Hernan Cortes As A Brave Conquistador Hero Essay

1442 Words Sep 14th, 2016 6 Pages
Most books have either portrayed Hernán Cortés as either a brave conquistador hero who helped transform Mexico for Spanish use, or as a cruel racist who helped instill a genocide upon millions of Mexican natives. The truth, however, is a lot less black or white. In the book Victors and Vanquished: Spanish and Nahua Views of the Conquest of Mexico, we see that the moral nature of Cortés is more grey than most think. Cortés, in his conquest of Mexico, had performed good and bad deeds towards his own men and towards the Nahua people. To begin with the analysis of Cortés’s actions, we can look at the various good deeds he exhibited during his time in Mexico. Surprisingly, most accounts of his good actions seem to involve the native peoples more than his men. While he does not treat his men exceedingly poorly, there are not a whole lot of outstanding accounts of Cortés being remarkably kind and good to his men. There are two accounts where Cortez shows his loyalty to his men, summarizing his devoted nature to the men he worked with. One of the men that Cortés was loyal under was a man named Gonzolo de Sandoval. According to accounts by Bernal Días, Cortés refers to Gonzolo de Sandoval as, “That besides the brave soldiers whom he had in his company, who are so valiant that one might name them amongst the most notable that the world had known, there was above them all Sandoval.”1 These are high and generous remarks for a person to get in military services, and Cortés even…

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