Summary Of Bartolome De Las Casas

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A dispute of what happened in the “New World” has been at the center of Latin American historical discourse, attempting to answer one deceptively-simple question: was it a crusade or was it genocide? Undoubtedly, the setting acted as a cooking pot for dangerous ingredients to be mixed and muddled. The Spanish were ripe from the Crusades and their Inquisition, with an unwithering aim to spread Christianity and annihilate its opposition (not to mention a tad-bit of greed and an appetite for gold). The Mexica, a cosmologically-driven civilization who saw the doom of their world near, were rather accepting of their ideals and of the Spanish newcomers. The mixture unfortunately only yielded tragedy. The question-at-hand can be evaluated by examining two significant sources: Bartolomé de las Casas’ A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies to King Phillip II and Miguel León-Portilla’s The Broken Spears: the Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. Las Casas wrote his account as an appeal to the Spanish king to reassess the situation and cease the conquests, while León-Portilla seeked to…show more content…
Despite the understandable similarities between the two sources, the illustrations of the situation from the Broken Spears compared to that from Las Casas’ account differ in the underlying goals of each along with the lucid cultural disparity. Considering the fact both groups (and authors) experienced the same circumstances, it is expected that the indigenous’ and Las Casas’ accounts comprise of similar depictions of the devastation that occurred. Both give similar accounts surrounding the mannerisms and reactions of the Spanish, but mainly the Mexica. Both sources share views of the Spanish as viciously forceful in their ultimate pursuit of gold as well.

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