The Journeys of Hernando Cortez and Francisco Pizarro

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An Analysis of How Cortez and Pizarro Conquered the Aztecs and Incas Both Hernando Cortez and Francisco Pizarro were explorers from Spain who had sailed to the New World at the beginning of the 16th century. Cortez set out to conquer the Aztecs in 1519, and Pizarro began his conquest of the Incas in 1526. This paper will analyze the ways in which the two Spanish conquistadors defeated their respective enemies. While the historical accounts differ, it is largely purported that the Aztecs mistakenly presumed the Spaniards to be gods. The leader of the Aztecs, Montezuma, welcomed Cortez and his men and even invited them to tour the temples that the Aztecs had erected to their gods. Montezuma had with him his Catholic priest and showed little respect for the gods that the Aztecs worshipped. Cortez showed little patience with the gods of Montezuma and offended the Aztec leader by trivializing the importance of his gods. Cortez desired to supplant the Aztec's religion with his own Catholic religion (Pratt-Chadwick, 1890, p. 41). The Aztecs were not strictly unified among themselves, and the years of human sacrificing had left a mark on the Aztec society. When Cortez's plan to replace the religion with Catholicism failed to inspire the docility and subordination to his rule that he hoped, the conquistador enlisted the aid of enemies of the Aztecs and used divide and conquer tactics to weaken the stronghold that the Aztecs held over the area. Meanwhile, Cortez's duplicitous

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