Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bartolomé de las Casas

Bartolomé de las Casas came to the new world in the 16th Century.  He was a monk coming for fortune, but once he got to the new world he became horrified at the treatment of the Native Americans.  If you are in AP US History you must know this man, and  what he accomplished!

For a background one must understand the relationship between the Spanish and the Native Americans.  The Spanish were the first European power to arrive in the New World.  They had the audacity to turn the Natives into slaves.  The Native's immune system were not use to these new people, and perished at large numbers.  They died in the millions, and were not reliable.  By the 17th Century the European powers will turn to the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Above is a social hierarchy chart of the Spanish colonies in the New  World.  The European Power nicest to the Natives was the French, and the meanest was the British.  The Spanish incorporated them into their society.  The British did not even consider them!  One of the first things the Spanish tried was the Encomendia System.   

Before  this system Las Casas spoke out against the treatment of Native Americans.  He used his position as a monk to show his upset.  Las Casas wrote and gave sermons at this horrible treatment.  We now know he made an impact due to a meeting was called in Europe to discuss the treatment of the Natives.  Nothing came to be, but European monarchs debated it!

What comes to life was the Encomendia System.  Which essentially promoted Native American Slavery.  The Spanish Monarch stated they would give tracts of land to full bloodied Spanish.  Those at the top of  the social hierarchy.  Those getting the land promised they would take care of everything on that land including christening the Natives. 

But that does not happen - slavery does.  Eventually the Spanish will be kicked out by the English! .   

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