Reading Response 1 - Essay Example

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Christians ventured into Indian territories with a hope of converting the locals into Christianity. They carried with them gifts to appease the chiefs…
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Reading Response 1
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College: Reading Response The article is about the grievous atrocities perpetrated by Christians against the Indies in the of spreading the gospel. Christians ventured into Indian territories with a hope of converting the locals into Christianity. They carried with them gifts to appease the chiefs and local administrators, with the hope that the chiefs had the power to command the people to follow the new teachings in Christianity. However, the locals were not receptive of the new religion and perceived the strangers with increased suspense. Also, most of the Christians were not only aimed at spreading the gospel, but had the interest of taking the land of the local people with the pretense they were teaching the people how to use land and the new gospel. The result was grievous execution and torture of the locals who refused to embrace the new teachings and were unwelcoming to strangers. Instead of preaching a gospel of peace, Christians perpetrated mass execution of the locals torturing them by burning them alive and dismembering their bodies, among other atrocities. Children and women bore the wrath of the Christians whose gospel was opposite of their actions. In the name of the gospel, a large population of the Indies people was eliminated, the rest were taken as slaves to work for the benefit of the same Christians, who continued to gather wealth while the locals struggled to suffer in poverty. The locals were denied food despite working in extreme conditions to enrich the missionaries in their own land and using their own blood and resources (Casas 34).
The main aim behind the colonialists’ atrocities in the Indies was to weaken the resistance of the locals. There was a thin line between spreading the gospel in Christianity in such Asian regions and exploring the land for resources to enrich the colonialists’ mother countries. Most of the early missionaries turned to be political elements who explored new lands and resources for their mother countries, and the Indies was not an exceptional. The locals were harsh and unwelcome to the colonialists, as a response, the colonialists had to use cruel methods to deter any resistance from the locals and to weaken the resistance of the people towards receiving new instructions. Women and children were easier to deal with, which explains the mass execution of males; moreover, as political figures, the missionaries had to use cheap labor to attain maximum benefits from exploiting resources in the Indies, which degenerated into slave trade.
One of the greatest impacts of colonialism and slave trade was destruction of social structures and norms in many societies, mainly in Asian and African continents. Colonialists introduced new cultures that defiled the local native cultures with teachings such as Christianity doing away with indigenous methods of worship, which defined cultures. However, despite the atrocities subjected to locals, colonialism was responsible for introducing better ways of farming and other civilization processes in remote areas across the globe. Such methods made life much easier compared to the native’s primitive ways of life. The impact of slave trade was destroying families, generations and recording the longest history of inhumanity where slaves were treated as secondary primitive elements inferior to whites. However, one positive side of slavery was that it helped in mixing races in the American continent where it resulted in a rich diversity of people.
Work Cited
Casas, Bartolomé de Las. The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account. Maryland: JHU Press, 1974. Print. Read More
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