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Conquistador in Chains Cabeza De Vaca and the Indians of the Americas

by David A. Howard

Conquistador in Chains Cabeza De Vaca and the Indians of the Americas Synopsis

The current image of the Spanish conquest of America and of the conquistadores who carried it out is one of destruction and oppression. One conquistador does not fit that image, however. A life-changing adventure led Cabeza de Vaca to seek a different kind of conquest, one that would be just and humane, true to Spanish religion and law, but one that safeguarded liberty and justice for the Indians of the New World. His use of the skills learned from his experiences with the Indians of North America did not always help him in understanding and managing the Indians of South America, and too many of the Spanish settlers in the Rio de la Plata Province found that his policies threatened their own interests and relations with the Indians. Eventually many of those Spaniards joined a conspiracy that removed him from power and returned him to Spain in chains. That Cabeza de Vaca was overthrown is not surprising. His ideas and policies opposed the self-interest of most of the first Spaniards who had come to America. What is amazing is that he was able to inspire and hold support among many others in America, who remained loyal to him during his time in prison and after his return to Spain.

Conquistador in Chains Cabeza De Vaca and the Indians of the Americas Press Reviews

A fresh and immensely satisfying new look at a man who paid the steep price of career and honor in defense of his Christian conscience, honed by a long and intimate contact with American Indians. This book highlights once again the contradictory motives that drove the Spanish conquest of the Americas in the 16th century by focusing on one man, Cabeza de Vaca. In his being and in his actions we see and can appreciate the magnitude, the magnificence, and the depravity of an era, borne along by sometimes wildly contradictory obsessions, from the most sacred to the most profane. --Lawrence A. Clayton, The University of Alabama A broad-ranging look at an exceptional conqueror. Howard covers both the North and South American phases of his remarkable life. --John F. Schwaller, Director, Academy of American Franciscan History

Book Information

ISBN: 9780817308285
Publication date: 31st January 1997
Author: David A. Howard
Publisher: The University of Alabama Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 240 pages
Categories: History of the Americas, Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700, Social & cultural history, Biography: historical, political & military,

About David A. Howard

David A. Howard is Professor of History at Houghton College, Houghton, New York.

More About David A. Howard

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