The Conquest of the Canary Islands (1402–1496). An Alternative History of International Law

No. 2024-01

English Abstract: Neither international legal history nor the history of European expansion has paid much attention to the late medieval conquest of the Canary Islands. Although in some regards the subjection of the indigenous peoples of the Canaries served as a model for the conquest of the Americas, this article shows that the Canarian question should be handled as an independent chapter of the history of international law. Besides comparing it with the School of Salamanca, a special focus lies upon the contribution of the indigenous peoples to the development of international law. Reconstructed from European written records indigenous customary law, the active roles of indigenous peoples during conquest and the defence of their rights are discussed.

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