Hernan Cortes Summary

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The interaction between the explorers from Western Europe and the indigenous people of North and South America was shaped by the different cultures and beliefs that each come from. Over the course of several hundreds of years, many different explorers from Western Europe made the voyage to the Americas. Whether they were exploring the different bodies of land in the search of riches, or conquering the indigenous people that resided there, the attitudes of the men that traveled there were shaped by their own beliefs and values that were instilled in them by their home country. This is evident in Hernan Cortes’s account of the Aztec Empire. Sent by the Spanish monarch Charles V, Cortes was meant to find treasure and wealth and bring it back to Spain. During his search for the riches of the New World, Cortes found himself appalled at the traditions and values of the native population. The culture shock that Cortes experienced from the indigenous people of the Aztec Empire had a profound effect on his views of the local populace. Another thing that influenced Cortes’s views of the Aztec Empire was his lack of knowledge on the cultural …show more content…
Hernan Cortes was contracted by the King of Spain, Charles V, to travel to the New World in search of riches and treasures. In his letter to Charles, Cortes’s argument seemed to take on an almost hyperbolical tone. He seems to have exaggerated his claims in order to make the New World sound like a more tantalizing investment for Charles V to place more funds into. For instance, Cortes stated that “To our mind it is probable that this land contains as many riches as that from which Solomon is said to have obtained gold for the temple” . Cortes’s use of exaggeration here is to assure Charles V that his funding of Cortes’s voyage wasn’t a wasted

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