Henry Charles Lea

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[Spanish] unreasoning religious ardor culminated in the Inquisition, established for the purpose of securing the supreme good of unblemished purity and uniformity of belief. Nothing was allowed to stand in the way of this, and no sacrifice was deemed too great for its accomplishment. All officials, from the king downward, were sworn to its support, and the sinister influence which it exercised was proportioned to the enormous power which it wielded. Religion & God
… the all-pervading influence of clericalism rendered good government well-nigh impossible. Under its influence the colonial organizations consisted of sundry independent jurisdictions, incompatible with the preservation of order in any community …. There was the church establishment with its bishop or archbishop, in no way subordinate to the civil power. There were the various regular orders, -- Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, Jesuits, etc., -- bitterly jealous of one another and prompt to quarrel, exempt from episcopal jurisdiction, and subject only to their respective superiors or to the Pope Religion & God
All governments are more or less corrupt. Corruption
As regards the inferred premise that there is an absolute and invariable moral code by which the men of all ages and of all degrees of civilization are to be tried and convicted or acquitted, a very slender acquaintance with the history of ethics would appear sufficient to establish its fallacy. It would be overbold to suggest that morals are purely conventional and arbitrary, yet anthropological research has shown that there is scarce a sin condemned in the Decalogue which has not been or may not now be regarded rather as a virtue, or at least as an allowable practice, at some time or place among a portion of mankind Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Clericalism contributed its full share to this downward progress [of Spain]. The intensity of the Spanish character, which can do nothing by halves, lent an enormous power for evil to the exaggerated religious ardor of the people. In the earlier Middle Ages no other European nation had been so tolerant as Spain in its dealings with the Jew and the infidel, but, under the careful stimulation of the Church, this tolerant spirit had passed away with the fourteenth century, and in its place there had gradually arisen a fierce and implacable hatred of all faiths outside of Catholicism. This fanaticism gave to the priesthood preponderating power, which it utilized for its own behalf, in disregard of the public welfare Religion & God
It is no wonder that the Spanish dependencies languished, in spite of their infinite potentialities of wealth and prosperity. The narrow and selfish policy of the mother country deprived the colonists of all incentives to exertion; the officials sent from Spain enriched themselves, the tax- gatherers seized all superfluous earnings; there were no accumulation of capital and no advancement. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Labor, in fact, to Spanish pride, was the badge of inferiority, to be escaped in every possible way. It is the general complaint of the publicists of the seventeenth century that every one sought to gain a livelihood in the public service or in the Church, and no one to earn it by honest work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Not only were all Christians thus made to feel that it was their highest duty to aid in the extermination of heretics, but they were taught that they must denounce them to the authorities regardless of all considerations, human or divine. No tie of kindred served as an excuse for concealing heresy. The son must denounce the father, the husband was guilty if he did not deliver his wife to a frightful death. Every human bond was severed by the guilt of heresy; children were taught to desert their parents, and even the sacrament of matrimony could not unite an orthodox wife to a misbelieving husband. No pledge was to remain unbroken. It was an old rule that faith was not to be kept with heretics Religion & God
Spanish colonial policy has been a failure. All the defects of character and administration which produced such disastrous results at home had naturally fuller scope for development in the colonies. The discoveries of Columbus did not open up a new continent to be settled by industrious immigrants coming to found states and develop their resources in peaceful industry. The marvelous exploits of the Conquistadors were performed in the craziest thirst for gold, and those who succeeded them came in the hope of speedy enrichment and return, to accomplish which they exploited to the utmost the unhappy natives, and when these were no longer available replaced them with African slaves. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Spanish legislation is full of the sternest laws, enacted in utter disregard of their contingent and ulterior consequences provided the immediate object in view can be effected. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The real significance of the [Spanish] Inquisition lay in the isolation to which it condemned the land, and its benumbing influence on the intellectual development of the people…. It [also] obstructed … commercial relations by imposing absurd and costly regulations at the ports to prevent the slightest chance of the introduction of heretical opinions. Religion & God
The royal confessor was ex officio a member of the Council of State, and under a weak monarch his influence was almost unbounded. Religion & God
There is a pride which spurs nations on to great achievements States. Nations & Nationhood