501 years ago today: The Law of Burgos and the enslavement of Indians

law of burgos

”The Indians will leave their land voluntarily to come to the ecomiendas so that they shall not suffer from being removed by force.”

Law of Burgos #2

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On This Day: In 1512 the Spanish Crown enacted the Leyes de Burgos (“Laws of Burgos”), which were the first codified set of laws governing the behavior of Spaniards in the Americas, particularly with regards to indigenous peoples. The laws forbade the maltreatment of the indigenous people, endorsed their conversion to Catholicism, and authorized and legalized the colonial practice of creating Encomiendas, where indigenous people were forcibly grouped together to work under colonial masters.

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