Spanish Conquest Essay

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Modern Europe (HIS10070) Mid-Term Essay: Option 2:
Question:
‘’ ‘For in truth they thirsted mightily for the gold; they stuffed themselves with it, and starved and lusted for it like pigs’. [Book XII, the Florentine Codex]. How successful was the Spanish Conquest of Mexico?’’
Answer:
The Spanish conquest of Mexico occurred in a 15th Century historical period known as the Age of Discovery. Considering that the Spanish had a myriad of different objectives in conquering Mexico, each with varying degrees of success, the conquest was a varied set of successes and failures. For this reason it is important to discuss the objectives of the conquest individually before assessing their success or failure while considering their impact on the Spanish conquest as a whole. However before I do so I
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The conquest caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of Mexico under the rule of the Spanish crown in the early 16th century.
In 1518 Cortes was put in command of an expedition to explore and secure the coast of Mexico for colonization. Accompanied by 11 ships, 500 men, 13 horses and a small number of cannons, he landed in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mayan territory. In March 1519, Cortés formally claimed this land for the Spanish crown. In Veracruz, he attempted to meet Montezuma, the ruler of the Aztec Empire.
Montezuma turned down the meeting, but Cortés was determined. Leaving a hundred men in Veracruz, Cortés marched on Tenochtitlan in mid-August 1519 with 600 men, 15 horsemen, 15 cannons, and hundreds of indigenous carriers and warriors who sided with Cortes due to their resentment of Montezuma.
By the time he arrived in Tenochtitlan the Spaniards had a large army including many natives. On November 8, 1519, they were peacefully received by Montezuma, who gave lavish gifts of gold to the Spaniards which, rather than placating them, excited their ambitions for
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