So this guy was at the Christopher Columbus parade! And he was like “WOOOOAH THIS GUY WENT TO THE NEW WOOOORLD OOOH~ AND OOOH THERE’S SOME PEOPLEEEE WITH HIM AND THEY’RE ALL INDIANSSSS AND THEY’RE ALMOST NAKEDDDD AND PRETTY JEWELRYYY.” And he was like 9 years old when he was like “WOOOOAH”.
But anyways. This guy’s name was Bartolome, but we’re gonna name him Bart.
Bart grew up SPAIN because Spain was rockin around the Renaissance. And he was a farmer and stuff. He went to America when he was about 18 and he was given a encomienda. ENCOMIENDA~!
Now what the heck is an encomienda?
I DUNNO LET’S FIND OUT.
You see, after the Spaniards settled down in ‘MERICUHH, they modeled the government after Spain. And the Spaniards still hard the feudal system. But they renamed the Feudal system for America the ENCOMIENDA SYSTEM~!
So basically they went over there and was like “HAI INDIANS. THIS LAND IS NOW MINE AND YOU’RE GONNA WORK FOR ME ON THIS LAND WHIC IS NOW MINE WHICH I JUST STOLE FROM YOU. I’M GONNA HIRE YOU AND LET YOU LIVE AND WORK ON MY LAND BECAUSE I’M A NICE GUY AND IT’S THE CHRISTIAN THING TO DO!”
“O BAI THU WAI WE’RE GONNA FORCE YOU INTO SLAVERY AND CHRISTIANITY KTHNXBAI NOW GET TO WORK~!”
And Yes, Spanish do yell. Always. That’s why I put everything they say in all caps.
But! So they were really nice and let the Indians work ALLLLL DAYYY from before the sun rose ‘till long after the sun set! And because they were in the deserty-area, that means it got really really hot during they day, and really cold at night! Also, they provided some really failtastic Christian tecahers to help the Indians learn why they were being loved SO MUCH.
So back to Bart!
He was given an Encomineda, but he wasn’t like most
This means the system was still alive and well, so he went over to whine and complain to the king of Spain. And the King of Spain was annoyed so he told him to go away for a few years and “research” the encominedas. So he did. But when he came back, there was a new king who was like “WELL PROVE HOW BAD THESE THINGS ARE.” And Bart wanted to try his way of doing things, so he did.
So Bart set up a little farming colony in Venezuela. Here, the Indians had more freedom. And I wish I could say everything went hunky-dorey, but it didn’t. It failed miserably. The people liked the old system better, because in the old system they didn’t have to work and they didn’t have to pay the Indians a whole lot. And they got free land.
Bart was sad. But he still didn’t stop helping the Indians. He joined the Dominicans and started writing about how bad the Indians were treated. And Mr. P-to-da-ope got wind of this and he thought Bart was right.
This was good, because the Spanish king was like Oh no it’s the Pope gotta agree with him.” So he signed up some new laws and shtuff. Basically it prohibited Indian slavery, and two years later, Bart was made a Bishop in Guatemala. However, Bart got the cold shoulder and everyone was like “PFFT FORGET THIS.” and they just went right along with their little encominedas. This really brought Bart down so he resigned as Bishop, but he kept-a pressin’ on.
So Bart won this Debate between him and another guy whose name I pronounce about as well as I can spell it. But still, the encomineda system kept on and did not stop for a while.
And Bart kept writing, and he was speaking at councils and kept on doin’ that kind of thing until he died.