Because many Spanish people saw the natives as less than human, they started to take advantage of them and even waged battles with them. They eventually kept some of them as slaves and treated them the same way northern Europeans would soon treat the natives north of Mexico. However, laws were eventually placed by the Spanish crown to end the heinous act against the natives. Antonio de Montesinos, a Spanish friar, was the first to denounce the brutal ways that the Spanish were treating the Indios. Montesinos proclaimed that the Spanish who were causing havoc were “all in mortal sin and live and die in it, because of the cruelty and tyranny they practice among these innocent peoples.”
For countless years, the Natives suffered under the hands of the Spaniards. Slavery, abuse, war, theft, and much more were the result of Spain taking over the Natives homeland and the Native people themselves. In the year 1542, Bartoleme de Las Casas wrote a manuscript called “Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies”, which held a very detailed account of how the natives suffered, and the actions of the Spaniards. This paper will be a brief summary and analysis of the destruction of the Indies. The Indians were said to be very moral people.
Entry 1: What were the differences in the way Indians were treated between the different countries? In the Europeans eyes, Indians were known as inferior and the Europeans acted as if the Indians were actually the primitive species. Considering the Indians had a different lifestyle than the Europeans and the Europeans were more advanced in their technology and political structure, made the Indians inherently less than. Compared to the treatment of the Europeans toward the INdians, the Spanish were much more courteous. Even though the Spanish did enslave them like the Europeans, they had much more freedom after their time had been up.
Disease spread through these areas like wildfire and those who lived outdoors were easily exposed to elements of nature like wild animals and poor weather conditions. There were no schools for the children. Because of the occupations most of the immigrants had and their financial situation, their social status seemed to remain fixed. It was hardly the American dream they had previously hoped for. The Mexican migration to America, although great, would later bring on much disappointment to those who decided to come to America.
People died from easily curable diseases. It is a mistake to assume that the natives of the Americas lived as the famed “noble savages” of Rousseau—there stood empires and armies just as willing as the gold-thirsty Spanish to squash their enemies and take captives and take advantage of the poor and the outcasts. Yes, European colonialist did enslave and mistreat the indigenous population, did spread new diseases, did enforce a strict social caste; but colonialism by no means introduced violence and suffering to the Americas—it was simply a continuation of the pattern of fallen humans. Along with the continuation of the human habit of exploration, exploitation, and greed, European colonialism also brought new technologies. Never before had natives seen a wheel until
Fontaneda’s concern in his memoir is evident and reflects the Spanish ’ insatiable lust for gold. The Spanish eventually did find gold, however, were unsatisfied with the wealth it brought so they took many slaves and other relics of the New World to be sold in Spain. Fontaneda wrote of the Indians, “They go naked, except some in deer skins made into breech-cloths, with which the only conceal their shame.” The Conquistadores didn’t look to the Natives as equals but as objects in which to gain a profit. They completely disrespected the land
de Aguilar was captured by the Maya, and was able to learn the Chontal Maya language and translated for Cortes. After claiming the land for the Spanish crown, Cortes journeyed inland. In modern-day Tabasco, they won a battle against the people. The vanquished Chontal Maya
Because many Europeans had once had smallpox or were at least around it, they developed immunity. This immunity helped Europeans to be uninfected when smallpox epidemics occurred in the New World.In the Old World, the most common form of smallpox killed perhaps 30 percent of its victims while blinding and disfiguring many others. But the effects were even worse in the Americans, which had no exposure to the virus prior to the arrival of Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors. Tearing through the Incas before Francisco Pizarro even got there, it made the empire unstable and ripe for conquest. It also devastated the Aztecs, killing, among others, the second-to-last of their rulers.
However, these laws were worthless unless the Indians recognised the Church and the Christian faith and converted. When the Dominicans arrived to convert the native population in a gentler way, they were horrified with how great the practice of abuses was. They began to argue that the Spaniards own salvation would be in peril if they did not change their ways. Pope Paul III even issued a papal bull on 9 June 1537 condemning the actions of the settlers but “even the promulgation of so powerful a text was incapable of changing reality, because the economic interests of the colonists were so powerful”, (Peter J Riga) highlighting that words are rarely effective when it comes to combating wealth and greed. One cannot help but ask how did the settlers have the right to occupy lands that original belonged to the Indians let alone conduct war there?
Conquistadores who looked for God, gold, and glory, began to travel to the New World. In the Americas, the Aztec Empire was destroyed by the Europeans, lead by Hernan Cortez. Due to the native belief that their god Quetzalcoatl was going to come back, they mistook the European riding a horse as their god and invited him into their intricate kingdom. However, a civil war breaks out and the Europeans destroyed the empire with their more advanced weapons and European diseases such as smallpox. Similarly in Peru, Francisco Pizzaro destroyed the Inca Empire with advanced weapons and smallpox.