How Does the Age of Discovery Provide an Opportunity for Spanish Thinkers to Reflect on the Idea of Rights?

During the Age of Discovery the Spanish were now interacting with the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, which brought forth many questions on rights. There were definitely Spanish explorers who did not treat the Natives right and justly. For example they took their land, sold them into slavery, and with the introduction of diseases and other hardships these people began to die off. Back in Spain there were many prominent thinkers who completely disapproved of what was happening in the New World; but how exactly did the age of discovery provide an opportunity for Spanish thinkers to reflect on this idea of rights?

Because of all the wrongdoings done to the Natives of the New World, many of these prominent thinkers reconsidered and thought about the idea of rights. They realized that these things were being done to human beings which shared the natural fundamental rights. Also they concluded that it did not matter that these Natives had different views or beliefs than the Spanish because regardless they were rational human beings that shared the same natural rights as the Christian Europeans. This in turn brought forth the conclusion that there was a set of fundamental rights shared between all humans, regardless of religion, race, etc.

To conclude, though there were many individuals who believed that the Natives of the Americas should be treated as any other human being, that did not end the mistreatment and persecution of the Natives, which continued for many centuries.

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