The Impact Of Hierarchy On The Social Structures And Religion Of Both The Spanish And The Mexica Empire

2507 Words Sep 27th, 2016 11 Pages
The impact of hierarchy on the social structures and religion of both the Spanish and the Mexica empire before and after contact led to the Spanish conquest of the Mexica empire. Hierarchies were fundamental aspects of both the Spanish and Mexica empires, and permeated through all aspects of society, including religion. When the two groups interacted for the first time, they established a hierarchical relationship with the Spanish being superior to the Mexica. This allowed for the Spanish conquest of the Mexica empire.
The Mexica saw the Spanish as supernatural beings, since they looked so different and had advanced, different technology and weapons. The Spanish considered themselves inherently better than the Mexica for a variety of reasons, including religion, politics, and immunity to diseases. Conversely, the natives saw themselves as subordinate to the conquerors, since they had advanced technology, seemed omniscient, and were immune to diseases that decimated entire populations, viewing them as supernatural beings.
While Velasquez attempted to begin settlement to increase his personal wealth, the Spanish conquerors were also there to spread the Christian religion. In fact, in the first town that they stopped in, “Cortes ordered us to break the Idols to pieces and roll them down the steps (Diaz 53)” and they established a church with an alter and cross. The entire narrative is interlaced with overtones of religion. The Spanish want to spread their religion, which they…

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