Citation (Primary source)
Las Casas, Bartolome de. "Brief account of the devastation of the Indies," 1542. From Human
Rights: An Anthology of Texts. Warsaw: The Office of the Commissioner for Civil
Rights Protection, 2008. Accessed December 21, 2011 at http://www.rpo.gov.pl/pliki/12289972270.pdf
This primary source account offers a highly idealized view of the colonized persons of Hispaniola. It is said that the natives are peaceful, hold no grudges, are humble, patient, and kind and willingly serve their Spanish masters. However, they are also called weak and said to easily perish of infirmities. They are said not be covetous, and are said to want no gold or wealth. They are portrayed as simple, humble, natural men and women of a primitive, giving, yet proud disposition. The Spanish are condemned for their barbaric behavior against the inhabitants who resist the Spanish only when the Spanish began to try to take over their…… [Read More]
There are sources claiming that the population of natives had fallen from several million to several tens of thousands. The sources cannot be verified in the present, since there are no notable documents to confirm either assumption. hat is certain is that the Taino population from Hispaniola had been severely diminished as a result on their interaction with the Europeans.
hile Columbus continued to visit the Caribbean in hope that he would find the famous kingdoms that he have heard about, his brother Bartolome became governor of the island. Still, similar to his brother, Bartolome did not seem to control the situation, as no major advancements have been performed during his governing. One of the biggest mistakes that the Europeans had done during their first years on Hispaniola had been that they did not want their community to have anything to do to the native one. The locals had not…… [Read More]
Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola
The American writer and free lance journalist Michele Wucker in her first book has written about both Haiti and the Dominican epublic complex relations in terms of their cultures and on the sources of their great effort both in their island home as well as in the United States.
According to the book, the Caribbean island of Hispaniola is home to historic, where this continuing conflict between two countries has been intensely separated by language, race and history. However, at the same time it has been forced continuously into argument by their shared geography. The book is emotional from the beginning with the fighting and posturing of blood sport, as observed by the writer in her first Haitian cockfight (1):
The air cracks with the impact of stiffened feathers as each bird tries to push the other to the ground. Around…… [Read More]
Ponce De Leon
Ponce de Leon is born in a rural village in Southern Spain to an aristocratic family. He was the great grandson of Vermudo Nunez. (Nobleman, 2004)
Early to Late 1480s: At an early age, Ponce de Leon became a member of the royal court by serving as an aide to Pedro Nunez de Guzman. He was a Knight Commander in the Order of Calatrava. This was a papal-based militia which served the interests of the Catholic Church and the Pope. (Nobleman, 2004)
Late 1480s to 1492: In this time, Ponce de Leon was actively fighting against the Moors from the late 1480s until 1492. He was at the Battle of Granada and witnessed the decisive victory. (Nobleman, 2004)
After the war against the Moors was over, many soldiers and mercenaries were no longer needed. Ponce de Leon decided to uses these skills in the New…… [Read More]
Freedom is the Foundation of Peace. Without freedom, there is no peace. America, by nature, stands for freedom, and we must always remember, we benefit when it expands. So we must stand by those nations moving toward freedom. We must stand up to those nations who deny freedom and threaten our neighbors or our vital interests. We must assert emphatically that the future will belong to the free. Today's world is different from the one we faced just several years ago. We are no longer divided into armed camps, locked in a careful balance of terror. Yet, freedom still has enemies. Our present dangers are less concentrated and more varied. They come from rogue nations, from terrorism, from missiles that threaten our forces, our friends, our allies and our homeland.
Since the signing of the Treaty of Ryswick between the kingdoms of Spain and France in 1697, the island…… [Read More]
For decades, school children have been taught the misinformation that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. As consciousness develops and society becomes more aware of the realities of history, it becomes less and less acceptable to celebrate false heroes like corrupt politicians, confederate generals and cruel explorers. Christopher Columbus fits the last category. A close examination of history demonstrates that he brought much despair and horrors to indigenous people near the Americas. The fact that The United States still has a day in his honor is bizarre and absurd. This essay will discuss the numerous compelling reasons why Columbus Day should be abolished, and ideally replaced with something that appropriately honors indigenous people.
One of the most compelling reasons to abolish Columbus Day was the fact that Christopher Columbus was a non-American, non-native, who never actually touched any of the soil of the continental United States. It might even be accurate…… [Read More]
After stops at Grand Turk sland and San Salvador, they reached the east coast of Florida (St. Augustine) in April 1513. Ponce de Leon named the land "Pascua de Florida" (feast of flowers) because they first spotted land on April 2, 1513, Palm Sunday. He then claimed the land for Spain (Juan Ponce de Leon: The Explorer).
With that, Florida did become the land of riches and youth, which was what this explorer wanted, however it did not come easy because of the attacks. This led him to believe there was hidden treasure in his conquest of the fountain of youth.
Ponce obtained from Charles V, 23 February, 1512, a patent authorizing him to discover and people the sland of Bimini, giving him jurisdiction over the island for life, and bestowing upon him the title of Adelantado. On 3 March, 1513, Ponce set out from San German (Porto Rico) with…… [Read More]
Soon after, an Aztec general murders several Spaniards from Cortez's band and prove that Cortez and his companions are frauds. Cortez takes Montezuma prisoner and compels him in surrendering the entire empire. The Aztec people choose to disobey their master and than kill Montezuma after he attempts to calm the spirits of the rebellion.
Hearing the news of Cortez's success in Mexico, Velasquez sends an army to arrest the deserter, but most of the men sent to capture Cortez join him after a clash between Cortez's forces and Velasquez's men.
Following several days of skirmish, Cortez enters the capital of the Aztecs once again, with the cost of thousands of lives of native people. After two years of attacks from the Spaniards and their allies, on the 13th of August, 1521, the Aztec king of Guatemoc surrenders his country before Hernan Cortez.
For the following seven years, Cortez remained in…… [Read More]
However, this may not have been Diaz's intention at all. He may have simply been trying to emphasize the third person viewpoint and that the reader is merely witnessing the events. This opening statement requires the reader to place themselves in a position somewhere, hovering above the lives of the characters, viewing them from an unattached vantage point. This is much the way in which one views an ant hill. We look at the ant hill and see it as a whole. We may see individual ants going from here to there. We have no idea what is going on in the heads of the individual ants. We do not know where they intend to go, but we see them scurrying about on the way to something that is apparently important to them. At that point, we can either choose to focus in one a single ant and follow its…… [Read More]
Ben has renounced piracy and promises to help Jim and his friends. However, Gunn also acts as a warning to Jim that money is not all that matters, as Ben's life has left him alone, dissolute, and desperate, and at the end of the novel Ben quickly spends all of the money he gains from his escapades and must turn to begging. Soon, Jim's own morality will be tested when he is captured and is given the choice to join Long John Silver's crew. Jim resists, and when the pirates turn against their leader, both Silver and John narrowly escape wit their lives.
From Dr. Livesey, Jim learns to take risks, like travel far and wide in search of treasure. His experiences aboard the Hispaniola teach him that sometimes he has better judgment than esteemed Englishmen with aristocratic titles like Squire Trelawney. From Ben Gunn Jim learns that not all…… [Read More]
" However, osch's writings were by no means one-dimensional, for he addressed many universal aspects of life. Indeed, osch's versatility as a writer is reflected in his ability to write works of fantasy, political thought, biographies, history, social realism, and cultural commentaries. He also published several poems and short stories in Cuban and Dominican newspapers and magazines, and worked for a period of time as literary editor for the influential newspaper, Listin Diario.
The fact that Juan osch was, first and foremost, a humanist who was interested in all aspects of human interest and welfare is clearly reflected in his writings. for, osch did not merely dwell on the miserable plight of the rural poor, but also reflected on the materialism and hypocrisy of the upper classes. For instance, in La bella alma de don Damian (the eautiful Soul of Don Damian), osch depicts Don Damian's soul examining itself with…… [Read More]
Developing country that will be focused upon for this report is Haiti. The reason the author of this report chose Haiti for this report is because the recent earthquake there that claimed roughly 50,000 lives brought it to the forefront. This is in contrast to the Dominican epublic (which is on the other end of the same island) had little to no notable news coverage during the same aftermath. Haiti is certainly not at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to developing countries but it shares a colonial past (French) with many other countries and it faces many challenges including starkly low incomes, very low literacy rates and other major life challenges for normal every-day Haitians. Facts to be covered include the name of the country, which of course is Haiti, when it became independent, its location, in what ways the country is less develop than more advanced…… [Read More]
3. Who are the various groups of indigenous people? What are some of their customs? How did they receive the Spaniards? What marks of 'civilization' does de las Casas note?
The author refers to the indigenous peoples as Indians, and also as Cacics. De las Casas respects the great diversity among the indigenous people he encounters, even if his impressions seem ethnocentric. For example, the author claims that the indigenous people of Hispaniola are innocent and childlike, and trust the Spanish overlords. He also notes they do not like to work very hard. At times, de las Casas describes the religious idols and practices of the peoples, and also games like juggling.
4. List various specific things that de las Casas uses as examples of Spanish barbarity.
The entire tome is devoted to examples of Spanish barbarity. De las Casas does not hold back when he refers to the brutality…… [Read More]
Father Bartolome de Las Casas
Father Bartolome de Las Casas is one of the most prominent advocates of the Cuban indigenous people. He actually owned slaves himself at one point, yet he set his own slaves free and renounced the practice. He also joined the Dominican order of Christianity and protested against the cruel and unusual punishment that the indigent people had suffered. He was especially against the practice of encomienda which is to trade a life for other material possessions. He wrote:
"The Indies were discovered in 1492. In the following year a great many Spaniards went there with the intention of settling the land. Thus, forty-nine years have passed since the first settlers penetrated the land, the first so claimed being the large and most happy isle called Hispaniola, which is six hundred leagues in circumference…And all the land so far discovered is a beehive…… [Read More]
It is impossible in six short pages to fully comprehend the attitudes that hite Americans had to Native Indians and black Americans in the early centuries of our nation's founding. That was m not my intent. My goal rather, was to illustrate first that although we are often presented a dominant narrative as the narrative, the truth is that in surveying American attitudes towards American Indians and Blacks a single cohesive narrative does not exist. If such a narrative did exist the Native American Seminole tribe of Florida would not exist. The Seminoles were a tri-racial tribe composed of Creek Indians, remainders of smaller tribes, runaway slaves and whites who preferred to live in Indian society (Loewen). The First and Second Seminole wars (1816-18, 1835-42) in which the Seminoles fought against invading hites who demanded that they surrender their African-American members, were fought not for economic value but to eliminate…… [Read More]
The Spanish oyal Crown officially declared that the only salvation possible for the native populations was to accept their opportunity to adopt Christianity. In fact under a concept known as equerimiento, the Spaniards were required to give the native people a "fair" opportunity to do just that before they disposed of them as savages instead of respecting them as human beings created in God's image. As Eurocentric a concept as equerimiento was, even that edict was routinely ignored by Columbus's men (Schwartz, 2000; Stannard, 1993). They enslaved men, rapes women, and murdered children virtually at will. They imposed "quotas" of minimum amounts of gold ore to be collected daily and imposed penalties of mutilation and death, often depending on whether or not their victims survived after having limbs hacked off as a message to their companions and their communities that the Spaniards were deadly serious about expecting them to find…… [Read More]
The traditional view of these 15th century explorers is that they were brave sailors who braved the risks and difficulties of oceanic travel and who "discovered" new lands in distant places. In truth, they were horribly brutal, homicidal tyrants who actually were responsible for more atrocities than the worst modern-day examples of dictators and perpetrators of crimes against humanity.
The human carnage committed by Columbus and his armies and by those of Cortes in the century following their arrival in the Americas dwarfs even those committed by the Nazis during World War Two. The sheer numbers of people they enslaved, brutalized, and murdered amounts to many times the six million Jews killed by the Nazis. In fact, if one combines the number of native people murdered (and very cruelly, senselessly, and unnecessarily brutally) by Columbus and Cortes and their contemporaries. Columbus accounted for the deaths of at least 8 million…… [Read More]
In this regard, Selzer notes that, "Pan American World Airways was a great carrier and a foremost representative of the American way around the world. Its triumphs were one of the major reasons why English is the primary language spoken in air-traffic control towers throughout the globe" (p. 20).
Notwithstanding these early successes, by the late 1980s, though, Pan American was experienced serious financial trouble and sought relief through wage and benefits negotiations with the flight attendant and flight engineer unions (uben 1989). By the early 1990s, the writing was on the wall for all to see and Pan American's days were clearly numbered. Based on his analysis of Pan American's demise, Branson (2007) suggests that Trippe was relatively out of touch with the important global events that swirled around him during the early 1990s and failed to respond to these changes in a timely fashion. According to Branson, "Trippe…… [Read More]
In short, the United States became more aggressive in attaining foreign resources and access to trade. This was a result of the expansive nature of empires, and the fact that America, as characterized by Boot, was gradually becoming a "great power."
Largely, the Great Powers of the modern world have come into being as emerging economic and political trends have allowed. The ever shifting tides of the world's social foundations have tended to produce successive powers that rise and fall over the course of history. Generally, what make these powers great are their military capabilities, but of course, these are commanded by the economic base supporting them. A powerful economy can allow for enormous military expenditures, and generate vast influence across the planet.
Naturally, the economic crux of a great power can vary in form. Most obviously, the great power of the ancient world -- Rome -- relied upon the…… [Read More]
Another historian notes, "Trujillo had prisons set up throughout the island with torture cells that became infamous for the horrors that occurred within. Opponents to his regime were dealt with swiftly and brutally, usually succumbing to death from the effects of torture or disease, if not assassinated" (Brown 31).
Trujillo is not only violent and despotic, he is a womanizer and adulterer, and he even stoops to young girls, then hustles them out of the country when they get pregnant. At a party, Minerva catches him fondling a senator's wife. "Under the tablecloth, a hand is exploring the inner folds of a woman's thigh. I work it out and realize it is Trujillo's hand fondling the senator's wife" (Alvarez 96). History shows the man was not only a violent dictator; he was a macho man who lusted after numerous women, including Minerva, who slaps him when he makes an advance…… [Read More]
This historian continues, "A sugar-loaf could weigh anything between one pound and 20 pounds, but whatever it weighed it was worth that weight in silver" (Toussaint-Samat 555). By the sixteenth century, it was discovered that sugar cane grew amazingly well in the New World Christopher Columbus had discovered, especially in the Caribbean areas. Toussaint-Samat notes, "in 1506 one Pedro d'Arrance took sugar cane to Hispaniola, now the Dominican epublic. It grew there so profusely that by 1518 the island had eight sugar plantations" (Toussaint-Samat 556). Sugar grew in popularity as it became more readily available, and it also began to drop in price, so the middle class could afford it. As early as 1600, one early historian notes, "That which was once a remedy now serves us as food'" (Toussaint-Samat 557). Sugar cane became another form of currency, and entire economies were built on it before it dropped in price…… [Read More]
.. reason is being heard throughout the whole universe; discover your rights," led to her being charged with treason, resulting in her arrest, trial and execution in 1793 by the dreaded guillotine (1997, Halsall, "Olympe de Gouge," Internet).
The Haitian evolution:
While all of this revolt was happening in France, the small Caribbean colony of Haiti was experiencing similar turmoil. The Haitian evolution of 1789 to 1804 began as a political struggle among the free peoples of Saint Domingue, a French colony on the island of Hispaniola. The French evolution of the same period provided the impetus for class and racial hatreds to come about on the island. Each of the colony's social classes, being the wealthy planters and merchants, and the lower white classes, seized the chance to address their grievances and bring about social chaos and revolt. While many colonial members sought support from the political groups in…… [Read More]
There are many examples in the literature of the intention and purpose of the early colonists to eradicate the Indian population. The genocidal intentions against the indigenous population of America do not however begin with the English colonists, but starts with Columbus. The following quotation refers to his second voyage to the New World.
Columbus took the title "Admiral of the Ocean Sea" and proceeded to unleash a reign of terror unlike anything seen before or since. When he was finished, eight million Arawaks -- virtually the entire native population of Hispaniola -- had been exterminated by torture, murder, forced labor, starvation, disease and despair.
Genocide of the American Indian Peoples)
Historian David Stannard also states quite categorically that "the destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world." (Genocide of the American Indian Peoples) The…… [Read More]
Bartoleme De Las Casas
An Analysis of the Activism of Bartoleme De Las Casas
Often characterized by modern historians as the "Defender and the apostle to the Indians," Bartolome de Las Casas is known for exposing and condemning as well as exaggerating and misrepresenting the violent practices of Spanish colonizers of the New orld against Native Americans. Marked by emotional polemic and often embellished statistics, Las Casas' voluminous works brought him both support and opposition in his own time. hile being harshly criticized as a threat to Spanish rule in America, De Las Casas was also continually financially supported by the Crown and offered high offices by the Church (Benzoni 48). Though more than four hundred years have passed since his death, the works of this controversial Dominican friar continue to elicit strong reactions from both detractors and defenders -- from both those who condemn him and those who praise…… [Read More]
Culture is no small force; it shapes individuals and impacts tremendously on politics (McCartney, 2004). Nations are made up of people, who, from the moment of their birth, are deeply and profoundly shaped by the cultures and customs from whence they came (McCartney, 2004). Because history and culture are two such inseparable animals, it's worthwhile to take a brief look at the history of the Bahamas.
Many history scholars believe that the first inhabitants of the Bahamas were Aborigines of Mongol ancestry who migrated there 100,000 years ago via a bridge which connected Alaska and Siberia. However, others attribute original dwellers of the Bahamas to have come from Haiti (McCartney, 2004). And yet still other scholars believe that the original inhabitants of the Bahamas were the Lucayan Indians (Arawaks) that Columbus met when he arrived there in 1492 (McCartney, 2004).Despite Columbus's "discovery" of this land and these people…… [Read More]
biases present in our culture that encourage those whose primary culture is rooted in Western civilization to view their culture as the most significant and important one. It calls this view "Eurocentric," and gives many, many examples of how Eurocentric bias has been presented in textbooks about world history.
The author gives examples of how people are indoctrinated to accept an Eurocentrist view using examples from movies as well as those who seem to attempt to view Columbus more clearly. For instance, when Christopher Columbus is criticized for the wrongs he did, such as his arrival at Hispaniola resulting in the deaths of 8 million natives during the following 21 years, the implication is that these effects are somewhere in the past. In reality, it never stopped. Native peoples in the Americas are still persecuted to this day. Thus the careful re-representation of history has been taking place for centuries.…… [Read More]
Socially Constructed Geography
As a society, humans by nature relate to the world and define norms by identifying with the environment around them. In America for example, the foundation for the society was built on idealisms that suggested that the first entrants into this society were pioneers, overcoming a vast wilderness and pristine landscape in order to build the foundation upon which modern society now reigns supreme. People by nature identify with social constructed realities that bring them together in a communal and socially responsible manner. In order to help civilians learn about society and social norms, it is often necessary to deconstruct and reconstruct the geographic landscape of a land to build a culture from a blank template.
Human beings have socially constructed the view that the landscape of this nation prior to discovery was naked, raw, virgin; basically one might conclude that it was a pristine…… [Read More]
Louis Moreau Gottschalk
Pianist-virtuoso and composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was born in New Orleans and grew up in a neighborhood where Creole music was commonly played. He was heavily influenced by African -- Caribbean music throughout the rest of his life (Gelfert, 2001). Gottschalk was exposed to these musical influences coming from outside his house as well as from his grandmother and nurse who were both natives of Saint -- Dominigue, French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and later known as Haiti (Starr, 1995). Gottschalk had six sisters and brothers, five of them were half -- siblings born to his father's mulatto mistress (Gelfert, 2001; Starr, 1995). As a young child Gottschalk displayed a talent for playing the piano and his parents hired a private tutor to teach them. You also started learning the violin at the age of six and gave his first public piano performance…… [Read More]