Friars from Spain preaching justice

So it turns out New England Puritans were able to travel backward in time to spread their insidious message to Catholic and monarchist Spain:
The listeners were astounded and shocked. Never before, to their knowledge, had Christians been called to truth and justice among people whom many thought to be less than human. Thus developed in this hemisphere the first significant clash between human rights and human greed. Perhaps Montesinos awakened the moral conscience of some Spanish listeners, but it was too late to undo twenty years of destructive exploitation. However, by their intense, persistent protests, the four Dominican men became the first European spokesmen to defend the rights of natives in the Americas.
Abolitionism was preceded by the New Laws of the Indies in 1542, in which Emperor Charles V declared free all Native American slaves, abolishing slavery of these races, and declaring them citizens of the Empire with full rights. The move was inspired by writings of the Spanish monk Bartolome de las Casas and the School of Salamanca.


Anonymous said...

I think it was the Jesuits who were the first to baptise African slaves

TGGP said...

I had a post on de las Casas here.

Anonymous said...

It may mean little, however, Bartolomé de las Casas was a descendant of conversos, whose father, Pedro, sailed with Columbus on his second voyage.

Rivers of gold: the rise of the Spanish Empire ..., Volume 2003, Part 2 By Hugh Thomas

Anonymous said...

Hey dickwad, what part of:Perhaps Montesinos awakened the moral conscience of some Spanish listeners, but it was too late to undo twenty years of destructive exploitation didn't you get?


n/a said...

"Bartolomé de las Casas was a descendant of conversos,"

Interesting. That made me curious about Montesinos. According to Google Books (though I think the Antonio de Montesinos referred to below is not the Dominican Friar and I was unable to confirm anything about he origins of the latter): "To support his suggestion, Porras Barrenechea points out that there were several conversos who took the name "Montesinos," including Antonio de Montesinos (Aaron Levi), who escaped the Inquisition in Cartagena in 1541."

TGGP said...

People had sometimes used Torquemada as evidence for the fanaticism of the convert, but Wikipedia merely cites Hernando del Pulgar (himself a converso) referring to his uncle as a descendant of a converso and Thomas Hope saying that Torquemada's grandmother was a conversa. So Torquemada is (like Marx) an inheritor of conversion rather than chooser of it.

Reading up on that, I took to wondering why there was comparatively little discussion of the descendants of Moriscos, who one might presume were more numerous. Then I found that obvious explanation that even those converts were eventually expelled.

Anonymous said...

The founder of the School of Salamanca, Francisco de Vitoria, was also of converso descent.