The Conquistadors

1677 Words May 14th, 2012 7 Pages
The Conquest of Mexico and the conversion of the peoples of New Spain can and should be included among the histories of the world, not only because it was well done but because it was very great. . . . Long live, then, the name and memory of him [Cortés] who conquered so vast a land, converted such a multitude of men, cast down so many men, cast down so many men, cast down so many idols, and put an end to so much sacrifice and the eating of human flesh! —Francisco López de Gómara (1552) When people are asked, “who were the Conquistadors and what did they do?” One may respond, “Conquistadors came from Spain and settled the Americas.” An answer such as that may suffice and is factual. However, the Conquistadors were more than settlers, …show more content…
Maybe too much credit is given to Cortés as one of the greatest Spanish conquerors who developed effective strategy to defeat the Aztecs. Restall see this as somewhat of a myth accounting for the failure of historians to look at history before the 1519 (Restall, 19). Restall says “However, too often, without any direct evidence, the actions of Conquistadors after the 1519– 21 invasion of Mexico are taken as deliberately imitating Cortés, while pre-1519 patterns are ignored.” Whatever the case for whom should be given the credit for the strategy used to defeat the Aztecs; one must admit Cortés was able the win the trust of the people and use the Aztecs’ fear of him to control their empire. Cortés harbored fear of his own. Elliott says, “Cortés felt some uneasiness, when he reflected that it was in the power of the Indians, at any time, to cut off his communications with the surrounding country, and hold him a prisoner in the capital.” The Omens of the Aztecs betrayed them and caused them to see the arriving settlers as gods. They were not prepared to defend themselves against the advanced weapons of the Spanish. Much like the Aztecs, the Mayans faced hard times at the hands of the Spanish conquerors, but their defeat came much easier to the Spanish. Third, the Conquistadors conquered many civilizations including the Mayans. The Mayan civilization was quite
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