POLB71 Jan. 8.docx

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
School
UTSC
Department
Political Science
Course
POLC71H3
Professor
Page:
of 6
POLB71 Jan. 8
Key Theme of the Course:
The paradox of the state
How do you prevent the state from becoming despotic
Limit government: rule of law and individual rights
Popular sovereignty
Balance of power
Starting with Francisius de Victoria…
He theorized about the significance of the conquest of the Americas
Modernity begins in 1492
Why stat at the conquest of the Americas?
Beginning of globalization
Turning point in the growth of European domination
Sparks debates about cultural difference and domination
POLB71 Jan. 15
Key Terms/Glossary
Enciomeda: the system of granting Indians to Spanish settlers for forced labor
Requiermiento: Declaration informing the Indians hat they accept the authority of
the Pope of the Spanish would wage war against them
Thomism: The philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, which synthesized Christian
Positive law
Natural Law
Franciscus de Victoria (1480?-1546)
Dominican monk
{Professor of theology in Spain
Proponent of Thomisn (the natural lae theories of Thomas Aquinas)
Political consultant (asked by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V about the
treatment of indigenous peoples)
The Debate over the Conquest of the Americas
Conquistadores: domination is necessary to Christianize the natives
- opened up mines, demanded 25 ducats from natives or there would be
consequences
- no independent separate state to ensure fair treatment of indigenous peoples
- Spanish colonists did not have a legitimate title (big issue) to give away
- By what right could the Spanish steal land from the indigenous people and
give it to settlers?
- The universality of the pope’s rule in the Christian commonwealth (idea
promoted in the crusades), so therefore they were Christianized and thereby
legitimizing the Spanish rules
Critics
There were many critics of this rationale e.g. Las Casas
Religious education of the natives was non-existent, primary goal was to exploit
their labour
Critics share belief that conversion to Christianity was a good thing, but still
opponents of the system of coercion that encouraged people to pretend, not adopt
faith in heart
They made three arguments:
- Conversion must be voluntary
- Forced labour did not teach the natives to love the Christian religion
- Moreover, the conquest is a violation both of Christianity and of natural law
“On the Indians, Lately Discovered”
Victoria is generally seen as someone who is on the side of the critics of the
conquest
Part of a series of university lectures on theology
- Indians have natural rights
- the pope could not give the Americas to Spain since he did not have right to
the dominion (dominion can be ownership of property, as well as kingdom)
- conquest might be justified id the Indians violate the universally binding Law
of Nations
We see a version of “pope innocence argument”… Christian communities
living in lands governed primarily in Muslim lands, and is rights were not
preserved, Christian lands could come and invade/save
“Universal principle” same protections extended to people outside society,
con: native peoples judged by those standards, standards that are
determined by Spanish
Here we see the beginning of the universal, secular, euro-centric modern
world (universal and euro-centric are not opposing ideas)
Structure of the Essay
Section One: non-believers (including Indian) have natural rights
Indians are not “slaves by nature” …refutes Aristotle (justification of slavery:
innately “less” = slave)… how could they have a society before Europe if they
were mentally deficient?
Ownership and dominion are based either natural law or on human law,
therefore they are not destroyed on want of faith… therefore because we
don’t take property from non-believers, so its theft if we do it from the
Indians
DL (divine law), PL (positive law), NL (natural law, principle based on
reason) … don’t kill people falls in the middle of all three, but property only
comes from PL and NL, therefore DL cant be a justification
Section Two: Critique of papal sovereignty
Rejection of the papal title
Pope is not the lord of the world, his power extends only to believers
Paragraph 7. A refusal by these aborigines to recognize any dominion of the
Pope is no reason for making war on them and for seizing their goods
Reqeuiremiento…. Legal document that had to be read out loud before
Spanish could attack a village… in order to regulate concern about conquest,
they created this document (already ridiculous because it’s post Columbus,
and speaking in Spanish)
Used as a just war theory (this is the period when it’s emerging), reading
empty rights to empty villages
Victoria recognizes the absurdity and coercive character of this requirement
and concludes: paragraph 11. The only way to convert them is to show them
positive proofs of Christianity over a while, work with spirits of peace and
love… not forcing them
15. Even when Christianity has been proposed to them with never so much
sufficiency of proof and they will not accept it, this does not ender it lawful to
make war on them and despoil them of their possessions… it will be
sacrilegious because if faced with sword Indians with feign belief
16. Christians princes can not, even on the authority of the Pope, restrain
these aboriginies from sins against the law of nature or punish them
therefore <- apparent contradiction
main argument of jurisdiction (church can only pass judgment on believers);
uses examples of sodomy and fornication to say that church cant come into
Indians land to come in and combat things that happen in Europe and go
unchallenged
Makes another argument that its easier to prove that Christ is the son of god
than it is to say tat fornication is wrong… rejecting natural law, comes close
to relativism (everything is based on standards internal to a culture)
If we stop right here, we might say Victoria is a critic through and through
Section Three: on the lawful titles whereby the aboriginies of America could
have come into the power od Spain
What are the legitimate justifications for Spanish power/conquest?
Essentially, concerned with the legitimacy of the ownership of land
Right to travel - derived from the “law of nations”

Document Summary

How do you prevent the state from becoming despotic. Limit government: rule of law and individual rights. He theorized about the significance of the conquest of the americas. Turning point in the growth of european domination. Sparks debates about cultural difference and domination. Enciomeda: the system of granting indians to spanish settlers for forced labor. Requiermiento: declaration informing the indians hat they accept the authority of the pope of the spanish would wage war against them. Thomism: the philosophy of st. thomas aquinas, which synthesized christian. Proponent of thomisn (the natural lae theories of thomas aquinas) Political consultant (asked by the holy roman emperor charles v about the treatment of indigenous peoples) The debate over the conquest of the americas. Conquistadores: domination is necessary to christianize the natives. Opened up mines, demanded 25 ducats from natives or there would be consequences. No independent separate state to ensure fair treatment of indigenous peoples.