Literature Study GuidesBrief Account Of The Devastation Of The Indies

Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies | Study Guide

Bartolomé de Las Casas

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Course Hero. "Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Study Guide." Course Hero. 20 Dec. 2019. Web. 3 Dec. 2020. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Brief-Account-of-the-Devastation-of-the-Indies/>.

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Course Hero. (2019, December 20). Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 3, 2020, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Brief-Account-of-the-Devastation-of-the-Indies/

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Course Hero. "Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Study Guide." December 20, 2019. Accessed December 3, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Brief-Account-of-the-Devastation-of-the-Indies/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Study Guide," December 20, 2019, accessed December 3, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Brief-Account-of-the-Devastation-of-the-Indies/.

Overview

Author

Bartolomé de Las Casas

Year Published

1552

Type

Primary Source

Genre

History

At a Glance

  • In 1493 waves of Spanish colonizers began to arrive in the Americas. Their goals were to seize land, find gold, and convert the indigenous population to Christianity.
  • Bartolomé de Las Casas (1484–1566) arrived in the region in 1502, as part of a group of Spanish colonizers.
  • Horrified by colonizers' the treatment of native peoples, Las Casas eventually joined the priesthood and became an outspoken critic of the abuses.
  • Las Casas's account of the ways the colonizers abused and killed the indigenous people of the region was written in 1542 but not published until 1552.
  • A main goal of the account was to inform the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500–58), who was also Spain's King Charles I, about the abuses perpetrated in his name.
  • Las Casas paints a dark portrait of cruel and violent colonizers. He describes the indigenous people in mostly positive terms.
  • Las Casas often portrays monks and priests in a positive light, able to spread Christianity when the violent colonizers are absent.
  • Las Casas supported the goal of spreading Christianity. A key argument in the text is that the colonial violence interferes with this goal.
  • Las Casas's advocacy led to some new laws for fairer treatment of native people, but they were opposed by Spanish colonizers and soon repealed.

Summary

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