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YOU ARE ALMOST DONE!!!!. In what ways did factors such as technology and disease contribute to the dominance of the Spanish over the Aztec civilization? To what extent were the divergent worldviews of the Spanish and Aztecs factors in the dominance of one nation over the other?.

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In what ways did factors such as technology and disease contribute to the dominance of the Spanish over the Aztec civilization?

To what extent were the divergent worldviews of the Spanish and Aztecs factors in the dominance of one nation over the other?




  • Means conqueror

  • If this is the word they are using for the people in the New World, what does that show about their intentions?

Spain at this point
Spain at this point…

  • Just reached political and religious unity in Spain

  • Many had agreed with the Inquisition

  • People started to hear stories of gold and success of people from the New World….

  • Curiosity killed the Aztecs not the cat???

Hernan cort s 1485 1547
Hernan Cortés (1485-1547)

  • Was 19 years old when he left Spain

    • Wanted to make his fortune

  • Arrived in Hispaniola (Dominican Republic/Haiti) and was given land (1504)

    • Did not want to work the land like a peasant, wanted gold so he did not use his farm

  • Was asked to join an expedition to conquer Cuba

    • Was able to conquer it with 300 men

    • Increased Cortés’ popularity

If you were going to conquer a civilization how would you do it

If you were going to conquer a civilization, how would you do it?

We’ll look at how the Spanish did it next…

The conquistadors formula
The Conquistadors Formula

  • Send expedition from recent colony

  • Meet peacefully with groups, discover who was the strongest group

  • Invite leaders of strongest group over

    • Kidnap him

    • Threaten to kill unless people follow them

  • Only if needed, fight on open ground using their more advanced technology

  • First in command become governor, second in command leads next expedition

How did your plan compare with the spanish strategy
How did your plan compare with the Spanish strategy?

Cort s continued

Cortés continued

  • Was second in command to Valazquez in Cuba

  • Expedition to Yucatan Peninsula

  • Reports of a strong civilization, Cortés would be the leader

  • Velazquez changed his mind about sending Cortés, but he was determined

Cort s left with
Cortés left with…

  • 11 ships

  • 508 fighting men

  • 100 sailors

  • 200 Indigenous slaves

  • 16 horses

Cort s in mexico
Cortés in Mexico

  • Established La Villa Rica de la Veracruz

  • Declared an independent government

    • Responsible to King, not to Velazquez

  • Sent one ship back to Spain filled with treasure

  • Feared mutiny, so he burned/sank other 10 ships so people couldn’t go back

Let the battle begin


The had each heard rumours of each other
The had each heard of each other…

They will soon meet!

Bad omens

Bad Omens

The Aztecs had 8 omens before they met the Spanish which forecasted their downfall…. Let’s look at them!

The omens
The Omens

  • 10 years before Spanish arrived

  • Flaming ear of corn crossed sky

  • Seemed to bleed and was very bright

  • Temple of Huitzilopochtli burst into flames

  • No one had lit it on fire…

Omen 1

Omen 2

Omens continued
Omens continued

  • Temple damaged by lightning bolt even though there was not storm

  • Fire through the sky even though it was summer

  • Long train divided into three parts

  • Had a shower of sparks

Omen 3

Omen 4

Omens continued1
Omens continued

  • Wind came and boiled the water

  • Water rose up and flooded the houses

  • People heard a weeping woman

  • She would cry and tell people to flee

  • Called the Aztecs her children

Omen 5

Omen 6

Omens continued2
Omens continued

  • Strange bird with a mirror on head found

  • When Moctezuma looked in mirror, he saw men riding “deer”

  • When other people looked in mirror, they saw nothing

  • Monstrous creatures with 2 heads found

  • When taken to Moctezuma, they disappeared

Omen 7

Omen 8

What do you think moctezuma should do when cortez landed at veracruz

What do you think Moctezuma should do when Cortez landed at Veracruz?

How should he act?

Send gifts

Send gifts!!!!!

Moctezuma started by sending gifts to Cortés, hoping that he would be happy and just leave… One of the gifts was the clothing of the God, Quetzalcoatl… Cortés put the clothing on…



The Aztecs and other societies head vast amounts of stories about the weapons the Spanish used, let’s look at what they had.

Muskets and cannons
Muskets and Cannons

  • Common in Europe but new in the “New World”

  • Used as a scare tactic

  • Aztecs thought that it was thunder and lightning

  • Would fire them to scare ambassadors who would then go and tell their leaders

  • Didn’t rely on them for fighting (hard to get powder, didn’t have much)

Http www youtube com watch v onpmtgoncbu nr 1

Wouldn’t that scare you?

The horse
The Horse

  • Had size, power, and speed

  • Spanish were highly trained; could ride with one hand fight with the other

  • Aztecs couldn’t keep up

  • Used them to instill fear

Taken from the other social studies textbook from two years ago pg 226
Taken from the other Social Studies Textbook from years ago (pg. 226)…

  • The “stags” came forward carrying the soldiers on their backs… These animals wear little bells, they are adorned with many little bells. When the “stags” gallop, the bells make a loud clamour, ringing and reverberating. These “stags”, these “horses,” snort and bellow. They sweat a very great deal, the sweat pours from their bodies in streams . . . . They make a loud noise when they run; they make a great din (noise), as if stones were raining on the earth. Then the ground is pitted and scarred where they set down their hooves. It opens wherever their hooves touch it.”


  • Smallpox epidemic eventually occurred in Tenochtitlan

  • Weakened resistance to Spanish

  • Aztecs had no immunity

  • Many died of hunger because they were too sick to move

The first meetings

The First Meetings

Love thy neighbour
Love Thy

  • Aztecs were used to having power; they exerted it on their neighbours

  • Collected tribute (no one likes taxes…)

  • “Flower Wars”

    • Ritual battles to obtain sacrifice victims

  • Made some neighbours enemies…

  • Some of the neighbours allied with the Spanish like the Tlaxcalans and the Cholulas

Ronald write stolen continents


Ronald Write: Stolen Continents

  • “Of all the European and American nations that clashed in the 16th century, the Aztecs and the Spaniards had the most in common. Both were warlike, mercantile [trading], avaricious [greedy], and quick to resort to force. Both believed they had a divine mission to rule the world.”

The woman who killed the aztecs
The Woman who Killed the Aztecs

  • Malinche (became Doña Marina)

  • Was a slave and was given to Cortés when he defeated the Tabascan people

  • Was the key to Cortés’ success

  • Acted as the intermediary between the Aztecs and the Spanish

  • Converted to Christianity, became advisor and spy for Cortés


  • A word created after Malinche’s name

  • Means preferring foreign things to things that are Mexican


Befriend or conquer that is the question
Befriend or Conquer? That is the question!

  • Each indigenous group Cortés met was different, had to change strategy

    • Totonacs gave warriors in exchange of protection from Aztecs (hated tribute)

    • Tlaxcalans fought Spanish, lost and were offered peace. Gave 1000 soldiers to Spanish force

    • Cholulans were loyal to the Aztecs and conspired against Spanish (Malinche heard) so they were conquered

Cortés is coming… what should do?

What would you do if you were in his situation?

The first meeting
The First Meeting

  • November 8, 1519: Moctezuma and Cortés have their first meeting

  • Malinche and Cortés had sent messages to Moctezuma saying they were coming in peace

  • Moctezuma invited Cortés to Tenochtitlan

  • Cortés came unopposed to the city

  • Moctezuma still believed that Cortés could be Quetzalcoatl and treated Cortés as a God

The greeting taken from old textbook similar to our pg 311
The from old textbook, similar to our pg. 311)

  • “My lord, you are weary, you are tired. You have come to your land; you have arrived in your city, Mexico. You have come to your seat, to you throne . . . If only one of them [the past Aztec rulers] were here to witness, to wonder at what I now see myself: To see what I see: I the last, I the reigning one of all our lords. No, I am not dreaming; I am not sleepwalking . . . I am seeing you now, I set eyes on your face!... Come now and rest; take possession of your royal palaces; give comfort to your body. Enter your land, my lords!”

  • Be assured, Motecuhzoma, have no fear. We love you greatly. Today are hearts are at peace



Sometimes you shouldn t be nice
Sometimes you shouldn’t be nice…

  • Moctezuma put Cortés and his forces in the palace of his late father

  • He showed them the glories of their city

  • Saw the market and the wonders of the city (aka gold). Realized they wanted to control/own city

  • Caused the Spanish to attack

What the spanish did
What the Spanish did…

How the Aztecs fell…

First step
First Step

  • Moctezuma was placed under house arrest in his own palace

  • Spanish looted all the gold and melted it down

  • Forced Moctezuma to become a subject of Spanish rule

  • Put up pictures/statues of Roman Catholic saints/crosses

  • People felt Moctezuma was weak and let his people down, they deserted him

Trouble at home
Trouble at Home

  • Velazquez sent troops to arrest Cortés

  • Cortés had to take some men and go deal with the problem

  • Left Pedro de Alvarado in charge

  • Cortés defeated Velazquez’s troops and had the survivors join him against the Aztecs

While you were gone
While you were gone…

  • Alvarado gave the Aztecs permission to have a festival (Aztecs were still loyal to their god...)

  • Massacred all the dancers at the festival

  • Lots of uproar against this act, if you could imagine...

The fire dance
The Fire Dance

After the massacre
After the Massacre

  • Cortés returned to a very angry city

  • Forced Moctezuma to speak to the people (try and calm them)

  • People threw rocks at him (Moctezuma died... not sure if it’s because of the rocks or something the Spanish did)

  • Aztecs attacked and killed many Spanish

    • Forced them out of the city

Why do you think the people turned against moctezuma
Why do you think the people turned against

What should the Aztecs do now?


Before the Spanish returned, a smallpox epidemic hit Tenochtitlan, weakening the population and killing 25% of the population

If you were the spanish how would you attack the aztecs
If you were the Spanish, how would you attack the Aztecs?

Spanish battle plan
Spanish Battle Plan

  • Spanish gathered a stronger force

  • Returned six months after they left

  • Cut the aqueducts/blocked causeways of the Aztecs

  • 75 day siege until they captured the city

  • Tore down the city as they captured it

  • Only 60000 Aztecs survived, but city was ruined

What do you think is the biggest reason why the aztecs fell
What do you think is the biggest reason why the Aztecs fell?

Pg 323 textbook
Pg. 323 Textbook

“Broken spears lie in the roads;

We have torn our hair in our grief

The houses are roofless now, and their walls

Are red with blood

Worms are swarming in the streets and plazas,

And the walks are spattered with gore

The water has turned red, as if it were dyed

And when we drink it,

It has the taste of brine.

We have pounded our hands in despair

Against the adobe walls,

For our inheritance, our city, is lost and dead

The shields of our warriors were its defense.

but they could not save it.

We have chewed dry twigs and salt grasses:

We have filled our mouths with dust and bits of adobe.

We have eaten lizards, rats and worms

When we had meat weate it almost raw.

During the seige

During the Seige

  • During the final siege of Tenochtitlan, Aztec priests told their people that if the Aztecs continued their sacrifices and prayers, the gods would lead them to victory

A new religion

A New Religion

  • Ferdinand and Isabella would be happy… They now have 60000 converts…

  • 3 years after the conquest, priests came off Spanish ships at Veracruz

Crushed religion
Crushed Religion

  • Franciscan monks(and other missionaries) gradually converted many of the surviving Aztecs to the Catholic faith.

  • They destroyed Aztec temples and burned all the Aztec codices they could find.

  • Some Aztecs still practiced religion in secret

    Why were these actions necessary from the

    Franciscan monks perspective?

What was the aztec economy based on before the spanish conquest
What was the Aztec economy based on before the Spanish conquest?

A new economy
A New Economy conquest?

  • The Spanish introduced the encomienda system

  • With each piece of land, Spanish settlers were given a number of Aztec “workers”

Hard knock life
Hard Knock Life… conquest?

  • The Spanish landowners did not pay the workers but they were supposed to treat them well and educate them in Christianity

  • Many landowners abused their workers

The new hierarchy

The conquest?



The Aztec People

Spanish Conquistadores and Settlers

Governor or Viceroy

The New Hierarchy

Takes 20% of all gold/valuables in New Spain

Collects taxes to support himself,

the government and the Crown.

Given encomiendas with Aztec

workers. After paying taxes, they

keep profits

Do all the actual work on farms and

in mines in return for food, clothing,

and shelter.

What affect did this arrangement have on the Aztec’s conquest?

ability to create wealth for themselves?

Father bartolome de las casas
Father de Las Casas

  • Defender of the Indigenous people of New Spain

  • Worked to improve their work conditions

  • Because of the pressure he put on the rulers, they started to change their treatment

  • Wrote many works which are used to see a different perspective than just the conqueror… the Spanish

New society
New Society

  • Started to adopt Spanish ways

  • Learned language and written alphabet

    • Were able to write their own accounts of what happened

  • Mixing of Spanish and Indigenous peoples

    • Created Mestizos

    • This culture/group grew into modern Mexico

The end
The End