Inconsistancies in a Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

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Through Bartolome de Las Casas’ book, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, the reader is transported to a world that both astonishes and terrifies. Las Casas, born and raised in Spain, was an early traveler to the New World of recently discovered Indoamerica. He landed in Santo Domingo, and after a few years, found himself as a new priest, living in financial comfort, and the master of some native slaves. After bearing witness to countless atrocities committed against the natives, he began his life long dedication to bettering their lives. A Short Account documents Las Casas’ travels and trials in the New World. The book is ultimately written to send back to Spain to the Prince in hopes that he, and everyone who reads it, would be inspired to act against the injustices. Bartolome de Las Casas was and is still hailed by his supporters as the “defender and apostle of the Indians”. He went down in history as the man who lived solely for the bettering of the natives’ existence. Through out his book he makes it very clear how passionate and devote he was to his task, and how he never hinders in his pursuits. It is his passion, though, that makes his books documents of his opinion, not historical accounts. There are numerous cases through out the text in which Las Casas provides many of his own personal biases. This is done in the hopes of convincing the reader of the urgency of his pursuit. The following will prove that the work of Bartolome de Las Casas cannot be viewed as a credible historical account because of multiple exaggerations, inconsistencies, and persuasive language used within the text. Las Casas’ love for the native population no doubt would have skewed his view of them and their actions. Indeed, Las Casas would have us believe that the native people, even in the face of tyranny, could do no wrong. The exaggerations and inconsistencies that

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