The role of Bartolomé de Las Casas in the history of the United States of He served as a soldier and public official at various places in the West Indies and was. Bartolomé de Las Casas was a missionary, Dominican theologian, historian, and Las Casas’s massive History of the Indies, finished in manuscript during. History of the Indies (European perspectives) [Bartolomé de las Casas] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. nothing additional.

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These laws banned Indian slavery, prohibited Indian forced labor, and provided for gradual abolition of the encomienda system, which held the Indians living on agricultural lands in serfdom.

One detractor, the abolitionist David Walkercalled Las Casas a “wretch However, the reforms were so unpopular back in the New World that riots broke out and threats were made against Las Bartoloome life.

,as was meant simply to halt the decimation of the Indian population and to give the surviving Indians time to reconstitute themselves. It also exempted the few surviving Indians of HispaniolaCubaPuerto Rico and Jamaica from tribute and all requirements of personal service. He wrote many petitions, treatises, and books on the subject of the Spanish conquest of the Americas.

In addition the image of Spanish cruelty and barbarism fostered ironically by the Spaniard Las Casas continued to shape foreign opinion of Spain well into the twentieth century.

Bartolomé de las Casas

First, the Indians had committed grave sins by their idolatry and sins against nature. He also developed a new system of evangelization that the Dominicans used favorably in Central America. The judges then deliberated on the arguments presented for several months before coming to a verdict. Stunned by the violence he saw and meditating on the Book of Ecclesiastes, he renounced his encomienda in and began to denounce the system as slavery.


As a young man, Las Casas participated in several military expeditions in the West Indies. The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery. In dee to studying the juridical problems of the Indies, he began to work out a plan for their peaceful colonization by recruiting farmers as colonists.

One of Las Casas’s critics charged that he once arrived in Tlaxcala, Mexico, “with twenty-seven or thirty-seven [Indian] carriers—and the greatest part of what they were carrying was accusations against the Spaniards, and other rubbish. It was in large part responsible for the development of the “Black Legend,” the consequences of which still exist and have fallen back in part upon Las Casas himself.

Great Prophet of the Americas.

The text, writtenstarts by describing its purpose: See biographies by H. This became the most important text at the time supporting the Spanish conquest of the Americas and their methods. William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, In Defense of the Indians: Las Casas’s strategy was to teach Christian songs to merchant Indian Christians who then ventured into the area.

Father Bartolome de las Casas

Europe, to In he left for Hispaniola, the island that today contains the states of Dominican Republic and Haiti. In The History of the Indies published in Las Casas is quotes saying “I soon repented and judged myself guilty of ignorance.

The battles that were sometimes won in the debating halls of Salamanca and Madrid were nearly always lost among the hard realities of life in Mexico and Peru. Hitsory order to restabilize the political situation the encomenderos started pushing not only for the repeal of the New Laws, but for turning the encomiendas into perpetual patrimony of the encomenderos — the worst possible outcome from Las Casas’s point of view.

Bartolomé de Las Casas | The Core Curriculum

The Indians acted as serfs and paid the e ncomendero tribute in gold, kind, or labor in exchange of protection and evangelization. Recent work has also refuted the claim that Las Casas promoted the African slave trade as a substitute for Indian slavery, pointing out that his History of the Indies explicitly condemns African slavery.


Arriving as one of the first Spanish and European settlers in the AmericasLas Casas initially participated in, but eventually felt compelled to oppose the abuses committed by colonists against the Native Americans. Las Casas appeared at a debate before the Council of Valladolid, where he spoke for five days straight. AroundLas Casas traveled to Hispaniola to live. Bartolome de Las Casas at http: Upon listening to a sermon by a Dominican father denouncing the treatment of Indians, Las Casas relinquished his holdings to the governor.

Bartolomé de Las Casas

Las Casas’s first proposed remedy was histogy complete moratorium on the use of Indian labor in the Indies until such time as better regulations of it were set in place. Edited by Nigel Griffin. His extensive writings were all connected with his reform projects.

The early years of Las Casas’s life seemed destined to propel him toward the newly discovered Indies and its inhabitants.

Archived from the original on After research in Hernando Columbus’s library, he rewrote his three-volume History of the Indieswhich remains a standard source on Columbus and Spain’s first decades in the Americas. Historians regard most highly his Historia de las Indias, which is indispensable to every student of the first phase of the Spanish conquest.