Extensively documented, the end of Aztec civilization marked the end of Mesoamerican civilizations as well. The first Spanish account of the conquest was written by lead conqueror , who sent a series of letters to the Spanish monarch , giving a contemporary account of the conquest from his point of view, in which he justified his actions. Cavalry could not operate in these conditions and control of the water was crucial, which Cortés did not realize at first. The Spanish conquest of Mexico had antecedents with established practices. And finally, the demands of the Mayan kings, could have caused the people in the city-states to rebell. At Veracruz, Cortés trained his army and then burned his ships to ensure loyalty to his plans for conquest.
Those polities now came under Spanish rule, also retaining their internal structures of ruling elites, tribute paying commoners, and land holding and other economic structures largely intact. After Cortés continued to release prisoners with messages of peace, and realizing the Spanish were enemies of Montezuma, , and , persuaded the Tlaxcalan warleader, , that it would be better to ally with the newcomers than to kill them. Smallpox played a crucial role in the Spanish success during the Siege of Tenochtitlan from 1519—1521, a fact not mentioned in some historical accounts. The capital was also used for central and imperialistic governmental control. Moctezuma sent a group of noblemen and other emissaries to meet Cortés at Quauhtechcac. Spanish friars taught indigenous tribes to write their own languages in Latin letters, which soon became a self-perpetuating tradition at the local level.
Velasquez was convinced enough by the gold objects, though. Now quite fluent in , as well as some other , proved to be a valuable asset for Cortés as a translator — a skill of particular significance to the later conquest of the Aztec Empire that was to be the end result of Cortés's expedition. But once the Aztec Empire was taken over by Spanish forces under the Command of Hernan Cortes, religion began to fail the people and fade away. Licenses for expeditions allowed the Crown to retain sovereignty over newly conquered lands while not risking its own assets in the enterprise. However, the Aztecs were severely worn down. Cortés departed Tlaxcala on the day after Christmas 1520.
They only take about eight days to make and were connected to the city by canals. Two long, broad, staircases led to the top of monument where two temples stood. Gifts were exchanged, and Cortés attempted to frighten the Aztec delegation with a display of his firepower. Longman: London and New York, 1994. 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. They set their capital up at Tenochtitlan, which today makes up part of Mexico City Mexico's current capital. The alliance with the Tlaxcalan Indians was one of the best tactical moves made by the Spaniards after arriving in Mexico.
Blankets infected with small-pox were circulated throughout the capital, weakening moral and killing huge numbers of warriors and civilians. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, writing in The Art of War, edited by Andrew Roberts Quercus, 2008. Once Martin López and Chichimecatecle brought the logs and planks to Texcoco, the sloops were built quickly. Simply put, the playing field was far from level, and if the legends are to be believed, the Aztec world was nearing another cyclical destruction. Religion Naturally, religion played a part because of the sacrifices. Archived from on 17 May 2008. Men who brought horses, caballeros, received two shares of the spoils, one for military service, another because of the horse.
But let's look at some of the most obvious, immediate factors: The sacrifices Armour of a Spanish solder On display at the National Anthropological Museum, Mexico City There's little doubt that the contributed to the fall of the Aztec Empire, and in more ways than one. . The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. The Aztecs were vagrants continually trying to find a territory to occupy. Ordinary people suffered from the European-introduced diseases which wiped out up to 50% of the population, and their new overlords did not turn out to be any better than the Aztecs. It is estimated that around 1,800 Spaniards died from all causes during the two-year campaign—from Vera Cruz to Tenochtitlan.
Ally of Cortés: Account 13 of the Coming of the Spaniards and the Beginning of the Evangelical Law. 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. Cuauhtemoc then attacked all three Spanish camps simultaneously with his entire army on the feast day of St. The bulk of the Spanish infantry, left behind by Cortés and the other horsemen, had to cut their way through the masses of Aztec warriors opposing them. All but eleven disappeared with the arrival of the Europeans. Many Spaniards leaped into the water and drowned, weighed down by armor and booty. Capturing the or indigenous ruler was standard operating procedure for Spaniards in their expansion in the Caribbean, so capturing Moctezuma had considerable precedent, which might well have included those in Spain during the Christian reconquest of territory held by Muslims.
Alvarado ordered his men to shoot their cannons, crossbows and arquebuses into the gathering crowd. There are probably many factors that we don't know about that were already contributing to the weakness of the empire. In addition, Cortés replaced kings with those who he knew would be loyal to him. Aztecs fought to expel Spaniards from Tenochtitlan and many of them drowned in the canals surrounding the city along with heavy freight of stolen gold. Regardless, the massacre of the nobility of Cholula was a notorious chapter in the conquest of Mexico.
Moreover, if greed motivated Cortez and his men, diseases such as smallpox, introduced by Europeans, helped his mission by killing thousand of natives. Notably, the accounts of the conquest, Spanish and indigenous alike, have biases and exaggerations. Shorn of their commanders, the Aztec units often disintegrated into panic. Cortés was willing to promise anything in the name of the King of Spain, and agreed to their demands. Velázquez may have personally contributed nearly half the cost of the expedition.