Were The Spanish At Fault Essay

Superior Essays
Akhil Kemburu
Short Essay #1, Feb. 8th, Section D The Fall of the Natives’ Civilizations: Were the Spanish at Fault? Christopher Columbusis proclaimed as a hero and an explorer because if it were not were his voyage in 1492, the New World may not have been discovered until much later. His proposal to sail to India by traveling west is what led him to the New World, and the Europeans’ encounter with the Native Americans. Although Columbus is heavily praised today, the consequences of his voyages were dreadful and irreversible. After the Spanish discovered the New World, they began to exploit the various resources that it had, such as the human capital and silver. The Spanish asserted their dominance by dehumanizing the Native Americans and
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For instance, Las Casas was a Spaniard who had witnessed the violence and torture that the Natives endured due to Spanish enforcement, and decided to argue in favor of the indigenous people. He wrote accounts describing the ferocious and violent acts by the Spanish and condemned them.3 In addition, friars and royal officials recognized that the Native Americans deserved to have independence and rights. For instance, friars like Montesinos delivered sermons and authorities in Burgos drafted the Laws of Burgos, which advanced the movement for freedom for the indigenous people in the New World. Montesinos was one of the first to speak against the dreadful and inhumane that the Native Americans were experiencing from the Spanish. He condemned the colonists by proclaiming them as hypocrites and finished saying that they “can no more be saved than the Moors or Turks.”4 This is because he disputed how they could call themselves Christians if they treated the Native Americans in such a cruel and submissive manner, not showing any signs of love and, as a result, committing sin. Similarly, the Laws of Burgos were written in 1512, outlining laws and regulations that colonists in the New World had to respect and follow or pay a hefty fine. The laws were made to cease “the evils and hardships…which the Indians now …show more content…
Genocide is a term that refers to killing of members of a particular group based on race, gender, religion etc., inflicting physical harm and mental harm to a group, and destroying a culture. All the actions of the Spanish against the Native Americans can be classified as genocide. These types of events can be very fatal and irreparable. However, one cannot hold a whole group of people responsible because the group often consists of instigators, bystanders, and those who fight against the instigators. In this case, Cortes and his armies are the quintessential example of an instigator, while Las Casas, the royal officials of Burgos, and Montesinos are examples of people who fought against the instigators. Thus, the Spanish were liable for the decimation of the Native Americans only to a certain degree because there were Spaniards who fought for the rights of the Natives and because disease was the primary cause of the

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