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Unformatted text preview: Bartolomé de Las Casas, "Of the Island of Hispaniola" (1542) Bartolome de Las Casas served as a Spanish missionary in Latin America. After being ordained as a priest in 1510, he worked to improve the condition of the native peoples and to end their enslavement and forced labor. Las Casas succeeded in converting several tribes, but he failed to establish a model native colony. He subsequently visited Spain to urge government action. He wrote the letter “Of the Island of Hispaniola” to be read at a forum on Spanish colonization called by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Primarily because of his efforts, in 1542 Spain adopted a humanitarian code known as the New Laws to protect native peoples in Spanish colonies. Unfortunately, later governments so altered the New Laws that they proved ineffective. God has created all these numberless people to be quite the simplest, without malice or duplicity, most obedient, most faithful to their natural Lords, and to the Christians, whom they serve; the most humble, most...
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- Spring '11
- Math, Bartolomé de las Casas, Spanish colonization of the Americas, Las Casas