The Spanish Conquest Essays

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In the early 16th century Hernán Cortés wrote a letter to King Charles I of Spain. The letter being a statement of great accomplishment and power wasn’t just a simple letter; to Hernán Cortés it was a symbol of authority and a step forward towards expansion. The letter acknowledged their achievements of this expedition; the first being their success and the discovery of land to be colonized and this amazing empire known as the Aztec empire. Steel, armor, canons, firearms, and horses presented Cortés and his crew the advantage over the native people they encountered which helped justify the Spanish overcoming of the Aztec empire. Born a poor Spaniard to a family of lesser nobility but well educated, Hernán Cortés was born in Medellin, …show more content…
However, in order for Cortés to achieve his goals he needed weapons such as dogs, guns, steel and armor to take down the Aztecs. Spanish weapons and horses alone were not sufficient enough to be able to take down a very large civilization. Associations with the native people of Mexico also benefited Cortés and his crew from division on this expedition. Cortés had to form significant alliances with people who held grudges over the sovereignty from the Aztecs. Cortés had no idea how to speak the Maya language until a Mayan chieftain that bestowed Cortés with several young women, which included a woman with the name of Doña Marina as a gesture of friendship. Doña Marina’s ability to speak the Maya language was important to the Spaniards apart from the intelligence she offered to Cortés. When Cortés reached Veracruz he learned about the rich and powerful ruler Motecuzoma II. Discovering Motecuzoma has many enemies Cortés decides to take over his empire for the Spanish Monarchs by cutting his only connection to Cuba; he orders his men to destroy their own fleet of ships. Cortés sends feather work and gold back to Spain hoping to gain authorization for his wrong doing of disobeying his superior’s orders, Velázquez. As soon as Spain receives these imported goods, and riches from the Aztecs their court orders

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