In other words, he was simply expressing unequivocally an issue that the court was concerned with in a more ambivalent way: the justice of its actions in the Americas. A member of the secular clergy (as opposed to a full member of a religious order), he owned a number of Indians by 1510. He holds to this pattern for 19 chapters, following the path of conquest from Hispaniola to Peru. He freed his slaves and traveled to Spain, where he informed King Ferdinand of all the atrocities he had seen. What was Las Casas' purpose for writing? Las Casas was always the most vocal, but never the only, proponent of Indian rights. He could boast of powerful allies, especially in Spain: in 1544, despite opposition from colonists, he was named Bishop of Chiapas (in southern Mexico). The Black Legend: Anti-Spanish Attitudes in the Old World and the New. DeKalb:Northern Illinois Press, 1971. The chief asked if Christians went to heaven, and when told that they did, he said he chose hell, so as never to have to see a Christian again. Author: Bartolomé de las Casas. Although it had little practical effect on Spain’s policies, the debate stands as a cultural and historical lightning rod. Las Casas lived his last decades without being rewarded for his efforts. A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, World Literature and Its Times: Profiles of Notable Literary Works and the Historic Events That Influenced Them. Not only must the Spaniards attempt to gain converts; more basically, they are required to treat Native Americans as fellow human beings, entitled to life and property and protected by law and justice. Ironically, the man who spent his life vindicating the humanity of Native Americans has become, for history, the figure who vindicates the humanity of Spaniards. Eliot, John A Short Account Of Destruction Of The Indies By Bartolome De Las Casas 1871 Words | 8 Pages. This conflict is summed up in the words of Bernal Díaz, a foot soldier of the time: “We came here to serve God, and also to get rich” (Diaz in Hanke, p. 32). A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (Spanish: Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias) is an account written by the Spanish Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas in 1542 (published in 1552) about the torture, mistreatment and genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas in colonial times. Clearly one cannot prove in a short time or with a few words to infidels, especially the Indians, that to sacrifice men to God is contrary to nature; consequently neither anthropophagy nor human sacrifice constitutes just cause for making war… . They therefore deserve the same rights of sovereignty that Aristotle says should be given to all peoples, even those that are conquered. The roots of the encomienda system lay in the 1502 proclamation of Queen Isabella of Spain, which authorized the governor of Hispaniola (present-day Haiti) to “compel and force” the natives to grow crops, construct buildings, and mine gold—for a fair wage (McAllister, p. 157). Ed. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. "...I promise, that…, Northeast Once they were sold they were worked to death within months, sometimes even days because they were overworked and never fed. Write a short paper (1350-1600 words, approx. Las Casas reports the speech as follows: “They have a God whom they worship and adore, and it is in order to get that God from us so that they can worship Him that they conquer us and kill us.” He had beside him as he spoke a basket filled with gold jewelry and he said, “Here is the God of the Christians …Mark you: if we keep this God about us, they will kill us in order to get their hands on him. He wants the bloodshed to stop; but he wants it to stop so that true Christianity can take root in the New World. Queen Isabella of Spain (1451–1504) considered the natives of the Americas, from the start of Spanish colonization, as free vassals with cert…, Encomienda, the right to control the labor of and collect tribute from an Indian community, granted to subjects, especially the first conquerors and…, Columbus, Christopher In 1545 the most radical of the laws relating to the encomiendas was overturned, and following years saw further regression. Losada, Angel. Exactly what prompted Las Casas to publish his own book the following year is uncertain. About A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. Inter caetera was not simply a hypocritical attempt to put a Christian face on naked greed. During South America’s wars of independence from Spain in the nineteenth century, he was often cited as a prophetic figure, one who insisted on the rights of indigenous peoples to govern themselves. The eighteenth-century French philosopher Denis Diderot proposed a statue of Las Casas whose legend would read: “In a century of ferocity, Las Casas, whom you see before you, was a benevolent man” (Diderot in Las Casas, p. xiv). Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies: Casas, Bartolomé de las: 9781539797722: Books - Amazon.ca There were encomenderos who, to enforce discipline or discover the whereabouts of gold, had natives burned at the stake or roasted on spits. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/short-account-destruction-indies. The New Laws “revoked or limited the right of the Spaniards to service and tribute from Indians, who would ultimately be put under the crown and administered by paid royal officials” (Hanke, p. 83). Perhaps no document better captures the conflict between the high ideals of the Spanish court and the sordid reality of conquest as practiced by the brutal Spanish soldiers, than the Requerimiento. Publication date 1992 Topics The Franciscans and Augustinians started the first universities. The massacres that accompanied the conquest of Cuba haunted Las Casas; and although he treated his slaves well, he was troubled by the severity of his fellow encomenderos. A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. The first is statistical. He admits that cannibalism and human sacrifice exist, although he denies their prevalence; but he also argues that even these horrendous practices do not justify slaughter. This month’s Illuminating Magdalen post focuses on a true gem in the Old Library’s collection. Edited by Karen Ordahl Kupperman Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. However, precisely because Las Casas is so well remembered, it is easy to forget that he did not operate alone. Especially in the first 50 years after 1492, the Spaniards were deeply concerned that their conquest be justified, both legally and religiously. Even today, as much of Latin America struggles with the long after-effects of colonialism, he is cited in this regard. However, the relationship followed a downward pattern. According to De Las Casas and the other friars who were either Dominican Friars or part of the Order of Saint Francis, the natives were the most docile people they had ever met. This is undoubtedly overstated: nothing can erase the slaughter of the conquistadors. In any case, his book was licensed in 1552. The laws did not abolish slavery, but they did regulate how much work slaves could be forced to do, how they could be punished, and how they must be treated. He wrote A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies in 1542, a shocking catalogue of mass slaughter, torture and slavery, which showed that the evangelizing vision of Columbus had descended under later conquistadors into genocide. One historian writes, “It begins with a brief history of the world since its creation and an account of the establishment of the Papacy, which leads naturally to a description of the donation by Alexander VI of ‘these isles and Tierra Firme’ to the Kings of Spain” (Hanke, p. 33). Many letters were sent to the King of Spain describing the horrible things that the Spaniards did in the New World. Sepúlveda claimed that the Indians were the natural slaves hypothesized by Aristotle: this class of people was fit only to serve better people. New York:Alfred A. Knopf, 1971. Dominican Friar Bartolomé de Las Casas’s A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies is a primary source on the genocide of indigenous peoples during Spanish colonization of the Americas. World Literature and Its Times: Profiles of Notable Literary Works and the Historic Events That Influenced Them. In many ways, his thought prefigures that of the twentieth century; in just as many ways, it would have been at home in the twelfth century. War against the natives was justified, because only by war could they be forced to accept Christianity. Notes precede Las Casas' text that provide helpful background about why Las Casas wrote this work, how it relates to his other works, and its relationship to the political, social and economic dynamics of the first half of the Sixteenth Century. Sepúlveda suspected, probably correctly, that Las Casas had campaigned to have his book refused. Although initially an owner of native slaves, he was always uneasy with the Spanish treatment of Native Americans. Publication Date: 1598. Las Casas, Bartolome de & Griffin, Nigel & Pagden, Anthony. Most of the time they were too welcoming and were eaten out of their homes. McAllister, Lyle N. Spain and Portugal in the New World, 1492-1700. Finally, war was urgently needed to end the vile practices of cannibalism, human sacrifice, and idolatry that Sepúlveda claimed were endemic to South America. Overall, the story encapsulates the tragic irony of the Conquest: the Spaniards lost all sense of devotion to Christian ethics, even though they used Christ to justify their bloody deeds. “The Controversy Between Sepúlveda and Las Casas in the Junta of Valladolid.” In Bartolomé de Las Casas in History.Ed. The leaders of Hispaniola, who were the most loyal to Spain, were hung or burned alive. : Hackett Pub., c2003. Penguin Classics. [1] However, in the first 50 years of Spanish presence in the Americas, this serious moral dilemma led to an open, and important, debate on the nature of Native Americans and their rights under Christian law. He never gives up and struggles throughout his life for a cause that seems impossible to achieve. Title. More famous than these ventures was Las Casas’s writing of letters, arguments, debates, a history, a description of native cultures, and the impassioned, violent, propagandistic A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. Gibson, Charles. World Literature and Its Times: Profiles of Notable Literary Works and the Historic Events That Influenced Them. $14.99. Roxbury, Massachusetts Bartolome de Las Casa - A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies Preparer's notes: 1) Though the original title does not appear in this version, this is (apart from the preface) a translation of: "Brevisima relacion de la destruccíon de las Indias", by Bartolome de las Casas, originally published in Seville in 1552. Thinking of the Requerimiento, Las Casas said that he did not know whether he should laugh or cry. Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies 28th October 2020. ISBN. In retrospect, however, Las Casas was hardly a failure. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Let us throw Him into this river.”. He reports that Spaniards would often crowd a house with the leaders of a tribe, on the pretext of a feast, and then set the house on fire, hacking to death anyone who attempted to escape. But while both the head of the Dominican Order in Spain, and King Ferdinand himself, threatened to punish the rebellious preacher, the sermon led directly to the first attempt to relieve the suffering of the Indians: the Laws of Burgos. The Jesuits focused on native self-sufficiency and improvement through education. This led to the creation of encomiendas: large estates whose land was owned by the Crown, but whose peoples were entrusted to a colonist, the encomendero. For the first few decades, at least, it seemed possible to reconcile concern for the natives (and, especially, concern for Christianizing them) with desire for gold. Buy A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Casas, Bartolomé de las (ISBN: 9781539797722) from Amazon's Book Store. The milk in the breasts of the women with infants dried up and thus in a short while the infants perished. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Christian missionaries such as De Las Casas were also present and did their best to try to bring justice to the lands. A Short Account of the Destruction of the West Indies is an account written by about the mistreatment of and atrocities committed against the indigenous peoples of the Americas. This month’s Illuminating Magdalen post focuses on a true gem in the Old Library’s collection. Try Prime. ." Your paper will be a response to one of the following questions, with your answer serving as your thesis statement. Your email (Stanford users can avoid this Captcha by logging in.) He compares them to Jeroboam, the Jewish king of the Old Testament book of I Kings who ordered his people to worship golden calves. Widford, Hertfordshire, England Conflict began when priests questioned native practices such as incest and bigamy. In 1548 Sepúlveda’s book The Second Démocrates; Or, the Just Causes of the War Against the Indians was refused the royal license that all books in Spain needed before publication. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. This document was drafted in 1513, as the largest Spanish fleet yet assembled for America lay waiting in port. He predicts that “the Indians would turn against them [the missionaries at Verapaz] once more, especially since it was no longer possible to preach the word of God without incidents caused by the wicked Spaniards” (Las Casas, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, p. 86). In addition, he wrote “The Very Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies” more formally, “Brevisima Relacion De La Destruccion de Las Indias” in 1540, which he narrated the mistreatment, abuse, and exploitation of the Indians under corrupt Spanish rule and the encomienda system. He warns that such misdeeds destroy natives and doom the conquerors to hell; the wrongdoings also threaten to draw God’s wrath upon Spain itself. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. He estimates that at least 12 million Native Americans were killed in the first 40 years of conquest, and suggests that the real number may be closer to 15 million. Today it is generally assumed that the Spaniards’ preferred method was simple, unmitigated brutality. Ed. He peppers his account with reports of 30,000 natives killed in a single massacre, or of whole islands depopulated in a matter of months. M. S.’ and printed in London by Thomas Dawson for William Brome in 1583. (Alexander VI is the pope who allowed Spain to settle the New World in 1493; “isles and Tierra Firme” refer to the Indies and to mainland South and Central America.) Juan Friede and Benjamin Keen. DeKalb: Northen Illinois Press, 1971. All of his more rarefied philosophical arguments boiled down to the belief that the natives were “homunculi in whom hardly a vestige of humanity remains … pigs with their eyes always fixed on the ground” (Sepúlveda in Las Casas, p. xxviii). Las Casas repeatedly asserts that the Spanish in the New World have forgotten God, and now worship only gold. Often that was followed within a generation or two by rebellion intended to expel priest and civilians alike” (Deeds, p. 78). Send Cancel. Both of the questions are broad enough that you will need to focus in on an aspect of the question that particularly … Sepúlveda complained to the Council of the Indies, which organized a debate between the two men in 1550. A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies from, Order our A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies Study Guide, Chapter 3 & 4 The Islands of Puerto Rico and Jamaica & Cuba, Chapter 7 & 8 New Spain & New Spain Continued, Chapter 9 & 10 The Province and Kingdom of Guatemala & New Spain Panuco and Jalisco, Chapter 12 & 13 The Province of Santa Marta & The Province of Cartagena, Chapter 14 The Pearl Coast, Paria, and Trinidad, Chapter 15 & 16 The River Yuyaparí & The Kingdom of Venezuela, Chapter 17 & 18 The Mainland in the Region known as Florida & The River Plate, Chapter 19 The Great Kingdoms and Provinces known as Peru, teaching or studying A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies at Amazon.com. 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