The Requerimiento of 1510

What I wanted students to see from the Requerimiento of 1510 and from this first assignment

1. To avoid conflicts between two Catholic kingdoms, the pope had—to simplify—divided the “non-Christian world” between Spain and Portugal. The line cut through Brazil. Spain received all of the west (except for Brazil); Portugal, all of the east. (Essentials, p. 20). In your textbook, this is referred to as the Treaty of Tordesillas. It’s the “donation” referred to the primary (Requerimiento, p. 1). The giving of lands and their peoples to a lesser lord was the way of the world in the Middle Ages.

2. To use the beautifully brief and accurate statement that an on-campus student made after reading the Requerimiento of 1510, the Spanish gave the Native Americans the choice of being:

·         Servants

·         Or slaves

This was not something new to the world or a Spanish invention as the concepts, or instructor’s definitions, or the link to the eras showed.

o  Servants (or vassals or subjects) received protection from their lords. In return, they provided taxes in goods or services. They still saw their families and they had a daily life.

o  Slaves did not. 

The Spanish empire was “based on a pattern of ruthless violence and enslavement” (Essentials, p. 24). This enslavement of native peoples was “followed by oppressive rule over them.” This was not a new thing that the Spanish brought to the Native Americans. As your textbook notes, it was “just as the Mexica had done in forming their own empire” (Essentials, p. 25).
Notice that in spite of their strong Catholicism, they did not require conversion in the Requerimiento. They did however want it.

3.  How did it turn out? See how the encomienderos treated the Native Americans as described on page 29.

The Purpose of This Reading

For students today to realize that:

·     With few exceptions (such as the priest quoted on page 35), people then thought what was written above was just the way the world is and will always be.

·     Many people in many places—and we will study some of them—have paid dearly, including with their lives, for 100s of years for most of us humans to decide the above is wrong.
Just remember that not all of us humans think the above is wrong so be careful.

The Purpose of a 1st Writing with a Primary

For students today to realize:

·     That writing about something that is real is different from writing feelings.

·     That writing for someone who is an expert (or works hard to be as useful as an expert) is different from writing for someone who is new to the field.
For the rest of your life, you will be writing for or talking to experts or for people who expect you to be the expert.

·     That it did not have to be fancy or long.

·     It had to be as true as you can make it and follow the directions. Simple is great.



Announcement 3 about the 1st Writing: Coaching on “half-copy” plagiarism

The term “half-copy” plagiarism is not using part of a section of text. Writers may copy a short phrase from another author or a big paragraph as long as they:

a) Use pairs of quotation marks (“”) to signal that they did not create the words

b) Cite the source (cite = give the name of the source and a specific page per the standard that the professor or boss requires)

c) Change nothing between the pair of quotation marks (“”) that is not clearly revealed by the required signals of punctuation for deletions and insertions in the text


The term “half-copy” plagiarism is doing something useless like typing a sentence from the source and changing  it just a bit:

·     Your source says: The frogs and toads swarmed in the ponds.

·     You type: The toads and frogs migrated in the pools.

The Bedford example in Required Evidence shows you a historical example of “half-copy” plagiarism and of acceptable use.

 Ultimate Tip: if you are looking at the book or the primary when typing, you will slide into “half-copy” plagiarism and you will probably misread because you are reading passively. When you start to type, close the book. You can always reopen it.




Announcement 4 about the 1st Writing: Coaching on all these [ ] and … what I grade on and don’t grade on

I checked with a colleague in the English Department for the current term for the kind of quotations that you see in the textbook and in writing in history. The term is “integrated quotation.” You can see some examples on page 21, 29, and 33. The only ellipses (…) I spotted in chapter 1 was the quotation on page 35—a quotation I remember as being a lot longer so I can see why a textbook would take some out.

I recommend that you use the Brain Trick to create “integrated quotations” without all this bother with [ ], but I won’t grade on the issue. If you want to see the Brain Trick and other brain boosters, they are in this link:

What I do grade on is in the rubric and in the tutorial on evidence

·     If you change the author’s meaning with how you quote

·     If you make the author’s sentences look grammatically incorrect—and you can do that by misusing those [ ] or those ...
Caution: You must maintain a structurally accurate sentence. You can't just string together phrases with ... stuck between them.


·     This is a history course about history content.

·     On the rubric, Mechanics (Language and Punctuation) is only 5%. If you have pretty words that are not true, you make few points.