Thursday, September 25, 2008
Destruction of the Indies
Destruction of the Indies was a brief personal eye witness account by Bartolome de Las Casas depicting descriptively the total annihilation and mutilation of the natives dwelling on the Indies as well as the island of Hispaniola. Although this informative historical account gave the reader an idea of why the destruction of the Indies came to be, I believe that it boldly emphasized on revealing the brutal cruelty, and immorality of the Spaniard’s treatment of the, “innocently simply” natives on their own homeland. The author supports this through many examples, one in which he states, (regarding the Spaniards cruelty), “they spared no age, or sex, nay not as much as women with child, but ripping up their bellies, tore them alive in pieces.” In yet another example in which the author was an actual witness of, De La Casas describes the immoral actions of the Spaniards, “They lay wagers among themselves, who should with a sword at one blow cit, or divide a man in two; or which of them should decollate or behead a man, with greatest dexterity.” Not only were the Spaniards immoral and cruel in their physical proceedings but in physiological aspects also. Knowing that the natives (in the words of the author) “reverenced them as persons descended from heaven”, the Spanish took advantage of the innocent natives in almost every way that thy possibly could. From forcing them into labor, to physically abusing and ruthlessly slaughtering large numbers of the natives, I personally believe that the most repulsive part about the Spaniard's actions in the destruction of the Indies was that the Spaniards executing theses decadent proceedings were yet hypocritical enough to represent a nation bearing and spreading Christian faith and it's principals. While De La Casas' account of the destruction of the Indies in 1552 was historical and educational, it also accentuated a very low point in the history of Spain as well as in the history of civilized cultures.