- ›› Coverage Geographical : Spain
In 1588, the Spanish and English fleets engaged in the English Channel, one of many expressions of imperial rivalries played out as European influence spread around the globe.
This tract, a summary of a debate concerning the subjugation of Indians, contains the arguments of Bartolomé de Las Casas, the Bishop of Chiapas, Mexico, and Juan Gines Sepulveda, an influential Spanish philosopher, concerning the treatment of American Indians in the New World.
The Papal Bull “Inter Caetera,” issued by Pope Alexander VI on May 4, 1493, played a central role in the Spanish conquest of the New World.
When Columbus arrived back in Spain on March 15, 1493, he immediately wrote a letter announcing his discoveries to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who had helped finance his trip. The Latin printing of this letter announced the existence of the American continent throughout Europe.
Imperial rivalries have often been resolved through war; however, the Treaty of Tordesillas is an important example of a rivalry that was resolved without hostilities through the demarcation of areas of influence by the Catholic Church. The Treaty of Tordesillas successfully arbitrated which lands could be ruled by Spain and which could be ruled by Portugal by creating a boundary “three hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands.” This line ran from the North to South Poles....
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were written to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Students will demonstrate this knowledge by writing summaries of selections from the original document and, by the end of the unit, articulating their understanding of the complete document by answering questions in an argumentative writing style to fulfill the Common Core State Standards....