What arguments did Bartolome de las Casas do in donate of an ext humane treatment of native Americans as he exposed the atrocities that the Spanish conquistadors in Hispaniola?


First contact experiences ~ above Hispaniola included brutal interactions between the Spanish and the native Americans. Conquistadors put down populations primarily to garner an individual economic wealth, and also Natives small understood the nature the the conquest. As at an early stage as 1522 Bartolome de ras Casas operated to denounce these tasks on political, economic, moral, and religious grounds through chronicling the plot of the conquistadors because that the Spanish court.



Bartolome de las Casas, A short Account of the devastation of the Indies.

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Text Type

Book excerpt, literature nonfiction.

Text Complexity

Grade 11-CCR intricacy band.

For much more information ~ above text intricacy see these resources from achievethecore.org.

In the Text analysis section, Tier 2 vocabulary indigenous are defined in pop-ups, and Tier 3 native are explained in brackets.

Click below for standards and an abilities for this lesson.


Common core State Standards

ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1 (cite proof to analysis specifically and by inference)ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.6 (determine author’s allude of view)

Advanced Placement united state History

Key principle 1.2 (IIB) (Spanish early american economies marshaled native American labor…)

Teacher’s Note

Using excerpts indigenous A short Account that the destruction of the Indies, published in 1552, college student will explore in this lesson exactly how Bartolome de ras Casas (1484–1566) argued for more humane therapy of aboriginal Americans in the Spanish brand-new World colonies. In the very first excerpt students will certainly look in ~ the author’s general description of the action of the Spanish ~ above Hispaniola, residence to the Taino Indians. In the next three excerpts students will investigate the Spanish presence in a particular Hispaniola kingdom, Magua. De ras Casas suggested to the Spanish King that his agents, the conquistadors, were brutalizing native peoples and that those actions were ruining the Spanish as well as the natives. A quick Account details exceptionally graphic interactions between the Taino and the Spanish, but by strategy excerption this lesson functions to temper the an ext sensational explanation of atrocities while continuing to be true to the ton of the initial text.

This lesson approaches American an initial contacts by remind students the the exploration of the Americas affiliated brutal intrusions with financial rather than religious objectives uppermost in the psychic of the conquistadors. The brand-new World inhabitants little understood the objectives of the invaders and were no able to launch a successful defense.

The occasions related in this lesson emerged mainly throughout the reigns the Ferdinand II that Aragon (1452–1516) and also Isabella ns of Castile (1451–1504). Their marital relationship in 1469 marked the uniting the Spain with a joint reign, although both Aragon and also Castile kept independent political, economic and also social identities. De las Casas occasionally refers come the Spanish together “Castilian.”

This class is separated into 2 parts, both easily accessible below. In enhancement to close reading questions, interactive exercises and also an optional followup lesson accompany the text. The teacher’s guide consists of a lift note, the text evaluation with responses to the close reading questions, accessibility to the interaction exercises, and also the follow-up assignment. The student’s version, an interaction PDF, contains every one of the above except the responses to the close reading questions and also the follow-up assignment.

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Teacher’s guide (continues below)Background noteText evaluation and close reading questions with answer keyInteractive exercisesFollow-up assignmentStudent variation (click come open)Interactive PDFBackground noteText analysis and close reading questionsInteractive exercises

Background QuestionsWhat type of text space we dealing with?When to be it written?Who wrote it?For what audience was it intended?For what function was it written?

In this lesson girlfriend will check out excerpts from among the very first written accounts of interactions between Spanish conquistadors and also Native Americans. The an initial passage describes Hispaniola, the Caribbean island that today includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic. One of the archipelago explored during his an initial voyage in 1492, Columbus uncovered there the self-sufficient Taino tribe, numbering as much as 3 million civilization by part estimates. The following passages information interactions between Spanish conquistadors and also the Taino.

Why go the Spanish land in Hispaniola? In brief, castle explored because that “God, Gold, and Glory.” King Ferdinand and also Queen Isabella, known as the “Catholic Monarchs,” sought to centralize Spain together a Catholic stronghold. Religious passions spread out widely after Spain had driven Moors and also Jews out of the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, and the Pope authorize a decree in 1493 exhorting Spain to spread the Catholic faith into brand-new lands. In addition, Pope Alexander by means of granted come Spain any brand-new world territory not already claimed by a Christian prince, and also these newly uncovered lands offered broad opportunities to transform to Christianity big numbers the “heathens.”

In stimulate to understand the Spanish hunger because that gold in the 16th century, one must recognize the Spanish treasure fleet system. Spain right now had a solid navy yet no real sector within the country, and so she had to buy all her items from other nations, do gold and also silver an extremely important. To help fund your naval and also colonial activities in the midst of competition with Portugal, the Spanish King and Queen financed Columbus’s voyages to find for profession routes and also fresh sources of gold and silver through new colonies. The brand-new World gold and also silver mines ended up being the largest source of precious steels in the world, and Spain passed legislations that homesteaders could trade only with Spanish pearls in bespeak to store the gold and also silver flowing through Spain. The large flow the treasure come Spain from the catch of the Aztecs (1517), the Incas (1534), and also Mexico (1545) sharpened the appetite because that gold and silver in Hispaniola.

Columbus to be soon followed by other explorers seek glory for themselves and also for Spain, consisting of Bartolome de ras Casas (1484–1566), writer of this text. Las Casas knew Christopher Columbus — his father and brother went through Columbus top top his second voyage, and Bartolome edited Columbus’s take trip journals. The Spanish King vested de las Casas and also his family an encomienda, a plantation that contained the slave labor that the Indians that lived on it, but after evil the brutality of other Spanish explorers to the local tribes, Bartolome gave it up. He came to be a Dominican priest, security the rest of his life writing, speaking and encouraging the Christian counter of the phibìc American natives by peaceful rather than armed forces means. De ras Casas started a mission in Guatemala and also wrote numerous accounts, aimed in ~ the king and queen and also members of the royal court, that sought to disclose the brutal techniques of the conquistadors and also persuade Spanish officials to protect the Indians. The excerpts in this lesson room from probably the ideal known that those accounts, A brief Account of the destruction of the Indies, released in 1552.

What were the effects of his work? if the Pope had actually granted Spain sovereignty end the new World, de las Casas argued that the property rights and also rights to their own labor quiet belonged come the indigenous peoples. Natives were topics of the Spanish crown, and to treat them as less than person violated the laws of God, nature, and also Spain. The told King Ferdinand that in 1515 scores of natives to be being slaughtered by avaricious conquistadors without having been converted. He sought to safeguard the souls of Spain and the conquistadors versus divine retribution because that the damage of the indigenous populations by awakening the ethical indignation that Christian men to respond to the growing tide of barbarism. In between 1513 and also 1543 Spain authorize several regulations attempting to regulate the encomienda system and protect indigenous populations, however enforcement was haphazard and the subjugation that the indigenous populations was currently a fact. Nonetheless, v his self-proclaimed goal of bearing witness come the savagery that the Europeans against the merely civility the the aboriginal peoples, de ras Casas became characterized together the conscience that Spanish exploration.

If the immediate affect of his work-related was marginal, the long-term influence would it is in substantial. In the passages excerpted here and throughout A short Account, de las Casas repetitively asserts that he observed the events he is describing and thus bases his dispute on the government of his first-hand testimony. This practice makes his work very early example the empiricism, the idea the arguments and conclusions must be based top top observable fact. Unquestioned today, in the 1500s this to be a new concept, because that at the time civilization held that the evidence of an discussion should be based on the interpretation of texts quite than the concrete suffer of an eye witness.

De ras Casas’ book describes occasions he observed on the island the Hispaniola. Together your check out these excerpts think around what the Indian kingdoms to be like once the Spanish arrived. Exactly how did the Indians originally respond to the Spanish? just how did the Spanish respond come the Indians? just how does the fact that de las Casas was an eyewitness to these occasions lend government to this account?