Bartolome De Las Casas’s timeless human rights classic
Explain the significance of De Las Casas’s autobiography during the colonial period?
Bartolome de las casas the author was a Spanish historian as well as a social reformer. His extensive writings mainly focused on the mayhems carried out by the colonizers against the home-grown people. He had witnessed these violence first hand during the colonization and thus felt obligated to document them. Casas reports that the Spaniards once they came to the Indian villages they would torture and kill them for the gold that they might be hiding or more so force them into slavery (Felix, 2002). These ...view middle of the document...
The Christians should thus learn that it is difficult for people living peacefully in their lands to understand of new laws from the Spaniards. He wants people to learn that the foreign kings were filled with ambition and diabolical greed and did not acquire even one jot of right for acting as veritable representatives of the king. He further explains that both natural and human and divine right are different and thus does not acquire anything when the Indianans were terrorized but instead they but instead they earned punishment of the devil and of the eternal fires of hell.
What lessons did he hope his contemporary readers would learn about the Spanish colonial experience from his written account of his observations?
He hopes the contemporary leader to understand that the conditions that he and the coworkers laboured were discouragely adverse. He explains that the conquerors and the treasure seekers were obsessive of brutal passions of ambition and materialism. However, according to De Las Casas, these two great passions do not fully explain their undertakings and thus he emphasise on the fierce zeal for Christian propaganda. They thus seem to frequently amalgam for their sins of sensuality and their evil deeds of blood by championing the unity and purity of the faith. The Spaniards were tainted of the true spirit of Christian propaganda and were more so vigorous by honest missionary zeal and they really thought that their singular methods would produce the conversion of the Indians.
What does Las Casas suggest must have been God's intention in populating the island?
The intention of God was to populate the islands. Christians were supposed to take the gospel to the people and help them gain the knowledge of God but instead they massacred people and tortured them calling them devils. For this reason he says that God would avenge for the Indians by sinking the Christians while on voyage to take a slave or wealth they had stolen (Robin, 1997). He says that all these acts done to Indians were done with no cause given that this people were very good. Wars waged by Indians were understandable but the ones waged by Christians were unfair and more so diabolical.
Women and men were separated with men sent to the mines to dig gold where most of them died due to hard labor while women were taken to large ranches of land to till with no food resulting into deaths of many of them. Infants also died since the women could not get time to feed them or look after them. Kings and rulers of the land were deprived of their respect and authority and instead given special deaths as a sign of honor. The Christians involved in this animalist most suddenly fell into dishonor and opprobrium (Robin, 1997). They had massacred people that God had seen fit to occupy the land by committing did of tyrant...