New Spain - Timeline (Expand All)
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Sepúlveda's position: Citing Aristotle and St. Augustine among others, Sepúlveda argues in favor of waging war against the Indians to forcefully convert and subjugate them and to punish their infractions against natural law.
Las Casas's position: Las Casas challenges Sepúlveda's charges of the barbarous nature of the Indians and their commission of crimes against natural law. Argues against forceful conversion and punishment of natural law transgressions. Also attacks authority of Sepúlveda's sources.
Texts of the Valladolid Debate:
Sepúlveda - "Apología del libro de las justas causas de la guerra" ["Defense of the book on the just causes of war"] – Sepúlveda's summary of his book Demócrates Segundo [Demócrates II] printed in Rome in 1550. Summary translated to Spanish by Angel Losada in 1974.
From Sepulveda, Demócrates Segundo: "In prudence, talent, virtue, and humanity they [the Indians] are as inferior to the Spaniards as children to adults, women to men, as the wild and cruel to the most meek, as the prodigiously intemperate to the continent and temperate, that I have almost said, as monkeys to men."
Las Casas – In Defense of the Indians – first drafted c. 1548-1550 and presented at Valladolid as the Apología (Defense). Translated to English by Stafford Poole in 1974.
From Las Casas – In Defense of the Indians – first drafted c. 1548-1550 and presented at Valladolid as the Apología (Defense). Translated to English by Stafford Poole in 1974: "[T]hey [the Indians] are of such gentleness and decency that they are, more than the other nations of the entire world, supremely fitted and prepared to abandon the worship of idols and to accept, province by province and people by people, the word of God and the preaching of the truth."