To what extent should Las Casas be considered a trustworthy source concerning the accuracy of the Spanish treatment of the Indians?

Bartolomé de las Casas’s accounts of Spain’s conquest of the New Word are graphic. He writes of colonizers breaking into settlements and slaughtering everyone, including children and pregnant women. His accounts align with other trustworthy accounts, such as Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Since de las Casas’ history is supported by credible scholars like Ortiz, it’s safe to say that de las Casas is a mostly trustworthy historian himself

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As you might already know, Bartolomé de las Casas was a Spanish writer, priest, and missionary. As a chaplain, he took part in Spain's conquest of the New World. He witnessed Spain’s and Columbus’s attempts to colonize the land that they discovered. He also saw what Columbus and the other Europeans did to the people already living on the land.

In vivid detail, de las Casas describes the colonizers forcing their way into the settlements of the Indigenous people and “slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth.”

The records of de las Casas could be considered trustworthy as they match with other historical accounts of what happened to the Ingenious people. These accounts include Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States and Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee . These histories were written by trustworthy scholars, so de las Casas finds himself in credible...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1003 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on