Definitions

chronicler the indies

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias) is an account written by the Spanish Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas in 1542 (published in 1552) about the mistreatment of Native Americans in colonial times and sent to King Philip II of Spain. In it, he depicts the cruelty and sadism of many Spanish seamen and colonists. One of the stated purposes for writing the account is his fear of Spain coming under divine punishment and his concern for the souls of the Native Americans. The account is one of the first attempts by a Spanish writer of the colonial era to depict the unfair treatment that the indigenous people endured during the Spanish conquest of the greater Antilles, particularly the island of La Hispaniola. Las Casas's point of view can be described as being heavily against the Spanish methods of colonization, which, as he describes, have come at a great loss for the indigenous occupants of the islands.

The images described by Las Casas were later depicted by Theodore de Bry in copper plate engravings that showed the many atrocities committed by the Spanish.

An important note to keep in mind when reading his account is that during the time that he wrote there was a great amount of anti-Spanish sentiment in the European courts. There were many reasons why Europeans felt this way towards the Spaniards, but essentially it boils down to two causes. Firstly, Spanish imperialism was at its height and the Spanish did not want to share their new found land. And secondly, the Spanish were seen as being inherently bellicose in nature not only because of how they were colonizing the new world but also how they kept fighting wars in Europe against European nations simultaneously.

The images of Spanish atrocities described by Las Casas were later depicted by Theodore de Bry in copper plate engravings.

Notes

External links

Search another word or see chronicler the indieson Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature