Bearing in mind the lessons already manifest from the ancient civilizations, it is therefore easy to look for the population shifts which, as always, closely track the rise and fall of all civilizations. As to be expected with both Spain and Portugal, the population changes are also evident—and are also directly linked to the leading and then reduced roles these nations have played in not only White history, but also of world history.
One of the first laws which the Gothic kingdom in Spain established was a ban on all mixed marriages. Goths were only allowed to marry Goths, and punishment for violating this ban was burning at the stake.
This overtly racial law kept the intermixing of Goths with all others to an absolute minimum—and particularly with the growing Jewish population. Gothic Spain settled down into a period of relative peace and resultant prosperity, with the only discordant note being sounded by the large Jewish population.
[However], partly because of a fanatic Christianizing zeal (which was common to all early Christians), partly because of Jewish domination of the Spanish financial world, and partly because of the exclusivity and separation which the Jewish religion gave to the Jews, ill feeling between the Christian Goths and Jews in Spain reached a height which had not been seen since the time of the Roman-Jewish war 550 years previously.
Conversos—Jews forced to baptism
In 620 AD, the Spanish Gothic king, Sisbert, ordered 80,000 Jews to be baptized as Christians in an attempt to break Judaism in Spain. This was the start of the Conversos—Spanish Jews who publicly espoused Christianity but in secret kept up Jewish traditions. They were also known by the less complimentary name of “Marranos”—pigs.
Although the 80,000 Jews baptized by Sisbert remained in Spain, about an equal number left Spain for other parts of Europe to escape the growing anti-Semitic feeling in Iberia. Their departure was not a moment too soon—53 years later, in 673 AD, another Spanish Gothic king, Wamba, formally expelled all Jews from Spain who would not convert to Christianity.
Wamba’s immediate predecessor, King Recesuinto, had taken a step which was to have far reaching consequences—he abolished the long standing ban on mixed marriages, replacing it with a law stating that anyone of Christian beliefs was allowed to marry anyone else of similar beliefs. Henceforth the only ban on intermarriage would be on religious grounds, not racial.
This step allowed any person of any racial origin, as long as they professed Christianity, to intermarry and mix with the Goths. In this way the first steps were taken that would lead towards the dissolution of the Gothic tribe in Spain.
The racial divisions emerge.
This famous painting by El Greco,
(1548 -1614), Saint Martin and the Beggar,
is a vivid depiction of the emerging
division of Spain into those who had mixed
with the non-White Muslims
and those who had not.
Saint Martin is portrayed as completely White.
The beggar is clearly of mixed race.
Spain’s decline as a great power follows miscegenation
The change in the racial face of Spain, combined with its disastrous European wars, brought about that country’s decline as a great power, perfectly in line with the law that societies create cultures in the image of their populations, and change those societal norms as their populations change. Spain is a significant example of this principle, because, like Italy after the Germanic Lombard invasion, that country essentially became a bi-racial nation: White in the North, with a gradually darkening population to the south.
By 1648, Spain had been so weakened that it conceded Dutch independence in that year. French provinces were handed back to France in 1659, and Portugal was once again granted independence in 1668.
In 1497, the Portuguese King, Emanuel, mirrored the Spanish example and expelled non-Christian Jews and all Christianized Moors. A law was also introduced which forbid persons of mixed race from holding public office—the law had as its formal title the “Purity of Blood Law” [Limpieza de sangue]. In addition to this, similar restrictions were placed on what was called “New Christians”—Jews who had converted to Christianity to avoid persecution by the Inquisition, which also reached into Portugal.
Slave population completely intermarried with Portuguese
There were no social restrictions on the Black population, and intermarriage was as frequent as not. Over the passage of time, the entire Black population was completely absorbed into the Portuguese population, to the point where by the start of the 20th Century, there were no full-blooded Blacks left in Portugal at all.
While not every Portuguese person today is a product of this absorption process, it is true to say that a very large number of Portuguese today are in fact of mixed racial descent, with a small amount of Moorish blood, dating from that non-White race’s occupation of the Iberian peninsula, thrown in for good measure.
The absorption of the ten percent Black population into the Portuguese population also identically mirrors the disappearance of Portugal as a world power. The Portuguese of the Age of Discoveries and those of today are essentially two different peoples. The effects of the absorption of the Black slaves has retarded Portugal’s history ever since. Today that country has long been acknowledged as the most backward country in Europe with an illiteracy rate of over 30 per cent. The rapid decline of Portugal following the intake of the vast numbers of Black slaves mirrors her decline.
In 1580, Spain annexed Portugal after the Portuguese king died heirless, and only regained its independence in 1680 once Spain itself had also gone into decline for precisely the same reasons—although the admixture of Black slaves into Spain was never as far reaching as it was in Portugal.
After 1600, Portuguese domination of trade with the East Indies was lost to the Dutch and the English. Partly in response to objections from the mixed race element in society, and partly in response to the reality that many Portuguese citizens were already of mixed racial heritage, the Purity of Blood Law was repealed in 1773, the same year that slavery was abolished in Portugal itself, and the restrictions on the “New Christians” (the Jews) in that country, were lifted.
The lessons of Portugal
Portugal’s dramatic and extremely quick decline from the most powerful and richest country in Western Europe to the most backward and poor country in that region, contains an extremely significant lesson. It only required an influx and absorption of just over ten per cent of non-White blood into mainstream Portuguese society to cause a significant shift in population make-up of that country. This shift in make-up immediately affected Portugal’s position and status in the world, with its decline being clearly linked to the absorption process.