Conclusion

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Conclusion

  1. 1. Conclusion:What Caused the Collapse of the Mexica<br />
  2. 2. Introduction <br />With the collapse of the Mexica Empire there are definite theories as to why it fell, and why the Conquistadores under Hernan Cortés succeeded in overthrowing it.<br />Each side of the Conquest present it’s own reason’s for defeat or as would be the case with the Mexica defeat.<br />There have been many authors who have written academic works as to why the Mexica Empire.<br />Among them are Tolderov, Padden, and Clendinnen who we also examined with the primary sources.<br />A famous work which we did not examine was Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel.<br />Each of the secondary sources presented an alternative viewpoint as to how the Mexica fell.<br />It is not with the secondary sources that this project is focused in however.<br />What were the causes of the defeat according to the primary sources?<br />What do Cortés, Dìaz, and Sahagún have to say about the defeat of the Mexica?<br />
  3. 3. Cortés and Díaz<br />Cortés<br />Quote, “As Our Lord God has so favored this business, and was so fulfilling my desire…”1<br />Cortés gives his victories credit to God, who gave them a righteous victory over the heathen and barbaric Mexica because they did not worship.<br />Because the Mexica were not Christians, and in fact were violently opposed to some of the attempts to Christianize them, Cortes not only would have no trouble fighting and conquering them, it was also his duty to spread the word of the Christian God.<br />Evidence for this would include the baptizing of the new Lord of Tesuico Don Carlos who was the brother of the former ruler, Cortés had him baptized following his brother’s death.2<br />Díaz<br />Quote “…and truly we found that our Lord Jesus Christ was pleased to give us strength in addition to the many mercies he vouched safe for us that day.”3<br />Reasoning for the defeat of the Mexica follows the same vein as Cortés.<br />Believes in the righteousness and need for the Spaniards to conquer the Mexica, and that such a task is necessary.4<br />
  4. 4. Sahagún and other Native Sources<br />Sahagúnin his collections and findings from interviews with the Natives of Central Mexican valley found that the natives blamed the collapse on the MexicaRuler, Montezuma II.<br />Montezuma was the first ruler who was not so much a political leader as he was a religious one.<br />Montezuma served as the high priest of the Mexica, and he had a particular devotion to Quetzalcoatl a God who prophesized to return to Mesoamerica<br />Montezuma at first attempted to stop the conquistadores from reaching Tenochtitlan.<br />Eventually Montezuma came to believe in the eventuality of the demise of the Mexica empire, and invited Cortés and the expedition into the floating city of Tenochtitlan <br />Montezuma’s contradicting attitude towards the Conquistadores only served to make him appear weaker and in less control than he was, isolating him from the Mexica and causing them to blame him for the defeat of their civilization to the European invaders<br />
  5. 5. Conclusion<br />While the source’s reasons for the defeat of the Mexica may not be completely to correct, there is some importance to be placed in the opinions of those who observed and directly reported on the events.<br />It should be said that while we do not have a completely balanced view of the conquest of Mexico, we still have the option to read from sources on both sides of the conquest.<br />Knowing what the people of the era and place thought and made of the events allows historians to better understand the events which occurred.<br />
  6. 6. Endnotes<br />1 Hernan Cortés, Letters from Mexico, trans. Anthony Pagden (New Haven Yale: University Press), 277<br />2 Hernan Cortés, Letters from Mexico, trans. Anthony Pagden (New Haven Yale: University Press), 278<br />3 Bernal Dìaz Del Castillo, The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, trans. A.P. Maudslay (Cambridge: De Capo Press), 428<br />4 Bernal Dìaz Del Castillo, The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, trans. A.P. Maudslay (Cambridge: De Capo Press), 416<br />

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