The role of Bartolomé de Las Casas in the history of the United States of He served as a soldier and public official at various places in the West Indies and was. Bartolomé de Las Casas was a missionary, Dominican theologian, historian, and Las Casas’s massive History of the Indies, finished in manuscript during. History of the Indies (European perspectives) [Bartolomé de las Casas] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. nothing additional.

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Politics, the Church, and the Poor. In return for his participation, Las Casas was granted an encomienda —a Spanish royal land grant—and an allotment of Indian serfs.

In his will he signed over all his writings to the College of San Gregorio. He still suggested that the loss of Indian labor for the colonists could be replaced by allowing importation of African slaves.

De thesauris in Peru. Journey to the New World. Discover some of the most interesting and trending topics of Part history and part prophecy, Las Casas’ chronicle of Spanish misdeeds was intended for future generations to be an explanation of Spain’s punishment by God, which he felt certain would happen.

He tried unsuccessfully to establish a model colony for people of indigenous descent —21went to Peru with a royal cedula prohibiting native enslavement, jistory among the native people of Histoory, and for a brief time —47 was bishop of Chiapa. Christianity and Missions, — His efforts to enforce the New Laws were met with stiff resistance by many colonists. An interpretation of his life and writings. Even the Viceroyalty of New Spain and its high court openly refused to enforce them.

The bread of the needy is the life of the poor; whoever deprives them of it is a man of blood.

In he and several Dominicans sought an audience with the king, in which ghe hoped to present a wide-ranging proposal for changing the relationship between the Spanish and the Indians in the New World.

The second was a ccasas in the labor policy so that instead of a colonist owning the labor of specific Indians, he would have a right to man-hours, to be carried out by no specific persons.

Las Casas, discouraged, returned to Spain and isolated himself in a monastery for nearly ten years. Lingering for a while in the Dominican convent of Granadahe got into conflict with Rodrigo de ContrerasGovernor of Nicaragua, when Las Casas vehemently opposed slaving expeditions by the Governor.


Las Casas also proposed using Africans as slave laborers to replace the Native Americansbut he soon repented of that idea as well and denounced all forms of slavery.

Bartolomé de las Casas

In at the age of eighteen, Las Casas og to the Indies for the first time, and in he became the first priest to be ordained in the New World. Books by Las Casas.

This recapitulation of the conquistadors’ excesses caasas widely distributed, but was criticized then and in later years by those who thought the author had grossly exaggerated.

He went to Hispaniola inand spent his life alleviating the conditions of the Native Americans ; his History of the Indies bartokome their persecution by Spanish colonists. This book, written a decade earlier and sent to the attention of then-prince Philip II of Spaincontained accounts of the abuses committed by some Spaniards against Native Americans during the early stages of colonization.

However, inat forty years of age, he was converted to concern for the plight of the Indians while reading Ecclesiasticus Ben Sira Sepulveda spoke for only three hours, while Las Casas went on for five days. Like other colonists, Las Casas at first gave no thought to the encomienda system of royal land grants that included Indians to work baftolome fields in exchange for educating them in Christianity.

Bartolomé de Las Casas

He devoted the rest of his life to that cause, going to Spain to urge the government to action, converting uncivilized tribes, and striving to break the power of Spanish landholders over native laborers. Archived from the original on September 23, A Great Dominican Cigar and a fine Rum. A Brief Account was immediately translated into several languages and ignited a firestorm of controversy that continues today.

He oversaw the construction of a monastery in Puerto Plata on the north coast of Hispaniola, subsequently serving as prior of the convent. Not until his fortieth year did Las Casas experience a moral conversion, perhaps the awakening of a dormant sensitivity as a result of the horrors he saw about him. His final return to Spain in did not mean retirement for the tireless old man.

Learn More in these related Britannica articles: For other uses, see Las Casas disambiguation. Developing into a politically astute lobbyist, he was often able to effect positive change, such as insuring a peaceful entry into Guatemala by Dominican friars.


Spanish settlers in the Americas frequently either disregarded or circumvented such laws, and exploitation of New World natives continued into the seventeenth century.

In his concern to help the indigenous people of South America he endorsed the proposal to import African slaves, but repented his action almost immediately. He supported his case with dozens of dramatic and horrifying tales of Spanish cruelty.

With a missionary conviction that his truth could not be negotiated, he proclaimed, “All peoples of the earth are men. Queen Isabella — of Spain agreed that the native people should be put to work, but she also ordered the Spanish settlers to convert the natives to the Catholic faith and to teach them to read and write. Las Indiez feared that at the rate the exploitation was proceeding it would be too late to hinder their annihilation unless action were taken dee.

In Las Casas’s concession was finally granted, but it was a much smaller grant than he indise initially proposed; he was also denied the possibilities of extracting gold and pearls, which made it difficult for him to find investors for the venture. He bartolomd the lay office of catechist, worked to evangelize the Indians, and was ordained a priest about Apparently he did not graduate from a university, although he studied Latin and the humanities in Seville.

The disastrous failure of one such project on the coast of Venezuela caused Las Casas to retire for 10 years to a monastery and to enter the Dominican order. In addition, his critique towards the colonizers served to bring awareness to his audience on the true meaning of Christianity, to dismantle any misconceptions on evangelization.

Shortly before he left, he received the tonsure, making him a member of the clergy, but he was not yet a priest. The experiment quickly failed when the native Hispaniolans rebelled and the peasants deserted to join the other colonists.