Bartolome de Las Casas

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  • Topic: Bartolomé de las Casas, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, Slavery
  • Pages : 4 (1526 words )
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  • Published : May 10, 2007
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In A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, Bartolomé de Las Casas vividly describes the brutality wrought on the natives in the Americas by the Europeans primarily for the purpose of proclaiming and spreading the Christian faith. Las Casas originally intended this account to reach the royal administration of Spain; however, it soon found its way into the hands of many international readers, especially after translation. Bartolomé de Las Casas illustrates an extremely graphic and grim reality to his readers using literary methods such as characterization, imagery, amplification, authorial intrusion and the invocation of providence while trying to appeal to the sympathies of his audience about such atrocities. Las Casas emphasizes on three main issues throughout his account. First, in almost each chapter, Las Casas writes about the luscious qualities of the land and the different indigenous peoples that inhabit them. Second, he explains and describes in detail how the natives were rapidly being massacred by the invading Christian Europeans. Finally, Las Casas discusses how God had brought justice to the Europeans for their diabolical acts upon the natives. Las Casas, a former slave owner himself, realized that those whom he previously enslaved were just as much human and capable of learning and practicing the Christian faith as he was. As a bishop, he realized he could do little for the Natives except document his experiences (in as much detail as possible) and hope that the royal administration would have sympathy for the Natives and establish laws to protect them from the Europeans.

Bartolomé de Las Casas begins by providing a vivid description of each land being invaded by the Europeans and the type of people that are native to these lands. Using words like ‘fertile' and ‘verdant,' Las Casas conveys that these lands are something to be taken advantage of for resources and settlement and in his mind "it would seem…that the Almighty selected...
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