His commitment to evangelization did not keep him from participating in the bloody conquest of Cuba, for which he received additional lands and Indians. In the following year a great many Spaniards went therewith the intention of settling the land. The least felicitous of them were more fertile andbeautiful than the gardens of the King of Seville. The years that followed were ones of intellectual growth and personal frustration for Las Casas. The first whereof was raising an unjust, bloody, cruel War. For in thebeginning the Indians regarded the Spaniards as angels from Heaven.
His book, A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies 1552 , is an eyewitness account of life in the early Spanish settlements of the. And Spaniards have behaved in no otherway during tla! Thanks to your advocacy efforts on our behalf, we're happy to report that the recently passed Omnibus Spending Bill includes a very small increase in funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities! Their repasts are suchthat the food of the holy fathers in the desert can scarcely be moreparsimonious, scanty, and poor. Yet, African slavery proved to be much more lucrative than the encomienda had ever been and subsequently exploded in the Americas. His appeal was simply to supplement the exhausted Indians with additional laborers. Bartolomé de Las Casas did own. His dying words were an admonition to those around his deathbed to continue to work for the protection of the Native Americans. After research in Hernando Columbus's library, he rewrote his three-volume History of the Indies, which remains a standard source on Columbus and Spain's first decades in the Americas.
At the same time, young Las Casas began learning several native languages and befriending local Indians; he had already begun deploring the violence he witnessed. In 1550 he came into conflict with Juan Gin és de Sep úlveda 1490? And the men died in the mines and the women died on theranches from the same causes, exhaustion and hunger. Today Las Casas is largely remembered for A Brief Account and his role in the controversy surrounding the Black Legend of Spanish conquest. He was the principal organizer and champion of the 16th-century movement in Spain and Spanish America in defense of the Indians. Unsurprisingly, they were extremely unpopular in the and were met with much resistance. Four months later he preached his famous sermon in the Church of the , denouncing the grave injustices being committed, and turned his Indians over to the governor of Cuba. The high point of the crown's efforts came in 1542 with the so-called New Laws, which forbade Indian slavery and sought to end the encomienda system within a generation by outlawing their transference through family inheritance.
From 1515 to 1522 both in Spain and in America, he tried to win approval for a series of projects that, without ignoring the just interests of the Crown and of good colonists, would lead to the elimination of the disastrous practices of the encomienda system and military conquest and would foster peaceful colonization and the Christianization of the native tribes. Apparently he did not graduate from a university, although he studied Latin and the humanities in Seville. The repartimiento or distribution was made according to the rank andimportance of the Christian to whom the Indians were allocated, oneof them being given thirty, another forty, still another, one or twohundred, and besides the rank of the Christian there was also to beconsidered in what favor he stood with the tyrant they calledGovernor. Las Casas also proposed using Africans as slave laborers to replace the , but he soon repented of that idea as well and denounced all forms of slavery. He supported his case with dozens of dramatic and horrifying tales of Spanish cruelty. Indeed, African slavery spread all through the Americas, becoming an important stake in the European economy.
It was painted by Christoph Weiditz, a German artist who saw Aztec acrobats perform in Madrid at the court of Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire; also King Charles I of Spain. In 1544 he sailed to the Indies for a brief and tempestuous tenure as the bishop of Chiapas. To ensure enforcement of the laws, Las Casas was named of in , and in July 1544 he set sail for America, together with 44 Dominicans. Stunned by the violence he saw and meditating on the Book of Ecclesiastes, he renounced his encomienda in 1514 and began to denounce the system as slavery. To the end of a long life Las Casas fought passionately for justice for his beloved Indians. He was the son of a Seville merchant, Pedro de Las Casas. His Apologética historia de las Indias is an immense accumulation of ethnographic data designed to demonstrate that the Indians fully met the requirements laid down by Aristotle for the good life.
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. Ultimately, however, it is Las Casas as a crusader and symbol of the struggle for that keeps him in our historical memory. About 1550 he engaged in his famous controversy with Sep úlveda on the question of wars of conquest in the Indies. Motivations, expectations, political and social structures, religious beliefs, concepts of civilization, and perceptions of wealth and power all played a role. Despite that triumph, Las Casas's final years were characterized by urgent pleas about the Indians' circumstances and the belief that God might destroy Spain for its sins against them. His reward was an encomienda, a grant of land and native labor, and he immediately observed the harsh treatment of the Indians. However, in 1514, at forty years of age, he was converted to concern for the plight of the Indians while reading Ecclesiasticus Ben Sira 34:22.
As if thoseChristians who were as a rule foolish and cruel and greedy andvicious could be caretakers of souls! It weaves together selections from a variety of sixteenth-century indigenous accounts, some as early as 1528, into a narrative that describes among other things, Cortés's landing, the battles he fought and alliances he made on his march to Tenochtitlán, the Aztecs' defensive maneuvers, their almost successful retaliation, and finally their fall. To the end of a long life Las Casas fought passionately for justice for his beloved Indians. After the wars and the killingshad ended, when usually there survived only some boys, some women,and children, these survivors were distributed among the Christiansto be slaves. Badly frustrated in Chiapas, Las Casas returned to Spain for good in 1547. In 1510 the first Dominican friars arrived in Hispaniola and immediately began protesting the treatment of the natives.
And the Christians, with their horses and swords and pikesbegan to carry out massacres and strange cruelties against them. Gradually, however, some recognized the suffering of the natives and began to speak out against the injustice. At the same time he publicly humiliated the viceroy, , for attempting to silence him. Disappointed by this failure, Las Casas decided to withdraw from the world and joined the Dominican Order, taking his vows in 1524. Bartolomé de Las Casas, born 1474 or 1484, Sevilla? This large island was perhaps the most densely populatedplace in the world. The location selected for the new colony was on the in the northern part of present-day. He also began to learn about the Indies from Juanico, with whom Las Casas struck up a lifelong friendship.
He joined the order in 1523. When he tried to implement the New Laws in his see, local clergy who had ties to encomenderos defied him. Much of that story comes from a series of letters Cortés sent to his royal sponsor King Charles I, and here we read an excerpt from his second letter, in which he expresses his awe at the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán modern Mexico City. Bartoleme de Las Casas, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Bartoleme de Las Casas, Brief Account of theDevastation of the Indies. Failing to convert even a single encomendero to his position, he went to Europe in 1515 to plead his case with the king of Spain. Bartolomé de las Casas: Cuarenta y cuatro años infinitos. During his final years Las Casas came to be the indispensable adviser both to the Council of the Indies and to the king on many of the problems relating to the Indies.