The Spanish Conquest Essay

1702 Words Nov 26th, 2012 7 Pages
Although some may consider the fall of the Nahua and Inca empires an encounter of the Spanish, the meeting of the two cultures was a conquest because the Spanish brutally defeated and took over the indigenous cultures with the help of many advantages. There are three major factors which contributed to the successful conquest between the Spanish and the Nahuas, also known as the Aztecs, and Incas. First, the Spanish leaders had experience in forming alliances with indigenous people. Second, the Spanish had superior weaponry and military advantage, like steel, horses, and guns which made their weapons stronger and much more deadly. Third, the Spanish were physically capable of interacting with the indigenous people without suffering from …show more content…
Coincidentally, the year the Spanish arrived in Mexico, 1519, the Nahua were expecting Quetzalcoatl, an ancient god that was believed to return and reclaim his positions and lands. In the eyes of the Nahua, Hernan Cortés could have very well been Quetzalcoatl since Quetzalcoatl was described as white and bearded[7]. Since the Nahua had never seen Europeans before, these foreign, white, fully clothed creatures were treated like gods and welcomed. Being invited to stay in Moctezuma’s palace in the powerful city of Tenochtitlan put the Spaniards at yet another advantage. Unknowingly, Moctezuma put Tenochtitlan in danger and at a huge disadvantage. Cortés used being welcomed into the city as his way of capturing the vulnerable Moctezuma and starting his two year conquest. Like Cortés, Pizarro found himself at an advantage when he and his men arrived in Peru during a civil war caused by Atahualpa, the eventual emperor of the Incas and his brother, Huáscar. “The wily Pizarro was able to play the two sides against each other, achieving the ultimate victory for himself. Each side in the Inca civil war saw the other as the greatest threat.”[8] Little did each side know that the biggest threat would be the Spanish leader, Pizarro. The civil war separated and weakened the Incas as a whole and gave the Spaniards a huge advantage since there was barely an

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