1. What was the view of Las Casas in relation to Spanish treatment of the indigenous people of the Indies?
Las Casas viewed the indigenous people in a good light, having said that they were humble and peaceful. He also stated that, for the most part, they were the type of people who wanted to mind to their own business and not get concerned with others. He was a spokesperson for the indigenous people in the new world, feeling the pain that these Spanish intruders forced upon them. The Spaniards didn’t share the same view, they were very cruel and unjust in the way that they treated the indigenous people. They had no respect for their culture or for what the indigenous people had created. Even so the indigenous people never treated the Spaniards with disrespect. The Spaniards had no mercy and most often would go completely overboard with their antics. They would do things like torture, destroy, dismember, and most of all humiliate the indigenous people and their culture, not even sacrificing the lives of infants. Instead they would snatch babies from the tight grasp of their mothers and brutally kill them. If someone was fortunate enough to be granted their lives, they would have to deal with something such as having their hands cut off, showing that they had already been “conquered”. The means by which the Spaniards went about things was always way overboard. The only safe place for those who escaped was up in the mountains. If they were lucky enough to escape, they were sometimes hunted down.
2. How was Gomara’s view of the conquest different from that of Las Casas’?
Las casas and Gomaras view on the indigenous people and the new world differed completely. This is understandable because unlike Las Casas, Gomara was never able to actually experience the new world first hand, making it hard for him to have and understanding of what really went on. He seemed to be caught up in the fact that the new world was one of the greatest discoveries. Gomaras stories usually consisted of the information and victories told by the conquerors coming back to Spain. Everything he wrote about was to make the Spaniards look like they were the ones doing something goof for the indigenous people, such as converting them to Christianity. It was never known if Gomara knew what was truly occurring or if he was simply caught up in the emotions of what he considered to be one of, if not the greatest, discoveries up until his time
3. How did these two accounts differ in detail when describing the same scene (Moctecuzoma and Cortez meeting)?
The scene described by the two differ in detail. The first meeting is described as going well, the two embrace each other and experience the city together. The other scene is described as a meeting in the city, in which Cortez is not mentioned. It is believed that the second scene described is what really occurred. Coretz thought it to be an honor to witness someone as influential as Prince Moctecuzoma in person. However, Bernardino de Sahagun inscribed that Moctecuzoma place a gold necklace with precious gems around the neck of Cortez. This conflicted with what Bernal Diaz del Castillo wrote, stating that it was actually Cortez who placed the necklace around the neck of Moctecuzoma. It was also written that Moctecuzoma was honored to be in the presence of Cortez, and stated, “welcome, be at home in this land among our people, in this city of Mexico. You have come here to sit on a throne that belongs to you, a throne that I have possessed in your name for merely a few days”. Both sides differ all due to the fact that both sides are trying to display themselves with honor and dignity. I also believe much of it was up to interpretation see as communication was very hard to comprehend; seeing that they come from separate sides of the world.
4. La Vega described the changes the Spanish brought to the Incas: what were those changes?
Vega believed that everything that the...
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