Author(s): Bartolome Las Casas
Bartolome de las Casas was born in Sevilla in 1474. At the age of 18 he left Spain for the new world, where he managed his father's ranch and subsequently became a priest. After many years of witnessing the ravages and atrocities of Spanish colonial policy and experiencing the failure of his own attempts at the peaceful colonization of Cumana, he wrote a brief account of the destruction of the Indies in 1542. This work was investigated at the instigation of Charles V by a committee of lawyers and theologians, and the findings rejected. Colonial apologists also rejected las Casas' view that the Indian was by nature virtuous and peacable, but corrupted by an alien civilization. This book examines this work.
Bartolome de las Casas was born in Seville around 1484. At the age of eighteen he left for the New World, where he participated in the conquest of Cuba and witnessed the first full-scale massacre of an Indian community. He became a priest and entered the Dominican order. He dedicated himself to the protection and defence of the Indians.Anthony Pagden teaches in the Department of History at John Hopkins University, Baltimore. He is the author of The Fall of Natural Man and Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination.Nigel Griffin read modern languages at Oxford and was a Fellow of New College in the 1970s. He now concentrates on writing and translating and has worked for both the UN and the World Bank.