European Colonization

552 words | 2 page(s)

The issue of colonization remains one which history repeatedly examines. One primary source which can be utilized in this topic is Bartolomé de las Casas. Bartolome de las Casas was a Sixteenth Century Dominican Friar who was involved with the indigenous peoples of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. He was considered a protector of them.

In his work, he significantly defended the Native Americans and discussed the horrible treatment that they were receiving at the hands of the European colonists. This work is entitled “A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies.” In this work, de las Casas examines how the Native Americans are treated at the hands of their oppressors. He is brutally honest is this account. He is worried not only about how the people of the New World are being treated by the colonists, but also about the colonists. He fears that the colonists and the people of the Old World will suffer Divine Retribution from God due to the atrocities that they are committing. His recognition that their souls are in peril from God clearly indicates how significant he believed their sins were. It also indicates that he was willing to call out the members of his own land for their actions. He was not willing to shy away from the recognition that their actions were essentially evil and they should be held accountable for them.

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In this works, Bartolomé de las Casas confronted the members of his community about their treatment of the indigenous peoples of the New World. He recognized that the actions of the colonists were essentially despicable and likely required a public shaming as a result. He earned the title “Protector of the Indians.”

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz was a nun and a poetess who lived in the 17th Century. She was well-read and well-educated and willing to speak freely concerning the role of women in her society.

In her work, she criticized the treatment of women by men in society. De la Cruz, as a woman, went quite far in her recognition that men blamed women for much of the problems that they placed upon the women. Her famous poem, Las Redondillas, accuses men of chastising women into submission. She takes a liberating and liberal stance in the poem and one that should be praised, given the period of time. She chastises the men for chastising women. She accuses the men of creating the very faults in women that the men then laugh about and call frivolous. In this manner, she takes all the faults of women and places the blame back upon men. In reality, women are not perfect creatures, just as men are not. Her ability to place the blame on men for all the faults of women is quite daring. She is reclaiming women’s place in the world. If women cannot be responsible for themselves, they should not be held responsible for their faults.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz was a daring writer who lived during the Seventeenth Century. Her ability to free women through her writing should be praised even hundreds of years later. Her most famous work focuses on forcing men to recognize what they have done to women through their rules and requirements for the women in society at that time.

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