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Political Science
Margaret Kohn

LEC01 Key themes 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 Why start with Franciscus de Victoria? Theorized about the significance of the conquest of the Americas Modernity begins in 1492 Founder of international law Not found in broad view anthology Writes about experience or events that mark the beginning of the new world After 1492, we get a geographical sense of the entire globe Why start with the conquest of the Americas? Beginning of globalization Turning point in the growth of European domination Sparks debates about cultural difference and domination Eurocentrism; All of our texts are created by Europeans; possible source of all knowledge From Bartoleme de Las Casa, Bried Account of the Devastation of the Indies (1542) Bloody conquest Dominican monk Owner of indigenous slaves Come to realize that kind of slavery was immoral Became one of the foremost critics for slavery Had a legal fight to help protect Indians from slavery and exploitation by the Spanish crown in order to influence, he wrote about what he saw about their exploitation and such Talks about Christians because it was so hypocritical Supposed to represent peace and love, but actually very brutal Cannibalism or ritual sacrifice Indigenous society are seen as uncivilized and barbaric Spanish are said to be there to make them more civilized, but in reality, their role were switched How could the conquest be justified? Religion; the medieval concept of the universal Christian commonwealth Based in scripture These concepts of unity and hierarchy were used to justify papal authority Pope had ultimate authority Christianity was state religion in roman empire Rome was under threat from invasions Capital fled from rome Military threat came from northern Europe Pope stayed in rome Continued to grow Political authority vs. religious authority Secular vs. religious Different alliances in order to gain power How could the pope‟s spiritual leadership come to justify military power against non-christians The Crusades Military campaigns to capture Jerusalem Main justification is to defend the Pope‟s spiritual authority over the Christian community Tradition in visiting religious sites By going to middle east and taking over land, they would have the opportunity for economic improvement in life Improving economy and lifestyle; modern idea Limits on Papal Power Social contract theory (hobbes, locke) Natural law (St. Thomas Aquinas) Natural law is based on reason not scripture and therefore is accessible to all people and applies to everyone Universal sovereignty was threatened Political theorists began to support doctrines to limit the power of popes and churches People have to consent to their own government (social contract theory) Drawing on cannon law In order to limit it, they draw on natural law Natural Law Positive law, natural law, divine law Do non-Christian societies have the right to choose their own leaders? Positive law; convention of a specific society and can be made arbitrarily and it will be okay Natural law; principles that derive from reason Divine law; principles of conduct from scripture or through faith and personal revelation Cannot kill the innocent LEC02 Key terms/ Glossary Encomienda; the system of granting Indians to Spanish settlers for forced labour Requerimiento; declaration informing the Indians that they had to accept the authority of the pope or the Spanish would wage war against them Thomism; the philosophy of Aquinas, which synthesized Christian doctrine and the teachings of Aristotle Positive law; the conventions of a specific society Divine law; the principles of conduct that are revealed through scripture or faith Natural law; the principles of conduct that are accessible to all men based on reason Franciscus de Victoria Dominican monk Professor of theology in spain Proponent of Thomism (the natural law theories of Aquinas) Political consultant (asked by the holy roman emperor Charles V about the treatment of the indigenous inhabitants of the indies) Founder of international law Early person in debate of just law theory Influential because of his contribution of legitimacy Involved with legal debates The Debate Over the Conquest of the Americas Conquistadores; Domination is necessary to Christianize the natives Tax and tribute system 25 ducats of gold per quarter to the Spanish if didn‟t, they would be imprisoned, killed, slaved, etc Encomienda constructed mines system of forced labour This period had a lot of concern with the legitimacy ownership of things were questioned (ex. land) What right did you have to take this land? Popes were responsible (Christian commonwealth) Indians had to be Christianized, and therefore was colonized Power of the crown is derived from the popes authority Critics Conversion must be voluntary Forced labour does not teach the natives to love the Christian religion Moreover, conquest is a violation of both Christianity and natural law Inner subjective feeling of faith is what Christianity is based on System of coercion didn‟t necessarily mean that they adopted the faith Came in a hostile manner, does not make you love the religion Cannot teach doctrine of Christianity by the way that they treat them (exploitation) “On The Indians, Lately Discovered” 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 any right to dominion Dominion; both ownership of property, or governance/ jurisdiction Conquest might be justified if the Indians violate the universally binding law of nations Christian rights were being violated, so the Christian nations could come into their defense They were on the land that was being run by muslims Native peoples are going to be judged by the same standards Decided on by the Europeans (Spanish) What is universal? Colonial expansion; ability to take the norms and apply them/ force them on the rest of the world Structure of the Essay Section1; non believers (including Indians) have natural rights Section2; critique of the doctrine of Papal sovereignty Section3; on the lawful titles whereby the aborgines of America could have come into the power of Spain Section1; Non-believers (including Indians) have natural rights Non believers have natural right Indians are not „slaves by nature‟- Aristotle Slavery is only acceptable when slaves are not mentally capable There is a mutual benefit Dominion is dependent on race? Do you have to be Christian to own property? Victoria says no Roman law, scripture, philosophy, legal debates from the crusades Section2; Rejection of Papal Title Requerimiento; legal document that was to be read out loud before the Spanish could invade native village (requirement) When they see Spanish coming, they are either prepared to fight or flee Victoria recognizes the absurdity and coercive character of this requirement Disagree with what the Spanish are doing The only way you can actually convert people is by interacting witht hem so that they can be presented by proofs of the positive actions of Christianity Victoria believes that the natives should allow missionaries to preach, but it should not mean that they must submit to the Spanish government This way of getting there is very different from how the Spanish are actually doing it Even when Christianity has been proposed to them with never so much sufficiency of proof and they will not accept it, this does not render it lawful to make war on them and despoil them of their possessions Event if you turn down Christianity, you should not make war on them and take their possessions If you use coercion, there is a lower chance of them in believing They will pretend to have religious views that they do not have Christian princes cannot, event on the authority of the pope, restrain these aborigines from sins against the law of nature or punish them therefore Seems to contradict what is said in section three He is saying that it I not acceptable to use it as a justification, but in section 3, it says that it was the only reason to do so Natives had the right to have possessions, but if they were to not accept the Christians, then they would be defying natural law Victoria disagrees with the precedent Main argument; insists that the church can pass judgements on believers and not non believers pope is not allowed to punish people that think they have broken natural law unmoral sexual actions does not have jurisdiction over royalty; should not be allowed to have power over others Anyone based on reason should not have to go by those laws Easy to prove that Christ is the son of God, than it is to prove fornication Cannot claim by reason that you must avoid it Relativism No universal law Should be based on standards from culture Victoria was opponent of the conquest; proving wrong all arguments made by the conquistadores Section3; Legitimate justifications for Spanish power/ conquest Right to travel Derived from the „law of nations‟ Right to commerce (trade) Right to preach and declare gospel Systematically present arguments from both sides What rights did the Spanish have in the new world? They have the right to travel if they have no harm to the natives Law of nations is from natural law People place a positive value in hospitality Universal value; Mankind is naturally from a species, all share things, all originally given the world in common, all share it even though it is in different states and territories Natural to benefit from trading God split things up so you have to trade so everyone gets everything What exactly is the „law of nations‟? Derived from natural law OR derived from the consensus among nations Ocean is in common Natural rights and property are based on you improving it and by improving it you gain ownership Ambassadors should not be harmed Undermines the purpose of them Contradiction If its something that you can make a logical argument for, it can the be imposed on other countries What should the Spanish do it the Indians act unnaturally (eg. Violate the law of nations)? Use reason/ persuasion Use force Force must be proportional Spanish can use coerce to defend themselves If any native converts voluntarily, if they are forced to convert back, then the Spanish can then act with war Victoria wants to justify the war, but wants to limit it (reformer) Has reformist impulse, but almost makes arguments that are dubious What would be the reason why natives not allow Spanish to travel, commerce? They have seen what the Spanish have done; brutal and cruel Victoria says they are too stupid and fail to see their obligations under the natural law and therefore would fight back If Indians fight back and repel them, then the Spaniards can use force to try and regain their rights to travel If they continue to fight back, then they no longer have a just cause and the Spanish can take over and enslave them Spaniards can also intervene to prevent tyrannical rulers from harming the innocent (eg cannibalism) Does this contradict victoria‟s earlier claim in section 2 that the pope cannot authorize conquest to punish natives for violating law of nature? Possible that indigenous people are harming their own people and are violating natural law in engaging in cannibalism or putting innocent people to death Does this contradict the earlier claim? (section 2, p16) Pope cannot authorize conquest Conclusion and Summary Victoria develops the first modern defense of colonialism/ imperialism The native can be conquered, colonized and controlled but not to convert him and not as a consequence of the universal authority of the pope Christian nations can enforce natural law and compel natives to behave reasonably The use and abuse of the concept of „nature‟ and „universal‟ LEC03 Utopia Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) Executed by Henry VII for treason head was boiled and preserved and put up on a s
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