What role did the Protestant Reformation play in the colonization of North America? Ancient History Encyclopedia. Cortes was an ambitious and bold explorer. This meant that it was not a homogenous and mature empire where its members had a mutual interest in its preservation. Related: The 5 Most colorful types of tomatoes. The Aztec Empire. Web. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. Hernán Cortés and his company reached the island of San Juan de Ulúa on the coast of the Aztec province of Cuetlaxtlan (Veracruz) on April 20, 1519. Cite This Work Shorn of their commanders, the Aztec units often disintegrated into panic. Over 200,000 slaves were brought to Mexico before it was abolished in 1829. With these ships, Cortés was able to block the three main causeways which linked the city to the edge of Lake Texcoco. Books Cortes's men brought diseases such as smallpox to the Americas; these wiped out millions. 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. This young and warlike nation was highly successful in spreading its reach and gaining fabulous wealth, but then all too quickly came the strange visitors from another world. Fighting for their independence from Aztec rule they did not realise that they would merely be replacing one rapacious overlord for another even more destructive one. The objective of Aztec warfare was never to destroy completely the enemy and overturn their culture, while the Spanish were intent on exactly that. Soon after, the Spaniards began exchanging messages with the ruler Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin in Mexico-Tenochtitlan. Then a garrison was established at Veracruz on the coast. 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. Why were the British more successful than the French and Dutch in establishing colonies in North America? The Azcapotzalco forces were defeated by an alliance of Texcoco, Tenochtitlan (the capital of the Mexica) and several other smaller cities. In this, they were helped enormously by two factors. Motecuhzoma, after consulting his council of elders, decided on a strategy of diplomacy. When the Spanish arrived, normally they would have been captured and sacrificed immediately. From 1518-1521, Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and his army brought down the mighty Aztec Empire, the greatest the New World had ever seen. What was the significance of joint-stock companies. 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. One of Cortés’ men spoke the former so that now the way was open to parley with any representatives the invaders came across. The empire was loosely kept together through the appointment of officials from the Aztec heartland, inter-marriages, gift-giving, invitations to important ceremonies, the building of monuments and artworks which promoted Aztec imperial ideology, imposition of the Aztec religion (especially worship of Huitzilopochtli), and most importantly of all, the ever-present threat of military intervention. By 1515 CE rumours in the Aztec heartlands and several bad omens of a rapidly approaching crisis were fuelled by sightings off the coast of fantastic floating temples. Bibliography Initially, relations were friendly and valuable gifts were exchanged between the two leaders. Gradually, Franciscan friars arrived to spread Christianity, and the bureaucrats took over from the adventurers. Related Content Marina [maˈɾina] or Malintzin [maˈlintsin] (c. 1500 – c. 1529), more popularly known as La Malinche [la maˈlintʃe], was a Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast, who played a key role in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, acting as an interpreter, advisor, and intermediary for the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. Historians often disagree on the impact, both positive and negative, that the Spanish had on Aztec civilization. Regardless of that he was quite intelligent for his age. The fall of the Aztec empire, while a devastation to its indigenous people, was a significant achievement for Hernán Cortés and his army of conquistadors. https://www.ancient.eu/article/916/. The finely made weapons did not pass inspection until they could bend in a half-circle and survive a full-force impact with a metal helmet. That's how the Aztecs did things. The first was help from disgruntled subject peoples or traditional enemies of the Aztecs. Top subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences. Log in here. What factors encouraged Spanish success in Peru? 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. The Aztecs believed that the god of the sun and war Huitzilopochtli had been fully armed and ready for war from the very moment of his birth from his mother Coatlicue. What were three goals of French colonization in the Americas? In a short fifty years, only 3 million people lived in the region that the Aztecs occupied. These two empires came face to face in 1428 CE with the Tepanec War. The Tlaxcalans were ruthless in their revenge and slaughtered men, women, and children wholesale, even shocking the hardened Spanish veterans with their atrocities. The visitors from the Old World had finally come. He could also be cruel. He wanted Aztec land and riches How were the Aztec and Inca empires impacted by Spanish conquistadors and European colonization? The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. 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. Disease played a huge part in the fall of the Aztec empire. 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 Aztec empire collapsed, its temples were defaced or destroyed, and its fine art melted down into coins. Cortés & the Fall of the Aztec Empire. In his fleet of 11 ships went 500 soldiers and 100 sailors, all of them adventurers and treasure-seekers. Another contribution made by the Aztecs is in pharmacology. When he was 14, his parents sent him to study Latin at his uncle’s school in Salamanca. Tenochtitlan was sacked and its monuments destroyed. 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. His decision to abandon school was primarily influenced by news of famed … He defeated the Aztec empire and took Mexico for Spain. 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 Spanish invaders, allowed to freely enter the city, were hugely impressed by its splendour, its magnificent architecture and artwork, its wonderful gardens, artificial lakes, and flowers. ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved, http://mason.gmu.edu/~alaemmer/disease/smallpox.pdf. When Cortes arrived in Mexico, around 30 million Aztecs lived there. But, in the 1500s, when the Spanish conquistador, Hernan Cortes, entered Aztec territory with a small band of his men, the Aztec misunderstood why they were there. Remarkably, Cortes did this with only a handful of Europeans, but he was able to use tribes who had been subjugated by the Aztecs to fight with him. Disease and warfare had destroyed a very strong Mesoamerican civilization. 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. How did Cortes trick the Aztecs? What Impact did the Conquest have on Aztec Society? Here's what happened.After Cortes landed in Mexico, another Spanish army came from Cuba to make sure he followed orders. The Impact of Disease on the Aztecs. 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