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named by the Spanish viceroys. These regulate the petty affairs of the people under them, according to maxims of justice, transmitted to them by tradition from their ancestors., To the Indians, this jurisdiction, lodged in such friendly hands, affords some confolation; and fo little formidable is this dignity to their new masters, that they often allow it to descend by hereditary right. b) For the farther relief of men fa much exposed to oppression, the Spanish court has appointed an officer in every district, with the title of Protector of the Indians.
It is his function, as the nam
as the name implies, to assert the rights of the Indians; to appear as their defender in the couris of justice; and , by the interposition of his authority, to set bounds to the encroachments and exactions of his countrymen..c) A certain portion of the reserved fourth of the annual tribute, is destined for the salary of the caziques and protectors; another is applied to the maintenance of the clergy employed in the instruction of the Indians. d) Another part seems to be appropriated for the benefit of the Indians themselves, and is applied for the pay.. ment of their tribute in years of famine or when a particular district is affected by any extraordinary calamity. e) Besides this, provision is
b) Solorz, de Jure Ind. lib. i. c. 26. Recopil, lib. vi. tit. vii. c) Solorz. lib. i. c. 27 p. 201. Recop. lib. vi. tit. vi. d) Recopil. lib. vi. tit. v. l. 30. cit. xvi. I. 12-15. e) Ibid. lib. vi, tic. iv,l. 13.
made by various laws, that hospitals shall be founded in every new settlement for the reception of Indians. f) Such hospitals have accordingly been erected, both for the indigent and infirm in Lima, in Cuzco and in Mexico, where the Indians are treated with tenderness and humanity. g)
Such are the leading principles in the jurisprudence and policy by which the Indians are now governed in the provinces belonging to Spain. In' those regulations of the Spanish monarchs, we discover no traces of that cruel system of extermination, which they have been charged with adopting; and if we admit, that the necessity of securing subsistence for their colonies, or the advantages derived from working the mines, give them a right to avail themselves of the labour of the Indians, we must allow, that the attention with which they regulate and recompense that labour, is provident and sagacious. In no code of laws is greater folicitude displayed, or precautions multiplied with more concern for the preservation, the fecurity, and the happiness of the subject, than we discover in the collection of the Spanish laws for the Indies. But those later regulations, like the more early edicts which have been already mentioned, have to often proyed
f) Recopil, lib. i. tit. iv. I. 1, &c.
Voy, de Ulloa, i.429.509. Churchil, iv. 496.
ineffectual remedies against the evils which they were intended to prevent. In every age, if the same càufes continue to operate, the same effects must follow. From the immense distance between the power entrusted with the execution of laws, and that by whose authority they are enacted, the vigour even of the most absolute government must relax, and the dread of a superior, too remote to observe with accuracy, or to punish with dispatch, must insenfibly abate. Notwithstanding the numerous injunctions of the Spanish monarchs, the Indians still suffer, on many occasions, both from the avarice of individuals, and from the exactions of the magiftrates, who ought to have protected them; unreasonable tasks are imposed; the term of their labour is prolonged, and they groan under all the infults and wrongs which are the lot of a dependent people. h) From some information on which I can depend , such oppreffion abounds more in Peru, than in any other colony. But it is not general. According to the accounts, even of those authors who are most disposed to exaggerate the sufferings of the Indians, they, in several provinces, enjoy not only ease, but affluence ; they possess large farms; they are masters of numerous herds and flocks; and, by the knowledge which they have acquired of European arts and industry,
h). See NOTE: LVI.
are supplied not only with the neceffaries, but with many luxuries of 'life. i)
Ecclefiaftical constitution of the colonies,
the est uthori he mol
After explaining the form of civil governa ment in the Spanish colonies, and the ftate of the various orders of persons subject to it, the peculiarities in their ecclefiaftical conftitution merit confideration. Notwithstanding the fuperftitious veneration with which the Spaniards are devoted to the Holy See, the vigilant and jealous policy of Ferdinand early prompted him to take precautions against the introduction of the papal dominion into America.
Refraints on the papal jurifdi&ion.
With this view, he folicited Alexander VI. for a grant of the tythes in all the newly-difcovered countries, k) which he obtained on condition of his making provision for the religious instruction of the natives,
Soon after, Julius II. conferred on him the right of patronage, and absolute disposal of all the ecclefiaftical bepefices there. 1) Both thefe pontiffs, unacquainted with the value of what he demanda ed, beftowed those donations with an inconfiderate liberality, which their fucceffors have
i) Gage's Survey, p. 85. go. 104. 119, &e.
often lamented, and wished to recal. In con. sequence of those grants, the Spanish monarchs have become, in effect, the heads of the American church. In them the adminiftration of its revenues is invested. Their nomination of persons to supply vacant benefices is instantly con: firmed by the pope. Thus, in all Spanish America, authority of every ffecies centres in the crown. There no collision is known between spiritual and temporal jurisdiction. The king is the only superior, his name alone is heard, and no dependence upon any foreign power has been introduced. Papal bulls cannot be admitted into America, nor are they of any force there, until they have been previously examined, and approved of by the royal council of the Indies; m) and if any bull should be furreptitiously introduced, and circulated in America without obtaining that approbation, ecclefiafticks are required not only to prevent it from taking effect, but to seize all the copies of it, and transmit them to the council of the Indies. n) To this limitation of the papal jurisdiction, equally singular, whether we consider the age and nation in which it was devised, or the jealous attention with which Ferdinand, and his fucceflors, have studied to maintain it in full
m) Recopil. lib. i. tit. ix. I. 2. and Autas del Consejo de las
Indias, clxi. a) Ibid. lib. i. tit. vii, 1. 55.