The story is now a famous one. The only science which provided any guidelines as to how to do that was the law and it is, therefore, unsurprising that much of the rhetoric, and some of the compositional strategies of Las Casas's writings, are so clearly indebted to forensic practice. In their own estimation, they were conquistadores, conquerors. Only his fiercest enemy, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda to whom I shall return suggested that his writings were heretical and a threat to the interests of the Spanish monarchy. These people are the most devoid of rancors, hatreds, or desire forvengeance of any people in the world.
That same year, in an attempt to regulate the relations between the colonizer and the colonized, the Crown drafted its first major legislation, the Laws of Burgos. It is they who have toppled pagan idols and replaced them with the images of Mammon. By the time this book was published the destruction of the Indies was virtually complete. Although it is never mentioned by Las Casas, his gaze forever xxvi fixed upon atrocities that could be rendered arithmetically, the dissolution of tribal unity and of the group's sense of its own social cohesion which these moves inevitably created, together with the crude attempts to impose such things as Christian marriage, European dress, and Spanish eating-habits, contributed significantly to the dramatic decline in the population of the Indies. The bulk of these consisted of detailed and endlessly reiterated proposals for legal and institutional reform. In his attempt to defend the indigenous people, he argues that they are part of the human race by describing their bodies, skin color, language and culture. De las Casas frequently describes the wickedness of the torture inflicted on the Indians in a way that does not display a bias towards his nationality.
The true historian is a witness. Most of the time they were too welcoming and were eaten out of their homes. Nor is it, of course, the case that Las Casas was present at all the events he describes. Those that were not killed were taken as slaves and sold in Peru and Hispaniola where they got the best prices for them. But although the papal grant might confer sovereignty over the New World upon the Catholic monarchs, it did not confer property rights over the persons or lands of its inhabitants.
It is clear that Jason feels that he is in control of the situation — he is a respectable Greek man, and Medea is an exiled barbarian, now with no home to return to. For Las Casas, as for so many other Europeans, the crossing to America came to seem something of a rebirth. Only after the Spaniards had used violence against them, killing, robbing, torturing, did the Indians ever rise up against them. De Las Casas never makes this assumption because of his devoutness to the Spanish crown but it is quite obvious. Table Of Contents A Short Account of the Destruction of the IndiesAcknowledgements Map of America 1540 Introduction A Note on Editions and on this Translation A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies Synopis Prologue Preface Hispaniola The Kingdoms of Hispaniola The Islands of Puerto Rico and Jamaica Cuba The Mainland The Province of Nicaragua New Spain New Spain continued The Province and Kingdom of Guatemala New Spain, Pánuco and Jalisco The Kingdom of Yucatán The Province of Santa Marta The Province of Cartagena The Pearl Coast, Paria and Trinidad The River Yuyapari The Kingdom of Venezuela The Mainland in the Region Known as Florida The River Plate The Great Kingdoms and Provinces of Peru The Kingdom of New Granada Conclusion Index. Theytook up arms, but their weapons were very weak and of little servicein offense and still less in defense. Extremes of cultural dislocation can lead to terrifying reversals in human relations.
But the Requerimiento was taken seriously enough. More than thirty other islands inthe vicinity of San Juan are for the most part and for the samereason depopulated, and the land laid waste. For many, and in particular for one of such an apocalyptic cast of mind as Las Casas, God's displeasure could be the only cause of the repeated successes of the Ottoman fleet and of such instances of internal unrest as the revolts of the towns comuneros of Castile against Charles V in 152021. De Las Casas goes through only a handful of the different accounts of genocide, but sufficient to prove his point. Las Casas was always able to play upon a deep moral unease within royal and ecclesiastical circles. As a result they are neither ambitious nor greedy, and are totally uninterested in worldly power. I think this document was written because Bartoleme really felt strongly about slavery being wrong, but he was not a neutral party.
Las Casas had a clear idea of narrative purpose. They have no beds, but sleep on a kind of matting or else in akind of suspended net called bamacas. God made all the peoples of this area, many and varied as they are, as open and as innocent as can be imagined. It was also an abomination in God's eyes: a denial of the humanity which all men, whatever their beliefs or cultural preferences, shared. In keeping with that aim, he utilizes a rhetoric that seeks to arouse the sympathy of his readers towards the natives and a sense of horror over how they are being treated.
The Spanish Crown had a long history of anxiety over the legitimacy of its military ventures and ever since the twelfth century Castilian monarchs had sought the advice of jurists and theologians as to how to conduct, or to seem to conduct, their affairs. There was no outcome to the affair unless the theologians' refusal to change their minds about the subversive nature of Sepúlveda's original text can be considered an outcome. In belief that with their support our Prince Phillip will find a means to regulate the activities in the Americas and put an end to the hardships of her natives and possibly unearth a way to avenge the use of his good name, country and faith for such a merciless show of power. As such, he did not focus on or mention the effects of disease as a cause of suffering for the native people. When in 1522 Domingo de Betanzos attempted to persuade him to enter the Dominican Order and to participate in the evangelization of the Americas he at first declined, saying that as his whole life until then had been dedicated to reform, he had to wait in the vicinity of the court until he had received his instructions from the King.
Unlike the Short Account, however, it was also intended as a monument to Las Casas's untiring efforts on behalf of the Indians. However, the mere injustice that occurred with the lives of innocent people was not enough to spur the nobles in Spain to action. The Spaniards, by contrast, are described in the language used by the medieval chroniclers of the Arab conquerors of Christian Visigothic Spain. The account is one of the first attempts by a Spanish writer of the colonial era to depict examples of unfair treatment that indigenous people endured in the early stages of the Spanish conquest of the , particularly the island of. In the intellectual world to which Las Casas belonged it was believed that the nature of the universe and of man could be known only through a body of authoritative texts the Bible, the writings of the Church Fathers and a select number of ancient authors and through commentaries on those texts. Paul had been struck directly by the voice of God. But he then goes back on this statement saying that in fact they treated them less than livestock, because they at least took care of the livestock.