This page has been created by Adrián Molina, Sergio García, Daniel Moraleda and Jose Luis Cernuda from 2ºC.

People responsible for:

Editing page: Adrián Molina
Presentation: Jose Luis Cernuda
Glogster: Sergio García
Maps: Daniel Moraleda

1.What they were?

The " The Laws for the Indies" were laws that were promulgated by the Spanish Monarchs, to regulate social life among the citizens of American Spanish Monarchy. Were promulgated during the 16, 17 and 18 centuries. There are 6,377 laws recopilated in nine books.

2.Historyexternal image object82_t.jpg

Time after the arrival of the conquistadors in America the Spanish Crown ordered a review of the "Laws of Burgos", produce from concerns of the crown about the constant mistriatmen of indians.
Bishop " Bartolome de las Casas" raised a discussion about the mistreatmen of indigenous people. Then the emperor Charles V convened a meeting to solve the problem, of this meeting came the calls "New Laws".
After many problems between Spain, New Spain and Peru during 1665 and 1700 in 1680 was published the book "Recopilation of Indians Laws".
Indian laws are a recopilation of the differents laws of the Indian kingdoms they are: "Laws of Burgos", "New Laws" and the "Ordenanzas de Álfaro". It consists of a compendium of decrees on church government and education, upper and lower courts, political and military administration, Indians, finance, navigation, and commerce. A summary promulgated in 1681 contained 6,377 laws; though criticized for its inconsistencies, for excessive attention to unenforceable details, and for depriving colonists of a responsible role in government, it was the most comprehensive law code ever instituted for a colonial empire, and it set forth humane (if often ignored) principles for treatment of Indians.

Bartolome de las casas
Bartolome de las casas

3.Laws of Burgos

Were promulgated on December 27, 1512 in Burgos, Kingdom of Castile was the first codified set of laws governing of Spaniards in America. The laws were created to avoid the legal problem that had arisen from the conquest and Spanish colonization of America. Unfortunately these laws were enforced and had little impact.
The document also prohibited the use of any form of punishment by the encomenderos, reserving it for officials established in each town for the implementation of the laws. They also established a minutely regulated regime of work, pay, provisioning, living quarters, hygiene, and care for the Indians in a reasonably protective and humanitarian spirit. There were at first 35 laws but the 28 July, 1513 there were promulgated 4 laws more. The laws did nothing to save the Native Indigenous of Hispaniola. They continued to be exploited with significant population declines. But with the help of Bartolome de las Casas 4 more laws wre promulgated, they were called "Complementary Laws of Valladolid", they were operational until the 17 Novenber, 1526 because that year the "Ordenanzas de Granada" came effective.

4.New Laws

The "New Laws" were Spanish laws promulgated the 20 November, 1542 by the king Charles V regarding the Spanish colonization of the Americasthey are known as "The New Laws for the Indies" and they were created to prevent the explotation of the Indigenous people of the Americasby the Encomenderos by limiting the power and the dominion of the Encomenderos.
They were enforced by Blasco Nuñez Vela the first Viceroy of Peru who became unpopular among the Encomenderos
and had to escape.

4.1 Origins

Were the results of a reform movement which was impulse by what was seen as the failure of the last decades. The Ne
w La
ws were issued by king Ferdinand II of Aragon the 27 December, 1512. These rules were the first rules created to control the relations between
the Spaniards and the indigenous people.

4.2 Contents

They consisted of many regulations on the system, including the prohibition of the slavery of the Indies They stated that the natives would be considered free persons and that the encomenderos couldn´t demand their labor. The natives were only required to pay the Encomendero´s tribute, and if they worked they received wages in exchange of their work. The laws also prohibited the sending of the indigenous people to work in the mines at least it was necessary.
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4.3 Resistance

When the New Laws were passed, every European man knew that the lands and the Indies that were part of his property could be confiscated if he was guilty of having taken part of the civil disturbies of Francisco Pizarr and Almagro. As a result of this, the promulgation of the New Laws caused discomfort in the Spanish Americas, causing a revolt in Peru commanded by Gonzalo Pizarro. He headed protests who took to arms to maintain their rights by the force.
Gonzalo Pizarro was invented by the Supreme Court to took control over its government after going from Bolivia to Lima with his army. The revolt that he caused led to the murder of Viceroy Nuñez Vela in 1546 because he tried to impose the decrees so Pizarro and his army kill him. The power of Pizarro was stretched all the way to Panama. Charles V and the court became alarmed. To deal with the revolt Charles V send Pedro de la Gasca a bisoph and diplomat which was at the service of the king without an army but he was full of power to rule and negotiate an agreement. However Pizarro declared Peru independent from the king. Pedro de la Gasca had to annuled the New Laws but later Pizarro was captured and killed for traitor of the king.

4.4 Result

Although the New Laws were very unsuccessful they did result in the liberation of man indigenous people.

5.About the laws

In the final edition of The Laws for the Indies, plans were set forth for settlers in high detail on every facet of creating a community. These regulations are included in a body of 143 others (totaling 148) configuring any settlement according to the rule of Spain and its colonies. This continued as a precedent in all towns of Spanish control until the relinquishing of the land to others, as in the case of the American colonies and their growth; however, the Laws of the Indies still serve as an example to design guidelines for communities today.

The Laws, translated from Spanish into English, are as follows:

6.Indian Laws

These are the nine books in which are recopilated the 6,377 the Laws of the Indies:
Book 1: This is about religous things, as the organization of the church, culture, education etc.
Book 2: This is about the indian goverment on the tasks of the board of the Indian etc.
Book 3: This is about the duties and functions of governors and soldiers.
Book 4: This is about the discovery and conquest of lands. The rules of population distribution of lands etc.
Book 5: This is about different aspects of public law, as court etc.
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Book 6: This is about the situation of indigenous people, their social condition, attributes etc.
Book 7: This is about the police action and public morality.
Book 8: This is about the financial organization.
Book 9: This is about the commercial organization of indians

7.Examples of cities implemented with the laws

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Álamos, Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Tucson, Arizona
Fernandina, Florida
Laredo, Texas
St. Augustine, Florida

8.What did the Laws for the Indies do?

Carlos V
Carlos V

The new laws were publicated the in November 20, 1542 by King Charles V of Spain regarding the Spannish colonization of the Americas. Were created to prevent the explotation of the indigenous peoples of America by the encomenderos. The new laws were enforced by Blasco Núñez Vela. The New Laws consisted of many regulations on the encomienda system, including its solemn prohibition of the enslavement of the Indians and provisions for the gradual abolition of the encomienda system. As a result, the promulgation of the New Laws caused great unrest in the Spanish Americas, leading to a revolt in Peru, led by Gonzalo Pizarro.

9.Interesting sources:

Laws of Indies
Laws of Indies