Compare And Contrast Christopher Columbus And Hernando Cortes

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The New World had many encounters, but two remarkable interactions with natives and explorers are that of Christopher Columbus and Hernando Cortes. Christopher Columbus was on orders from the King of Spain to travel a new route to find India and introduce them to a new religion. In 1492, Columbus reached what he thought was India; however, he was mistaken so now it is known as the West Indies because of this belief. At the beginning of the 16th century, Cortes set sail for Meso-America also for Spain and now the area he explored is now known as Mexico. Although the native groups that these famous explorers encountered are very diverse, there are similarities in their interactions with the explorers. The first impressions with the Europeans …show more content…
The Taino people of the Caribbean Islands were a simple people with simple needs. “Their houses are all built in the shape of tents, with very high chimneys. None of the villages which I saw contained more than twelve or fifteen of them” (Columbus, Journal, par 18). The island natives lived more off the land and were not as grand as those of the Aztecs. Cortes believed that the housing, temples and a palace of the Aztecs was so grand that he could not justifiably describe it all with a human tongue because he was so in awe of what he saw. The Taino people lived more as Native Americans with tent or teepee like homes that can easily be moved. The Aztecs had build something more concrete and much more similar to the Spaniards with temples, villages, cities, and a palace. The Aztecs had many sophisticated architectural structures which is why Cortes found it such a struggle to describe it to do it justly. “This noble city contains many fine and magnificent houses; there are numerous wealthy citizens who also possess fine houses” (Cortes, Second Letter, par 14). The Taino people did not seem technologically advanced which is why Columbus saw them as a poor people and why they were so enthralled to barter with anything they had to have something from these new explorers (Columbus, Journal). The Aztecs were very technologically advanced as they had a society similar to that of the Spaniards themselves and their ancestors had even predicted the coming of Cortes many years before his actual arrival. The housing and structures were very different when comparing both native groups (Cortes, Second

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