Broken Spears Summary

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The Spanish siege of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán is largely known today because of the written reports by of those who witnessed it. In 1521 the Spanish took over the capital city of Tenochtitlán, resulting in the ultimate demise of the Triple Alliance. Versions of this historical event tend to vary due to the array of perspectives involved. For instance, whereas Spanish solider Bernal Diaz wrote his personal account The conquest of New Spain, multiple Aztec informants, including Aztec historians Alva Ixtilixóchitl and Chimalpain, wrote different accounts which were grouped together and titled Broken Spears. Although both of these historical writings give present-day readers a sense of what the conquest of New Spain might have looked like, …show more content…
Additionally, the chapter mentions various battles, executions of captured Spanish soldiers, and other descriptions of the Aztecs. The chapter ends with the Aztec’s performing a superstitious plan, which they believed was their last opportunity to conquer the Spanish. However, it proved unsuccessful and Tenochtitlán was seized. Broken Spears continues with king Cuauhtémoc’s surrender to Hernan Cortes who, in turn, treats the Aztec leader with disrespect. The end of Broken Spears primarily revolves around Cortes’ greed for gold, which results in the torture and mistreatment of the Aztec people. After witnessing Cortes’ damage, Cuauhtémoc attempts to flee with some of his followers, but is recaptured by the Spanish. Cuauhtémoc begs Cortes to end his life, and Cortes commands him to command all of his men to surrender. The chapter ends with the torture of Cuauhtémoc and other Aztecs over missing gold, Cortes believed they were …show more content…
This account is a much better research source than Bernal Diaz’s piece, because the information provided is more believable. Broken Spears, specifically describes the roles of both the people and leaders in both armies as well as quotes and statistics from the time. Moreover, Broken Spears grants readers a look into the cultural beliefs and customs of the Aztecs. Whether it was the Sacrificing of the Spanish, or the belief that the “Quetzal-owl” could throw the “Serpent of Fire, the Arrow that Pierces Fire,” and potentially beat the Spanish, this article gives readers a glimpse of Aztec’s beliefs. Lastly, this article provides a believable description of how ruthless, greedy, and disrespectful Cortes and the Spanish soldiers were to the Aztecs. Broken Spears is a reliable research article because its authors had no issue writing the truth of how the Spanish tortured, humiliated, abused the Aztec

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