Hernan Cortas And The Conquistadors

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Most know that the conquistadors under Hernan Cortés conquered the Aztec people in the sixteenth century, but the extent to which people know the specific details, facts, key dates, events, reasoning, and what made the conquest possible is severely limited. This paper will examine a case of important events and themes ranging from the arrival of Hernan Cortés and his conquistadors on the Yucatan peninsula in the Spring of 1519 to the eventual siege and conquest of the Mexica capital city Tenochtitlán in August 1521. While many are under the impression that it is a requirement to include information on the actual final weeks and events surrounding Tenochtitlán, I find it easiest to stay in the realm of history and away from dramatization by …show more content…
In the interest of brevity, one can summarize the encounters with the natives on this journey through the words of Bernal Diáz, “[The first Nahua indigenous peoples they encountered] went on threatening that if we landed they would kill us.” Diáz is of course a Spaniard conquistador, and he characterizes much of the early interactions with the Nahua peoples as relatively negative and this trend continues until of course the interactions with Moctezuma. This is certainly a worthwhile case study as given the seeming hostility of many rural indigenous peoples, it seems strange that a different attitude would be possessed by the urban elite of the Nahua in Tenochtitlán. This can be partially explained however, by the religious omen described in Diego Duran’s description of the Nahua account of the interaction between Moctezuma king of the Mexica and a priest. This Nahua account is through the eyes of a Spaniard in Duran so it too must be questioned; however, thanks to the scarcity of literature on the matter, it must be included. Essentially, there was apparently a conversation between Moctezuma and his priest where the priest warns his king of the descendants of Quetzalcoatl, their banished preeminent god, returning from exile and wreaking havoc upon the Mexica . …show more content…
It is a trend of monarchy across human civilization to claim divine mandate to rule, and it is not simply speculative to claim that Moctezuma was worried about this as his later actions would support this claim. This sort of reverence of the Spaniards and Cortés thanks to the religious legend of the Nahua and of course Cortés’ utilization of it certainly played a role in how kindly Moctezuma welcomed them to Tenochtitlán. Another reason Moctezuma would have been willing to allow the Spaniards into his court is due to their growing military power and political strength within the region. This is important because it placed a burden of decision on Moctezuma’s lap with regards to the

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