I was asked to answer this question: “How does the Age of Discovery provide an opportunity for Spanish thinkers to reflect on the idea of rights?”
The Age of Discovery was a time of new discovery for the western world. Spain began to conquer South American tribes and territories. As Spain fought for the territory the natives of South America were treated brutally; as though they were trash. This harsh reality enabled some Spanish thinkers to begin to ponder the idea of rights.
Those thinkers realized that the South American natives were humans just as the Spaniards were. Those natives could reason just as the western peoples could. The ability to reason is what defines humans from all other living things.
The question that the thinkers began to ask was why were the natives treated so terribly?