In these primary sources, two Europeans reflect on their experiences with the na
In these primary sources, two Europeans reflect on their experiences with the native peoples of the West Indies (the Caribbean).
The first document, “Columbus Reports on His First Voyage,” shows the views of Christopher Columbus as he reports back to the Spanish monarchs who funded his voyage.
The second document “Of the Island of Hispaniola,” written roughly fifty years later, shows the views of Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas as he too writes to the Spanish crown. Both adopt a similar viewpoint of the Caribbean people, but to very different ends. Columbus focuses on the wealth and prestige that can be gained by absorbing them into the Spanish empire, and de las Casas shows why he later gained the moniker “Defender of the Indians.”
Both primary sources reveal key details about how the cultural values of Spain and the Caribbean people impacted their behaviors and developments.
Columbus Reports on His First VoyageDownload Columbus Reports on His First Voyage
Of the Island of Hispaniola Download Of the Island of Hispaniola(please note: de las Casas does not participate in the activities described; rather, he was reporting them to the Spanish monarchs)
Prompt: After reading these primary sources, answer the following questions in the form of your initial post.
What do these primary sources reveal about the cultures described in these sources?
How are Columbus and Las Casas similar? How are they different? What might account for these differences?
How do you think the interactions and viewpoints described in these documents impacted the development of the Spanish colonies?
How do you think the interactions and viewpoints described in these documents impacted the development of the Caribbean peoples?
Include evidence from the primary sources as you answer.