Write a short account of the conquering of the Aztecs by Cortez including who, what, when, where and why it happened. Be sure to explain why it was so easy for Cortez and his men to conquer the mighty Aztec Empire. Please explain each of your examples. This is a college level assignment and I do expect college level writing. There should be an introduction, content and conclusion.
The Conquer of the Aztecs by Cortez
In 1519, a group of Spanish conquistadors reached the coast of Mexico, encountering a group of Native Americans referred to as the Mexica. The period between 1519 and 1521is key in explaining the conquests that the Spanish had as far as expanding their territory in the new world is concerned. The many conquests that the Spanish had in this period were under the leadership of a conqueror called Hernan Cortes. In 1521, Cortes led the Spanish in conquering the Aztec Empire, thus claiming Mexico for Spain (Szalay). The Spanish had discovered the Mexican coast in the previous year of 1518, thus when Cortes and his ships arrived at the coast, it was a familiar landscape that they had purposed to conquer to convert to one of the Spaniard territories in the New World.
Cortes, however, had a different plan with the Mexican land the native people that inhabited it. Szalay notes that the primary reason for capturing the land was to convert them to Christianity. He had for long held the view that the native Mexicans that occupied the land were not only inferior socially but also politically. Szalay writes thus, “His view on the indigenous people was largely similar to the ones that were held by other Europeans: that the native Mexicans were inferior technologically, culturally, and religiously.” Thus, when they invaded the empire, the first action that they took was to destroy the idols of worship that had been put in place by the native Mexicans, replacing them with figures and crosses of the virgin Mary, leading to the introduction of Christianity in Mexico.
Conquering the land was not met with resistance. The Mexican people that had occupied the land in which the Aztec Empire lay mounted significant resistance activities, leading to several conflicts, especially following the invasion of their churches and subsequent replacement of their idols of worship with the structures that resembled the image of Mary and Jesus. However, it became easier for the troops that were led by Cortes to defeat them because the Spanish were advanced technologically. They did not only have war ships which they would use to ferry more of their troops from Spain but also possessed firearms, which they easily used to kill the protestors sponsored by Aztec. In no time, the Aztec people surrendered, ending up supplying food and other materials to the Europeans (Szalay).
Another reason that made it easier for the Cortes to conquer the Mexican land was the malady that the Aztec people suffered immediately the Spanish arrived at their coast. The Spanish who had travelled Mexico had carried with them conditions like small pox, which they easily transmitted to the Aztec people. However, the Aztec people who contracted this disease had not developed any immunity because there was no prior exposure. This led to the death of the Aztec people by about 80 per cent. Other disease conditions like influenza and malaria also wreaked havoc on the people, decimating their population. According to Ducksters, with the decimated population of the Aztec people that had become very weak, it became easier for the Cortes group to defeat them in any war, leading to the conquer of the Aztec empire. Thus, one could argue that other than the military superiority—technological, largely—one primary factor that led to the defeat of the Aztec people was the disease conditions that the Spanish people who had come to the island had contracted to them, weakening them severely. Szalay notes that they had become so weak such that they ended up providing food and translation services to the conquerors.
“Aztec Empire for Kids: Spanish Conquest.” Ducksters: Education Site, www.ducksters.com/history/aztec_empire/spanish_conquest.php.
Szalay, Jessie. “Hernán Cortés: Conqueror of the Aztecs.” Livescience.com, 29 Sept. 2017, www.livescience.com/39238-hernan-cortes-conqueror-of-the-aztecs.html.