Cortes letter had the sound of someone attempting to explain or justify their actions. This is reasonable since we know that he had disobeyed orders. He wrote, “Having passed six days, then, in the great city of Tenochtitlan, invincible Prince, and having seen something of its marvels, though little in comparison with what there was to be seen and examined, I considered it essential both from my observation of the city and the rest of the land that its ruler should be in my power and no longer entirely free; to the end that he might in nowise change his will and intent to serve your Majesty, more especially as we Spaniards are somewhat intolerable and stiff-necked, and should he get across with us he would be powerful enough to do us great damage, even to blot out all memory of us here in the land; and in the second place, could I once get him in my power all the other provinces subject to him would come more promptly to the knowledge and service of your Majesty, as indeed afterward happened” (Cortes, 1929). Cortes was explaining his reasoning, and attempting to make it appear that he did the right thing. Also, the Florentine Codex’s tone was angry and spiteful. Then again, that is understandable seeing as how they had just lost their home. The codex said, “And the Spaniards walked everywhere; they went everywhere taking to pieces the hiding places, storehouses, storage places. They took all, all that they
The Spaniards had to communicate with the Aztecs by using La Malinche as an interpreter. She basically made the Aztecs believe that Cortes was a good man and would be cause them no harm. They also had other indigenous people who were allied with the Spanish. The Aztecs must have viewed this as a sign that these strangers would be peaceful since they had others of their kind on the Spaniard’s side. La Malinche translated all that Motecuhzoma had said to Cortes. On page sixty-four of The Broken Spears it says, “Cortes replied in his strange and savage tongue…'; In other passages in the book it depicts the Spaniards as wild and uncivilized. This brings up another point that just as the Spaniards thought of the Aztecs as being barbaric, some Aztecs felt the same way about the Spaniards.
The source discusses many of the same events that The Broken Spears does, however they are more polished and detailed. The more detailed nature of the text itself can be attributed to the fact that The Conquest of New Spain most certainly contained less errors in translation when compared to The Broken Spears. The document was originally written in Spanish, whereas The Broken Spears contains a compilation of documents translated from the Aztec’s native Nahuatl. Another factor to consider when looking at The Conquest of New Spain as a source is the fact that Bernal Diaz himself was a solider under Cortes’ command. His account is perhaps one of the most accurate due to the fact that he was actually present during all of the events he describes in his account. It is also extremely important when looking at this document through the lens of history to consider the differences in faith between the Aztecs and the Spaniards. Diaz and his fellow soldiers were Christian and many of the abnormalities that he attributes to Aztec life, such as human sacrifice, choice of clothing, and their temples, are related to their native religious traditions and were extremely foreign to him. Another interesting aspect of The Conquest of New Spain to highlight is Diaz’ status as a soldier under Cortes’ command. Diaz often depicts Cortes as less of a heroic figure, which is often how Cortes describes himself. In one particular passage Diaz describes Cortes as “…very frightened,” when he sees how numerous the Aztec forces are in their canoes. He goes on to say that Cortes, “…stationed himself in the lake, so that if he his men hard pressed he could sail out freely and hurry to any place he chose.” These types of descriptions of Cortes by Diaz aim to attribute his feats to those of his
This historical study will define the important role of Hernan Cortes in the colonization of Mexico in the age of the Spanish conquistador. Cortes was an important figure in Mexican history because of his discovery of Mexico at the Yucatan peninsula in 1519. During this time, Cortes became a historical figure that represented the “conquistador” system of conquest throughout the Mayan and Aztec Empires during the early part of the 15th century. The fall of these indigenous civilizations marked the beginning of Spanish colonization of Central America. Cortes was a significant figure because of the primarily military style of coercion and conquest that sought to annihilate the indigenous peoples of Mexico, and to claim Spanish territory. These conquests contributed significantly to the blend of indigenous and Spanish traditions of Mexico’s national history. Cortes represents the first phase of colonization for the Spanish empire in terms of the violent and aggressive nature of the Spanish Conquistador in the discovery of Mexico. The image of the Spanish conquistador as an often violent and ruthless colonizer is defined the invasion and destruction of the Aztec empire in Mexican history. In essence, a
The English and Spanish empires in Americas differ largely in terms of their relation with the native people. The treatment of Spanish colonist was much harsher than that of the English. Buoyed by the stories of gold lying to the west, Spanish conquest was focused only on gather invaluable treasures rather than building relation with the native settlers. The invasion of Aztec empire by Hernán Corté (1485-1547) with superior weapons aided by vicious attack dogs represents the climax of brutality and the harsh treatment of Aztec warriors fighting bare foot with stones, spears, and arrows. Spanish were not at all tolerant of their unique identity and beliefs.
In certain circumstances I do believe the narrator sympathizes over Cortez, but in some ways I believe he does not. Mostly I do not think he sympathizes over Cortez caused mayhem throughout Latin America. The destruction of Cholula also the fall of the Aztecs, which got the name “Conquistadors” (1:55). As well I do not sympathize over Cortez and his men, he disobeyed his order from the Spanish government. The Aztec leader offered many gifts mostly gold. (15:00) Montezuma was killed by Cortez and his men, he betrayed him. He went around to all certain Aztec people telling and confusing he was sent by a god to help fight Montezuma. The Spaniards try to steal the gold from the Aztec in the river but, half way into the river they spotted, 800 men died, they were a sacrifice at the pyramid for stealing. Cortez was not one of those men. He was saddened, but deep down inside I believe he was saddened that he lost his gold. Cortez will not let go of his dream. He wanted the gold. His corruption and war inside Latin America caused the fall of Aztecs. The Aztecs were in a war, also in a siege, many died. All people had to eat was lizards, most starved. Hernan Cortez during his time was one of the greatest military leaders in his day marched through of Latin America conquered all that got in his way. At the end of the day the gambler who gambled everything won. (54:21) maybe at the end he was a hollow victory for achieving his dream, he signal handily destroyed a civilization.
Plundering and carnage were the overlying results of the Spanish conquest of MesoAmerica beginning in 1519. The ensuing years brought many new "visitors," mostly laymen or officials in search of wealth, though the Christianity toting priest was ever present. Occasionally a man from any of these classes, though mainly priests would be so in awe of the civilization they were single handedly massacring that they began to observe and document things such as everyday life, religious rituals, economic goings on, and architecture, which was the biggest achievement in the eyes of the Spaniards. That is how the accounts of Friar Diego de Landa, a priest, were created, giving us rare first per-son historical accounts of the conquest and the people it effected. To archaeologists monumental architecture is more important than an inscribed stelae listing names and dates. There is so much more to learn from a building than a slab of stone usually seething with propaganda. In most societies they are what remains after conquest, usually for their beauty or ability to withstand the elements. Landa was amazed by what he found. "There are in Yucatan many edifices of great beauty, this be-ing the most outstanding of all things discovered in the Indies; they are all build of stone finely ornamented…" (Landa, 8). If it were a commoners domestic dwelling we would learn through the study of remaining artifacts and middens what objects were used on a daily basis and also the standard of living, helping us to construct an accurate view of the long neglected commoner. According to Landa steepled roofs covered with thatch or palm leaves protected the habitat from rain. Homes were often divided into two sections, a living section, customarily whitewashed, and a domestic area where food was prepared and inhabitants slept (Landa, 32). In Aztec societies commoners often lived in calpolli, a residential area segregated by occupation, usually surrounded by walls for protection (Smith, 145). If it were a domestic dwelling for a noble it would be larger than a com-moner's dwelling, and usually consisted of more than one large structures occasionally located on a platform near the center of the town. The high status is obvious by the in-clusion of more elaborate and ornamental objects and frequently frescos adorned the walls. Monumental Architecture of public and private buildings are one of the best indi-cators of the size and importance of a site.
The founding of New Spain in 1521 was the result of the conquest over the Mexica emperor Moctezuma by Hernan Cortes who was a Spanish conqueror. This conquest had lead many artists and writers to capture moments from this period that they believed were important. The indigenous people of Mexica had many Codex’s’, which were books where they recorded important events that happened each year through words and images. The Codex Aubin showcased a simple but meaningful image from around 1576-1608 called “Twin Temple at Tenochtitlan” representing the starting point of events leading up to the conquest of their land. The Spaniards also recorded what they believed was important much later in time through paintings on panel by New Spanish artists Migual
The letter that Cortes’ wrote described firsthand encounters of all of the fascinating things that he saw and experienced in the city of Tenochtitlan. Cortes’ description of what he encountered reflects as primary sources to the reader. Descriptions of how the city is set up with waterways and bridges as a form of protection from anyone getting inside. He explains how the markets are situated for buying/selling for everything that one could ever imagine, and how controversies are overseen by ten to twelve magistrates to ensure fair-trading is conducted as well as delinquents being punished. Secondary sources that Cortes’ had experienced were seen through the eyes of the people speaking about certain priest entering the chapels where idols were worshiped as well as human sacrifice rituals.
The history of the Western hemisphere is full of war and conquest. One of the most significant and defining of those conquests is the downfall of the Mexica/Aztec Empire. While there are many other events to choose from, this one stands out since it was one over one of the largest empires in Central America. It is also important to look at because of the immense cultural impact it had. The story of this takeover reads like a movie script, a small band of Spaniards single handedly takes down the most powerful empire in Central America. It was an epic battle, which unfortunately led to the destruction of a magnificent culture. As in any major historical event there are many underlying themes and storylines that come together to make the event happen. The Spanish conquest of the Aztec is no different. Three major themes are seen in this struggle. One of them is the incredible advantage that the Spaniards technology gave them over the Aztecs. A second major theme is the greed that fueled the conquests in the New World. The last major theme was the effect of the political divisions and rivalries within Montezuma’s Central American Kingdom. As this historical event progressed each one of these themes began to intertwine until they became an almost unstoppable force.
One of the most interesting aspects of Diaz’s narrative is towards the end when Cortés broaches the subject of Christianity with Montezuma. Conversion and missionary work was one of the most important and lasting goals of the conquistadors and other contemporary explorers, they were charged with this duty by the rulers who sent t...
Cortes was able to conquer the Aztecs for several very different reasons. In combination these reasons allowed him to have the upper hand in the conquest of Mexico. Arguably these reasons can be sorted into six different categories. The various causes for Cortes' success will be assessed in a climax pattern. To begin with the Aztecs had a harsh tribute system that was not popular among the people of Mexico. This cruel tribute system allowed Cortes to act as a liberator. Furthermore, with the Spanish brought several diseases into Mexico in witch they were immune to but the Aztecs were not. The spread of diseases such as small pox reduced the Aztec population and furthered Cortes' success unintentionally Also Marina was a tribal girl given as a gift to Cortes, she proved invaluable in translating local dialects in combination with Geronimo de Aguilar. Also an important aspect of his success was due to Montezuma's belief that Cortes was Quetzakoatl. A predominant reason for the Spanish success was due to their weaponry especially their armour and firepower. Perhaps the most important reason of all was that of Cortes' Indian allies such as the Tlaxcalans who made up the majority of his combined army. All these reasons worked together to allow Cortes, originally with 508 men to conquer the Aztec Empire of millions of people.
At first, it seemed like the Spanish had total control of the city, but trouble soon broke out. In May 1520, Cortes briefly left the city. Ignorantly, his men, for some odd reason, attacked the Aztec. "Those Idiots!" I bet Cortes would have exclaimed as he came back to find his men being besieged in Moctezuma's palace. Cortes, being quite the intelligent thinker, thought that calming them would be the best way out of the situation.
Eventually, Cortes found himself in Mexico, where he encounters the Aztec Empire. His first encounter with Aztecs was all based on a lie in which the Aztecs believed he was an ambassador
When the Spaniards arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in 1519, they encountered the advanced society of the Aztecs. With Tenochititlan at its capital, the Aztec empire was vast. The Aztecs had substantial wealth from trading and extensive payments of tribute from conquered peoples. Bernal Diaz in his The Conquest of New Spain comments, "We were dazzled at the richness of the country that we passed through" (282). The Spaniards encountered a powerful, advanced people in the New World, making Cortes and his crew of approximately 600 seemingly ensured of defeat. The Aztec religion lends much to Spanish success in conquest.