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The New Laws (Spanish: Leyes Nuevas), also known as the New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians (Spanish: Leyes y ordenanzas nuevamente hechas por su Majestad para la gobernación de las Indias y buen tratamiento y conservación de los Indios, Laws and ordinances newly made for his Majesty for the governing of the Indies and the good treatment and preservation of the Indians), were issued on November 20, 1542, by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (King Charles I of Spain) and regard the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Following complaints and calls for reform from individuals such as the Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas, these laws were intended to prevent the exploitation and mistreatment of the indigenous peoples of the Americas by the encomenderos , by strictly limiting their power and dominion over groups of natives.The text of the New Laws has been translated into English.
Blasco Núñez Vela, the first Viceroy of Peru, enforced the New Laws. He was opposed by a revolt of some encomenderos and was killed in 1546 by the landowning faction led by Gonzalo Pizarro. He wanted to maintain a political structure based on the Incan model the Spanish found in place. Although the New Laws were only partly successful, due to the opposition of some colonists, they did result in the liberation of thousands of indigenous workers, who had been held in a state of semi-slavery.
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The New Laws were the results of a reform movement in reaction to what were considered to be the less effective, decades-old Leyes de Burgos (Laws of Burgos), issued by King Ferdinand II of Aragon on December 27, 1512. These laws were the first intended to regulate relations between the Spaniards and the recently conquered indigenous peoples of the New World. These are regarded as the first humanitarian laws in the New World. They were not fully implemented because of opposition by powerful colonists. While some encomenderos opposed the restrictions imposed by the laws as against their interests, others were opposed because they believed the laws institutionalized the system of forced Indian labor. During the reign of King Charles I, the reformers gained strength. A number of Spanish missionaries argued for stricter rules, including Bartolomé de las Casas and Francisco de Vitoria. Their goal was to protect the Indians against forced labor and expropriation, and to preserve their cultures. Some discussions challenged the very legitimacy of the conquest and colonization. Eventually, the reformists influenced the King and his court to pass reforms that came to be known as the New Laws.
Some of these laws were redundant. Some established extra protections and rights for Native Americans that native Spaniards did not have themselves. Given the distance from the colonies and the time needed to travel between there and Spain, the Crown was unable to fully monitor compliance with the more ambiguous laws. For instance, slavery was made legal as punishment for certain crimes.
The main examples are the cases of slavery and encomiendas. The new laws included the prohibition of enslavement of the Indians and provided for gradual abolition of the encomienda system in America by forbidding it to be inherited by descendants. The New Laws stated that the natives would be considered free persons, and the encomenderos could no longer demand their labour.
The prohibition against enslaving Indians "in any case, not even crime or war" was a right that did not apply to native Castilians themselves. The enslavement of Native Americans had been declared illegal in Castile in 1501, when Isabella I declared native Americans to be both people and subjects of the Castilian crown, and so subject to the same rights and obligations as any other subject of the queen. Under those regulations, slavery was permitted almost exclusively as a penalty for a serious crime or some exceptional circumstances. Granting extra protection for Native Americans was an attempt by the crown to address its inability to monitor, from Spain, the legitimacy of the claims regarding reasons to enslave a person in the New World, and it acknowledged that false claims could be fabricated to enslave and exploit the native peoples.
The introduction and corruption of the encomienda system is now considered to have been an alternative for outright slavery and a Castilian institution that did not work properly in America. The encomienda was a system that interchanged a person's work for military protection by a higher authority. It had been part of the Castilian legal system since the Reconquista. Given the limited size of the Crown's army, this system allowed nobles or warlords to trade protection for the labor of persons under their purview. It was a way to aid in ensuring the safety of the population of the border areas during the repopulation of the no-man's-land between Castile and the southern Muslim areas. It either required either the consent of both parts or the direct intervention of the king, who was responsible for setting reasonable conditions for the parties and to intervene (militarily if required) in case of abuses.
In America, however, colonists used encomiendas to create conditions similar to slavery in areas that did not require such protection. Authorities other than the king claimed the right to assign encomiendas and assigned the most unpleasant or dangerous jobs to the Natives.
The New Laws established more specific regulations or stipulated the conditions under the Crown's authority:
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The King promulgated the New Laws in 1542. In addition to regulating encomienda and treatment of Indians, they reorganized the overseas colonial administration. Several General Captainships were established, such as the Kingdom of Guatemala, to create another level of Crown authority in the colony.
When the New Laws were passed, every European man holding an encomienda in Peru learned that his grant of labor could be confiscated if he was guilty of having taken part in the civil disturbances of Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro. As a result, privileged Spanish colonists were disturbed about implementing the New Laws. In Peru, Gonzalo Pizarro led a revolt of protesting encomenderos, who took to arms to "maintain their rights by force" for control of Indian lands and labor.
The Supreme Court of Peru invited Pizarro to take control of the government after his forces reached Lima from Bolivia. Pizarro took over Lima and Quito (now in Ecuador). Viceroy Blasco Núñez Vela, who had attempted to impose the decrees, was overthrown. Pizarro and his army killed Núñez Vela in 1546. Pizarro's power stretched from Peru north to Panama. Charles I and the court became alarmed, and were convinced that the immediate abolition of the encomienda system would bring economic ruin to the colonies. To deal with the revolt, Charles I sent Pedro de la Gasca to the colony; a bishop and diplomat, he did not command an army but was given full powers to rule and negotiate a settlement with Pizarro and his followers. However, Pizarro declared Peru independent from the King. La Gasca provisionally suspended the New Laws. Pizarro was later captured and executed, accused of being a "traitor to the King."
Although in New Spain (now Mexico), the initial reaction of encomenderos was noncompliance, they did not organize a rebellion as in Peru. New Spain's first viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, prudently refrained from enforcing the parts of the New Laws most objectionable to the encomenderos, and avoided rebellion.Over time, the encomenderos complied with most aspects of the laws. Most already maintained a horse and arms in case of Indian rebellion, and had established a residence in a Spanish settlement. They hired priests to minister to the Indians whose labor was granted to them. While they were not allowed to retain their encomiendas in perpetuity, they were permitted to bequeath the properties and labor once. They allowed Indians to fulfill obligations by payment of tribute, often in produce. The dramatic declines in Indian population due to epidemic disease, however, resulted in economic losses for the encomenderos.
In 1545, the Crown revoked the inheritance restriction of the New Laws. [ citation needed ]By strengthening the power of the encomenderos, the encomienda system was made secure. While the New Laws were partly successful, they did result in the liberation of thousands of indigenous workers from enforced servitude.
Most of the ordinances of the New Laws were later incorporated into the general corpus of the Laws of the Indies. In some cases they were superseded by newer laws. A weaker version of the New Laws was issued in 1552.[ citation needed ]
The European colonization of the Americas describes the Age of Exploration and the resulting conquest and establishment of Western European control in what is now considered North and South America. Europe had been preoccupied with internal wars and was slowly recovering from the loss of population caused by the Black Death; thus the rapid rate at which it grew in wealth and power was unforeseeable in the early 15th century. European colonization impacted the political systems, geographic boundaries, and languages that predominate in the hemisphere's largely independent states today.
The Spanish colonization of the Americas began under the Crown of Castile and spearheaded by the Spanish conquistadors. The Americas were invaded and incorporated into the Spanish Empire, with the exception of Brazil, British America, and some small regions in South America and the Caribbean. The crown created civil and religious structures to administer this vast territory. The main motivations for colonial expansion were profit through resource extraction and the spread of Catholicism through indigenous conversions.
Bartolomé de las Casas was a 16th-century Spanish landowner, friar, priest, and bishop, famed as a historian and social reformer. He arrived in Hispaniola as a layman then became a Dominican friar and priest. He was appointed as the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians". His extensive writings, the most famous being A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies and Historia de Las Indias, chronicle the first decades of colonization of the West Indies. He described the atrocities committed by the colonizers against the indigenous peoples.
The Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish imperial provincial administrative district, created in 1542, that originally contained modern-day Peru and most of Spanish Empire South America, governed from the capital of Lima. Peru was one of the two Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.
The encomienda was a Spanish labor system that rewarded conquerors with the labor of particular groups of conquered non-Christian people. The laborers, in theory, were provided with benefits by the conquerors for whom they labored, the Catholic religion being a principal benefit. The encomienda was first established in Spain following the Christian conquest of Moorish territories, and it was applied on a much larger scale during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the Spanish Philippines. Conquered peoples were considered vassals of the Spanish monarch. The Crown awarded an encomienda as a grant to a particular individual. In the conquest era of the sixteenth century, the grants were considered to be a monopoly on the labor of particular groups of indigenous peoples, held in perpetuity by the grant holder, called the encomendero, and his or her descendants.
Blasco Núñez Vela y Villalba was the first Spanish viceroy of South America. Serving from May 15, 1544 to January 18, 1546, he was charged by Charles V with the enforcement of the controversial New Laws, which dealt with the failure of the encomienda system to protect the indigenous people of America from the rapacity of the conquistadors and their descendants.
Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco was the first Viceroy of New Spain, serving from November 14, 1535 to November 25, 1550, and the third Viceroy of Peru, from September 23, 1551, until his death on July 21, 1552.
Slavery in the Spanish American colonies was an economic and social institution which existed throughout the Spanish Empire. In its American territories, it initially bound indigenous people and later slaves of African origin.
The Repartimiento was a colonial labor system imposed upon the indigenous population of Spanish America and the Philippines. In concept, it was similar to other tribute-labor systems, such as the mit'a of the Inca Empire or the corvée of Ancien Régime France: Through the pueblos de indios, the Amerindians were drafted work for cycles of weeks, months, or years, on farms, in mines, in workshops (obrajes), and public projects.
García Hurtado de Mendoza y Manrique, 5th Marquis of Cañete was a Spanish Governor of Chile, and later Viceroy of Peru. He is often known simply as "Marquis of Cañete". Belonging to an influential family of Spanish noblemen Hurtado de Mendoza successfully fought in the Arauco War during his stay as Governor of Chile. The city of Mendoza is named after him. In his later position as Viceroy of Peru he sponsored Álvaro de Mendaña's transpacific expedition of 1595, who named the Marquesas Islands after him.
The Laws of Burgos, promulgated on 27 December 1512 in Burgos, Crown of Castile (Spain), was the first codified set of laws governing the behavior of Spaniards in the Americas, particularly with regard to the Indigenous people of the Americas ('native Caribbean Indians'). They forbade the maltreatment of the indigenous people and endorsed their conversion to Catholicism. The laws were created following the conquest and Spanish colonization of the Americas in the West Indies, where the common law of Castile was not fully applicable.
Martín Enríquez de Almanza y Ulloa, was the fourth viceroy of New Spain, who ruled in the name of Philip II from November 5, 1568 until October 3, 1580. Like many of the viceroys of New Spain, Almanza was of royal heritage. He was a member of the House of Enríquez, one of the four cadet branches of the House of Burgundy, the ruling dynasty in Castile, yet never inherited a title. Enríquez was 60 when he was appointed viceroy in New Spain. He brought strength and stability in the wake of the encomenderos' conspiracy of the son of conqueror Hernán Cortés, Don Martín Cortés and other encomenderos who challenged the crown's power. He was subsequently viceroy of Peru, from September 23, 1581 until his death in 1583, a post he reluctantly accepted at age 72. He was a very able administrator in Mexico, asserting crown control, and effective in establishing defenses against northern natives who threatened the vital link between the silver mines in north and Mexico's center.
The Laws of the Indies are the entire body of laws issued by the Spanish Crown for the American and the Philippine possessions of its empire. They regulated social, political, religious, and economic life in these areas. The laws are composed of myriad decrees issued over the centuries and the important laws of the 16th century, which attempted to regulate the interactions between the settlers and natives, such as the Laws of Burgos (1512) and the New Laws (1542).Throughout the 400 years of Spanish presence in these parts of the world, the laws were compiled several times, most notably in 1680 under Charles II in the Recopilación de las Leyes de los Reins de las Indias. This became considered the classic collection of the laws, although later laws superseded parts of it, and other compilations were issued.
After his unheard claims as governor of New Castile (Peru) following the death of his brother, Gonzalo Pizarro pressed claims to be recognized as the ruler of the land he and his brothers had conquered. After the arrival of appointed royal viceroy Blasco Núñez Vela in 1544, Gonzalo succeeded to have him repelled and sent to Panama in chains. He was released, however, and returned to Peru by sea while Gonzalo was mustering an army. The two met on January 18 at Iñaquito in the outskirts of Quito, present-day capital of Ecuador, where the superiority of the Nueva Castilla army ensured victory for Gonzalo. Blasco Núñez Vela reportedly fought bravely but fell as a victim in battle and was later decapitated on the field of defeat, a fate Gonzalo himself would share two years later at Jaquijahuana.
Francisco Pizarro and his fellow conquistadors from the rapidly growing Spanish Empire first arrived in the New World in 1524. But even before the arrival of the Europeans, the Inca Empire was floundering. Pizarro enjoyed stunning successes in his military campaign against the Incas, who, despite some resistance, were defeated and in 1538 the Spaniards completely defeated Inca forces near Lake Titicaca, allowing Spanish penetration into central and southern Bolivia.
Slavery among the indigenous peoples of North and South America took many forms. After first European settlers arrived, five Native American tribes came to own black slaves, imitating the Europeans.
Protector of the Indians was an administrative office of the Spanish colonies, that was responsible for attending to the well being of the native populations, including speaking on their behalf in courts and reporting back to the King of Spain. The King of Spain during the period of the Protector of the Indians was King Charles V. The King of Spain throughout this era gained the information of the treatments through Bartolomé de las Casas. Bartolomé de las Casas was one of the first Europeans to set foot into the new hemisphere and he later dedicated his life to the desire of ending harsh treatment of Indians.
Slavery in Spain can be traced to the times of the Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans. In the 9th century the Muslim Moorish rulers and local Jewish merchants traded in Spanish and Eastern European Christian slaves. Spain began to trade slaves in the 15th century and this trade reached its peak in the 16th century. The history of Spanish enslavement of Africans began with Portuguese captains Antão Gonçalves and Nuno Tristão in 1441. The first large group of African slaves, made up of 235 slaves, came with Lançarote de Freitas three years later. In 1462, Portuguese slave traders began to operate in Seville, Spain. During the 1470s, Spanish merchants began to trade large numbers of slaves. Slaves were auctioned at market at a cathedral, and subsequently were transported to cities all over Imperial Spain. This led to the spread of Moorish, African, and Christian slavery in Spain. By the 16th century, 7.4 percent of the population in Seville, Spain were slaves. Many historians have concluded that Renaissance and early-modern Spain had the highest amount of African slaves in Europe.
Slavery in Latin America was an economic and social institution which existed in Latin America from before the colonial era until its legal abolition in the newly independent states during the 19th century, although it continued illegally in some regions into the 20th century. Slavery in Latin America began in the precolonial period, when indigenous civilizations including the Maya and Aztec enslaved captives taken in war. After the conquest of Latin America by the Spanish and Portuguese, over 4 million enslaved Africans were taken to Latin America via the Atlantic slave trade, roughly 3.5 million of those to Brazil. The large Afro-Latino populations which remain in these regions today are the legacy of colonial slavery.
Slavery of Mapuches was commonplace in 17th-century Chile and a direct consequence of the Arauco War. When Spanish conquistadors initially subdued indigenous inhabitants of Chile there was no slavery but a form servitude called encomienda. However, this form of forced labour was harsh and many Mapuche would end up dying in the Spanish gold mines in the 16th century.