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littlekori's avatar

How did people feel about Bartolome de las Casas?

Asked by littlekori (676points) April 14th, 2011

I have been doing a lot of research but I am finding it very difficult to find information on how people, preferably the Europeans, felt about Bartolome de las Casas and his opinion.

Please help! Thanks!(:

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6 Answers

jlelandg's avatar

Homework? I imagine the Catholic church was a big fan.

gailcalled's avatar

Research skills? Wikipediaé_de_las_Casas

Read the links. There is enough information for a book.

bea2345's avatar

For most of us in the West Indies, he is remembered for his suggestion that Amerindian slavery be replaced by African slavery. What is not remembered is that he did recant (towards the end of his life) and in any event was not responsible for the institution. History lives: maybe you are too young to remember the quincentennial (pardon my spelling) in 1992. What was interesting was the rather lukewarm responses in the Latin American and Caribbean nations. For many of us the memory of the new world conquest is still fresh.

answerjill's avatar

Check out Todorov’s The Conquest of America. I haven’t read it in many years, but it might be helpful.

admackbar's avatar

Check out the Valladolid Debate. Also, a very, very important work by him was a letter sent to the Prince of Spain called “Brevísima relación de la Destruición de Las Indias”. This work is critical if you want to understand his thoughts. Some people say he was a hero for criticizing the slavery and poor condition of the indigenous peoples. He was no such thing. If you follow the Valladolid Debate, you will see that his argument was that they were more or less innocent children who needed to be taken care of (i.e. governed and ruled by Spain). On the other side of the debate was Sepúlveda who claimed they were inherently or naturally slaves. There was no winner in the debates but Spain did change their policy in terms of the slavery thing. Look up “Leyes Nuevas” or New Laws. These were imposed on the indigenous people after the debate. There was a huge uprising and revolt against the laws and they didn’t last long. Which is worse – living under the rule of a foreign government and being treated like a child or living like a slave? Hard to say. The point is Las Casas was a hypocrite and distorted religious text. If you read “Brevísima relación” you will see that his argument was that in order for God to continue to look favorably upon Spain and its rulers and to provide good fortune and what not, it was necessary to stop the slavery and instead “take care of them” which meant rule, govern, and dominate them as if they were innocent children who were incapable of taking care of themselves or running their own countries.

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