Christopher Columbus's 'The Exploitation Of Indigenous Peoples'

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Primary Source Assignment One Christopher Columbus, was a traveler best known for his discovery of the americas. Before he did so, however, he often spoke out about converting “heathen” cultures to christianity in order to save them (“74 interesting..). This most likely leads to one believing that Columbus’ main goal was to convert all natives and he may have had their best interest in mind. His journal, however, shows a different perspective. In this journal, he explains that the natives he has found will make good slaves and are a malleable people. They are simple, yet intelligent; capable, yet ignorant. He wrote such details to appeal to King Ferdinand and Queen Izabella, who had recently come out of a time in which their predominant religion was challenged and their resources used for…show more content…
Bartalome de Las Casas believed that the natives were an innocent people and that they did not deserve cruel treatment. He believed that their souls could be saved if only the spanish were to treat them better. Las Casas wrote “The Exploitation of Indigenous Peoples” to show the spaniards who were abusing said natives that torturing the indigenous was outdated and would not lead them anywhere, as it is not how god intended that they be converted. “The natives are capable of Morality or Goodness and very apt to receive the principles of catholic religion; nor are they averse to Civility and good Manners…” He claims, trying to explain that natives were ready to be converted if shown kindness. Yet spaniards had completely overlooked this and slaughtered, tortured, and ravished the natives into submission without the need for it. “Whom they so despicably contemned, that they treated them… not as beasts… but as the most abject dung and filth of the earth.” Las Casas was obviously more than discontent with the debasement of
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