The Azteca and Tlaxcalteca histories of the events leading up to the massacre vary; the Tlaxcalteca claimed that their ambassador Patlahuatzin was sent to Cholula and had been tortured by the Cholula. Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán, then president of the first Audiencia decided, to march on northwestern Mexico with a force of 5,000–8,000 men in search for new populations to subdue, and when he arrived in Michoacán and found out that Tangaxuan was still de facto ruler of his empire he allied himself with a Tarascan noble Don Pedro Panza Cuinierángari against the Cazonci. Following an earlier expedition to Yucatán led by Juan de Grijalva in 1518, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés led an expedition (entrada) to Mexico. Tenochtitlan). "Spaniards Attack Cholulans From Díaz del Castillo, Vol. The year 1821 is important in the history of Texas because it was the year that --. The Spanish governor of Cuba, Diego Velazquez, then sent a larger force under Hernán Cortés, with instructions to trade with the inhabitants. [39] Another indigenous account compiled by a Spanish friar is Dominican Diego Durán's The History of the Indies of New Spain, from 1581, with many color illustrations.[40]. Even before Juan de Grijalva returned to Spain, Velázquez decided to send a third and even larger expedition to explore the Mexican coast. The native texts of the defeated Mexica narrating their version of the conquest describe eight omens that were believed to have occurred nine years prior to the arrival of the Spanish from the Gulf of Mexico. Velázquez may have personally contributed nearly half the cost of the expedition. p. 60-62. [35], The chronicle of the so-called "Anonymous Conqueror" was written sometime in the sixteenth century, entitled in an early twentieth-century translation to English as Narrative of Some Things of New Spain and of the Great City of Temestitan (i.e. The ensuing Chichimeca War (1550–1590) would become the longest and costliest conflict between Spanish forces and indigenous peoples in the Americas. While at Cozumel, Cortés heard reports of other white men living in the Yucatán. They had great incentive to claim they did, owing to the laws of Spain at this time, but critical analysis of their personal writings suggest Motecuhzoma was not taken captive until a much later date. [42]:11 According to Diaz, "These Caciques also told us of a tradition they had heard from their ancestors, that one of the idols which they particularly worshipped had prophesied the coming of men from distant lands in the direction of the sunrise, who would conquer them and rule them. White, John Manchip. The structure of governance of its overseas empire was significantly reformed in … The most important of these are the pictorial Lienzo de Tlaxcala and the Historia de Tlaxcala by Diego Muñoz Camargo. Accounts by the Spanish conquerors exist from the first landfall at Veracruz, Mexico (on Good Friday, 22 April 1519) to the final victory over the Mexica in Tenochtitlan on 13 August 1521. The Spanish conquerors in Mexico during the early colonial era lived off the labor of the indigenous peoples. Thus warned, Cortés accelerated the organization and preparation of his expedition. [citation needed], In any event, the population of the city rose en masse after the Spanish attack, which the Spanish did not expect. Problems began when Cortés had to leave the city to meet a Spanish force sent by Velazquez to arrest him. Cortés had more ambitious plans, however, and after landing on the coast of Veracruz, in 1521, made his way to Tenochtitlán—today, ruins of the Templo Mayor archaeology site in the center of Mexico City—the then center of power of the Aztec empire, which was built in the middle of a lake. Daniel, Douglas A. [76] If the population of Tenochtitlan was 250,000 in 1519, then Tenochtitlan would have been larger than every city in Europe except perhaps Naples and Constantinople, and four times the size of Seville. [38], The best-known indigenous account of the conquest is Book 12 of Bernardino de Sahagún's General History of the Things of New Spain and published as the Florentine Codex, in parallel columns of Nahuatl and Spanish, with pictorials. The Broken Spears of Miguel León Portilla, describes the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the struggle of the Aztecs to protect their cultural space in those times. [11] According to one account, when Moctezuma, now seen by the population as a mere puppet of the invading Spaniards, attempted to calm the outraged populace, he was killed by a projectile. Particularly important to the Spanish success was a multilingual (Nahuatl, a Maya dialect, and Spanish) indigenous slave woman, known to the Spanish conquistadors as Doña Marina, and generally as La Malinche. The Otomi initially, and then the Tlaxcalans, fought the Spanish in a series of three battles from 2 to 5 September 1519, and at one point Diaz remarked, "they surrounded us on every side". Spain defeated Aztec Empire. With the help of tens of thousands of Xiu Mayan warriors, it would take more than 170 years for the Spanish to establish full control of the Maya homelands, which extended from northern Yucatán to the central lowlands region of El Petén and the southern Guatemalan highlands. Dale Hoyt Palfrey. [47]:359, 368, Despite the stubborn Aztec resistance organized by their new emperor, Cuauhtémoc, the cousin of Moctezuma II, Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco fell on 13 August 1521, during which the Emperor was captured trying to escape the city in a canoe. p. 43. [46] Cortés was not permitted to touch the emperor; no one was allowed. [47]:309–11, Cortés sent Diego de Ordaz, and the remnants of Navarez's men, on a ship to Spain, and Francisco Montejo on a ship to Santo Domingo to represent his case in the Royal Courts. The silver was used to purchase commercial goods abroad, as European manufactured goods were not in demand in Asia and the Middle East. 16th-century Spanish invasion of Mesoamerica, Significant events in the conquest of Mesoamerica. [47]:302, 305–06, The Spanish were able to complete their escape to Tlaxcala. In a letter in Nahuatl to the Spanish Crown, the indigenous lords of Huexotzinco lay out their case in for their valorous service. [47]:82 Until Cortes's marriage to his second wife, a union which produced a legitimate son whom he also named Martin, Cortés's natural son with Marina was the heir of his envisaged fortunes. Capturing the cacique or indigenous ruler was a standard operating procedure for Spaniards in their expansion in the Caribbean, so capturing Motecuhzoma had considerable precedent but modern scholars are skeptical that Cortes and his countrymen took Motecuhzoma captive at this time. Twenty-five years after the first Spanish settlement in the New World, expeditions of exploration were sent to the coast of Mexico. Córdoba reached the coast of Yucatán. Even some foods associated with Mesoamerican religious practice, such as amaranth, were forbidden. [43] Although scholars of the modern era point out its biases and shortcomings, "there is nowhere they can get as good a unified narrative of the main events, crises, and course of the Mexican conquest as Prescott's version."[44]. Las Casas later repented when he saw the even worse treatment given to the black slaves.[98]. As a result, indigenous societies whose people numbered in the millions before Spanish conquest were marginalized or obliterated. Cortes then made a rapid return to Tenochtitlan, to relieve the besieged Alvarado and the other invaders. A whole generation of Spaniards later participated in expeditions in the Caribbean and Tierra Firme (Central America), learning strategy and tactics of successful enterprises. Cortés sent messengers to these reported Spaniards, who turned out to be the survivors of a Spanish shipwreck that had occurred in 1511, Gerónimo de Aguilar and Gonzalo Guerrero. Historian Daniele Bolelli did an in-depth coverage of the Spanish conquest over four episodes of his "History on Fire" podcast.[102]. In the 1680 Pueblo revolt, Indians in 24 settlements in New Mexico expelled the Spanish, who left for Texas, an exile lasting a decade. Spain granted independence to the colony of Mexico. [citation needed] Catholic missionaries campaigned against cultural traditions of the Aztecs, and the use of psilocybin mushrooms, like other pre-Christian traditions, was quickly suppressed. [47]:204, In one of his responses to Cortés, Moctezuma blamed the commanders of the local Aztec garrison for the resistance in Cholula, and recognizing that his long-standing attempts to dissuade Cortés from coming to Tenochtitlan with gifts of gold and silver had failed, Moctezuma finally invited the conquistadors to visit his capital city, according to Spanish sources, after feeling as though nothing else could be done. [36], On the indigenous side, the allies of Cortés, particularly the Tlaxcalans, wrote extensively about their services to the Spanish Crown in the conquest, arguing for special privileges for themselves. To this day, the title of Duke of Moctezuma is held by a Spanish noble family. Therefore, Velázquez sent Luis de Medina with orders to replace Cortés. Nevertheless, Cortés set sail, beginning his expedition with the legal status of a mutineer. However, it did not completely end the aspirations of those members of his company who remained loyal to the governor of Cuba. According to several Spanish versions, some written years or decades later, Moctezuma first repeated his earlier, flowery welcome to Cortés on the Great Causeway, but then went on to explain his view of what the Spanish expedition represented in terms of Aztec tradition and lore, including the idea that Cortés and his men (pale, bearded men from the east) were the return of characters from Aztec legend. [34] Cortés's right-hand man, Pedro de Alvarado did not write at any length about his actions in the New World, and died as a man of action in the Mixtón War in 1542. [41] A popular anthology in English for classroom use is Miguel León-Portilla's, The Broken Spears: The Aztec Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico from 1992. Anyone willing to make a financial contribution could potentially gain even more wealth and power. The Spaniards agreed to respect parts of the city, like the temples, and reportedly took only the things that were offered to them freely. "Cortes and the Downfall of the Aztec Empire: A Study in a Conflict of Cultures. However, Cortés's brother-in-law allegedly had Medina intercepted and killed. [54][47]:205–06, On 8 November 1519, after the fall of Cholula, Cortés and his forces entered Tenochtitlan, the island capital of the Mexica-Aztecs. The collection is mainly focused on the colonial history of New Mexico and New Spain, with some materials for the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S. Borderlands. File:Salta-Cabildo1.jpg Spain's administration of its colonies in the Americas was divided into the Viceroyalty of New Spain 1535 (capital, México City), and the Viceroyalty of Peru 1542 (capital, Lima). The Santa Fe Trail will become the most important link between northern Mexico and the United States prior to the Mexican-American War in 1846. It was not solely a contest between a small contingent of Spaniards defeating the Aztec Empire but rather the creation of a coalition of Spanish invaders with tributaries to the Aztecs, and most especially the Aztecs' indigenous enemies and rivals. The collection contains selected Spanish documents copied from the Archivo General de La Nación and other archives in Mexico City, with related transcriptions and notes. It is impossible to know if these leaders understood the Catholic faith. [68] This may have also come from a mis-translation of the version of the story written in Latin.[69]. [42] Not surprisingly, many publications and republications of sixteenth-century accounts of the conquest of Mexico appeared around 1992, the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's first voyage, when scholarly and popular interest in first encounters surged. Many were killed, including their new leader, the Emperor Cuitlahuac. [47]:284, When Cortés returned to Tenochtitlan in late May, he found that Alvarado and his men had attacked and killed many of the Aztec nobility in the Massacre in the Great Temple, that happened during a religious festival organized by the Aztec. [64][65] It would not be until the late 20th century that a few feminist writers and academics would attempt to rehabilitate La Malinche as a woman who made the best of her situation and became, in many respects a powerful woman. By 1810, there were an estimated six million inhabitants in New Spain, of which 60,000 were Spanish born in Spain, 940,000 were Spanish born in the territories, 3.5 million were indigenous Mexicans, and 1.5 million were Mestizos— of mixed Spanish and Indian blood. A number of lower rank Spanish conquerors wrote benemérito petitions to the Spanish Crown, requesting rewards for their services in the conquest, including Juan Díaz, Andrés de Tapia, García del Pilar, and Fray Francisco de Aguilar. [47]:265–69 Moctezuma was then made to pay a tribute to the Spanish King, which included his father's treasure. Individuals and groups laud their own accomplishments, while often denigrating or ignoring those of their opponents or their allies or both. Late December – Spanish-Tlaxcalan forces return to the Valley of Mexico; join with Texcocan forces of Ixtlilxochitl, February – combined Spanish-Tlaxcalan- Texcocan forces attack Xaltocan and Tlacopan; Texcoco become the base of operations for the campaign against Tenochtitlan, Early April – attacks against Yautepec and Cuernavaca, following by sacking, Mid-April – Combined forces defeated by the Xochimilcans, Tenochtitlan's ally, 10 May – Start of the siege of Tenochtitlan; potable water from Chapultepec cut off, 30 June – Defeat of Spanish-Tlaxcalan forces on a causeway; capture and ritual sacrifice of the Spaniards and their horses in Tenochtitlan, July – Spanish ships land at Veracruz with large numbers of Spaniards, munitions, and horses, 1 August – Spanish-Tlaxcalan-Texcocan forces enter the Plaza Mayor; last stand of the Aztec defenders, 13–17 August – Wholesale sacking and violence against the survivors in Tenochtitlan, November – Death of Cortés's wife, Catalina Suárez, in Coyoacan, where Cortés was resident while the new capital, Cortés's Second Letter to the crown is published in Seville, Spain, February – execution of the three rulers of the former Triple Alliance, including Cuauhtemoc, Don Juan Velázquez Tlacotzin, former "viceroy" (, A column of fire that appeared from midnight until dawn, and seemed to rain fire in the year 1517 (12-House), A lightning bolt destroying the straw temple of, The appearance of fire, or comets, streaming across the sky in threes during the day, The "boiling deep," and water flooding, of a lake nearby Tenochtitlan. Some colonial legacies are … See: Restall, Matthew. Malintzin's Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico. Their capital was used as a cosmic center, where they fed sacrifices to the gods through both human bodies and bloodletting. These historians believe this means that Moctezuma did not think the Spanish were supernatural. [47]:218 On the same day that the Spanish expedition and their allies entered Tenochtitlan, Moctezuma came to visit Cortés and his men. An extract of this important manuscript was published in 1991 by James Lockhart in Nahuatl transcription and English translation. It is said that Cortés, upon reaching the mainland at Tlacopan, wept over their losses. An exchange of gifts was made and thus began the highly significant and effective alliance between Cortés and Tlaxcala. Although hard-pressed, the Spanish infantry was able to hold off the overwhelming numbers of enemy warriors, while the Spanish cavalry under the leadership of Cortés charged through the enemy ranks again and again. You have come to your city: Mexico, here you have come to sit on your place, on your throne. They organized their colonies in Mexico, and became a largest empire at that time. This policy of "peace by purchase" finally brought an end to the Chichimeca War.[89]l. However, fighting did not completely come to a halt in the ensuing years. As a result of these unions, as well as concubinage[citation needed] and secret mistresses, mixed race individuals known as mestizos became the majority of the Mexican population in the centuries following the Spanish conquest. The two powers vied for domination through the acquisition of new lands. [60], Velázquez arrived at the dock in Santiago de Cuba in person, "he and Cortés again embraced, with a great exchange of compliments", before Cortes set sail for Trinidad, Cuba. In many respects, Spain was one of the most Catholic countries of Europe, in part because of the country's century long struggle to rid itself of its Islamic conquerors and the Spaniards' fierce defense of the "true" religion against both Muslims and Jews. War in History (1995): 87–104. They conquered most of south America, western part of north America, Caribbean, and Mexico. Subscribe to our Mexico Newsletter - It's Free, See Also: Essential Skills for Expats Series, See Also: Articles about Learning Spanish, See Also: Articles about Mexican Beverages. The indigenous were not slaves under this system, chattel bought and sold or removed from their home community, but the system was still one of forced labor. 1811 - Miguel Hidalgo is executed by the Spanish. Garibay. Spanish leadership was soon established over many small independent communities that … Though these captains of Moctezuma were sentenced to be "burned to death", Moctezuma continued to remain a prisoner, fearing a "rebellion in his city" or that the Spanish may "try to set up another prince in his place." These were almost immediately published in Spain and later in other parts of Europe. The capital was also used for central and imperialistic governmental control. Totonacapan [47]:134 The Cempoalans were accustomed to the hot climate of the coast, but they suffered immensely from the cold of the mountains, the rain, and the hail as they marched towards Tenochtitlan. Much later, Spanish conqueror Bernal Díaz del Castillo, a well-seasoned participant in the conquest of Central Mexico, wrote what he called The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, countering the account by Cortés's official biographer, Francisco López de Gómara. [56] Cortés invested a considerable part of his personal fortune and probably went into debt to borrow additional funds. "[42]:13, 21, 25, 33, 35[47]:115–17, Although they attempted to dissuade Cortés from visiting Tenochtitlan, the lavish gifts and the polite, welcoming remarks only encouraged El Caudillo to continue his march towards the capital of the empire. Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs. [71], Meanwhile, Moctezuma's ambassadors, who had been in the Spanish camp after the battles with the Tlaxcalans, continued to press Cortés to take the road to Mexico via Cholula, which was under Aztec control, rather than over Huexotzinco, which was an ally of Tlaxcala. [67] Velásquez had used this same legal mechanism to free himself from Diego Columbus' authority in Cuba. The Mayans at Cape Catoche invited the Spanish to land, and the conquistadors read the Requirement of 1513 to them, which offered the natives the protection of the King of Spain, if they would submit to him. The conquest was well documented by a variety of sources with differing points of view, including indigenous accounts, by both allies and opponents. Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957) painted History of Morelos, Conquest and Revolution on the walls of the Cortes Palace in Cuernavaca in 1929–1930. Although modern usage often calls the European participants "soldiers", the term was never used by these men themselves in any context, something that James Lockhart realized when analyzing sixteenth-century legal records from conquest-era Peru.[61]. With all of his ships scuttled, Cortés effectively stranded the expedition in central Mexico. Later accounts were written in the native tongue of the Aztec and other native peoples of central Mexico, Nahuatl. Tenochtitlan had been almost totally destroyed using the manpower of the Tlaxcalans plus fire and cannon fire during the siege, and once it finally fell, the Spanish continued its destruction, as they soon began to establish the foundations of what would become Mexico City on the site. There are multiple 16th-century narratives of the events by Spanish conquerors, their indigenous allies, and the defeated Aztecs. Others, however, are unique to a particular primary source or group narrating the event. 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. That was also the time that Spanish adventurers were swarming by the hundreds to the West Indies, following the discovery of the Americas in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. The Siege of Tenochtitlan lasted eight months. The end of this latter campaign is generally marked by the downfall of the Maya state based at Tayasal in the Petén region, in 1697. Velázquez himself must have been keenly aware that whoever conquered the mainland for Spain would gain fame, glory and fortune to eclipse anything that could be achieved in Cuba. Whether one reads Cortés' letters or Díaz del Castillo's account, the Spaniards appear to have been deeply religious. Attacks are repulsed and Spanish respond by attacking nearby villages with cavalry during night raids. As of 14 November 1519, Moctezuma was Cortés' prisoner as insurance against any further resistance, until the end of May 1520, Moctezuma lived with Cortés in the palace of Axayácatl. This made it easier to conquer the remaining Aztecs.[14]. Cholula had a very small army, because as a sacred city they put their confidence in their prestige and their gods. [47]:192 Cempoalans reported that fortifications were being constructed around the city and the Tlaxcalans were warning the Spaniards. He accepted the gifts of the Aztec ambassadors, and at the same time accepted the offer of the Tlaxcalan allies to provide porters and 1,000 warriors on his march to Cholula. Menu. In the colonial era, the indigenous nobility were largely recognized as nobles by the Spanish colonial regime, with privileges including the noble Spanish title don for noblemen and doña for noblewomen. She would then translate from Mayan to Nahuatl. According to Bernal Díaz, Aguilar relayed that before coming, he had attempted to convince Guerrero to leave as well. The first mendicants in central Mexico, particularly the Franciscans and Dominicans learned the indigenous language of Nahuatl, in order to evangelize to the indigenous people in their native tongue. The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, also known as the Conquest of Mexico (1519–21), was one of the primary events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. His plans have proven controversial. [77], Upon meeting, Hernan Cortés claimed to be the representative of the queen, Doña Juana of Castile, and her son, King Carlos I of Castile and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, all Spanish royalty, had then made an appearance. During the battle, the defenders cut the beating hearts from seventy Spanish prisoners-of-war at the altar to Huitzilopochtli, an act that infuriated the Spaniards. In 1st Apr, 1519, Hernan Cortes started conquering. [8], When Cortés left Tenochtitlan to return to the coast and deal with the threat of the expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez, Cortes left Pedro de Alvarado in charge of Tenochtitlan. The Spanish had established a permanent settlement on the island of Hispaniola in 1493 on the second voyage of Christopher Columbus. September – Tlaxcalteca make multiple massed assaults against Spanish camp. [49] Some scholars contend that "the most likely interpretation of the story of these portents is that some, if not all, had occurred" but concede that it is very likely that "clever Mexicans and friars, writing later of the Mexican empire, were happy to link those memories with what they know occurred in Europe. Tlaxcalteca sue for peace after many days of battling. The Spanish Conquest The Aztec empire reached its height in the early 16th century, under Emperor Moctezuma. When Cortés and his men killed one of the Aztec leaders, the Aztecs broke off the battle and left the field. p. 237, Thomas, Hugh. The Manila Galleon brought in far more silver direct from South American mines to China than the overland Silk Road, or even European trade routes in the Indian Ocean could. Thus, as the preparations for departure drew to a close, the governor became suspicious that Cortés would be disloyal to him and try to commandeer the expedition for his own purposes,[59] namely to establish himself as governor of the colony, independent of Velázquez's control. Moctezuma received the Spanish with honors, fearing that they may be gods, according to an ancient prophecy. The bridge was later called "Alvarado's Leap". Cortés, who had not yet decided to start a war with the Aztec Empire, decided to offer a compromise. [47]:309, 311–12, The Aztecs were struck by a smallpox plague starting in September 1520, which lasted seventy days. This episode is called "La Noche Triste" (The Night of Sorrows), and the old tree ("El árbol de la noche triste") where Cortés allegedly cried, is still a monument in Mexico City. [32], Two lengthy accounts from the defeated indigenous viewpoint were created under the direction of Spanish friars, Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún and Dominican Diego Durán, using indigenous informants. To do this, he directed his men to establish a settlement called La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, or "True Cross", since they arrived on Maundy Thursday and landed on Good Friday. The events by Spanish conquerors, their indigenous allies men living in the New world, expeditions were sent Cortés... That what he has been depicted in numerous television documentaries present-day Mexico, landing in 1519 `` peace purchase... A tribute to the Catholic faith peninsula from Moslem rule Spanish were able to complete their to. Good at the local population repulsed and Spanish respond by attacking travelers and merchants along the silver... To conquer the remaining Aztecs. [ 14 ]. at Tlaxcala, and were not demand! Large degree of autonomy teonanácatl has persisted. [ 69 ]. slaves. 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