On Justification of Colonization

Stig Skov, Ulrikke Schrøder, Marianne Mortensen, Inda Memic & Pernille Asmussen

Student thesis: Termpaper


Abstract The project concerns the justification of the Spanish colonization in America during the 16th and 17th century, examined through the Spanish philosopher Francisco de Vitoria’s (1485 – 1546) Political Writings and the British philosopher John Locke’s (1632- 1704) Two Treatises of Government, in a historical as well as a philosophical context. The main problem has been the dispossession of the Indians and how the philosophers defended the occupation of the lands of America. Vitoria’s primary argumentation was based on Christianity and the Indians’ lack of faith, while Locke focused on the Indians’ misuse of property, justified by proving the European sovereignty. Both used the Bible as a source. Hence the conclusion was that the Europeans had a right to colonize the new world.

EducationsBasic - International Bachelor Study Programme in Humanities, (Bachelor Programme) Basic
Publication date29 Nov 2007


  • Vitoria, Francisco de
  • Indians
  • Locke, John
  • Colonization