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A Native People, European Motives for Exploration and Conquests. 1 . The First Americans. Ancient civilizations in the Western Hemisphere. A . First Americans: The Maya. Central Temple, Palenque. A . First Americans: The Maya. Tikal, looking towards Temple I. The Maya.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

A Native People, European Motives for Exploration and Conquests

Irwin: History of the American West


A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

1. The First Americans

  • Ancient civilizations in the Western Hemisphere

Irwin: History of the American West


A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

A. First Americans: The Maya

Central Temple, Palenque

Irwin: History of the American West


A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

A. First Americans: The Maya

Tikal, looking towards Temple I

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

The Maya

The Maya make up the largest homogenous indigenous group north of Peru, inhabiting a vast area that encompasses Mexico's Yucatan peninsula and parts of the states of Tabasco and Chiapas, as well as Guatemala, Belize and parts of western Honduras and El Salvador.

Irwin: History of the American West


A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

While not the earliest of the great Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya are generally considered the most brilliant of all the Classic groups. The culture's beginnings have been traced back to 1500 BC, entering the Classic period about 300 AD, and flourishing between 600 and 900 AD.

The Classic Period

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Considered the most outstanding intellects of ancient Mexico, the Maya devised a complex style of hieroglyphic writing that has yet to be fully deciphered. They refined the exact sciences learned from other prehispanic civilizations. Through their knowledge of astronomy and mathematics they calculated the lunar cycle, predicted eclipses and other heavenly events with great precision and formulated a unique calendar system more exact than the one we use today.

Calendar from Altar V, Tikal

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

B. First Americans: The Inca

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

The Inca

The Mesoamerican civilization known as the Inca was located in the Andes mountains of what is now Peru, Ecuador, and Chile. Incan civilization dates to around 1100 A.D., when a small warlike tribe began to move into the valley of Cuzco.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

The Incas began to expand their influence in the twelfth century and by the early sixteenth century, they exercised control over more territory than any other people in South American history. The empire consisted of over one million individuals and spanned a territory stretching from Ecuador to northern Chile.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

A view of Machu Picchu, "the Lost City of the Incas." This was the last stronghold of the Inca, and now an archaeological site.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

The Sun Temple complex at Písac. The stone surrounded by the building at the right is called the "hitching post" of the Sun.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Unlike the military empires in Central America, the Incas ruled by proxy. After conquering a people, they would incorporate local rulers into their imperial system, generously rewarding anyone who fought for them, and treating well conquered people who cooperated.

So, in reality, the Inca "empire," as the invading Spanish called it, was not really an empire. It was more of a confederation of tribes with a single people--the Incas--more or less in control. Each of these tribes was ruled independently by a council of elders; the tribe as a whole gave its allegiance to the ruler, or “the Inca," whose followers viewed as divine, a descendant of the sun-god.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Children of the Sun

The Inca worshiped gods of nature--the sun god, the god of thunder, the Moon, and so on. Like the ancient Greeks, Incas believed the gods intervened in human lives, for good as well as ill. To avoid problems, the Inca worshiped all the gods every day.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

The Incas believed that the gods and their dead ancestors could communicate with them through dreams, omens, and other signs. The priests' essential function was the reading of those signs.

Like the ancient Egyptians, the Incas believed in an afterlife and mummified their dead. The bodies and tombs of the dead were carefully tended. The mummies of dead rulers remained in their palaces. These rulers were treated as if they were still alive. Servants brought them food; family members sought their advice on daily affairs. On parade days and other special occasions, mummies were carried through the streets.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Even the very poor mummified their dead. It was easy: They simply set the dead body out in the cold in above-ground tombs.

The Incas entered and reentered the tombs, leaving gifts of food and belongings.

Inca Mummy

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

The social structure of the Incas was extremely inflexible. At the top was “the Inca,” or ruler, who exercised, theoretically, absolute power. Below him was the royal family which consisted of the Inca's immediate family, concubines, and all his children. This royal family was a ruling aristocracy. Each tribe had tribal heads; each clan in each tribe had clan heads. At the very bottom were the common people who were all grouped in squads of ten people each with a single "boss."

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Unlike European society at the same time, the Incan social unit was based on cooperation and communality. This guaranteed that there would always be enough for everyone; but the centralization of authority meant that there was no chance of individual advancement (which was not valued).

It also meant that the system depended too much on the centralized authority; once the invading Spanish seized the Inca and the ruling family, they were able to conquer the Inca territories with lightening speed.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

C. First Americans: Aztecs

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

C. First Americans: Aztecs

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

The Aztecs/Mexica

The Aztecs/Mexicas were a native American people who dominated northern México. According to their own legends, they originated from a place called Aztlan, somewhere in north or northwest Mexico.

At that time the Aztecs (who referred to themselves as the Mexica or Tenochca) were a small, nomadic, Nahuatl-speaking aggregation of tribal peoples living on the margins of civilized Mesoamerica.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Sometime in the 12th century, the Aztecs embarked on a period of wandering. In the 13th century, they settled in the central basin of México.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

C. First Americans: Aztecs

  • Tenochtitlan

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Tenochtitlán, looking east. From the mural painting at the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. Painted in 1930 by Dr. Atl.

Continually dislodged by the small city-states that fought one another in shifting alliances, the Aztecs finally found refuge on small islands in Lake Texcoco.

In 1325, the Aztecs founded the town of Tenochtitlan (modern-day Mexico City) on a small island in Lake Texcoco.

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Tenochtitlan

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

C. First Americans: Aztecs

  • Tenochtitlan

  • Tribute

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Tribute

Tributes were an important part of Aztec public administration and an important adjunct to a thriving market economy. Tribute supported the ruler and nobles, as well as religious and public institutions. Only nobles and slaves were exempt from tribute.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Conquered peoples bringing tribute to the Aztecs

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

A tribute roll from the Codex Mendoza (right). On the left are name-glyphs for seven towns, whose annual tribute to the Aztec ruler included over 4,000 mantles and loincloths, 800 bales of dried chilis, 20 bags of down feathers, two war-dresses and shields, three strings of precious stones, and two plates inlaid with turquoise.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Like most European empires, the Aztec empire was ethnically very diverse but--unlike most European empires--it was more a system of tribute than a single system of government. The Aztec empire was an "informal empire" because it did not exert supreme authority over the conquered lands, it merely expected tributes to be paid.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

It was also a discontinuous empire because not all dominated territories were connected.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Among the positive achievements of the Aztecs :

the formation of a highly specialized and stratified society and an imperial administration

the expansion of a trading network as well as a tribute system

the development and maintenance of a sophisticated agricultural economy, carefully adjusted to the land; and

the cultivation of an intellectual and religious outlook that held society to be an integral part of the cosmos.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

C. First Americans: Aztecs

  • Tenochtitlan

  • Tribute

  • Human sacrifice

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Human Sacrifice

For most people today, and for the European Christians who first met the Aztecs, human sacrifice was the most striking feature of Aztec civilization. While human sacrifice was practiced throughout Mesoamerica, the Aztecs, if their own accounts are to be believed, brought this practice to an unprecedented level.

Aztec human sacrifice, from Codex Magliabechiano, a post-conquest document.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

For example, for the reconsecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs reported that they sacrificed 84,400 prisoners over the course of four days. However, most experts consider these numbers to be overstated. For example, the sheer logistics associated with sacrificing 84,000 victims would be overwhelming. A similar consensus has developed on reports of cannibalism among the Aztecs.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

In the writings of Bernardino de Sahagún, Aztec "anonymous informants" defended the practice of human sacrifice by asserting that it was not very different from the European way of waging warfare: Europeans killed the warriors in battle, Aztecs killed the warriors after the battle.

Accounts by the Tlaxcalan, the primary enemy of the Aztecs at the time of the Spanish Conquest, show that at least some of them considered it an honor to be sacrificed. In one legend, the warrior Tlahuicole was freed by the Aztecs but eventually returned of his own volition to die in ritual sacrifice. Tlaxcala also practiced the human sacrifice of captured Aztec warriors.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Fr. Bernardino de Sahagun

After the fall of the Aztec empire, Spanish friar Bernardino de Sahagun learned the Nahuatl language in order to record the Aztec view of events.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

C. First Americans: Aztecs

  • Tenochtitlan

  • Tribute

  • Human sacrifice

  • Quetzalcoatl

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Quetzalcoatl

Not an Aztec god , but a god the Aztecs believed in, Quetzalcoatl was the feathered serpent god of death and resurrection. Unfortunately for the Aztecs, Cortes’s arrival coincided with the Aztec calendar’s predicted return of Quetzalcoatl to rule on earth.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

C. First Americans: Aztecs

  • Tenochtitlan

  • Tribute

  • Human sacrifice

  • Quetzalcoatl

  • Moctezuma II

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Moctezuma II

Aztec god/emperor (1466-1520), he ruled the Aztec empire at the time of Cortes’s landing; he would also preside over his empire’s destruction.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

C. First Americans: Aztecs

Fearless warriors and pragmatic builders, by the 15th century the Aztecs controlled an American empire surpassed in size only by that of the Incas in Peru.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

II. Discoveries and

Exploration

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

A. First European Contacts

  • Bjarni Herjulfsson

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Bjarni Herjulfsson

  • Norse explorer

  • Blown off course in a storm sailing from Norway to Iceland to Greenland in 986 or 987

  • Reported seeing low-lying hills covered with forests somewhere to the west.

  • Managed to regain his course

  • believed to be the first European to view mainland North America.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

A. First European Contacts

  • Bjarni Herjulfsson

  • Leif Eriksson

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Leif Eriksson

  • 1010, Leif Eriksson explored the routes of Herjulfson and Erik the Red.

  • Discovered and named land in present-day Canada: Helluland, Markland, Vinland.

  • Attempted to permanently settle Vinland but failed.

  • Eriksson became the 1st person of European origin ever to set foot on the North American mainland.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

The Vikings’ “West”

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

B. Causes of Exploration

Events in Europe fueled interest in western exploration and conquest.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

2. Causes of Exploration

A. The Crusades

For some, westward exploration was the means of spreading religious beliefs.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

The Crusades

  • Wars fought between 1095 and 1291 between the religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism for control of the city of Jerusalem.

  • Ended Feudalism  rise of Nation States

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

B. Causes of Exploration

1. The Crusades

2. International Trade

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

B. Causes of Exploration

1. The Crusades

2. International Trade

For others, expanding westward was the means to financial gain.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

B. Causes of Exploration

  • The Crusades

  • International Trade

* The most important trade goods were spices…

Vasco da Gama sailed to India to bring back spices

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Spices

  • Most valuable items of trade in the ancient and medieval world: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper

  • Middle Ages (700-1000 AD)

    • Spices from the East were a luxury item

    • Spice trade largely controlled by Muslim merchants, w/ European merchants confined to trading mostly within Europe.

  • Examples:

    • Marco Polo's expedition to China - attempt to open up a "spice route" with the East.

    • Portuguese navigator Vasco Da Gama sailed to India primarily for spices.

    • When Christopher Columbus happened upon the New World, he was quick to describe to investors the many new spices available there.

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

B. Causes of Exploration

1. The Crusades

2. International Trade

The most important trade goods were

* Spices;

* Gold

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A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

Gold

  • Portuguese initially went to West Africa in search of gold funded by Prince Henry, the famous Portuguese patron wanted:

    • to expand European geographic knowledge

    • to obtain African gold

    • locate a possible sea route to valuable Asian spices.

  • 1441 - first Portuguese sailors to obtain gold dust from traders on the western coast of Africa.

  • 1442 - Portuguese explorers returned from Africa with more gold dust and another cargo: ten Africans.

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    B. Causes of Exploration

    1. The Crusades

    2. International Trade

    The most important trade goods were

    * Spices;

    * Gold; and

    * Slaves

    Gustave Boulanger's painting “The Slave Market.”

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    Slavery - Background

    Slavery is found in every ancient civilization, including Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Ancient slavery was a mixture of debt-slavery, punishment for crime, the enslavement of prisoners of war, and child abandonment.

    As Rome expanded outward, entire populations were enslaved. Roman slaves came from all over Europe and the Mediterranean. Such oppression by an elite minority eventually led to slave revolts. Greeks, Africans, Germans, Gauls (Celts), Jews, Arabs, and many more were enslaved not only for labor, but also for amusement (e.g. gladiators). If a slave from Rome ran away, he was crucified. By the late Republican era, slavery had become a vital economic pillar in the wealth of Rome. Slavery was so common that slaves in Rome outnumbered Roman citizens.

    In the Viking era (starting c. 793), the Norse raiders often captured and enslaved their opponents. In Norway and Iceland the slaves were called thralls; they came mostly from Western Europe and included Franks, Irish, Anglo-Saxons, Germans, and occasionally southern Europeans. Norse slavery came to an end with the breakthrough of Christianity and national laws in the Scandinavian countries.

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    By the time Christopher Columbus appeared in Lisbon in 1477, an Old World slave trade was already thriving in the eastern Atlantic, human cargo moving in a wide loop between West Africa, the Atlantic islands, and Europe.

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    B. Causes of Exploration

    1. The Crusades

    2. International Trade

    3. New technology

    • “caravel” – better designed ship with triangular sails

    • Compass

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    Stop

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    III. Worlds Collide

    • The Conquistadors

      * Christopher Columbus

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    Christopher Columbus

    • 1451 – 1506, Italian

    • Sponsored by the Spanish Monarchs

    • Search for Northwest Passage

      • Europe previously enjoyed a safe passage to China and India—(under the Byzantine and Mongol Empires.)

      • Constantinople fell to Ottomans in 1453

      • Land route to Asia was no longer an easy/cheap.

      • Portuguese sailors took to traveling south around Africa to get to Asia.

      • Columbus wanted travel by sailing directly west.

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    The first voyage

    The First Voyage

    • September 6, 1492 left canary islands for a five-week voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

    • October 12, 1492 sighted land (now the Bahamas

    • Indigenous people he encountered were the Arawaks, Lucayan, or Taíno

      • were peaceful and friendly.

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    Christopher Columbus’s Caribbean ports of call

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    A depiction of Columbus claiming possession of the New World in a chromolithograph made by the Prang Education Company in 1893.

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    The second voyage

    The Second Voyage

    • Loaded 500 Indian slaves aboard returning caravels.

    • On the last leg of his voyage to Cadiz, “about two hundred of these Indians died,” a passenger recorded, appending, “We cast them into the sea.”

    • In this manner the “discoverer” of the New World launched the transatlantic slave trade.

    • Value of Sugar Cultivation realized  brutal conquering of Native people  conquered Caribbean islands

    • Many natives died of diseases (1/3 of Hispanola)

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    III. Worlds Collide

    1. The Conquistadors

    * Christopher Columbus

    * Francisco Pizarro

    * Hernan Cortes

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    Francisco Pizarro

    • (c. 1475–June 26, 1541)

    • Spanish conquistador, conqueror of the Inca Empire and founder of Lima La Ciudad de los Reyes, capital of Peru.

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    Hernan Cortes

    • (1485–December 2, 1547)

    • Led the military expedition that initiated the Spanish Conquest of Mexico.

    • Arrived spring of 1519, 11 ships and 400 men

      • Awed by Tenochtitlan

      • “They picked up the gold and fingered it like monkeys. They hungered like pigs for that gold.”

        • Native Ally

    • Cortés executed a successful strategy of allying with some indigenous peoples against others.

    • Cortes awarded for overthrow of Aztec empire

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    Cortes’s route to Tenochtitlan

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    IV. How did the Spanish win?

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    IV. How did the Spanish win?

    • Superior weapons

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    IV. How did the Spanish win?

    • Superior weapons

    • Horses

    Natives had never seen horses, much less mounted warriors.

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    IV. How did the Spanish win?

    • Superior weaponry

    • Horses

    • Indian Allies

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    Indian Allies

    The Spanish defeated the traditional enemies of the Aztecs, like the Tlaxcalan, who then fought with the Spaniards against Moctezuma’s warriors.

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    Indian Allies

    Cortes also gained invaluable assistance from Malintzin, a bright 14 year old slave girl who quickly learned Spanish. Able to interpret Mayan dialects as well as Aztec motives and actions, Cortes would call her “Mi Lingua” (“my tongue”). Malintzin later bore Cortés a son, earning her place in history as both the betrayer of her people (“La Malinche”), and as mother of the Mexican people.

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    IV. How did the Spanish win?

    • Superior weaponry

    • Horses

    • Indian Allies

    • Diseases

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    A native people european motives for exploration and conquests

    European Diseases

    Cortes received unexpected assistance from European diseases unknown in the Western Hemisphere, such as;

    • Measles

    • Small Pox

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    Fray antonio de montesinos dominican friar s address to spanish colonists in hispaniola 1511

    Fray Antonio De MontesinosDominican Friar’s address to Spanish colonists in Hispaniola, 1511

    • “Tell me, by what right or justice do you hold these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude?... Why do you keep them so oppressed and exhausted, without giving them enough to eat or curing them o the sicknesses they incur from the excessive labor you give them?... Are you not bound to love them as you love yourselves? Don’t you understand this? Don’t you feel this?”

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    V. Results

    • Marriages between Spanish and Natives = Mestizo population

      • “It was neither Triumph or Defeat : it was the painful birth of the mestizo nation that is Mexico today.”

    • Spanish Oppression

      • Encomienda system: Natives forced to farm, ranch, mine for Spanish landlord

      • Death of Natives  African slaves

    • Spain becomes World Power, Envy of other nations


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