It has been noted that it does seem strange that such a powerful ruler as Motecuhzoma should cut such a passive figure in the record of events brought down to us. He wanted Aztec land and riches How were the Aztec and Inca empires impacted by Spanish conquistadors and European colonization? Under the leadership of Hernan Cortes in 1521, the Aztec Empire was destroyed. He could also be cruel. Many great encounters in world history, including Cortés's clash with the Aztec empire, had less to do with weaponry, tactics and strategy than with the ravages of disease. Within just … José Luis de Rojas the author of Tenochtitlan: Capital of the Aztec Empire states that one of the most respected positions an Aztec commoner could obtain was the role of “Tealtiani" or the person responsible for the cleansing of slaves before sacrifice . Motecuhzoma, after consulting his council of elders, decided on a strategy of diplomacy. Then a garrison was established at Veracruz on the coast. He defeated the Aztec empire and took Mexico for Spain. What Impact did the Conquest have on Aztec Society? Although Cortes and his men were greatly outnumbered by the tens of thousands of Aztec Indians living in the area of the Yucatan Peninsula, he did have a huge advantage which at first may not even have crossed his mind as a way to “thin out the herd.” Hernando Cortes led an exhibition that caused the fall of the aztec empire. He was an explorer for the Spanish. While the Spanish made it illegal for Native Americans to have horses, some of the horses escaped and were mastered by Native Americans in the West. By around 1400 CE several small empires had formed in the Valley of Mexico and dominant amongst these were Texcoco, capital of the Acholhua region, and Azcapotzalco, capital of the Tepenec. Because of the Aztec's religious beliefs, when Cortes arrived in Mexico, the Aztecs believed that he was a god. The first was help from disgruntled subject peoples or traditional enemies of the Aztecs. Holed up in the royal palace, Cortés resisted several waves of attacks and then fought to control the gigantic Templo Mayor pyramid, which was being used as a handy vantage point to rain down missiles on the Spanish. Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now. Columbus had landed at San Salvador and explored the West Indies in 1492, when Cortés was a young boy. The second factor in the Spaniard’s favour was the primitive weaponry and ritualised warfare of their opponents. Cortes and Montezuma—The Meeting that Killed 20 Million Aztecs Posted by Amanda Penn | Jan 21, 2020 This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "Talking to Strangers" by Malcolm Gladwell. Hernan Cortes was born in Spain around 1485 and died in 1547. License. Hernán Cortés: Legacy Led by Hernán Cortés, the Spaniard’s formidable firearms and thirst for treasure would bring devastating destruction and disease. Cortes and Montezuma—The Meeting that Killed 20 Million Aztecs Posted by Amanda Penn | Jan 21, 2020 This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "Talking to Strangers" by Malcolm Gladwell. What role did the Protestant Reformation play in the colonization of North America? By August of 1521, the glorious city of Tenochtitlan was in ruins. The two sides were not just centuries but millennia apart in terms of arms technology and warfare tactics. The visitors from the Old World had finally come. Estimates vary but the general numbers range from 1,200-1,400 Conquistadors and between 80,000 and 200,000 local fighters from the Tlaxcala and Cempoala by the time he reached the steps of Tenochtitlan. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Motecuhzoma was forced to declare himself a subject of Charles V, handover more treasure and even allow the placing of a crucifix on top of the Great Pyramid or Templo Mayor in the city’s sacred precinct. Cite This Work That's how the Aztecs did things. Europeans Invade the Aztec Empire. Cortés & the Siege of Tenochtitlanby Unknown Artist (Public Domain). In Ancient Aztec Society, It Was Illegal To Mistreat Your Slaves. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. Why did Spain and France establish colonies in America? Hernan Cortes, Spanish conquistador who overthrew the Aztec empire (1519–21) and won Mexico for the crown of Spain. His greatest impact in history is that he established a firm Spanish presence in the New World after conquering the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Cortes’s army besieged Tenochtitlan for 93 days. Impact on the world ; Bibliography ; Hernando Cortes. The impact that he had on the native populations was very negative. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved, http://mason.gmu.edu/~alaemmer/disease/smallpox.pdf. Aztec slaves were a vehicle for moving around the societal hierarchy. It began as a form of homeschooling, and, at 12 years of age, boys and girls left home to attend formal schools. Cortes also introduced the African slave trade to Mexico. The gods of the Aztecs (1345-1521 CE) were many and varied and... Aztec society was hierarchical and divided into clearly defined... Hernan Cortes and the Fall of the Aztec Empire, Conquest: Cortes, Montezuma, and the Fall of Old Mexico, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. After six days of retreat Cortés won the battle of Otumba over the Aztecs sent in pursuit (July 7, 1520). The Aztec gods required human blood (let from living bodies, as well as through the death of sacrificial victims) to nourish them and sustain the world. Battles were concentrated in or around major cities, and when these fell, the victors claimed the whole surrounding territory. Cortés received a necklace of golden crabs, and Motecuhzoma a necklace of Venetian glass strung on gold thread and scented with musk. These two empires came face to face in 1428 CE with the Tepanec War. Regular tributes were extracted, and captives were taken back to Tenochtitlan for ritual sacrifice. Two years into his studies, Cortés abandoned the course and went back home. Aztec mythology foretold that the present era of the 5th sun would eventually fall just as the previous four eras had done, and so it came to pass. Unfortunately, with the continued extraction of tribute both in goods and forced labour, this new order was no less brutal and unforgiving than the old one. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. The discovery of the ‘New World’ by Christopher Columbus in 1492 was the catalyst for change that had been long awaited in European society. Cortés grabbed what booty he could and fled the city in a running night battle on the 30th of June, 1520 CE, in what became known as the Noche Triste (Sad Night). The governor organised another expedition and chose as its leader Hernán Cortés. What factors encouraged Spanish success in Peru? Approved by eNotes Editorial Team Posted on October 27, 2013 at 1:25 AM Related: The 5 Most colorful types of tomatoes. Cortez tricks the Aztecs In 1519, Hernan Cortez, with only 500 soldiers, was able to conquer the Aztec Empire in Mexico. Aztec. Montezuma Meets Cortésby Unknown Artist (Public Domain). One of Cortés’ men spoke the former so that now the way was open to parley with any representatives the invaders came across. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. The empire continued to expand from 1430 CE, and the Aztec military - bolstered by conscription of all adult males, men supplied from allied and conquered states, and such elite groups as the Eagle and Jaguar warriors - swept aside their rivals. Another contribution made by the Aztecs is in pharmacology. Cortes was an ambitious and bold explorer. He became fascinated with tales of Christopher Columbus' New World explorations. Montezuma seems to have had some instinct that troubled times were ahead as he gave great importance to omens such as a comet sighted in 1509 CE, and he constantly consulted soothsayers for advice. Why did the English want to colonize America? Sign up now. Cortes also enslaved many Native Americans and destroyed their art. In 1519, conquistador Hernan Cortes landed on Mexico's Gulf coast and began an audacious conquest of the mighty Aztec Empire. Whatever the reasons, the initial air of cordiality between the two sides soon turned sour for within two weeks the Aztec ruler was audaciously taken hostage and placed under house arrest by the small Spanish force. Cortés was directed to sail north, and this he did, landing near the town of Cempoala where he came across two Aztec tax collectors extracting the king’s tribute from the locals. In 1519, inspired by rumors of gold and the existence of large, sophisticated cities in the Mexican interior, Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) was appointed to head an expedition of eleven ships and five hundred men to Mexico. The Aztecs were used to loose formations in battle; their primary objective had always been to capture a valiant opponent alive so that they might be later ritually sacrificed, and warfare was highly ritualised with precise moments for starting and ending. The key to Cortes’s conquests lay in the political crisis within the Aztec empire; the Aztecs were bitterly resented by many … the Inca civil war, Indian allies, superior weapons, and disease Some states were integrated more than others whilst those on the extremities of the empire were exploited merely as buffer zones against more hostile neighbours. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. Last modified July 04, 2016. Lacking food and ravaged by smallpox disease earlier introduced by one of the Spaniards, the Aztecs, now led by Cuauhtemoc, finally collapsed after 93 days of resistance on the fateful day of 13th of August, 1521 CE. He conquered the Aztecs and made their territory a part of the Spanish empire. Elite Aztec warriors and officers also wore spectacular feathered and animal skin costumes and headdresses to signify their rank. The objective of Aztec warfare was never to destroy completely the enemy and overturn their culture, while the Spanish were intent on exactly that. Conquistadors destroyed the empires, and then Europeans built new settlements Over time Tenochtitlan came to dominate the Alliance, its leader became the supreme ruler - the huey tlatoque ('high king') - and the city established itself as the capital of the Aztec Empire. The city was clean and well-ordered, with strong laws and political administration, but the Aztecs have often been regarded as a brutal and even evil people because they practised human sacrifice. Some think the Spanish strangled him in secret as he was clearly of no use to either side any longer. Ignoring instructions to return to Cuba, Cortés instead sent a shipload of the treasures they had so far acquired and letters requesting royal support to Charles V of Spain. IMPACT OF DISEASE ON THE AZTEC EMPIRE An important event in world history was the conquest of the Aztec Empire by Spanish conquistadors in 1521. Thousands of golden artifacts from Aztec culture were melted down and shipped back to Spain. The Azcapotzalco forces were defeated by an alliance of Texcoco, Tenochtitlan (the capital of the Mexica) and several other smaller cities. When Cortes arrived in Mexico, around 30 million Aztecs lived there. Web. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. How did Cortes trick the Aztecs? Ancient History Encyclopedia, 04 Jul 2016. As the chronicler Diego Duran put it, the Aztecs were "Masters of the world, their empire so wide and abundant that they had conquered all the nations." The Aztec warrior commanders, unhappy at Motecuhzoma's passivity, overthrew him and set Cuitlahuac as the new tlatoani. Velasquez was convinced enough by the gold objects, though. In this new group was an African being held as a slave, who had smallpox, a very contagious disease.One of Cortes' men contracted the disease. https://www.ancient.eu/article/916/. After bringing Tenochtitlan to the ground, the Europeans assumed the responsibility of power in the area, which meant they needed to construct a new legal framework. Aztec warriors wore padded cotton armour, carried a wooden or reed shield covered in hide, and wielded weapons such as a super sharp obsidian sword-club (macuahuitl), a spear or dart thrower (atlatl), and bow and arrows. Five hundred years ago, in February of 1519, the Spaniard Hernán Cortés set sail from Cuba to explore and colonize Aztec civilization in the Mexican interior. The Azcapotzalco forces were defeated by an alliance of Texcoco, Tenochtitlan (the capital of the Mexica) and several other smaller cities. In the modern world, slavery is such … By around 1400 CE several small empires had formed in the Valley of Mexico and dominant amongst these were Texcoco, capital of the Acholhua region, and Azcapotzalco, capital of the Tepenec. Growing up, Cortés was not the strongest of children. Thus, one’s view of Cortes’s impact is very much conditioned by the point of view from which one examines his actions. Tenochtitlan was sacked and its monuments destroyed. There could only be one winner, and within three years Mesoamerica, including the Tarascan capital of Tzintzuntzan and the Maya highlands, were under Spanish control. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Soon after, the Spaniards began exchanging messages with the ruler Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin in Mexico-Tenochtitlan. On the march to Tenochtitlan, Cortés had already enlisted the enthusiastic help of the Tlaxcalans, both in men and supplies. Gathering local allies from his Tlaxcala base, and now supported by Texcoco, Cortés first won a great battle near Otumba and then returned to Tenochtitlan ten months later, laying siege to the city with a fleet of specially built warships. The Aztec empire flourished between c. 1345 and 1521 CE and dominated ancient Mesoamerica. Why did Cortes want to conquer the Aztecs? Endlessly troublesome, they, the Tlaxcalans and others, would prove to be vital allies for the Spaniards when they came to plunder and conquer the vast riches of Mesoamerica. Cortes's men also brought horses. The Tlaxcalans were ruthless in their revenge and slaughtered men, women, and children wholesale, even shocking the hardened Spanish veterans with their atrocities. His forces defeated the Aztecs in Battle of Otumba on July 7, 1520, and he regained control of Tenochtitlan by August 13, 1521. He defeated the Aztec empire and took Mexico for Spain. Effective though these were against even more poorly equipped native Americans, they were next to useless against the Spanish guns, crossbows, steel swords, long pikes, cannons, and armour. They may have been thought to be poisonous when ingested but tomatoes did make their gardens look vibrant and breathtaking. In this, they were helped enormously by two factors. Disease epidemics can set the course of human history. At that time the great empire of the Mexica—now known as … In Canada modified July 04 ) the temple, which he then set fire to, horrifying population. When ingested but tomatoes did make their gardens look vibrant and breathtaking on thread. The 400 became the moon and stars respectively side throughout the campaign, and Motecuhzoma necklace! 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