Bartolome de las casas, the devastation of the indies essay

Unlike other indigenous cultures in the New World AztecMaya and Inca which left behind abundant archeological and physical evidence of their societies, scant artifacts and evidence remain of the Puerto Rico's indigenous population. Scarce archaeological findings and early Spanish accounts from the colonial era constitute all that is known about them. Some scholars suggest their settlement dates back about 4, years. The Arcaico and Igneri co-existed on the island between the 4th and 10th centuries.

Bartolome de las casas, the devastation of the indies essay

The Spanish invasion is shown as a demographic and cultural catastrophe, while thousands of the Native Indians were slaughtered and enslaved for the financial benefit of the invaders.

All the activities of the Spanish since the arrival of Columbus and even the very presence of the Spanish in America were unjust. All their wealth was extracted by severe exploitation of the Indians. The Europeans saw a miracle in what they have discovered and the new lands with all their unbelievable flora and fauna were a picture of Eden, and for them it was a new page.

But being driven by their own commercial and other material interests, they were blind to see they interfered with the development of the whole civilization. For them the Indians were at a lower stage of development, and thus they decided they had the right to decide their destiny and to take away their good things of life, no matter the price.

A life of an Indian man was an empty word for the Spanish, and the more blood was split, the more predatory the invaders were becoming in their war for welfare.

Peoples were annihilated and killed outright, the lands were devastated and wealth of nations was plundered. The Native Americans themselves were vulnerable and not warlike before the invasion of the Europeans. They did not hide the beauty of their bodies under clothes, they had hardly any weapon except maybe for hunting and were known acquainted with duplicity and wickedness.

By nature they were obedient and faithfully served to their masters when the Spanish Christians enslaved them. They were even not able to quarrel or argue, as Las Casas describes, for these were patient and humble people not knowing embroilments and desire for vengeance.

But instead of compassion and respect for all these dignities, the Indians received mockery and extermination from the Spanish who used these dignities as their weaknesses added to unbearable physical labor put on their shoulders.

The Natives were also described as poor nation, as they did not have the desire for wealth and they did not need much. At the same time they were rather intelligent and open-minded, they easily accepted new information and did not resists to new religion, while they are told to be patient and eager to learn more.

Religious speculations are actually believed to significantly influence the change of views of Las Casas. For him, religion was something to proclaim peace and life, but the church did almost nothing to protect the persecuted nations.

Moderation / Criticism / Exposition / Exposés

Instead, Christianity became the issue of new conflicts and factions. The military conquest was justified as the most effective and efficacious method to convert the Natives. The assumption of innate superiority over the Indians diligently cultivated by the Spanish was the main thesis Las Casas intended to challenge.

What is more, the way the Spanish behaved in new lands and the way they chose to convert the Indians to their religion was discrediting Christianity as it created an illusion that all those violent actions were justified by God or even stimulated by the postulates of the Holy Bible.

Bartolome de las casas, the devastation of the indies essay

As for the reliability of the work under consideration, Las Casas deserves much credit die to several reasons. First of all, he lived himself in the circumstances he described.

Bartolome de las casas, the devastation of the indies essay

He communicated much with the celebrated leaders of the conquest and even cooperated with some of them; he knew several native languages and thus had access to different sources of information to rely on.

What is more, for his service Las Casas himself became an owner of land and Indians, but being a preacher, already in he began to proclaim the condemnation of the way the Spanish were treating the native people. Being disenchanted with the very essence of the relations between the Spanish and the Indians, Las Casas gradually was conversing against the conquest and the regime and to begin he released his own slaves.Puerto Rico (Spanish for "Rich Port"), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit.

"Free Associated State of Puerto Rico") and briefly called Porto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1, miles (1, km) southeast of Miami, Florida.

The American Documents for the Study of History AMDOCS is maintained by an unfunded group of volunteers dedicated to providing quality materials for free public access, and was founded in Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Essay This assignment examines from Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies.” Bartolomé de las Casas, who spent most of his time in the New World protecting the native people that lived there, authored the document in A brief Destruction of the Indies Bartolome' De Las.

Bartolome De Las Casas Essay Examples. 5 total results. The Crimes of the Spanish Christians on the American Indigenous Population in Bartolome De Las Casas' A Brief Account: The Devastation of the Indies.

1, words. 3 pages. A Comparison of Early American Texts. 1, words. 2 pages. Overview: The population of North America prior to the first sustained European contact in CE is a matter of active debate. Various estimates of the pre-contact Native population of the continental U.S.

and Canada range from to over 12 million. Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island's beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat.

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