Bartolome de las Casas: A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

Write a short paper (1350-1600 words, approx. 4-5 pages) with a THESIS STATEMENT and
ARGUMENT based on A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. Your paper will be a
response to one of the following questions, with your answer serving as your thesis statement.
Both of the questions are broad enough that you will need to focus in on an aspect of the
question that particularly interests you.
Because your references should be confined to the assigned text, you may use parenthetical
citation rather than the Chicago style citation historians prefer. That is, cite as follows: (Las
Casas, “The Mainland,” p. 33).

1) It is easy to see how the Native Americans might have thought the Europeans acted like
animals. Were the Europeans acting in a way that was totally lawless, with no restraints
on their behavior, or were they acting according to a set of rules that the Native
Americans didn’t recognize?

2)Bartolome de las Casas is upset about the treatment of the Native Americans. He feels
this way because he believes that this treatment keeps Native Americans from converting
to and embracing Christianity, and conversion is his goal in the New World. What is the
goal of the conquistadors whom he criticizes?

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