Pros And Cons Of Gines De Seulveda

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Most Europeans reports on the nature of indigenous people concentrated on their presumed mental and moral defects. European like Juan Gines de Sepulveda argued that Spanish conquest of the Americas reflected a natural law in which more civilized people were meant to rule over barbarians. He argued that, “the man rules over the women, the adult over the child, the father over his children. That is to say, the most powerful and most perfect rule over the weakest and most imperfect” (De Sepulveda 21). Like Aristotle, Sepulveda considered that there were some people born to be masters and others to be slaves. He also argued that on behalf of Christian faith Spaniards had the right to stop indigenous evil practices, such as human sacrifice and worshipping…show more content…
There were some Europeans who horrified at the treatment of native people. Among these Spaniards was Bartolome de las Casas who claimed that native people were advanced civilizations, and Spain could not justify their enslavement or force conversion to such a hospitable and kind people. Las casas even went as far as engaging in a debate, held in the Valladolid, against Gines de Sepulveda. In doing so, he was able to momentary obstruct the persistence of the Encomienda. Another Spaniard to speak out in defense of the natives was missioner Antonio Montesinos. In a sermon given by Montesinos in Santo Domingo, he criticized the Spaniards for mistreating and enslaving the natives. In his sermon he stated “I am the voice of Christ in the desert of this island. . . . This voice . . . says that you are living in deadly sin for the atrocities you tyrannically impose on these innocent people. Tell me, what right have you to enslave them? What authority did you use to make war against them who lived at peace on their territories, killing them cruelly... Aren't they human beings? Have they no rational soul? . . . You may rest assured that you are in no better state of salvation than the Moors or the Turks who rejected the Christian Faith. To such statement defenders of the encomienda reacted really bad and argued they were not really enslaving the indigenous people. The good thing is that in response to this criticisms the crown made an effort to reform the system by passing laws like the law of Burgos. The law of Burgos were a set of rules that codify settler’s behaviors towards the native people. This law looked to protect the wellbeing of natives by prohibiting their mistreatment while still encouraging conversion to the catholic

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