“Spain, by a very singular fatality, was the Peru and Mexico of the old world. The discovery of the rich western continent by the Phœnicians, and the oppression of the simple natives, who were compelled to labour in their own mines for the benefit of strangers, form an exact type of the more recent history of Spanish America.”

(Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. I, chapter VI; p. 180 in volume 1 of the Penguin edition.)

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