1550s - Sepulveda vs. Bartholomew de las Casas

      The battle between the prelate, Sepulveda, who argued Innocentian era law of conquest over pagan people, and the humanist Bartholomew de las Casa, who argued that the Spanish crown must honor the law of nature by recognizing the dignity inherent in the Indian people of the New World,  took center stage in Spain.   click here for more

       Famously, Las Casas estimated in his book, The Spanish Cruelties, that agents of the Spanish king and queen slaughtered more than 20 million Indians in the first fifty years of Spanish rule in the New World.