Thursday, March 12, 2020

Bartoleme de Las Casas A Viewpoint of Spanish American Col essays

Bartoleme de Las Casas A Viewpoint of Spanish American Col essays Bartoleme de Las Casas gives an account of the effects of Spanish subjugation of the mainland and islands that comprise the Indies in the forty-nine years that Spanish settlers arrived in Hispaniola. He could have called his account How to Depopulate in Less than 50 Years. He describes the native populations in a detailed and sympathetic account, which serves as a dramatic backdrop to his description of their treatment by the Spanish, which led to their eradication. Las Casas, by his own account and from opinions of sympathetic secular Spanish and missionaries, paints a picture of a native population unable to defend itself against violence because of their nature and their way of life. He says they are obedient and faithful to their new Spanish masters and to the Catholic faith which many do not object converting to. He counts among their many virtues humility, peacefulness, intelligence, friendliness, and openness to the Catholic faith. Their way of life is very simple and is not motivated by power or wealth. Their food, lodging, and Onto this backdrop of admiration and sympathy, Las Casas describes the ravages by the Spanish oppressors to the native population that eventually destroyed them. He branded them beasts using terror, torture, and death. Las Casas must have seen the oppressors defiling and contradicting the instructions given by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain in 1493 to Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the Indies. Of utmost importance was the conversion of the population to Catholicism and teaching them Spanish to facilitate teaching. Their deaths through war, execution, disease, torture, and harsh treatment during enslavement meant that millions died before conversion, and, to the Spanish thinking, were beyond redemption because they died heathens. In addition, the instructions warned Columbus to scrutinize the Spani ...

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