Primary Source Summary: 'The Indigenous People Of The Americas'

574 Words3 Pages

Michael Wang
AP Euro, Period 4
Primary Source Analysis Assignment
October 5th, 2016
Summary: Prior to the arrival of the European settlers, the indigenous people of the Americas were varied in culture and tradition and their population was around fifty million. However, once the Europeans arrived in 1492 with Christopher Columbus, the lives of the indigenous people were changed remarkably. The Europeans took advantage of the indigenous and used them as laborers to work cattle ranches, sugar plantations, and silver mines. The physical condition of the indigenous peoples worsened as they were fatigued from the labor and had little resistance to the diseases brought by the Europeans. As a result, they experienced a drastic decrease in population and prompted several Europeans to criticize the abusive encomienda system.
Speaker: Bartolome de las Casas was a male Spanish social reformer born in 1484. He was among the first European settlers in America, as he immigrated to Hispaniola in 1502 with his father. He stayed in the Americas for thirty years and died in 1566 in Spain. …show more content…

When the Spanish landed in the Americas, the Spanish imposed the encomienda system where the natives became laborers while they receive food and shelter. This system exploited the natives as the natives endured difficult labor and prevalent diseases. When the Spanish first began to settle in the Americas, the native population of Hispaniola was at around three million. However, at the time Bartolome de las Casas wrote his account, the population dwindled down to only two hundred. The devastating population loss also occurred in the fertile islands of Puerto Rico and Jamaica. In response to the Bartolome de las Casa wrote a personal account protesting the mistreatment of the native people of the

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