Requerimiento and Spanish Imperialism

I was listening to some music to wind my day down and I heard something in the song “Evil and Harm” by Younger Brother (Simon Posford) which attracted my interest; there was a sound clip which sounded sorta like this, spoken in a voice reminiscent of James Earl Jones:

“I assure you, that with the help of God, I will make war on you in every place, and in every way that I can. And I will subject you to the yoke and obedience of the church. And I will take your peasants and your women and your children and I will make them slaves. And I will do you all the evils and harms which I can.”

It frankly sounds super-cool, spoken out in the ambience of that song, so I did some research. Turns out that it’s from an interesting little document written in 1510 by one Palacios Rubios, a jurist of the Council of Castille. It was apparently to be read upon encountering native populations, to tell them that any bad things happening to them were their own fault for not acknowledging the Pope and the Spanish rulers as their rightful lords. There doesn’t seem to be any concern for whether or not the native population was capable of understanding the document or the Spanish language.

A couple of versions of the Requerimiento can be found on the net here and here.

Now, I think I’m off to draft my own document which I shall present to passers-by on the street, informing them that the Great Invisible Unicorn, ruler of the dominion of Luna, hath granted me lordship over their lives. They are henceforth required to yield tribute of food, money, and nubile females at my demand, otherwise any negative things which befall them at my hands thereafter result from their failure to understand this document and their association with the anti-Christ. Time to get writing…

3 thoughts on “Requerimiento and Spanish Imperialism”

  1. Can I be the one to trumpet and read it aloud for all to hear? I’ll only ask for crumbs of your left-overs…and possibly sloppy-seconds, my great lord, in the name of that great unseen beast…

    doesn’t history fill you with a sense of pride about being human? (when you over-look the anthrocidal feelings, of course…)

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