Introduction This essay will question how the Spanish conquest of Mexico contributes to the fall of the Aztec Empire. What was the Aztec empire like prior to the invasion?, What impacts did the conquest have on the society?, and What methods did the Spaniards use to defeat the Aztecs? will be answered in this essay as well. During the Age of Discovery explorers were in search of new lands, gold and silver, and power (Gibb). In the years 1519-1521 Hernando Cortes, a Spanish conquistador that had conquered and defeated the Aztec empire (Nelson, Aztec Empire for Kids: Spanish Conquest).
History: Aztec Life and Culture The Aztec civilization is one of the most spectacular examples of culture and art found in world history. The Aztecs were a group of American Indians speaking Nahuatl who arrived on the North American continent from the arid cactus lands of Northwest. They settled in Mexico for centuries where they were initially enslaved by the other Nahua tribes before emerging as a powerful tribe. The history of the Central Valley of Mexico after tenth century A.D. is dominated by a long tradition of tribal conflicts that led to the fall of several civilizations, replaced by subsequent Nahua tribes. The Aztecs called themselves Mexica, which was the name of priest-chief from ancient, legendary times of Mexi.
The films “The other conquest”, “Jerico”, and “I the Worst of All” are all a depiction of what life would be like during the Spanish Conquest. These films give different point of views during the Spanish Conquest. The films give a person a well-rounded view of how the world really changed for different people during a historical movement. After watching these films, one is able to assess and determine their own truth about what exactly happened to Amerindians and Spaniards during this time. The other conquest film is about the Spanish conquest of Mexico, and more specifically the indigenous Aztec people.
Every saga has a beginning and on October 12, 1492, a handful of Europeans began their quest for the invasion, control and conquest of what came to be called Spanish America. When invasion ended conquest continued as assimilation saw a merging of cultures between Spaniards and many indigenous people over three centuries. The indigenous people of Latin America had a unique culture, one that suited their way of life. Once the Spanish infiltrated their homeland, it was to change forever. Spanish ideology was vastly different from that of the simple-minded ideology of the Indian.
European conquest during the colonial period greatly affected the indigenous and slave populations, generally decreasing their quality of life while exploiting them for personal gain. To begin, the indigenous people experienced forced assimilation to European culture and destruction of their culture. Many populations practices their own religion separate from European beliefs. Yet, upon the arrival of the Europeans, their way of life was destroyed. Amongst the Aztecs, the Spanish deceived them with their own culture, convincing them to believe Hernan Cortez was their sun God.
The clans of the Igbo society worshipped their gods, which made of stones and woods, differently than other religions. They had a representative for each of their goddess such as the Oracle of the Hills. The main god that they worshipped was Chukwu, who was believed had created heaven and Earth. His hatred and the humiliation he gets from the Christian make him kill the messenger of District Commissioner. Okonkwo thinks that the Christians have ruined their clans because the clans found a new and accurate teaching, they began to doubt their own religion and the Igbo society was no longer acted like one.
The death took away Enkidu, as well as the courage of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh who used to be heroic and used to conquer Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven now was conquered by fear of death. Along his journey of searching for Uta-napishti, the fear and dead covered his face. He saw some lions, but unexpectedly, he grew afraid. He was scared when seeing the scorpion-men.
In Spain hierarchy had been based off wealth and political or social standing. Monarchs and church officials were at the top, non-Christians were at the bottom. In the Americas, power was usually given to the chiefs of the tribe and religious leaders, the people at the bottom were often slaves taken captive after tribal wars. The complexity of the social systems increased tremendously with the miscegenation of the various ethnicities the new contacts brought together. Originally it had benefitted Europeans to marry a local noble women, but when the mestizos, people of mixed Indian and European blood, became so common they threatened to overpower the Spaniards, the crown developed a new social system called the sociedad de castas.
At around the early 1400’s and 1500’s, the Aztes ruled a powerful in Mexico. The Aztecs had one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas. They built large city and tower at that time. They also practiced a remarkable religion that affected almost part of their lives, especially human sacrifice. The Aztecs built temples with towers and big scuptures.
What is the language of conquest? What language do people speak when they battle for land and autonomy, or meet to negotiate? During the conquest of Mexico, Spanish and Nahuatl—the mother tongues of the conquistadors and the Mexica—grew newly powerful. Maya, Otomí and hundreds of other languages were spoken in Mesoamerica in the early 16th century. Yet Hernán Cortés understood only Spanish.
• The government of the Aztecs was similar to a monarchy where a King or Emperor was the primarily ruler • Aztecs called their ruler the Huey Tlatoani, which means the “Great Speaker" in Nahuatl • The Aztecs believed that the Huey Tlatoani was appointed by the gods and had the celestial right to rule, therefore he was the ultimate power in the land • The Aztec Empire was made up of city states • New Aztec Emperors were chosen by a group of elite or high ranking nobles • Aztec economy was built on trade it was an accustomed procedure in the everyday life of an Aztec • The Aztec economy was established on three things: trade, tribute and agricultural goods • In ancient Aztec times the casual currency was bartering and
Portilla points out how wary this made the Mexicas about their new “guests” and how they immediately reported what they saw to their king. By the time the Spaniards marched all the way to the Aztec metropolis, Tenochtitlan, they had created several allies. Portilla explains that the people that sided with the Spaniards were enemies that had been conquered by the Aztec. The Mexica’s began to resent their “gods” and mistrust King Motcuhzoma for letting the Spanish conquistadors wreak havoc among the natives and their customs. Before long the author begins to describe the many battles fought between the Aztec warriors and the strangers.
Important deities for the Aztecs were Tlaloc the god of rain, Huitzilopochtli the patron of the Mexican tribe, Quetzalcoatl the culture hero and the god of civilization and order, and Tezcatlipoca the god of destiny and fortune, connected with war and sorcery. They each had their own temple within the Aztec capital. Their religion was controlled by the Tlatoani and the high priests governing the main temples in the ceremonial precinct of the Aztec capital. On the feast of Huey Tozoztli, the ruler himself ascended Mount Tlaloc and engaged in auto sacrifice in order to petition the rains. Each level throughout society had their own rituals and deities whom played their part in the larger ritual communities.
Social Order (customs, education, family life, class and caste, leisure activities, decision-making, gender roles) Warriors fought for the Aztecs. Men farmed their own or nobles land. There were three classes. On the top was the emperor who was supported by the military. 1st was the nobles who were military and government authority.