Compare And Contrast Christopher Columbus And Cortes

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Since Columbus’s maiden voyages, European colonizers have maintained the mindset that any land they find they have the right to claim as their own. This was because any society discovered they considered to be subordinate to that of any major colonizer countries, no matter how developed newly discovered societies truly were. Because the colonizers held the most power in the sixteenth century, the colonizer mindset was what created the prominent depiction of the indigenous people of the Americas: unequal. The negative light shone onto the natives is seen through the Cortes and Columbus’s responses to the natives’ societies, technologies and religion. The Library of Congress possessed numerous artifacts and photographs that explain, what the …show more content…

Technology encompasses a wide range of ideas. From navigational equipment to combat gear, the Spaniards had a very western (more advanced) sense of technology. Because of their conquests, the Spaniards had expansive knowledge of the world and the people in it. Their advanced nautical technology, like maps and ships, allowed them to acquire the knowledge to find their way to new lands. Along with their great sense of the world, came the idea that anything the Spanish found in the New World could not compare to that of the homeland. As Columbus remarked in his journal of the first voyage, the Native’s were seemingly in awe of the settlers’ weaponry. However, unaccustomed to the weapons, they ended up cutting themselves on the blades of the swords. Instances like the weapon encounter caused Columbus and his men to label the natives as ignorant, an arrogant thought on their part.2 Coming from a different background, the natives had no reason to fully understand the weaponry in the first place. Apart from that, there is no reason to assume that the Aztec’s weaponry is any less sophisticated, especially considering it had worked for the Aztecs for centuries years thus far. 1 Later in the journal, Columbus even marvels at the boats the natives have created. He is inquisitive of their speed and size, especially considering they were made out of tree trunks. 2 Much like Cortes, Columbus did not see the signs of advancement as a sign that this was already a developed society, and therefore did not need to be colonized. The exhibit at the Library of Congress explains that Cortes ran into a similar situation in the Aztec empire. According to sources, Moctezuma was not capable of properly and effectively assessing the Spanish threat. Understandably, the natives had much confusion

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