Vitoria, Francisco de

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Vitoria, Francisco de

Francisco de Vitoria was a Spanish theologian, teacher, and defender of the rights of the Native Americans who inhabited the newly discovered continents of North and South America.

Vitoria was born circa 1483 in Vitoria, Álava, Spain. He taught at the University of Valladolid from 1523 until 1526. In that year, he moved to Salamanca, Spain, where he taught theology for the next twenty years.

Vitoria's campaign for the rights of native peoples started in 1532, when he began a series of lectures on that subject. He incorporated the substance of these lectures into a treatise entitled Relecciones De Indis et De iure belli [Readings on the Indians and on the Law of War]. The work not only advocated the case for the Native Americans but also presented basic precepts on the law of nations.

"[Jus gentium] is what natural reason has established among nations."
—Francisco de Vitoria

In his fight for freedom for Native Americans, Vitoria asserted that they owned the territories they inhabited and opposed their compulsory conversion to Christianity. He believed that the Spanish government should establish a ruling system that would benefit, not injure, the native people.

Vitoria believed that an ideal government would receive its authority from the people and would rely on the tenets of Natural Law and reason to enact laws beneficial to all.

Further readings

Anghie, Antony. 1996. "Francisco de Vitoria and the Colonial Origins of International Law." Social & Legal Studies 5 (September).

Hernandez, Ramon. 1992. "The Internationalization of Francisco de Vitoria and Domingo de Soto." Fordham International Law Journal 15 (summer).

Kennedy, David. 1986. "Primitive Legal Scholarship." Harvard International Law Journal 27 (winter).

Scott, James Brown. 1934. The Spanish Origin of International Law: Francisco de Vitoria and His Law of Nations. Reprint, 2000. Union, N.J.: Lawbook Exchange.

Cross-references

Native American Rights.

References in periodicals archive ?
(70) El fecundo magisterio de Francisco de Vitoria se refleja y continua en un grupo de pensadores que, en la catedra y en sus escritos, perpetuarian y amplificarian su obra, dandole una magnitud y un peso fuerte en la encrucijada politica de su tiempo.
En tercer lugar recorremos el camino de la escolastica (Vitoria, Banez), que sigue confiando en el orden establecido en el relato del Genesis anadiendo jugosas modificaciones, como la lectura que hace Francisco de Vitoria de la Suma teologica en el curso de 1539-40.
Thus, Machiavelli's The Prince (1513) and Bodin's The Six Bookes of a Commonweale (1576), or Kant's Project for a Perpetual Peace (1796) and Hegel's Philosophy of Right (1821) are far more familiar to the English-speaking world than Francisco de Vitoria's Relectiones Theologicae (1557), (2) Domingo de Soto's De Iustitia et Iure (1554), or Francisco Suarez's De Legibus (1612).The range and scope of their accomplishments and concerns were far reaching as theology, considered the "mother of sciences" by the theologians, stretched its gaze onto the entire plane of social and political life.
Admittedly, the German preference takes precedence; after the Spaniards (Francisco de Vitoria, Francisco Suarez, Gabriel Vasquez, and Tomas Sanchez), the 18 remaining portraits count only Alphonsus Liguori, Philippe Delhaye, and Richard McCormick in the non-German gallery.
Jimenez Piernas, Carlos, Elmetodo del Derecho Internacional Publico: una aproximacion sistemica y transdisciplinar, Instituto de Estudios Internacionales y Europeos "Francisco de Vitoria", Madrid, 1995.
XII--La propuesta de Roberto Hofmeister Pich se titula: Scotus sobre a autoridades politica e a conversao forgada dos judeos: exposigao do problema e notas sobre a recepgao do argumento sctotista em Francisco de Vitoria. El profesor brasilero centra su atencion en un texto polemico de Duns Escoto, en el cual el Doctor Sutil se habria posicionado a favor de la conversion y el bautismo forzado de los ninos de judios y de otros infieles, incluso en contra de los deseos de sus padres.
Francisco de Vitoria (1483-1546) (7) lived during the age of the Conquistadors and the Reformation.
Nor did he have access to any substantial Portuguese sources, relying instead on just a limited range of Spanish material, particularly the writings of the celebrated sixteenth-century theologian and jurist, Francisco de Vitoria of Salamanca--who was, however, writing not about maritime Asia but the quite different situation in Spanish America.
Incluso los pensadores que participan de la discusion son todos europeos y, en algunos casos, ni siquiera llegan a pisar America, como Juan Lopez de Palacios Rubios, Juan Gines de Sepulveda y Francisco de Vitoria (4).
Florencio Sanchez, chaplain at the Legionaries' Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid, and Fr.
The author also addresses the history of this area of thought by examining the writings of early commentators such as Thomas Aquinas and Francisco de Vitoria.
Por su parte, el profesor Francisco Javier Alejo Montes nos da muestra de su gran conocimiento sobre la Universidad de Salamanca, y presenta un estudio bajo el titulo "De la Utopia humanista de Francisco de Vitoria a la Educacion Indigena", donde describe como Francisco de Vitoria denuncia la violacion de derechos que se estaba produciendo en las Indias, y asi la doctrina del maestro Vitoria en la que se tratan los derechos de la Corona en la conquista de America y los derechos de los habitantes de aquellas tierras se extiende con celeridad.
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