welcomed them. The Spanish conquistadores, led by Cortes, started the exploration and observation of the Aztec Empire, and in their reports they described the Aztecs as an advanced and organised civilisation. Tenochtitlan was surrounded by water on all sides, but was also accessible via big roads, called causeways, and long canals along … They were also “helped” by more subtle enemies, the illnesses that they introduced in Mesoamerica that decimated the Mexica. how did the spanish treat the peoples they conquered? Although it is true that Montezuma was unsure of how to deal with the Spaniards and that his indecision led in no small measure to the downfall of the Aztec Empire, this is only part of the story. The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, also known as the Conquest of Mexico (1519–21), was one of the primary events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. GUNPOWDER WEAPONS: WERE REALLY THE KEY OF SPANISH VICTORY? Their main city was Tenochtitlan (today’s Mexico City). What happened to Montezuma? info)),, variant spellings include Motecuhzomatzin, Montezuma, Moteuczoma, Motecuhzoma, Motēuczōmah, Muteczuma, and referred to retroactively in European sources as Moctezuma II, was the ninth tlatoani or ruler of the Aztec Empire, reigning from 1502 to 1520.The first contact between the indigenous … by Cortes and his military; present day Mexico City. Become a Study.com member to unlock this Some people captured in war were used for human sacrifice. According to Diaz, a soldier of Cortes, Montezuma sent his painters to the Spanish quarters to depict all the encampment and the Spanish army, and in the Cortes’ representation he saw a resemblance to Quintalbor, an Aztec lord. the factors that helped the spanish defeat the aztecs were the european diseases that killed millions,and the aztecs had not developed any natural immunity to european disease. Explain at least three similarities and... What factors enabled the Spanish to conquer the... 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The Spanish party is soon … Edit them in the Widget section of the. Their civilisation represented the last stage of the evolution of the Mesoamerican native civilisations, and reached its apex in the early sixteenth century, just before it was destroyed in 1521 by the Spanish invaders. In hopes of expanding European society into the area, the indigenous people ultimately lost their religion, their culture, their freedom, and their dignity under this system. They did not attend the sacrifice ceremonies that were given in their honor. Many authors argued that Cortes took advantage of the fact that the ruler of Tenochtitlan, Montezuma II, was convinced that he was the returned Feathered Serpent god, Quetzalcoatl, as forecasted by an ancient prophecy. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. The queen ordered the natives to be converted to Christianity and taught European behaviors. Who won the initial battle between the Spanish and... What did the Spanish think of the Aztecs? ( Log Out /  To find answers, Acuna-Soto spent a dozen year poring through ancient documents written by 16th century Spanish priests who worked with the Aztecs to preserve a record of their history, language and culture. Spanish’s military success was due to their military superiority and also to the support of local Mesoamerican tribes. How did the Aztec travel? Quickly, smallpox spread among the population. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. They were totally wiped out by the Spanish colonisation in the early sixteenth century which was led by the conquistador Hernan Cortes. Mexica’s obsidian swords and other close-combat weapons were no match for the steel-made Castellan swords that were way more efficient and resistant. The soldier was killed, and, likely when his body was ransacked, an Aztec caught the disease. How did the Aztecs and Cortes interact with each... How many Aztecs were killed by the Spanish? When they returned, the Aztec army quickly overwhelmed the Spanish, killing many and causing the rest to retreat. References (but also for further reading) Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, Montezuma was a renowned war leader, skilled diplomat and an able leader of his people who oversaw the consolidation of the Mexica Empire. During the same 160 years – from 1520 to 1680 – between 85% and 95% of Mesoamerica's native population died. They were Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. The Mexica were a warrior civilisation that was able to impose its rule in Mexico, rising among all the other Aztecs for their military ability and might. ( Log Out /  -Evans, ST 2004, Ancient Mexico & Central America: archaeology and culture history, Thames & Hudson, London. The Spanish did make efforts to incorporate Aztecan aspects into the new religious society. The gunpowder weapons, like the cannons, were mostly use as a sort of psychological weapon or to drive them out of their hideouts. The Spanish took advantage of local rivalries and allied with other Mesoamerican civilisations. Upon encountering natives in the new land, he notified Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, who instructed Columbus to make the natives subjects of Spain. They did not want to kill them because they might be gods after all, but the Aztecs wanted them to move along. Also, the Spanish people’s horses played a role, even if marginal, by scaring the Mexica since there were no horses in Mesoamerica at that time, so the natives were frightened by their sight and that was yet another advantage for the conquistadores. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The king and the expedition leader (like Hernan Cortes) each received 20 percent of all loot. He also described the marketplaces selling precious goods, bath and shops that he personally saw during his exploration of the Central American territories. But after Cortes captured the priest or leader, he masacured many Aztecs and conquered their land. … Smallpox was caused by an African being held as a slave, from the Spanish army, who had smallpox. ancient history, Aztecs, history, Uncategorized. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. -Stearns, PN, Gosch, SS., Grieshaber, EP, & Scardino Belzer, A 2012, Documents in World History Vol.2: The Modern Centuries: From 1500 to the Present, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey (USA). You can use them to display text, links, images, HTML, or a combination of these. The Aztecs thought that the Spanish were gods so they worshiped them and did whatever they could to please them, at first. Third, the Aztec people had never seen a horse before. the Spanish brought smallpox to the Aztecs, wiping there population out and the Spaniards were treated like gods and tricked the Aztecs into finding gold for them and treated the Aztecs harshly. The Aztec empire was a flourishing and successful empire that had been ruled by Moctezuma for seventeen years, before it was colonized by the Spanish conquistadors who killed Moctezuma and crumbled the empire by destroying its cities. … ( Log Out /  So, gunpowder or the alleged fact that the Mexica saw Cortes as god were not the real reasons of the quick defeat of the Mexica, which instead were overall beaten by the superior military strategy of the Spanish conquistadores. Other scholars pointed out that the fact the Aztecs considered the Spanish as god was a later construct, which was created to explain the relatively easy conquest of the Aztec Empire by the small group of Spanish soldiers. The peoples that the Aztecs conquered were treated little more than oppressed vassals. The answer is yes; the Castellan sword. But Montezuma had his doubts about them. 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