The aftermath of the Spanish conquest, including the Aztecs' struggle to preserve their cultural identity, is the subject of the Mexican feature film, The Other Conquest, directed by Salvador Carrasco. [39]:92–93, The joint forces of Tlaxcala and Cortés proved to be formidable. Hernán Cortés (also spelled Cortez), Marqués Del Valle De Oaxaca (1485-1547) was a Spanish adventurer and conquistador (he was also a failed law student) who overthrew the Aztec empire and claimed Mexico for Spain (1519-21). p. 237-246, Townsend, Camilla. There was little population of a non-military nature. Many of the Spaniards, weighed down by their armor and booty, drowned in the causeway gaps or were killed by the Aztecs. Later, the two prisoners, being misled or misinterpreting the language with information given to the Spanish conquistadors that there was plenty of gold up for grabs. In letters to his King, Cortés claimed that in three hours time his troops (helped by the Tlaxcalans) killed 3,000 people and had burned the city. [44]:302, 305–06, The Spanish were able to complete their escape to Tlaxcala. Cortés also had built 13 brigantines then had them mounted with cannons, turning Lake Texcoco into a strategic body of water to assault Tenochtitlan. In the sources recorded by Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún and Dominican Diego Durán in the mid to late sixteenth century, there are accounts of events that were interpreted as supernatural omens of the conquest. The name "New Spain" had been suggested by Cortés and was later confirmed officially by Mendoza. [71], The massacre had a chilling effect on the other city states and groups affiliated with the Aztecs, as well as the Aztecs themselves. In fact, "Cortés owned several hundred, used mainly in gold placering." Spanish Floridians learned how to incorporate coquina, a rock made up of shell and sand, in their architecture, which was used in the building of San Marcos, the Spanish fort in St. Augustine, in 1672. [44]:143–55, 171, The Tlaxcalans' main city was Tlaxcala. Doña Marina quickly learned Spanish, and became Cortés's primary interpreter, confidant, consort, cultural translator, and the mother of his first son, Martin. Peace of Constantinople (1572) ends Turkish attacks on Europe. [46] Some scholars contend that "the most likely interpretation of the story of these portents is that some, if not all, had occurred" but concede that it is very likely that "clever Mexicans and friars, writing later of the Mexican empire, were happy to link those memories with what they know occurred in Europe. [44]:311, Cortés was able to pacify the country, after the indigenous realized the Spaniards put "an end to the rape and robbery that the Mexicans practised." [72] The most common estimates put the population at around 60,000 to over 300,000 people. [11] According to an indigenous account, the Spanish killed Moctezuma. Two letters to Cortés about Alvarado's campaigns in Guatemala are published in The Conquistadors. [48] According to some historians, Moctezuma responded rationally to the Spanish invasion. Preparations for war began in their capital. This alliance had many victories, including the overtaking of the Aztec Capital Tenochtitlan. Thus, the Spanish had to find some way to make up for their lack of men and food. Although modern usage often calls the European participants "soldiers", the term was never used by these men themselves in any context, something that James Lockhart realized when analyzing sixteenth-century legal records from conquest-era Peru.[58]. Rest...do not think it a small thing that you have escaped with your lives from that strong city...if we thought of you as brave men before, we consider you much braver now. With this pair of translators, Cortés could now communicate to the Aztecs. The Azteca and Tlaxcalteca histories of the events leading up to the massacre vary; the Tlaxcalteca claimed that their ambassador Patlahuatzin was sent to Cholula and had been tortured by the Cholula. America's Best History - Pre-Revolution United States Timeline 1600-1619. "[39]:65 Moctezuma and his chiefs were adorned with blazing gold on their shoulders with feathers and jewels. p. 55-56, Levy, Buddy. [50] Because the Spaniards arrived in 1519, Moctezuma knew this was the year of Ce Acatl, which is the year Quetzalcoatl was promised to return. To date, only Thailand has never been colonized by any foreign European power. In 1585, Don Alvaro Manrique de Zúñiga, Marquis of Villamanrique, was appointed viceroy. Early June – Cortés establishes the colony of Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz and relocates the company to a beach near the settlement of Quiahuiztlan. Therefore, Velázquez sent Luis de Medina with orders to replace Cortés. Gold is the third element in the eleventh column of the periodic table. Cortés's conquest has been depicted in numerous television documentaries. [42], In 1510, Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II was visited by Nezahualpilli, who had a reputation as a great seer, as well as being the tlatoani of Texcoco. Cortés made alliances with tributary city-states (altepetl) of the Aztec Empire as well as their political rivals, particularly the Tlaxcalteca and Texcocans, a former partner in the Aztec Triple Alliance. [82] The Spanish and their allies, including the Tlaxcala, had to flee the central city, as the people of Tenochtitlan had risen against them. Human sacrifice and reports of cannibalism, common among the natives of the Aztec Empire, had been a major reason motivating Cortés and encouraging his soldiers to avoid surrender while fighting to the death.[44]. However, they were not met by the city leaders and were not given food and drink on the third day. The famous conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, coming to the aid of acting governor Cristóbal de Oñate, led an attack on Nochistlán. Maxixcatzin, Xicotencatl the Elder, Citalpopocatzin, and Temiloltecutl received the names of Don Lorenzo, Don Vicente, Don Bartolomé, and Don Gonzalo. [44]:309, 311–12, The Aztecs were struck by a smallpox plague starting in September 1520, which lasted seventy days. Cortés surprised his antagonist with a night attack, during which his men wounded Narváez in the eye and took him prisoner. After eight months of battles and negotiations, which overcame the diplomatic resistance of the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II to his visit, Cortés arrived in Tenochtitlan on 8 November 1519, where he took up residence with fellow Spaniards and their indigenous allies. [44]:326–52, Cortés then approached Tenochtitlan and mounted a siege of the city that involved cutting the causeways from the mainland and controlling the lake with armed brigantines constructed by the Spanish and transported overland to the lake. [72], To the Aztecs, Tenochtitlan was the "altar" for the Empire, as well as being the city that Quetzalcoatl would eventually return to. Thus, Cortés was avenging him by attacking Cholula. Early mendicants created texts in order to forward the project of Christianization. [75] Sahagún reports that Moctezuma welcomed Cortés to Tenochtitlan on the Great Causeway, Xolac. The Tarascan army numbered many thousands, perhaps as many as 100,000, but at the crucial moment they chose not to fight. [44]:303–05, In this retreat, the Spaniards suffered heavy casualties, losing 860 soldiers, 72 other Spanish members of Cortés' group, including five women, and a thousand Tlaxcalan warriors. With no military end to the conflict in sight, he was determined to restore peace to that region and launched a full-scale peace offensive by negotiating with Chichimeca leaders and providing them with lands, agricultural supplies, and other goods. [53] Cortés invested a considerable part of his personal fortune and probably went into debt to borrow additional funds. Moctezuma even had glass beads that were left behind by Grijalva brought to Tenochtitlan and they were regarded as sacred religious relics.[51]. Because the Aztecs had removed the bridges over the gaps in the causeways that linked the city to the surrounding lands, Cortés' men constructed a portable bridge to cross the water of the lake. After almost a century of fighting the Flower Wars, a great deal of hatred and bitterness had developed between the Tlaxcalans and the Aztecs. Late December – Spanish-Tlaxcaltec forces return to the Valley of Mexico; join with Texcoca forces of Ixtlilxochitl, February – Combined Spanish-Tlaxcalteca-Texcoca forces attack Xaltocan and Tlacopan; Texcoco becomes the base of operations for the campaign against Tenochtitlan, Early April – Attacks against Yautepec and Cuernavaca, following by sacking, Mid-April – Combined forces defeated by the Xochimilcans, Tenochtitlan's ally, 10 May – Start of the siege of Tenochtitlan; potable water from Chapultepec cut off, 30 June – Defeat of Spanish-Tlaxcalteca forces on a causeway; capture and ritual sacrifice of the Spaniards and their horses in Tenochtitlan, July – Spanish ships land at Veracruz with large numbers of Spaniards, munitions, and horses, 1 August – Spanish-Tlaxcalan-Texcocan forces enter the Plaza Mayor; last stand of the Aztec defenders, 13–17 August – Wholesale sacking and violence against the survivors in Tenochtitlan, November – Death of Cortés's wife, Catalina Suárez, in Coyoacan, where Cortés was resident while the new capital, Cortés's Second Letter to the crown is published in Seville, Spain, February – execution of the three rulers of the former Triple Alliance, including Cuauhtemoc, Don Juan Velázquez Tlacotzin, former "viceroy" (, A column of fire that appeared from midnight until dawn, and seemed to rain fire in the year 1517 (12-House), A lightning bolt destroying the straw temple of, The appearance of fire, or comets, streaming across the sky in threes during the day, The "boiling deep," and water flooding, of a lake nearby Tenochtitlan. Scholars who were part of a branch of Mesoamerican ethnohistory, more recently called the New Philology have, using indigenous texts in the indigenous languages, been able to examine in considerable detail how the indigenous lived during the era of Spanish colonial rule. [90] The key to understanding how considerable continuity of pre-Conquest indigenous structures was possible was the Spanish colonial utilization of the indigenous nobility. Las Casas later repented when he saw the even worse treatment given to the black slaves.[95]. In addition to the Spaniards, Cortés force now included 40 Cempoalan warrior chiefs and at least 200 other natives whose task was to drag the cannon and carry supplies. "Cortes and the Downfall of the Aztec Empire: A Study in a Conflict of Cultures. St. Augustine was to become the main city of Spanish Florida, built to maintain domination of Florida. Indian slavery was abolished in 1542 but persisted until the 1550s.[96]. Cortés confronted the city leaders in the main temple alleging that they were planning to attack his men. The expedition was also partially included in the animated film The Road to El Dorado as the main characters Tulio and Miguel end up as stowaways on Hernán Cortés' fleet to Mexico. The Aztec education system was abolished and replaced by a very limited church education. Captain from Castile (1947) is about early Cortés and the Aztec. "Spaniards Attack Cholulans From Díaz del Castillo, Vol. Later, the honorific Spanish title of Doña would be added to her baptized name. Gold atoms have 79 electrons and 79 protons … [52] Licenses for expeditions allowed the Crown to retain sovereignty over newly conquered lands while not risking its own assets in the enterprise. Hand-colored 19th-century woodcut reproduction of an earlier illustration. A few of the indigenous nobility learned Spanish. American Historical Association. See: Restall, Matthew. [34] Texcoco patriot and member of a noble family there, Fernando Alva Ixtlilxochitl, likewise petitioned the Spanish Crown, in Spanish, saying that Texcoco had not received sufficient rewards for their support of the conquistadors, particularly after the Spanish were forced out of Tenochtitlan. "[39]:64[78], Moctezuma had the royal palace of Axayácatl, Moctezuma's father, prepared for Cortés. [44]:278–79 Many of the nobility rallied around Cuitláhuac,[44]:294 the brother of Moctezuma and his heir-apparent; however, most of them could take no overt action against the Spanish unless the order was given by the Emperor. His reign as governor was marked with the largest expansion of Spanish Florida, and with great poverty in the colony. [35], The best-known indigenous account of the conquest is Book 12 of Bernardino de Sahagún's General History of the Things of New Spain and published as the Florentine Codex, in parallel columns of Nahuatl and Spanish, with pictorials. Cortés ordered Moctezuma to speak to his people from a palace balcony and persuade them to let the Spanish return to the coast in peace. [44]:265 Moctezuma told his caciques that "their ancestral tradition, set down in their books of records,[clarification needed] that men would come from the direction of the sunrise to rule these lands" and that "He believed...we were these men. [31] Cortés's right-hand man, Pedro de Alvarado did not write at any length about his actions in the New World, and died as a man of action in the Mixtón War in 1542. The primary sources from the native people affected as a result of the conquest are seldom used, because they tend to reflect the views of a particular native group, such as the Tlaxcalans. Capturing the cacique or indigenous ruler was a standard operating procedure for Spaniards in their expansion in the Caribbean, so capturing Motecuhzoma had considerable precedent but modern scholars are skeptical that Cortés and his countrymen took Motecuhzoma captive at this time. [57], Velázquez arrived at the dock in Santiago de Cuba in person, "he and Cortés again embraced, with a great exchange of compliments", before Cortés set sail for Trinidad, Cuba. The mission was the principal means for conversion and control of the Indians. Daniel, Douglas A. A text from the Nahua point of view, the Anales de Tlatelolco, an early indigenous account in Nahuatl, perhaps from 1540, remained in indigenous hands until it was published.[when?] Díaz del Castillo, Bernal; "Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España" cap CXXX pp.104-108. [52] Hernán Cortés, then one of Velázquez's favorites and brother-in-law, was named as the commander, which created envy and resentment among the Spanish contingent in the Spanish colony. Velázquez may have personally contributed nearly half the cost of the expedition. [44]:287–94 Aztec sources state the Spaniards killed him. This policy of "peace by purchase" finally brought an end to the Chichimeca War. Eventually, the army also began to fly this flag, and it came to represent Spain. [44]:86–87 How effectively is still a matter of speculation, since Marina did not speak the dialect of the Aztecs, nor was she familiar with the protocols of the Aztec nobility, who were renowned for their flowery, flattering talk. Particularly important to the Spanish success was a multilingual (Nahuatl, a Maya dialect, and Spanish) indigenous slave woman, known to the Spanish conquistadors as Doña Marina, and generally as La Malinche. This resulted in a strange arrangement where both Cortés and Tangáxuan considered themselves rulers of Michoacán for the following years: the population of the area paid tribute to them both. Mendoza was entirely loyal to the Spanish crown, unlike the conqueror of Mexico Hernán Cortés, who had demonstrated that he was independent-minded and defied official orders when he threw off the authority of Governor Velázquez in Cuba. [44]:114, Hearing of the rebellion, more ambassadors from the Aztec Emperor returned to see Cortés, bearing gifts of "gold and cloth", in thankfulness for Cortés freeing his tax collectors. A number of lower rank Spanish conquerors wrote benemérito petitions to the Spanish Crown, requesting rewards for their services in the conquest, including Juan Díaz, Andrés de Tapia, García del Pilar, and Fray Francisco de Aguilar. "Malintzin's Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico" University of New Mexico Press, 2006. p, 36. Regardless, the massacre of the nobility of Cholula was a notorious chapter in the conquest of Mexico. [29], Two lengthy accounts from the defeated indigenous viewpoint were created under the direction of Spanish friars, Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún and Dominican Diego Durán, using indigenous informants. The other discovery that perpetuated this system of indigenous forced labor were the extensive silver mines discovered at Potosi, in Higher Peru (now Bolivia) and other places in the Spanish empire in the New World that were worked for hundreds of years by forced native labor and contributed most of the wealth that flowed to Spain. [44]:80, 82. The Spanish discovered that they could not remove their portable bridge unit from the first gap, and so had no choice but to leave it behind. She would then translate from Mayan to Nahuatl. They succeed in killing two horsemen. Cortés realized that the defeat was imminent and decided to escape yet, the Aztecs attacked. "[44]:237, After Cortés' request surrounding the questioning of raising the cross and the image of the Virgin Mary, the Mexica then killed seven Spanish soldiers Cortés had left on the coast, including Cortés' Villa Rica Constable Juan de Escalante, and many Totonacs. [39]:11 According to Diaz, "These Caciques also told us of a tradition they had heard from their ancestors, that one of the idols which they particularly worshipped had prophesied the coming of men from distant lands in the direction of the sunrise, who would conquer them and rule them. There was a chronic shortage of men and food. Córdoba took two prisoners, who adopted the baptized names of Melchor and Julián and became interpreters. Upon the settlement of Hispaniola which was successful in the early 1500s, the colonists began searching elsewhere to begin new settlements. The Spanish naval ships began to fly this flag in the early 1500s in honor of their king. It is said that Cortés, upon reaching the mainland at Tlacopan, wept over their losses. That you would come to ask for your throne, your place, that you would come here. [44]:192 Cempoalans reported that fortifications were being constructed around the city and the Tlaxcalans were warning the Spaniards. [79] Moctezuma and his papas were furious at the suggestion, with Moctezuma claiming his idols, "give us health and rain and crops and weather, and all the victories we desire. [12] Cortés had returned to Tenochtitlan and his men fled the capital city during the Noche Triste in June 1520. "[44]:181 Some accounts would claim that this idol or deity was Quetzalcoatl, and that the Aztecs were defeated because they believed the Spanish were supernatural and didn't know how to react, although whether or not the Aztecs really believed that is debatable. In 1517, Cuban governor Diego Velázquez commissioned a fleet of three ships under the command of Hernández de Córdoba to sail west and explore the Yucatán peninsula. Brandt, Anthony. The garrison, chronically understaffed, would have their money taken by their commanders. Montezuma also told Cortés, he was certain the Spanish were of "his own race", and had arrived as "his ancestors had foretold". During the late 1500s, Pedro Menendez was one of the first governors of Spanish Florida. The attacks intensified with each passing year. [44]:248 During the period of his imprisonment, Moctezuma stated "he was glad to be a prisoner, since either our gods gave us power to confine him or Huichilobos permitted it." The empire had been composed of separate city-states that had either allied with or been conquered by the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, and rendered tribute to the Mexica while maintaining their internal ruling structures. With all of his ships scuttled, Cortés effectively stranded the expedition in central Mexico. There, they were given assistance, since all 440 of them were wounded, with only 20 horses left. The ensuing Chichimeca War (1550–1590) would become the longest and costliest conflict between Spanish forces and indigenous peoples in the Americas. One by one they took over most of the cities under Aztec control, some in battle, others by diplomacy. Others, however, are unique to a particular primary source or group narrating the event. "Perfect storm at Tenochtitlan 1521: How Cortes's band of hidalgos destroyed the Mexica Empire." In the end, only Tenochtitlan and the neighboring city of Tlatelolco remained unconquered or not allied with the Spaniards. Nezahualpilli warned Moctezuma that he must be on guard, for in a few years Aztec cities would be destroyed. They had great incentive to claim they did, owing to the laws of Spain at this time, but critical analysis of their personal writings suggest Motecuhzoma was not taken captive until a much later date. Two key works by historian Charles Gibson, Tlaxcala in the Sixteenth Century (1952)[87] and his monograph The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule: A History of the Indians of the Valley of Mexico, 1519–1810 (1964)[88] were central in reshaping the historiography of the indigenous and their communities from the Spanish Conquest to the 1810 Mexican independence era.[89]. In any case, they apparently had no problems in adding the Christian "Dios" (God in Spanish), the lord of the heavens, to their already complex pantheon of gods. Largely because he wanted to present the city to his king and emperor, Cortés had made several attempts to end the siege through diplomacy, but all offers were rejected. Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán, then president of the first Audiencia decided, to march on northwestern Mexico with a force of 5,000–8,000 men in search for new populations to subdue, and when he arrived in Michoacán and found out that Tangaxuan was still de facto ruler of his empire he allied himself with a Tarascan noble Don Pedro Panza Cuinierángari against the Cazonci. MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History (2014): 58. This means that native emphasis on omens and bewilderment in the face of invasion "may be a postconquest interpretation by informants who wished to please the Spaniards or who resented the failure of Montezuma and of the warriors of Tenochtitlan to provide leadership. [39]:90, Cortés had formed an alliance with Tlaxcala. The account was used by eighteenth-century Jesuit Francisco Javier Clavijero in his descriptions of the history of Mexico. 24 March – Leaders of Potoncan sue Spaniards for peace and gift the Spaniards, 20 slave women. [43], Additionally, the Tlaxcala saw a "radiance that shone in the east every morning three hours before sunrise", and a "whirlwind of dust" from the volcano Matlalcueye. New Spain into the Spanish army played a crucial role in the conquest, yet other factors paved the path for the Spaniards' success. Over the years, and especially after Nezhualpilli's death in 1515, several supernatural omens appeared. The Great Temple was central to the Aztec's cosmological views; the temple served as a burial ground for the offerings made to different gods, such as the gods of fertility, mountains, rain, and earth. [84] His ashes were thrown into the Lerma river. He would speak to Gerónimo de Aguilar in Spanish who would then translate into Mayan for Marina. [44]:286, Considerable doubt has been cast by different commentators on this explanation, which may have been self-serving rationalization on the part of Alvarado, who may have attacked out of fear (or greed) where no immediate threat existed. Many were killed, including their new leader, the Emperor Cuitlahuac. "[49] Hugh Thomas concludes that Moctezuma was confused and ambivalent about whether Cortés was a god or the ambassador of a great king in another land. War in History (1995): 87–104. These historians believe this means that Moctezuma did not think the Spanish were supernatural. Most first-hand accounts about the conquest of the Aztec Empire were written by Spaniards: Hernán Cortés' letters to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and the first-person narrative of Bernal Díaz del Castillo, The True History of the Conquest of New Spain. After Cortés continued to release prisoners with messages of peace, and realizing the Spanish were enemies of Montezuma, Xicotencatl the Elder and Maxixcatzin persuaded the Tlaxcalan warleader, Xicotencatl the Younger, that it would be better to ally with the newcomers than to kill them. These include in an episode of Engineering an Empire as well as in the BBC series Heroes and Villains, with Cortés being portrayed by Brian McCardie. Turks attack Cyprus and war on Venice. [51][44]:205–06, On 8 November 1519, after the fall of Cholula, Cortés and his forces entered Tenochtitlan, the island capital of the Mexica-Aztecs. [80] Considering the centrality and the importance of the Great Temple as a religious and cultural monument could potentially have influenced the decision to attack a location such as this. By the 1580s, thousands had died and Spanish mining settlements in Chichimeca territory were continually under threat. Raudzens, George. On 14 July 1520, the Aztecs attempted to destroy the Spanish for good at the Battle of Otumba. They combined forces to defeat the Mexica of Tenochtitlan over a two-year period. The capital was also used for central and imperialistic governmental control. Conquerors' accounts exaggerate individual contributions to the Conquest at the expense of their comrades, while indigenous allies' accounts stress their loyalty and importance to victory for the Spanish. In a letter in Nahuatl to the Spanish Crown, the indigenous lords of Huexotzinco lay out their case in for their valorous service. 1580 [44]:111–13 The Totonacs also helped Cortés build the town of Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, which was the starting point for his attempt to conquer the Aztec Empire. The annual stipend from taxes in Mexico, the situado, would always be years late, and was paid by the strength of the garrison. They started forcing the Indians to labor and farm beyond their accustomed capacity, which resulted in unrest and periodic revolt. [81] The nobility of Tenochtitlan chose Cuitláhuac as Huey Tlatoani (Emperor). 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