European Debates on the Conquest of the Americas Further Reading - Essay

Further Reading

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))


Baudet, Henri. “Chapter II.” In Paradise on Earth: Some Thoughts on European Images of Non-European Man. translated by Elizabeth Wentholt, pp. 23-53. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965.

Analysis of how images of American Indians as well as newly discovered peoples in Africa and Asia influenced eighteenth-century European myths of noble savages, the Golden Age, and utopia.

DiSalvo, Angelo J. “Spanish Dominicans, the Laws of the Indies, and the Establishment of Human Rights.” Romance Quarterly 40, no. 2 (Spring 1993): 89-96.

Concentrates on Spanish theologians such Las Casas, Vitoria, de Soto, and Carranza, who argued that conquest of the Americas and the enslavement of Native Americans violated divine law.

Friede, Juan and Benjamin Keen, eds. Bartolomé de las Casas in History: Toward an Understanding of the Man and His Work. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1971, 632 p.

Collection of essays concentrating on the life, works, ideology, and heritage of Las Casas.

Hanke, Lewis. “Pope Paul III and the American Indians.” The Harvard Theological Review 30 (1937): 65-91.

Discusses whether the papacy was friend or foe to American Indians in the sixteenth century, concluding that despite individual ecclesiastical protests, the Church did not act as protector to Native Americans.

———. The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1949, 217 p.

Full-length study of the first hundred years of Spanish discovery and conquest of the New World, including discussion of the controversy over Spain's right to wage war and enslave Native Americans.

Las Casas, Bartolomé de. The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account, translated by Herma Briffault. New York: The Seabury Press, 1974, 182 p.

Seminal 1542 book by Dominican priest Las Casas, arguing that Spanish greed for gold and the cruel enslavement of Indians was resulting in the tragic extinction of natives peoples.

———. History of the Indies, translated and edited by Andrée Collard. New York: Harper & Row, 1971, 302 p.

A 1552 treatise by Las Casas that contends that Native Americans are fully human and that Spain's war of conquest and conversion is unjust and cruel.

Morton, Thomas. New English Canaan, edited by Charles Francis Adams, Jr. Boston: Prince Society, 1883, 381 p.

A 1637 description of the land, indigenous people, and colonial life in New England.