Primary Scource Analysis (Sepulveda)

Topics: Barbarian, Slavery, Culture Pages: 2 (659 words) Published: December 17, 2013

Juan Gines De Sepulveda Belittes the Indians

Juan Sepulveda was a man who strongly felt he could define a person or group as “civilized or “barbarians.” Sepulveda’s purpose in his article/primary source analysis was mainly to inform the Spanish about the Native Americans “barbaric” society and how could either try and convert them to Christianity or destroy them. His audience is mainly the Spanish royalty, and also the Christian community. Sepulveda explains what the government and activity of the Natives are like, and degrades who they are so his audience could have a feeling whether they should be enslaved or converted. During Sepulveda’s article/primary source, he mentions how he saw the government with “… [No] written laws, but barbarian institutions and customs … what temperance or mercy can you expect from men who are committed to all types of intemperance and base frivolity, and eat human flesh? (lines 17-20).” So far Sepulveda has had nothing positive to say about the Natives, and feels that they are far from civilized. Personally, this doesn’t seem too barbarous because everyone has a custom to something Sepulveda writes in a way that persuades that the natives are basically cavemen who know no better, compared to the Spanish norms. Although he is not lying since the natives eat human flesh, which would be barbarous, but its only safe to say that the natives are far from modern day society and the roles. Another piece of evidence that Sepulveda shares is that the natives would “wage continual and ferocious war upon one another with such fierceness that they did not consider a victory worthwhile unless they sated their monstrous hunger with the flesh of their enemies. (lines 22-24).” This time he proves a point that they would be barbarous, stating that the only reason Natives fight other Natives would be for food. As true as this may be, Sepulveda fails to tell the whole story. Indians would not fight daily for the flesh of other humans, or...
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