Why didn’t anyone object to the treatment of Native Americans during the Spanish colonization of the Americas?

A few did object to the treatment of Native Americans. Spanish missionary and historian Bartoleme de Las Casas (1474-1566) publicized the atrocities of the conquistadors.

He urged that Native Americans be treated humanely and that forced labor be abolished. In 1542, he succeeded in getting the New Laws passed, which aimed to end the encomienda system.

In fact, very little changed. Forced labor under other names, such as repartimiento, or assessment, kept Native Americans working under coercion.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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