Seven myths of the spanish conquest


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Seven myths of the spanish conquest

  1. 1. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest Megan Beaver History 27
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest was </li></ul><ul><li>published in 2003, written by Matthew Restall. The </li></ul><ul><li>aim of the book is to dispel untrue myths that </li></ul><ul><li>most of the public believe to be true. Restall bases </li></ul><ul><li>his theories on a wide range of sources and </li></ul><ul><li>perspectives. Restall looks at the whole picture </li></ul><ul><li>not just groups point of view, he studied </li></ul><ul><li>documents from the Spanish, Native Americans, </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction Continued <ul><li>and from West Africans. Restall also studied the </li></ul><ul><li>Conquest itself and the consequences thereafter, </li></ul><ul><li>he dispels inaccuracies in the historical record by </li></ul><ul><li>breaking down each myth into one chapter and </li></ul><ul><li>explains how and why that myth is wrong. Restall </li></ul><ul><li>paints a more complete picture of the Spanish </li></ul><ul><li>Conquest that is not only three dimensional but </li></ul><ul><li>well informed and interesting. </li></ul>
  4. 4. A Handful of Adventurers <ul><li>The book the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus which is highly fictionalized is responsible for many misconceptions of Columbus himself. It paints Columbus as a dissident and paints him to be heroic for his efforts to prove the earth was flat. </li></ul><ul><li>Columbus did not discover the Americas on purpose, it was an accident and if he had not discovered someone else would have. </li></ul>
  5. 5. A Handful of Adventurers <ul><li>A Conquistadors purpose was to report to the crown and petition for rewards. Their reports or probanza de merito downplayed any involvement from other parties aids the misconceptions that a few hundred Spaniards could conquer the new world and overthrow the likes of the Aztecs. These self written reports glorified the author, yet are very important historical documents, and can give an explanation as to how only a &quot;handful&quot; of men could accomplish conquering a new land. </li></ul><ul><li>Cortes and his accomplishments can be explained by the use of the proof of merit documents, he simply painted himself in a favorable manor. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Invisible Warriors <ul><li>The Spaniards may have been outnumbered by native enemies, but were also outnumbered by their native allies. The Spanish did not conquer the Americas unassisted, &quot;friendly Indians&quot; did more than their fair share of fighting. </li></ul><ul><li>Africans either slaves or free men were &quot;invisible warriors&quot; often fighting alongside the Spanish but a rarely mentioned, hence the perception that the Spanish seemed to dominate the battlefield with sheer might. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Invisible Warriors <ul><li>It was sheer luck that Pizarro had success in Peru, without disease and civil war his forces would have died from starvation or had been killed in battle. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all conquistadores were European. Many Africans were conquistadors like Valiente and Garrido, though very few black conquistadores were from Spain and Portugal. </li></ul><ul><li>The Conquest of Mexico and Spanish expansion was aided by black conquistadores like Garrido and Valiente. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Under the Lordship of the King <ul><li>Many myths were created by what Restall calls the ideology of imperial justification, a system that rewarded the conquistadores. The crown received a share of the spoils and the conquistadores were agents of God which can lead to boasting and pressure to please the crown. The requirements to fulfill a contract or comply with the crown often led to the conquistadores misrepresenting the situation for example Columbus claimed there was plenty of gold and friendly natives in the Americas. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Under the Lordship of the King <ul><li>The conquest was incomplete, after the &quot;competition&quot; conquistadores in Mexico were still seeking treasure, living in the cities they destroyed relying on allies. Remote indigenous populations had no interest in colonization. </li></ul><ul><li>Six attempts to settle in Florida and the River Plate basin failed. One group resorted to cannibalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to spread Christianity were incomplete until the 16th century. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Indians Are Coming to an End <ul><li>The myth that the Indian culture and way of life were destroyed by the conquest, portrays the Natives in an unfavorable light making them seem less sympathetic. </li></ul><ul><li>Native societies were far too innocent to survive once the Europeans came along. </li></ul><ul><li>Before the Europeans Natives were uncivilized and there was plenty of land they were not using. Other misconceptions include they were cannibals and monsters. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Indians Are Coming to an End <ul><li>&quot;Native desolation&quot; the Natives could not whether the Europeans. Native stereotypes included the sentiment natives were unintelligent were unable to learn. The gist was they were seen as having no culture, ingenuous, and immoral. </li></ul><ul><li>The Spanish were not seen as Gods. Columbus spread the myth of apotheosis. </li></ul><ul><li>Moctezuma has been falsely blamed for the loss of Mexico because he was too afraid to act. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Epilogue <ul><li>One of the themes Restall reiterates is that the Spanish themselves are </li></ul><ul><li>responsible for many of the misconceptions about the conquest. Many </li></ul><ul><li>Historians and teachers alike took the written records at face value, did </li></ul><ul><li>not look any deeper, a conquistador would never publicize his ineptitude in </li></ul><ul><li>his probanza de merito. The issue is the validity of the statements were never </li></ul><ul><li>subjected to scrutiny. Misinformation is almost no different than spreading a </li></ul><ul><li>gossip which is another issue that created myths about the Natives. What </li></ul><ul><li>inaccurate information that is in many history books is the mere result of not </li></ul><ul><li>examining the motives of their sources and not checking their facts. There is </li></ul><ul><li>also the issue of perception, to some myths source or creator it is the truth </li></ul><ul><li>because they merely believe it to be so. Restall did what should have been </li></ul><ul><li>over five hundred years ago researched a theory before declaring it to be the </li></ul><ul><li>truth. </li></ul>