Ambivalent Conquests Summary

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Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 is centered around three Spaniards and their approach to Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula. Clendinnen weaves a tale of forced conversion, colonial power struggles, and mass torture, but she contextualized these horrors in a way that the rationales of the Spaniards do not get lost. However, the Maya side of the story gets lost with only one Maya figure, the resistance leader Nachi Cocom, emerges as an individual. The Catholic religion and its doctrine proved to be the largest shaping force on the three primary figures featured in the Ambivalent Conquests. Franciscan Diego de Landa, mayor Diego Quijada, and bishop Francisco de Toral and of the three Landa stands above the others, an …show more content…
Landa threatened to go personally to Mexico to denounce him before the vicerory unless he served the ecclesiastical arm (79). He found himself abandoned and left defenseless by the law which had been his guide and his shield (127). The Maya had historically tortured their own captives as well, though for ritualistic reasons rather than as a tool for extracting confessions. In the Mayan world, defeated warriors were dehumanized, enslaved, or sometimes sacrificed (148). Any society foreign to our own is likely to have beliefs and rituals which we will find repulsive or even outright evil. If we compare the treatment of the Maya by the friars to todays treatment of the Christians by the Muslims, we can find a lot of similarities. The Islamic State militants have destroyed numerous ancient Christian sites and demanded Christians to conversion to Islam or death. In the territory of Syria and Iraq, Christians were asked to convert, pay a special levy for non-Muslims, or force to flee for their lives (Elshinnawi 2). When asked about identity Muslims identify themselves as Muslims before they identify themselves from a country. In Egypt, eight out of ten believe if someone leaves the

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