The Final Countdown To...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Assignment 2013 #2-Bartolomé de Las Casas on the Destruction of the Indies

Bartolomé de Las Casas was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians". His extensive writings, the most famous being A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies and Historia de Las Indias, chronicle the first decades of colonization of the West Indies.


de Las Casas


The Assignment
A. Read the excerpt from ...The Destruction of the Indies..  There is a question at the start, but there is also an answer at the end.  They're valuable, but not necessarily what we're going to look at as a class.

B. Following the commenting guidelines, answer ANY of the following questions (choose 1 or 2), and respond to them in the comments section of this post.

  • What motivations may have led to the way Spaniards affected the native Caribbean population as they did?  What motivated Spanish colonists?
  • What personal motivations might have led de Las Casas to petition the Spanish crown for leniency towards Native Americans?
  • Encomienda was a legal system that was employed mainly by the Spanish crown during the Spanish colonization of the Americas to regulate Native American labor. What are your impressions of the encomienda system? Be very specific; avoid being general.
C. Return in a few days and read through the responses of others.  Again, following the commenting guidelines, provide feedback, criticism, or ask questions.  Also, if somebody responds to your comment, feel free to comment back, of course, being polite.  

Both B & C must be completed to earn full credit for the assignment.

Guns, Germs, & Steel is a 1997 transdisciplinary nonfiction book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1998, it won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. A documentary based on the book, and produced by the National Geographic Society, was broadcast on PBS in July 2005.  Two of the episodes deal with some of the issues above.  Watch if you have time, however, it is not required.




58 comments:

Liam Flannery said...

Motivations that led the Spaniards to affect the population of the Native Caribbeans as they did was solely greed. The Spaniards were so bent on mining and receiving gold in order to become rich that they ignored their Christian values and killed unwillingly. Prior to coming to the islands the men who colonized these islands were not all familiar with the wealth due to a lack of abundance of gold that appeared commonly in the Indies. Each person saw the opportunity to individually become rich from the gold, and in return acted so harshly to the indigenous people. Bartolome de Las Casas said," Among these gentle sheep...the Spaniards entered like wolves, tigers, and lions..." Although the Native Caribbeans regarded them so highly and treated them with welcome and kindness, the Spaniards returned the favor by slaughter and destruction all for the hope of acquiring wealth and gold for themselves. The insatiable need for gold condemned the Spaniards morals and ethics to become no more than savage, tyrannical barbarians.

Alyssa Brana said...

The motivations that led to the way the Spaniards affected the native Carribean population were gaining gold and power. Once the Spaniards discovered the amount of wealth that was on the islands, nothing would stand in their way to obtain it. Though the Spaniards were Chrisitan in faith, they ignored their own morals and savagally killed millions of the innocent native peoples. Bartolome de Las Casas said,"We give as a real and true reckoning, that in the said forty years, more than 12 million persons, men, women, and children, have perished unjustly and through tyranny, by the infernal deeds and tyranny of the Christians..." It was the Spaniards greed that destroyed an entire population. The Spanish colonists were also looking to take over most of the land since they believed they found an abundance of expensive resources. The Spaniards were brutal, tyrannical, and greedy. The native people welcomed them and they responded with man-slaughter. In the end, they were motivated by their own greed.

Emily Wrogg said...

The motivation leading to the way the Spaniards affected the native Caribbean population as they did was the impulse to gain control and wealth. In the race for riches and land, the Spaniards wanted nothing to stand in their way, and Bartolome de Las Casas saw this. The natives of the islands were a genuinely generous people, so the Spaniards took advantage of their considerate nature as they proceeded to conquer the natives' homeland. When de Las Casas began to speak out on his opinions of the cruelty being demonstrated, he wrote, "And it is... admitted... by all... that the Indians throughout the Indies never did any harm to the Christians: they even esteemed them as coming from heaven, until they and their neighbors had suffered the same many evils, deaths, thefts, violence, and visitations at their hands..." Control and power were very appealing concepts to Spanish rulers, and they saw an opportunity to obtain both of these. As they brutally murdered entire populations of innocent people, the Spaniards destroyed what respect and trust they had with the surviving natives for their own personal gain. This can only be defined as pure greed.

Bree Schmitt said...

Motivations that led the Spaniards to affect the population of the Native Caribbeans the way that they did was simply because they were power hungry. They were so fixated on mining and receiving gold that they didn't respect they're own morals and values.They killed so many of the native people that lived there. Bartolome da Las Casas said "the Spaniards entered like wolves, tigers, and lions.." Although the native Caribbeans treated them so kindly they took advantage of them. They completely trashed their morals to become power hungry, disrespectful people. This was all just solely to collect all of the gold for themselves.

Kiersten Sirowich said...

Motivations that led the Spaniards to feel negatively about the Native Caribbeans were how different the culture was. The Natives cared about the land and used it for there needs to survive. The Spaniards were looking for trade. In Spain every person had a status and the natives didn't believe in "status." THe natives wanted peace among everyone and they never asked for war. The Spaniards forgot about there christian laws for there own needs. "The reason why Christians have destroyed and killed so many souls is solely because they have made gold their ultimate aim," this shows that the Spaniards wanted riches among anything so they shortened the population of natives. The natives wanted peace among anything, but instead they died and the Spaniards were greedy and claimed everything as their own.

Anastasija Cupic said...

The Spaniards were motivated by the promise of extrinsic treasures in the Indies and they aimed to "load themselves with riches in the shortest time" possible. When people have a desire for needless riches, it can overpower them and take away their sense of what is acceptable in reality, therefore turning them into greedy, merciless people. In their search for gold, the Spaniards treated the native Caribbean population "as even less than the dung in the streets". This is because the natives had an unseen humbility with their wealth that caused the Spaniards to view them as weak. The fact that “they even esteemed them [the Spaniards] as coming from heaven” gave the impression that the natives would gladly do whatever the Spaniards pleased, which led the Spaniards to unknowingly think that they could treat the natives horribly without consequences. The Spanish also colonized the Indies to spread Christianity, but after they brutally killed millions of natives this plan failed due to a loss of respect for the Spaniards. De Las Casas states that “...the millions above mentioned have died without faith and without sacraments [of the Christian religion]” because of this cruelty.
The cruelty to Native Americans led Dominican friar, Bartolomé de Las Casas, to question the motives of the Spaniards and to petition the Spanish crown for leniency toward Native Americans. De Las Casas expresses his disapproval of the Spanish conquerors when he writes, “And it is...admitted...by all...that the Indians...never did any harm to the Christians: they even esteemed them as coming come from heaven, until they and their neighbors suffered...at their hands”. With one of the main reasons of settling the Indies being the spread of Christianity, de Las Casas realized that the cruel nature of the Spaniards did not match the peace they preached. De Las Casas petitioned the Spanish crown in the hope of reform that would lead the natives into seeing the good of Christianity and converting as well as the Christian Spaniards realizing how they should be acting based on their Christian values. De Las Casas hoped for the Spaniards to become ‘better Christians’ so they could have their sins of killing forgiven and the spread of Christianity to the native Caribbean population by petitioning the Spanish crown.

Janet Collins said...

Motivations that led the Spaniards to affect the population of the Native Caribbeans as they did was for the desire of power and gold. The Spaniards hunger for gold led them of their moral paths as was taught by the Christian church. Without any remorse, they massacred the Native Caribbeans through European diseases and military force. Bartolome de Las Casas said, "...nor do they otherwise at the present day, than outrage, slay, afflict, torment and destroy them..." The most important reason for settling the Indies was in fact to spread Christianity, but the truth of the matter was that Spanish rulers used this as an excuse to gain power over the natives and expensive resources.

Ty Sirowich said...

The motivations of the Spaniards that lead them to affect the Native Americans was therir selfishness and desire for wealth and power. The main factor for the Spaniards slaying of multiple Native Americans were the Spaniards need for gold. The gold signified power and wealth to the Spaniards. In the reading it states, "The reason why the Christians have killed and destroyed such infinite number of souls is solely because they have made gold their ultimate aim" This shows the Spaniards took advantage of the generous and kind ways of Native Americans to increase wealth. It also states, " But as even less than the dung in the streets." This also conveys the Spaniards selfishness to take advantage of those who were kind to them for wealth and power. Overall, the Spaniards were only motivated by gold which caused a mass genocide of the natives of the Indies.

Alexa Fryc said...

The motivation that lead the Spaniards to affect the native Caribbean populations so greatly was without a doubt their strive to gain wealth and power. Making it obvious, it said how " they have made gold their ultimate aim" which obviously lead to the negative change of the Native Caribbean population. It was all basically greed. They would much rather have mountains of gold than to spare the poor lives of the original inhabitants of the island. What made them think it was easy, was how nice the natives were towards them. As said in the last article from the first blog, it said how welcoming the "indians" were and how they would never say no to anything, so that again I believe was another speck of motivation for them. It really shows exactly how selfish and uncaring they were whe n in the article it said how the island "contained more than 500 million souls, but today there remains not a single creature." To wrap it all up, they took the kindness of the Natives for granted, for their own greed and selfish wants.

Alexa Fryc said...

Okay, I'm not sure how to comment on other peoples comments, but to complete C, I would like to comment on Bree's comment and say how I like how she used to the term "power hungry". I think it is a perfect term to use for the behavior of the Spaniards.

Scott Walkinshaw said...

The Encomienda system was beneficial to the Spaniards in the sense that their labor needs and fiscal needs were taken care of for them. In this system implemented by the crown of Castile it ensured that the true patrons received the patronage they 'deserved'. I feel that although ethically and socially the encomienda was erroneous, economically speaking, the Spaniards were careful to provide for each other through immoral means. Within the system "Many natives were forced to do hard labor and subjected to extreme punishment and death if they resisted." The system can be compared to slavery. Although neither system is acceptable in the modern era, in my mind at least the slaves were bought for money (had value) not just given away like trash. Even though some slaves were killed, the goal of slavery was to not kill the 'people', or what would have been the point of paying for them. This just proves that the Spaniards were cruel and unjustified in their conquest of the indies. You can even say that part of the cause for the amount of genocide in Latin America was the Encominda.

Anastasija Cupic said...

Kiersten,
I really like how you mentioned that "In Spain every person had a status and the natives didn't believe in status"(their 'version' of status was more 'the elders are wiser', but no one is better than anyone else). As Ty said, "gold signified power and wealth to the Spaniards", but it didn't to the natives (as much), which the Spaniards saw as a form of stupidity (a.k.a. weakness), which would eventually allow for taking over the natives (and their riches). Your and Ty's ideas combine to really give us insight as to why the Spaniards acted as they did. Overall, great post! I think you hit all the points!
~Anna

Cassandra R. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassandra R. said...

The motivations that might have led to the way the Spaniards and the Spanish colonists affected the native Caribbean population as they did include the “weakness” of the natives, government factors, the chance to gain wealth, and physical and psychological effects of the long voyage to get there. The truly nice natives helped the Spaniards take advantage of them. Their personalities made it too easy for the Spaniards to walk all over them. They were “so humble, so patients, and so easily subjugated.” The Spaniards probably felt that if the natives were going to be nice to them, then there would hardly be a struggle to get what they wanted and to control the islands. In return for the generosity of the natives for letting them come, the Spaniards felt that it was okay to treat them like “less than dung in the streets.” They were motivated by this behavior to destroy their nations because they knew that nothing would stop them. The government might have also driven the Spaniards to treat the natives how they did. If they wanted to gain the Caribbean land and failed doing so, then the Spaniards might have faced serious consequences that could have affected their life negatively. It was their job to discover and explore the Indies. The Spaniards were trying to complete the task as they were told to do because they didn’t want to get punished. This then made them do whatever it took to please the people back home, even if it meant destroying the home of the natives so that they could present it to the government as a new place for them to thrive and live in. These islands were “invaded to inhabit.” They had no concern about what would happen to the natives if they fought them. The whole point of going to these islands was to take them over for the Spaniards to control. When the Spaniards got there, the colonists discovered the opportunity to become very wealthy. They “have made gold their ultimate aim, seeking to load themselves with riches in the shortest time.” If each individual collected gold with ease, then they could trade it and have whatever they wanted in their life. Being poor didn’t have to be an option. They would no longer have to struggle to survive. The gold motivated them to “outrage, slay, afflict, torment, and destroy them.” They needed to get rid of any future competition in order to be the most powerful people on the islands. The last reason that might have led to the actions of the colonists was the long, harsh trip it took to get to the islands. Being isolated on a ship for a long duration of time can take a toll on some people. It could have driven them insane, and it could have caused their health to deteriorate. They entered like “wolves, tigers, and lions” implying that they were aggressive and cruel. They entered this fairly unknown land acting like they owned it already. They were looking for resources that the natives had that they lacked for a while on the ship. They wanted to do whatever it would take to get what they wanted, disturbing the peace of the natives when they got there. They did all of this because they became blind of their religious beliefs, and they didn't value religion as much as personal wealth or the government. Overall, the Spaniards treated the native Caribbean poorly because of their selfishness, cruel behavior and mindset, and uncontrollable factors such as government and mental issues.

Cassandra R. said...

Hi Anna,
I strongly agree with your opinion that "The cruel nature of the Spaniards did not match the peace they preached. De Las Casas petitioned the Spanish crown in the hope of reform that would lead the natives into seeing the good of Christianity and converting as well as the Christian Spaniards realizing how they should be acting based on their Christian values." It was a well thought out reason why de las Casas would petition the crown. Why would the natives convert to Christianity if they saw followers behaving in a cruel way? Religion is supposed to a model for people to follow and act by. So, that is a question de las Casas must have asked himself which caused him to realize that they need to change their behavior to reach their goal of spreading Christianity. How do you think some of the other Spaniards of that time period felt about this attempt made by de las Casas to change behavior?
Sincerely,
Cassie

Scott Walkinshaw said...

Cassie,
I liked how you started your comment with a clear thesis allowing the reader to conceptually explore each individual topic without having to scavenge through your entire response. Also I really liked how you addressed both the "physical and psychological effects of the long voyage."

Jillian Murphy said...

Motivations that led to the way Spaniards affected the native population was their desire to obtain wealth and power. The moment the Spaniards came to the islands they were blinded by the abundance of gold at their fingertips. The spanish would "Outrage, slay, afflict, torment, and destroy" any natives that would stand in the way of their ultimate goal; to be bathed in glory, wealth, and power. Although the Spaniards were Christian, it seemed as though their faith completely disappeared with all the "deaths, thefts, violence, and visitations..." that they have committed towards the native people. The spanish colonists also seemed to be overpowered by their need for gold. "More than ten kingdoms, larger than all Spain... although formerly full of people, are now deserted." Almost without conscience, the Spaniards and colonists continued their tyrannical acts all because of their selfish desire for wealth and power.

Jillian Murphy said...

Alexa,
I liked how you mentioned in your response "How nice the natives were towards them". This made me wonder if the natives weren't so "nice", how different would the outcome be for the natives? Th Spaniards could have pushed harder for the gold they so greatly desired, or maybe left them alone. In the long run the Spaniards would eventually have come back to claim what they felt was theirs, but would the natives have become more advanced from the first encounter? The technology brought to the new world by the spaniards could have caused new ideas and more strive to learn and advance the native civilizations.
~Jillian

Anonymous said...

Ashley Maloney said...
The motivations that have led to the way Spaniards affected the native Caribbean populations was their ambition to gain power through wealth. When the Spaniards arrived on the islands, they were motivated by the abundance of gold and the deficiency of the natives. The natives were very welcoming to the Spaniards, "The people so humble, so patient, and so easily subjected." The Spaniards took advantage of the native's personalities, and they killed them for power and wealth. The Spaniards had no desire to be friends with the natives, or live their lives being poor with the abundance of gold right in front of them. "The Christians have killed and destroyed such infinite numbers of souls... Seeking to load themselves with riches in the shortest time." For the Spaniards, being poor, or working for the gold was not a reasonable option at that point, and the natives were weak. The Spaniards wanted the gold, and they were not going to let the natives be in their way, so they eliminated the native population, "There remains not even a single creature." The Spaniards were Christians, but they dropped their beliefs to be rich and powerful. The Spaniards did not seem to be Christians when "Their neighbors had suffered the same many evils, thefts, deaths, violence, and visitations..." that they have caused. Today, there is a very small native population left, due to the Spaniards harsh treatment f the natives for power and wealth.

Ashley Maloney said...

Dear Jillian,
I strongly agree with the main topics of your response. I like how you included the reason why the Spaniards were strongly blinded by the gold. The first two quotes that you added had basically the same meaning, they both told you the acts of the Spaniards, and how they destroyed and killed the natives, so it would add more to your response if you added a different quote but you could tie it in to the same over all meaning.
Sincerely,
Ashley

Anastasija Cupic said...

Hi Cassie,
First, I would like to applaud you on your comment; it was really well written and you have great points, especially how you said "The last reason...harsh trip it took to get to the islands". I never even thought of that before! I love that you looked at it from a psychological point of view!
Regarding your question, I think that Spaniards (gaining wealth) in the Indies would have tried to stop de Las Casas from publisizing his idea in any way possible so they could continue their income of gold. I feel like Spaniards in Spain who were very religious would agree with de Las Casas, but those involved in the government would side with those in the Indies due to their want for land and riches. What do you think?
~Anna

Jenna Stepleman said...

Motivations that led the Spaniards to affect Native Caribbean population was prospects of wealth and power. Once the amount of wealth on the island was discovered it was too late to stop it. In contrast to their Christian faith they savagely killed millions of unknowing native people. Bartolome de Las Casas saw this happening, he wrote, "And it is... admitted... by all... that the Indians throughout the Indies never did any harm to the Christians: they even esteemed them as coming from heaven, until they and their neighbors had suffered the same many evils, deaths, thefts, violence, and visitations at their hands..." Showing even when the natives welcomed them with open arms the Spaniards left their morals behind and became the savages they saw the natives as.

Jennastep426 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennastep426 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenna Stepleman said...

Liam,

I love the content of your comment. You had good insights and I though you gave great facts. I can find almost nothing to change in your response but had I written the response I would have worded the line " Each person saw the opportunity to individually become rich from the gold, and in return acted so harshly to the indigenous people" differently than you.

Thanks!
-- Jenna :)

Liam Flannery said...

Ok well commented a few days ago directly towards Alyssa Brana's post but it never showed up, so. Alyssa, I think your response was very well worded and the quote you chose provided an accurate insight of the severity of the Destruction of The Indies. You went into detail on why, how, and what happened to give a well reasoned response as to what your opinion was on this topic.

Jenna Stepleman said...

Dear Emily,

I think your response was amazing! You really got your points across in a easy to understand but detailed way. You had some thoughts I didn't even consider until you said them. Great job!

--Jenna

Raeanne Geffert said...

Motivations that led the Spanish to affect the Native Caribbean population so cruelly and without regard for any human rights included the harsh conditions of the voyage to the islands, the naive personality of the natives, the explorer's Spanish government employment, and Spanish hunger for wealth through gold. To get to the Caribbean islands was a challenge that was both mentally and physically draining. Many sailors that arrived were starving and injured. This may have caused them to be cruel to these natives, as they many have seen them as a barrier, because the Spanish explorers were not in their right minds. The Natives were "so humble, so patient, and so easily subjugated" that they were easily slaughtered on their own lands. This was much simpler for the Spaniards than to reason with them. It also ensured there would be no resistance to the Spanish claiming their land. The Spanish clearly state that they "invaded to inhabit". The murderous behavior exhibited by the Spaniards is what they were hired to do. The Spanish government sponsored these expeditions, and so the crew must do their bidding, or face consequences. Most importantly, the Spaniards were on a quest for gold, and would stop at nothing to obtain it. If killing a population of gentle natives was the answer, then so be it. Consequently, the Spanish treated the natives so brutally because of their unfit mindset, how easily the natives could be manipulated, the fact that they were working for the Spanish Government, and because they were searching for gold.

Raeanne Geffert said...

Hi Jillian,
I completely agree with you on this topic. I thought your opinion, "Although the Spaniards were Christian, it seemed as though their faith completely disappeared with all the "deaths, thefts, violence, and visitations..." that they have committed towards the native people", was nicely stated. I do wonder though, if the Spaniards consciously did this damage? It is completely against anything and everything the Christian religion stands for. If they so love God and are capturing these islands in his name to spread Christianity, why would they desert the very values their religion is built on?
~Raeanne

Alyssa Brana said...

Liam,
Thank you for your comment. It is greatly appreciated. I noticed that we shared similar ideas in our responses. I also liked how you emphasized just how brutal the Spaniards were in their quest for gold. It was a very well written response.

C said...

What's impressive is how complimentary you all are of each other. There were many insightful comments. Keep up the good work.

~Mr. Pags

Abby Furfaro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abby Furfaro said...

Motivations that have led to the way the Spaniards affected the Native Caribbean population as they did was their impulse to, "Load themselves with riches in the shortest time." The Spaniard's greed led to the brutal and unfair deaths of any natives that stood in their way of obtaining the riches they desired. Bartolome de Las Casas said,"The Indians throughout the Indies never did any harm to the Christians..they..suffered..many evils, thefts, deaths, violence, and visitation." The Spaniards took advantage of the natives, who treated them so kindly and thought of them so highly. Their want for gold took over them, they abandoned their morals and became tyrannical. They treated these generous people with no respect and murdered them because they were motivated by the greed for gold and recources.

Emily Wrogg said...

Jill,
I agree with your point explaining how the Spaniards were Christian, yet ignored their faith to obtain gold and riches. Liam said something along these lines as well. They had no morals at this point since they were blinded by greed, and their Christian values were evidently the last thing on their minds. This in a way makes the Spaniards hypocritical, since they took pride in their religious beliefs, yet showed none of them outwardly when on the hunt for power. I also liked how you started another point with "Almost without conscience..." Starting another idea with this helps prove the points you made and are about to explain. Very well written!
- Emily

Emily Curina said...

The motivations that may have led to the way Spaniards affected the Native Caribbean population in the way that they did was their sense of cruelty powered by greed. "Like wolves, tigers, and lions which have been starving for days"; This was how Bartolome da Las Casa described the Spaniards startling entrance onto the islands. Their sole desire for wealth and power drove the Spanish colonists to forget their Christian faith and morals. This resulted in the Spaniards committing millions of brutal, senseless acts of murder against the innocent and peaceful Natives. The Natives loved and cared for their lands, and never thought of it as a method for wealth and money, but just for survival. However, the Spaniards thought differently, Bartolome said "The reason why the Christians have killed and destroyed such infinite numbers of souls is solely because they have made gold their ultimate aim." The Spaniards saw an opportunity and they did not hesitate to take it.

Jesica Litwa said...

Motivations that led the Spaniards to affect the population of the Native Caribbean's was their desire towards wealth and power. As soon as Spaniards had came to the islands, they ignored their morals. Due to natives of the islands being so respectful and generous, the Spaniards took advantage of it and used it as an opportunity to strive for wealth and power. In the article it states, " since forty years they have done nothing else; nor do they otherwise at the present day, than outrage, slay, afflict, torment, and destroy them." This shows what the Spaniards would do in order to receive the power and wealth they desire. The natives were sympathetic and lenient towards the Spaniards which allowed them to be motivated to gain their power and wealth. As it states, "Christians have killed and destroyed such infinite numbers of souls is solely because they have made gold their ultimate aim." The Spaniards did not hesitate and took the opportunity.

Jesica Litwa said...

Hi Alexa,
I agree with your opinion of the negative change towards the Natives population. You supported your answer with thorough details and explained significantly. Well done!

Cassandra R. said...

Hi Scott,
Thank you for taking the time to read my post as well as understand the psychological and physical effects of the voyage.
Thanks,
Cassie

Cassandra R. said...

Hi Anna,
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I agree with your answer to the question I had asked you. You brought up some very good points to support your opinion. I definitely think that Spaniards in the Indies would have tried to stop him from changing behavior because all they wanted was gold to be rich. At that point they didn't value religion as much as wealth. De Las Casas was a threat to their wealth. Thank you for your great response!
Sincerely,
Cassie

Emily Curina said...

Hi Jillian,
My favorite part of your post was when you said "The moment the Spaniards came to the islands they were blinded by the abundance of gold at their fingertips." Your choice of wording really showed that the amount of gold and possible wealth on the islands was something completely foreign to the Spaniards. I also liked when you stated "Although the Spaniards were Christian, it seemed as though their faith completely disappeared." I liked this because between saying that the Spaniards had lost their faith and that the amount of gold on the island was very overwhelming to them, you more than provided us with the motivations of why the once so moral Spanish colonists would murder so many Natives and attempt to take over the islands.

Emily Curina said...

*New Comment*
Hi Jillian,
I thought your post was very well written! My favorite part of your post was when you said "The moment the Spaniards came to the islands they were blinded by the abundance of gold at their fingertips." Your choice of wording was awesome and really showed that the amount of gold and possible wealth on the islands was something completely foreign to the Spaniards. I also liked when you stated "Although the Spaniards were Christian, it seemed as though their faith completely disappeared." I liked this because between saying that the Spaniards had lost their faith and that the amount of gold on the island was very overwhelming to them, you more than provided us with the motivations of why the once so moral Spanish colonists would murder so many Natives and attempt to take over the islands.
Sincerely,
Emily Curina

Abby Furfaro said...

Hi Jesica,
I liked how you gave multiple examples from the text and supported them all. I agree with you that the Spaniards took advantage of the natives soley to gaain power and wealth. Good job explaining how and why the Spaniards were so cruel.

albino kid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coray Marchetti said...

Motivations that may have led to the way Spaniards affecting the Natives the way they did were the lust of power, greed, and carelessness. The Spaniards were driven by power and the seek for wealth. They did not let the Caribbean population stand in their way. As Bartolome de Casas said,"Among these gentle sheep...the Spaniards entered...like wolves, tigers, and lions..." He explains how the natives were innocent like sheep and the Spaniards were like savage animals preying on these innocent natives. The Spaniards were only after the gold that these islands held but in doing so killed millions of harmless natives. Bartolme portrays this thought in this sentence,"The reason why the Christians have killed and destroyed such infinite numbers of souls is solely because they have made gold their ultimate aim, seeking to load themselves with riches in the shortest time." The Spaniards were not only animals but monsters wiping out populations motivated by the thought of being rich and full of power.

Coray Marchetti said...

Dear Emily,

I agree with your statement on how the Spaniards treated the Native Caribbean population. I think you chose a great quote that complimented your thought on the reading. Great job Emily!

Sincerely,
Corey

Bree Schmitt said...

Alexa,
I really liked how you said that their main goal was to find gold. It showed that they truly did just use the natives to get what they wanted

Ty Sirowich said...

Alyssa,
I like how you mentioned, "They ignored their own morals and savagally killed millions of the innocent native peoples." This claim you used effectively showed your understanding that the Spaniards performed an act of genocide on the Indians. The rest of post thoroughly shows your understanding of the Spaniards desire for wealth and power.

Julia Pietruszka said...

Personal motivations that might have led de Las Casas to petition the Spanish crown for leniency towards the Native Americans include his Christian beliefs and personal moral limits. As a Dominican friar, de Las Casas might have been inclined to view the Spaniards' actions as morally wrong. This is because Christian values promote fair treatment towards others (clearly not the case in the Spaniards' conquering of the Americas). Bartolomé de Las Casas stated, "We give as a real and true reckoning, that in said forty years, more than 12 million persons, men, women, and children, have perished unjustly and through tyranny, by the infernal deeds and tyranny of the Christians..." Considering that removing the Native Americans would give the Spaniards more opportunity to take the gold and stake their claim on the land, de Las Casas would have had no reason to petition the Spanish crown for leniency towards the Native Americans in favor of helping his nation, since doing so would only hinder it (or so it seemed at the time). De Las Casas, more than certainly, wanted to not only protect the Native Americans from cruelty but also make them Christian followers, which could only be done if the Spaniards' started setting a good example by actually being good Christians themselves, thus having to not kill the Native Americans anymore. Therefore, de Las Casas had to have petitioned the Spanish crown to show leniency towards the Native Americans due to religious and moral reasons.

Julia Pietruszka said...

Hi Raeanne,
Your comment allowed me to see a different side of the Spaniards' motivations for stopping at nothing to obtain gold. In your response, you said: "The Spanish government sponsored these expeditions, and so the crew must do their bidding, or face consequences." This showed me that while the Spaniards were certainly in part excited by the gold and power-hungry, they also had a job to do, and that another one of their motivations was fear of assignment incompletion. Good job with looking at different factors that played into their motivations!
~Julia

Janet Collins said...

Hi Emily,
I liked how you compared how the natives viewed their and for survival to how the Spaniards saw it; as a way to gain wealth and money

Pat Tucker said...

The motivations that they had was gold and power. These two motivations were very evident throughout the whole passage. IN the passage it states that "In said forty years mote than 12 million persons, men, women, and children have perished unjustly and through tyranny by the infernal deed and tyranny of the Christians. This show that even though they were Christians and were against war and people being killed that when money and power come into play people will do anything just for a little power.

Pat Tucker said...

Hi Tyler
I really liked your response because how you said how the Spaniards took advantage OF THE NATIVE FOR THEIR KIND AND Wealth. it shows that the Spaniards were very greedy and uncaring

Olivia Gawlak said...

The motivations that led to the way the Spaniards affected the native Caribbean population as they did was the urge to be wealthy and have control and power. Bartolome de Las Casas saw that if theybwere going to get that, they can't let anything stand in their way. They took advantage over the fact the natives of the islands were nice people, so it was easy for them to take over their homeland. Control and power were very important to Spaniards, and they murdered entire populations of innocent people just to gain something for themselves. Overall, this shows they were greedy.

Abby A said...

Motivations that led to the way the Spaniards affected the population of the Native Caribbeans the way that they did was greed for gold and power. They ignored all of their values as christians and focussed solely on getting more gold to become rich. In the reading it states, "The reason why the Christians have killed and destroyed such infinite number of souls is solely because they have made gold their ultimate aim." This shows how their greed led them to do the things they have done to these people. They unjustly took advantage of the Native Americans kind ways. The need for power and gold caused the spaniards to do horrible things turning them into savages.

Zachary Wiacek said...

1)The motivations that led to the way the Spaniards affected the Native Caribbean population as they have done was because of their greed for power and lust for gold. After the Spaniards discovered the vast amount of gold available in the Caribbean, they stopped at nothing to obtain it all for themselves. Spaniards set aside their Christian values and willingly killed innocent Native Caribbeans to demonstrate their power. "The reason why the Christians have killed and destroyed such infinite numbers of souls is solely because they have made gold their ultimate aim, seeking to load themselves with riches in the shortest time..." The Native Caribbeans treated the Spaniards with kindness and respect even when the Spaniards took advantage over them to mine for gold. This shows how people can set aside their moral beliefs for great power and gold.

Zachary Wiacek said...

Hi Pat,

I really liked your response about how the Christians changed and dropped their beliefs at the sign of power and greed. The Christians never experienced these kinds of feelings before and ultimately fell to their temptation to become powerful and greedy with wealth. Wealth and power can change how a person lives his or her lifestyle and replacing it with a totally different one.

Dan Robinson said...

The motivations that the Spaniards had which caused the harsh treatment of the native Caribbean population were greed and the hunger for power. The only thought on the mind of the Spaniards was how to get rich the fastest way possible, whether that meant killing a few million people just to get gold or throwing away their Christian values for the value of a single gold nugget. The Spaniards used their lust for gold and wealth to send them all over the newly discovered land with an attitude that allowed one another to discover the "weakness" of the natives. These Spaniards realized the natives were “so humble, so patients, and so easily subjugated.” Hence, they reacted to this issue with an iron fist and utilized this terrible hubris in the kind attitudes of the natives in order to show that the Spaniards were the almighty and powerful rulers and that they would stop at nothing until they received what they believed was now rightfully theirs. The greed of the Spaniards caused themselves to find that their goals included, "seeking to load themselves with riches in the shortest time." This alone exemplifies how the priorities of the Spaniards left no room for treating others with respect for they were power hungry throughout their whole travels and showed that the colonists were only motivated through the amount of goods discovered on this great new land that they basically trapped and looted for their own well being, treating others as if they were mindless animals. Hence, the greed had overwhelmed the entire nation entering this new land and caused them to want to simply gain more and more without thinking of others.

Dan Robinson said...

Thank you Abby,
I appreciated the fact that you felt that these people ignored their Christian values for I also believed that to be a valid point as shown through multiple sources throughout history. I question your wording in one sense for you referenced a need for power by the Spaniards, when I felt that it should be noted as a constant want or passion for power. However, I totally agreed with your overall message and I also find that the greed was the sole item that caused the minds of these men to turn to a single item: gold. The Spaniards treated these Natives as, " less than the dung in the streets." This statement supports your topic of how the natives were "unjustly" taken advantage of and shows that their minds were turned away from what was right. Thanks again for writing!
Sincerely,
Dan Robinson