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The Renaissance Research Article from History Firsthand

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Bartolome de las Casas

Spaniard Bartolome de las Casas (1474–1566) first came to the West Indies as a lay evangelist, dedicated to converting the local natives to Catholicism. In 1512 or 1513, he became the first person in America to be ordained as a priest. As a reward for his participation in several expeditions, las Casas was given land and local natives to serve as slaves. However, in 1514, moved by the brutal treatment of the natives by the Spanish conquerors, he relinquished his slaves to the governor and began a lifelong campaign for their freedom. He returned to Spain to take up the fight at court, where his main opponent was the influential theologian and historian Juan Gines de Sepulveda. Sepulveda had written "Concerning the Just Cause of the War Against Indians," in which he argued that Indians were "inferior to the Spaniards just...

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This section contains 1,441 words
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Buy The Renaissance Encyclopedia Article
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The Renaissance from Greenhaven. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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