The Devastation Of The Indies


The Devastation Of The Indies Essay, Research Paper

The discovery and conquest of American Indians inspired efforts to develop an ideology that could justify why they needed to enslave the Indians. The Spanish monarch wanted an ideal empire. “A universal empire, of which all their subjects were but servants. Charles V remained for them the dominus mundi, the legitimate and God-ordained lord of the world.” (Weckmann, The Transit of Civilization, 23) Gold and religious conversion was the two most important inspirations for conquistadors in conquering America. Father Bartolome De Las Casas was a Dominican priest who came to the New World to convert the Indians to become Christians. He spent forty years on Hispanolia and nearby islands, and saw how the Spaniards brutally treated the Indians and sympathized with them. The Devastation of the Indies was an actual eyewitness account of the genocide by Las Casas, and his group of Dominican friars in which he demonizes the Spanish colonists and praises the Indians. Father Las Casas returned to Seville, where he published his book that caused an on going debate on whether the suppression of the Indians corrupted the Spaniards’ values. What Las Casas was trying to achieve was the notion of human rights, that human beings are free and cogent by nature without the interference of others.

Father Las Casas was the first activist and human right in the Americans.

The gold and silver mines offered quick wealth to the Spaniards, and the native population was given out freely because of the repartimiento system. The Indians were given as a reward to the Conquistadors for helping the Spanish king in conquering Latin American.

Although, Father Las Casas wrote about these historical events, we must also state that the events he wrote could be exaggeration on his part in trying to save the Indians from the Spaniards cruelty and brutality.

(Conclusion) What Father Las Casas was trying to achieve was the notions of humans as being free and cogent by nature, capable of living in a harmonious society. Father Las Casas elaborated a basic theory of cultural evolution. That all humankind was one; all peoples, no matter how barbarous or savage they might be, were capable of advancing along the road to civilization.

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