Bartolomé de las Casas

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pages: 522 words: 144,511

Sugar: A Bittersweet History by Elizabeth Abbott

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agricultural Revolution, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, flex fuel, land tenure, Mason jar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working poor

That is what they serve.” 34. Clifford Krauss, “A Historic Figure Is Still Hated by Many in Mexico,” The New York Times, March 26, 1997. 35. Ibid. 36. Sanderlin, Bartolomé de Las Casas, pp. 80–81. 37. Bonar Ludwig Hernandez, “The Las Casas-Sepúlveda Controversy, 1550–1551,” www.sfsu.edu/~epf/2001/hernandez.html. 38. Carrozza, “Bartolomé de Las Casas,” www.lascasas.org/carrozo.htm. 39. Ibid. 40. Quoted in Sanderlin, Bartolomé de Las Casas, pp. 183–85. 41. Davidson, Black Mother, p. 66. 42. Sanderlin, Bartolomé de Las Casas, p. 102. 43. E. Williams, From Columbus to Castro, p. 43. 44. Las Casas, Obras Escogidas, vol. II, 487–88, quoted in Sanderlin, Bartolomé de Las Casas, pp. 100–102. 45. E. Williams, From Columbus to Castro, p. 43. 46. Herrara, History of the Indies, quoted in Williams, From Columbus to Castro, p. 43. 47.

“In a way that few Europeans could understand, the land was Indian culture: it provided Native Americans with their sense of a fixed place in the order of the world, with their religious observances, and with their lasting faith in the importance of the struggling but united community as opposed to the ambitious, acquisitive individual,” a recent study explains.28 Until the Europeans arrived, the Taino population numbered anywhere from three million to just under eight million.29 When Bartolomé de Las Casas arrived in 1502, their extermination was already foreseeable. In 1514, their Spanish conquerors counted only twenty thousand survivors. In 1542, Las Casas recorded only two hundred, and within two decades, the Tainos of Hispaniola died out. Las Casas is the primary narrator of the Tainos’ life and death. He was a Renaissance man, a deacon and later a priest, a sugar planter, administrator, historian and anthropologist whose experiences ultimately transformed him into a human rights advocate.

Some scholars believe that Man Friday in Daniel Defoe’s 1719 classic, Robinson Crusoe, was modeled on an Arawak captured by a marauding band of Caribs. European disease and persecution decimated the Caribs, but survivors eventually developed new ways of living, and many settled down on a 232-acre reserve allocated them by the British, who won Dominica from the French in 1763. Today, Caribs still live in Dominica and St. Vincent. BARTOLOMÉ DE LAS CASAS, SUGAR PLANTER AND GUILTY WITNESS The brutality of New World slavery was condemned even as it was being developed. Its first public critics were the Dominican friars who arrived in 1510 and lived apostolically, in huts, sleeping on beds of branches, eating plain cabbage broth and wearing coarse habits. These men possessed only two boxes among them, full of psalters and liturgical paraphernalia.


pages: 516 words: 159,734

War Without Mercy: PACIFIC WAR by John Dower

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anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, colonial rule, European colonialism, ghettoisation, labour mobility, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Scientific racism, South China Sea, Torches of Freedom, transcontinental railway

See Tzvetan Todorov’s table of “oppositions,” The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other, translated from the French by Richard Howard (1984: Harper & Row), 153; on the “natural slave,” see Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology (1982: Cambridge University Press), esp. 38, 42–45, 67, 97–99, 107, 116–18, 122–23. For the great debate, see Lewis Hanke, All Mankind Is One: A Study of the Disputation between Bartolomé de Las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda in 1550 on the Intellectual and Religious Capacity of the American Indians (1974: Northern Illinois University Press); Bartolomé de Las Casas, In Defense of the Indians: The Defense of the Most Reverend Lord, Don Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, of the Order of Preachers, Late Bishop of Chiapa, against the Persecuters and Slanderers of the Peoples of the New World Discovered across the Seas, trans. and ed. Stafford Poole (1974: Northern Illinois University Press). 4. Drinnon, 19, 40, 42–43, 50, 53, 65–66, 81, 85, 95–99.

Out of the terrible mortality rates that slavery brought, there also emerged another theory concerning nonwhites that carried through the centuries and was sometimes used to explain massive Japanese deaths in the Pacific late in the war: they did not feel pain as severely as the more sensitive whites did, and life was cheap to them.2 From the time of the earliest Spaniards who addressed the nature of the Indians of the New World, nonwhites were treated as polar opposites of their conquerors: as savages, children, madmen, and beasts; and, of course, as pagan and evil as opposed to Christian and good. And for these sins (along with their gold), many of them were tortured and exterminated. The Spanish conquest of the Indians, however, was not undertaken casually. It provoked intense learned discussions in Europe concerning the true nature of the Indians, culminating in a justly famous debate between Bartolomé de Las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda in 1550; and out of these deliberations we have our first inkling of the manner in which intellectual discourse at the highest levels would serve as a legitimization of racism over the centuries that followed. The problem of savagery became comprehensible in terms of the theological and philosophical theory of a Great Chain of Being–a fixed hierarchy of existence extending from God down to the basest of creatures.

Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1971. ———. The Decision to Relocate the Japanese Americans. Lippincott, 1975. ———. The Politics of Prejudice. Atheneum, 1968. Daugherty, William E., and Morris Janowitz, eds. A Psychological Warfare Casebook. John Hopkins University Press, for the U.S. Operations Research Office, 1958. de Las Casas, Bartolomé. In Defense of the Indians: The Defense of the Most Reverend Lord, Don Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas of the Order of Preachers, Late Bishop of Chiapa, Against the Persecuters and Slanderers of the Peoples of the New World Discovered Across the Seas. Translated and edited by Stafford Poole. Northern Illinois University Press, 1974. De Mendelssohn, Peter. Japan’s Political Warfare. George Allen & Unwin, 1944. De Vos, George, and Hiroshi Wagatsuma. Japan’s Invisible Race: Caste in Culture and Personality.


pages: 295 words: 92,670

1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half by Stephen R. Bown

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Atahualpa, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, charter city, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, Peace of Westphalia, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, UNCLOS

The junta, an august body of specialists knowledgeable in maritime affairs, included respected cartographers, astronomers, navigators and ecclesiastical authorities, several of whom Columbus had already met, and luminaries such as Diogo Ortiz, bishop of Ceuta, and the court astronomer and physician José Viziñho. Brandishing his charts and books, Columbus laid out his technical arguments for the feasibility of a voyage west across the Atlantic Ocean to the fabled land of Cathay, or at least to some new Atlantic islands, or perhaps even an undiscovered continent or a new trade route to the Spice Islands. According to Bartolomé de Las Casas, one of his early biographers, Columbus promised “that going by way of the West towards the South, he would discover great lands, islands and terra firma, all very prosperous, rich in gold and silver, pearls and precious stones, and an infinite number of people.” He hoped to inspire the committee with Marco Polo’s century-old claims that the land was, in almost the same language Columbus himself used, “most fertile in gold, pearls and precious stones, and they cover the temples and the royal residences with solid gold.”

Once again, Columbus’s proposals were intriguing if outlandish and audacious, and while his grandiose demands for compensation were nearly insulting, the monarchs were still curious. Their country, however, was preparing for war: troops filled the roads displaying their banners and livery, marching to the beat of drums; horsemen congregated in the armies of the nobles; and cartloads of food and supplies trundled south towards the border. In the prescient words of Bartolomé de Las Casas: “When monarchs have a war to deal with, they understand little, and wish to understand little, of other matters.” Even after seeing the written support of several high-placed nobles and hearing the opinions of the learned monks with whom Columbus had stayed when he first arrived in Castile, the monarchs were hesitant. Though intrigued by the possibility of circumventing the Ottoman blockade of the spice route and getting “to the Spiceries” faster than the Portuguese in their inching south along the African coast, they could not commit to his bold scheme without further evidence.

And now Magellan presented his case for how he would get there: he would sail west across the Atlantic, to the coast of South America (as the land was called after Martin Waldseemüller named it on his popular map of 1507) and continue to hug the coast as he pushed southward, until he reached a west-leading strait or break in the landmass that would lead him into the South Seas, which he would cross to arrive in the Moluccas. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa had recently proved that water lay on the far side of the American continents, having thrashed his way across the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 to encounter a mighty ocean stretching as far as he could see. According to the missionary priest and chronicler Bartolomé de Las Casas, Magellan displayed “a well-painted globe in which the entire world was depicted. And on it he depicted the route he proposed to take.” Magellan also later recalled that he had seen the strait depicted on charts in the library of the king of Portugal. Whether these straits were based on wishful thinking or on the discoveries of some forgotten voyage, Magellan was now in the business of trading on the state secrets of his homeland.

A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America by Tony Horwitz

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airport security, Atahualpa, back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Colonization of Mars, Columbian Exchange, dematerialisation, diversified portfolio, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, trade route, urban renewal

Whoever succeeded the chief, Pane wrote, would rule for only a short time “because there would come to his country a people wearing clothes who would conquer and kill the Indians.” At first, Pane added, the Taino thought this prophecy referred to the dreaded Caribs. “They now believe that the idol prophesied the coming of the Admiral and the people who came with him.” While Pane is forgotten, another Spanish friar in Hispaniola is renowned to this day as “Defender of the Indians.” Bartolomé de Las Casas arrived in Santo Domingo in 1502, at the age of eighteen, and prospered from the sweat of Taino awarded him through the encomienda system, which made settlers the overseers of natives living on grants of Crown land. In theory, this feudal institution meant that natives became vassals, working in exchange for the protection and Christian instruction of their masters. In practice, the system led to enslavement.

After three days of dancing, feasting, and games, he ordered his men to surround a building where the Taino leaders had gathered. The governor had heard rumors of an impending revolt, and was determined to crush Taino resistance once and for all. The Spanish set fire to the place, burning alive everyone inside. Caonabo’s comely widow was spared the inferno. “As a mark of respect and out of deference to her rank,” Bartolomé de Las Casas wrote, “Queen Anacaona was hanged.” THOUGH THE LAST Taino perished in the sixteenth century, they had a long half-life in the Dominican imagination. With the importation of African slaves, blacks quickly came to outnumber Europeans on Hispaniola. This was particularly so in the island’s western third, which was better suited to plantation agriculture; in 1804, following a slave rebellion against French rule, it became the black nation of Haiti.

In practice, the Requerimiento was more akin to last rites—a death sentence delivered in language Indians couldn’t possibly comprehend, in the name of forces they couldn’t possibly imagine. Who was “God, Our Lord”? The “Pope”? The “exalted and powerful monarch” of a place called Castile and Leon? As if the Requerimiento wasn’t a bald enough sanction for slaughter, it was often read without an interpreter present, or was delivered from a distance of several miles, or uttered at night while Indians slept, unaware of an impending attack. The Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas declared that he didn’t know “whether to laugh or to cry” at the absurdity of the document. The Indians gathered before Cibola had a different response. “Being arrogant people,” Coronado wrote, “they showed it little respect.” So little, in fact, that one warrior shot an arrow through the robe of the friar attending the reading. After a brief skirmish, the natives retreated inside their well-fortified pueblo.


pages: 367 words: 99,765

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

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Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, don't be evil, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, game design, Google Earth, helicopter parent, hive mind, index card, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, openstreetmap, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Stewart Brand, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traveling salesman, urban planning

I can’t quite . . . can you turn your head the same direction as mine?” Machines and molars may come easier to people with keen spatial sense, but maps really come alive for them. They engage with the map in a way that others don’t. They can project their viewpoint right into its dots and lines and vividly imagine what the territory will look like ahead. Christopher Columbus’s biographer Bartolomé de Las Casas wrote that the explorer’s first Atlantic voyage was inspired by a nautical chart that the Italian mathematician Paolo Toscanelli had sent him. “That map set Columbus’s mind ablaze,” wrote Las Casas. “He did not doubt he should find those lands that were marked upon it.” Columbus was clearly one of those people who could see a map once and enter its world immediately, and it changed the course of history.

This isn’t just the earliest surviving use of the term; the text that accompanied the map makes it clear that, when we peer at the map, we are witnessing the word’s coining in action. “A fourth part of the world has been discovered by Amerigo Vespucci,” wrote Waldseemüller.* “Since both Asia and Africa received their names from women, I do not see why anyone should rightly prevent this from being called Amerigen—the land of Amerigo, as it were—or America, after its discoverer, Americus, a man of perceptive character.” Columbus’s biographer Bartolomé de Las Casas huffily insisted that the new continent “should have been called Columba instead,” after its real discoverer. But Vespucci was a different kind of proto-American: a showman and a shameless self-promoter. He was a Florentine merchant who probably deserved only a solid place on the exploration B-list for tagging along on a couple of Portuguese voyages to Brazil. But his (no doubt exaggerated) accounts of those travels took Europe by storm, testament to one eternal advertising dictum: that sex—even if you write about it in Latin—always sells.


pages: 262 words: 66,800

Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

In 1452, Pope Nicholas V gave Catholic countries ‘full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be . . . and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery’.5 As Spain and Portugal took control of America in the 1500s, indigenous people were oppressed and enslaved. There were a few brave opponents to this practice though, the most prominent of whom was the Spanish Dominican friar, Bartolomé de las Casas. He argued that indigenous people had the right to their own persons, beliefs and properties, making Las Casas an early proponent of human rights theory. But it is not easy to set yourself apart from the period in which you live. Even this man, who spent fifty years of his life fighting against slavery, found it difficult to explain how a world without slavery would work. As an alternative to enslaving the Indians, Las Casas suggested that Spain could import African slaves to the American plantations.


pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

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autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

The time has come to imagine new utopias, to build them up from solid foundations and to begin cautiously experimenting. After all, history is not determined by machines, apps, and algorithms, nor is it predicted by trendwatchers. It is steered by humanity and its ideas. As always, our utopia will start small. The foundations of what we today call civilization were laid long ago by dreamers who marched to the beat of their own drummers. The Spanish monk Bartolomé de las Casas (1484–1566) advocated equal footing between colonists and the native inhabitants of Latin America, and attempted to found a colony in which everyone received a comfortable living. The factory owner Robert Owen (1771–1858) championed the emancipation of English workers and ran a successful cotton mill where employees were paid a fair wage and corporal punishment was prohibited. And the philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) even believed that women and men were one another’s equals.


pages: 282 words: 82,107

An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage

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agricultural Revolution, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, carbon footprint, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce

Columbus was accused of mismanagement of his colonies, and of having painted a misleading picture of their potential. At the end of the third voyage he was sent back to Spain in chains and was stripped of his title as governor. After a fourth and final voyage, he died in 1506, convinced to the end that he had indeed reached Asia. The idea of finding spices in the Americas outlived Columbus. In 1518 Bartolomé de las Casas, a Spanish missionary to the New World, claimed that the new Spanish colonies were “very good” for ginger, cloves, and pepper. The conquistador Hernán Cortés found lots of gold, plundering it from the Aztecs in the course of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, but even he felt bad about his failure to deliver any nutmeg or cloves. He insisted in letters back to the king of Spain that he would, in time, find the route to the spice islands.


pages: 511 words: 148,310

Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide by Joshua S. Goldstein

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Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, failed state, immigration reform, income inequality, invention of writing, invisible hand, land reform, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Steven Pinker, Tobin tax, unemployed young men, Winter of Discontent, Y2K

For example, the Spanish commander at the Aztec capital in 1520 “ordered the slaughter of masses of unarmed religious celebrants in the temple. The carnage was terrible.... Spaniards fell on the packed throng, cutting off arms and legs and disemboweling their victims in a slaughter that continued until virtually everyone was dead.” More deaths came about indirectly through overwork and exploitation in mines and plantations. One eyewitness, Bartolomé de Las Casas, reported, “The newborns died soon, because their mothers, because of the hardship and hunger, had no milk in their breasts. For this reason, while I was in Cuba, 7,000 children died in three months.” The greatest effect, however, was the devastation caused by diseases introduced by the Europeans. THE MIDDLE AGES Now push the lever in our time machine back to the Middle Ages, the age of chivalry, of knights and ladies, where stylized rules governed warfare under a code of honor.

Year 501 by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, land reform, land tenure, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor

No less predictably, in his January 1992 report to Congress, President Serrano declared the results of the properly neoliberal economic program (including the 100 percent increase for the military in the 1992 budget) to be an “economic miracle,” while Western commentators applauded and looked forward to still further triumphs of capitalist democracy. We may recall, in passing, that the main victims are indigenous people, who constitute over half the population. Their travail began long ago. “At no time before the [Spanish] conquest,” Susanne Jonas writes, “did the Indians suffer the systematic material deprivation that has characterized Guatemala since 1524,” and “although Bartolomé de Las Casas’s figure of 4-5 million Indian deaths in Guatemala between 1524 and 1540 may be exaggerated, its thrust is accurate. An estimated two-thirds to six-sevenths of the Indian population in Central America and Mexico died between 1519 and 1650.”22 Child slavery has long been documented in the traditional service areas. India alone is reported to have some 14 million child laborers, aged six and up, many working under conditions of virtual slavery for up to 16 hours a day.


pages: 537 words: 158,544

Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna

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Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, knowledge economy, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Pax Mongolica, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés destroyed Mexico’s Aztec empire in the 1520s, and during Spain’s direct domination of Portugal from 1580 to 1640, Spain alone essentially controlled the entire Western Hemisphere. Native populations were subjugated by the sword and exotic disease, while Christian charity justified the bleeding of the New World for its silver and gold. In 1551 Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas wrote The Devastation of the Indies, a damning critique of slavery by agents of the Spanish Crown, sometimes described as the first human rights report in history—even if the imperial mentality was impervious to such appeals to conscience. After the Protestant Reformation, the New World reentered calculations of the global balance of power, with France and the Netherlands undermining Catholic Spain by seizing territories from Canada to the northern coast of South America.


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

A New Source of Labor The Spanish, and later the Portuguese, tried to enslave the survivors, with limited success. Columbus had even sent 500 captured Indians back to Seville in 1495. In the early decades of the sixteenth century a succession of Spanish conquistadors moved onto the islands of the Greater Antilles, forcing the native people to pan gold and raise food for them. One of the witnesses of the bloody conquest of Cuba in 1511 was Bartolomé de Las Casas. In a long career as priest, historian, polemicist, Dominican friar, and bishop of Chiapas, he became the Indians’ greatest defender. It was Las Casas who suggested that the Spanish import African slaves as a way to protect the indigenous people. He argued that Africans were better prepared to work than the Indians who, he said, had not yet reached the same stage of civilization.3 From his suggestion came one of the most lucrative plums of Caribbean commerce, the asiento, a contract that Spanish officials awarded for an annual supply of slaves and European goods.


pages: 913 words: 299,770

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

They were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year 1515, there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there were five hundred. A report of the year 1650 shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island. The chief source—and, on many matters the only source—of information about what happened on the islands after Columbus came is Bartolomé de las Casas, who, as a young priest, participated in the conquest of Cuba. For a time he owned a plantation on which Indian slaves worked, but he gave that up and became a vehement critic of Spanish cruelty. Las Casas transcribed Columbus’s journal and, in his fifties, began a multivolume History of the Indies. In it, he describes the Indians. They are agile, he says, and can swim long distances, especially the women.