Background[ edit ] The term social capital was in intermittent use from aboutbefore becoming widely used in the late s.
In this manner the tale of the Black Irish is invested with an unknown quantity of sociogonic meaning for those Irish familiar with knowledge of the Book of Invasions, and the XVIth century Spaniards become the second Mil Espane.
This international bonding, however, seems to imply the equality of the two nations while, in fact, there actually existed a great disparity -- in Spain's favor.
The Spanish Sons of Mil were regarded as the victors and vanquishers of superior status, whereas "the other peoples of Ireland are sharply distinguished from them and implicitly relegated to an inferior status.
In this case the myth benefits the Black Irish alone who by its telling are themselves associated with a mythically powerful people -- the Spanish. The legend of the Black Irish thus charters: Moving from the founding of the Milesian-Irish nation towards the fatal year of the Armada we find that a constant religious 15 and commercial 16 relationship existed between the two nations since the sixth century ce.
Knowledge of the historical background of the close socio-religious ties between Ireland and Spain sets the stage for a benevolent interpretation of the Black Irish myth. The title and story deal explicitly with the Irish as the affected group and the Spanish as the main actors.
What is usually not drawn out in the legend is the implicit English background and English action necessary for the events to occur. Without the English, all impetus and motive for the Armada's existence -- much less its culminating material and human destruction -- would be missing: This confrontation between two superpowers -- thesis and antithesis -- is an inherent factor in the dialectical process.
Long before the crippled Armada saw Ireland's shores it was the English nation versus Spain, island queen against continental king, "Protestant and Catholic -- Bonding with family essay and persecuted.
In the Bonding with family essay country, the crews were treated very differently, according as they happened to cast upon the shores of districts amenable to English authority or influences, or the reverse.
In the former instances they were treated barbarously -- slain as queen's enemies or given up to the queen's forces. In the latter, they were sheltered and succoured, treated as friends, and afforded the means of safe return to their native Spain. This 'positive' attitude towards the Spanish on part of the Irish is continued on past the debacle of the Armada.
References to the great "aid from Spain" 18 are numerous in the literature dealing with post-Armada relations between Ireland and Spain.
The Armada's failurethe subsequent Spanish attempt at forming a beach-head for Irish resistance and an invasion of England at Kinsale for another Reconquista of Catholic land from the heretical Protestant English, the Flight of the Earls from Eire to Spanish Flandersand the continuing supply of Irish 'Wild Geese' given to the Spanish military all indicate the support albeit futile that Spain gave to and received from its Irish Catholic compatriots.
Although Spain ultimately failed in its attempts to save Ireland much less England and the rest of northern Europe from the imposition of a Protestant theology, Spain did provide a society receptive to the self-exiled Irish upper-class and military in which to live.
Taking these stories of historical design together, one forms the picture of a fruitful and enduring relationship between Spain and Ireland since primordial times. It can be surmised that the creation of the legend of the Black Irish was a manipulation of facts and events by the Irish to form a 'myth of renewal' 22 wherein the arrival of the Sons of Mil Espane in Eire is re-enacted by the arrival of the Spanish Armada in Ireland -- the return of the mythic eponymous ancestor.
The intermingling of the new Spanish 'black' blood with the common native Irish blood serves to fuse again the link with the sacred past and to ennoble the thinned blood of the progeny who issued from the union.
As the genealogy of the Sons of Mil was artificially enlarged by "synthetic historians" 23 so as to include families which were originally absent from the noble Milesian hereditary line, the artifice of myth-creation so, too, was used by Irish coastal peasants to capitalize on an inopportune landing of Spanish through whom the quality and quantity of the First Men's blood is increased in their own veins.
This historic repetition of the mythic past by re-interpreting and re-enacting the creation of the Irish nation through the landing and intermingling of native with foreign Spanish blood presupposes a positive attitude towards the Spanish in the social milieu of the common Irish in the XVIth and XVIIth centuries.
One could also interpret the seeding of Spanish blood anew into the veins of the Irish as the passage of political and moral power from one tired contestant the Spanish to another fresher the Irish who is more able and better adapted to the new challenge.
Such may be the case when one takes into account the significance of the Armada's failure as marking the final defeat of Spanish naval supremacy in Europe. This failure, coupled with the successive failure of the Spanish to establish a military post in Kinsale to precede a full-scale invasion of both Ireland and England 24 and Spain's losses in Flanders, could but only herald the upcoming economic and military downfall of the Hispanic Hapsburg empire.
With Spain's power and influence ebbing it would have been the proper time for the Irish to take up the fading torch and -- with whatever support that could be eked out of their religious and political ally to the South -- throw off the Protestant yoke and push the English into the sea.
But such was not the case. Because of the continuous drain of Irish men to fight in the Spanish wars in the Netherlands "the Flight of the Wild Geese" and because of the allied involvement of the Irish nobility with the Spanish cause against England which caused the Flight of the Earls, Ireland -- within one generation of the Armada's loss -- was left powerless and leaderless.
Without Spanish aid the common Irish were left stranded to contend with the might of the English military and political system. Without the guidance of the Irish upper-class, the peasants remained impotent for centuries under the rule of a hostile foreign crown.
It would thus seem improper to lend to the myth of the Black Irish such a positive air if the transfer of Spanish blood to Irish peasants is to be seen as symbolically marking the Irish as the heirs to the defeated Catholic champions of Europe the Spanishfor it was the Spanish themselves who gave the 'kiss of death' to Ireland as it simultaneously lost to their common English enemy and drained the country of its political leaders, its military defenders, and its guiding intelligentsia.
Spanish blood, coupled with Irish blood, would be better seen as a corrupting liquid that should be bled from the body politic and denied rather than cherished, remembered, and mythologized.
Yet it seems that the legend of the Hispanic Irish, told by the 'Blacks' and white Irish alike, transmits with it an inherent quality that the alleged descendants are proud to mention.
The myth -- however long it may have existed prior to the XXth century -- is told as a manner of associating oneself and one's Irish family with a glorious past. This benevolent attitude and association of the Irish to the Spanish may be the myth's purpose, the 'why' of its existence. But given the fact that mythic hermeneutics change given different time-space coordinates, further investigation of the time of its alleged conception both figurative and literal renders a different intent of the myth's creators, namely, to disavow discomfiting chapter in Irish history and to mask the "Black Chapter.Biological Differences Between Men and Women With Respect to Physical Aggression and Social Stability.
Misc thoughts, memories, proto-essays, musings, etc. And on that dread day, the Ineffable One will summon the artificers and makers of graven images, and He will command them to give life to their creations, and failing, they and their creations will be dedicated to the flames.
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