The account for this may connote several interrelated factors. In this essay we will expose which were the most of import of these factors. Of class, technological high quality, but besides the Aztec domination system that led to many Indians to see the Spaniards as their liberators, the spread of European diseases, the interlingual rendition system that made Cortes able to set up dealingss with local peoples, the belief of the Aztec emperor Moctezuma that the Spanish were Gods, and the confederations that Cortes engaged with Indian peoples such us the Tlaxcalans. The latter is likely the most of import ground as it provided Cortes with 1000s of soldiers, making an ground forces capable of licking the Aztecs.
Spanish military high quality evidently helped them in the conquering of the Aztec Empire.[ 1 ]They had immense advantages as their horse, firepower and steel outdid in every regard the Aztec ‘s military engineering. Although Cortes arrived to continental America with merely 500 people, the Aztecs and local folks were frightened with European arms, as they had ne’er seen cannons or Equus caballuss before. Spanish arms consisted of expresswaies and blades made of difficult steel from Toledo that was much stronger than any of the arms of the locals. Another cardinal advantage that Cortes ‘ work forces had over the Aztecs was the armor. Indian missiles could make nil against Spanish steel armors, which even weakened the hits from the obsidian blades of the Aztecs. With those armors Spanish faced much less hazard of decease, while the Indians, missing any armor, were highly vulnerable. European crossbows had around double the scope of the Indian 1s, every bit good as necessitating less preparation and being more powerful. The pieces of the minute, the hackbuts, did non hold a really effectual scope, but they implied an utmost power. The combination of firepower and crossbows allowed the Spanish to fire to the Indians without armors with deathly consequence. Aboard the Spanish ships there were falconets that were able to make a maximal scope of 2km. But the strong advantage held by the Spanish was non merely the physical force of their arms but besides the psychological effects that European arms caused on the Amerindians. The gunpowder of the falconets and hackbuts frightened the Indians as they had ne’er seen that sort of things before. The horse besides took portion in this psychological perturbation. For illustration, at the Otumba conflict a surprise charge of horse caused the frightened Indians to run off in panic.
But the arms high quality, though it was a cardinal factor, can non explicate merely by itself the whole procedure of conquering. Some other topics that may hold had a function as important, or even more of import, as engineering should be explored.
To get down with, the domination system of the Aztec imperium was chiefly based on a cruel testimonial system that allowed Cortes to be seen as a liberator by some under the regulation of the Aztecs. Human forfeits were reasonably common, and they were feared by many of the people. The Aztecs used to give between 10,000 and 50,000 people every twelvemonth, seeking to nurture the Sun and all their Gods. Most of those who were sacrificed were war captives who had fought against the Aztecs, but they were non the lone 1s who were sacrificed, as common people -both grownups and children- were besides sacrificed when needed. Cortezs, as a Catholic adult male, was disgusted at the fact of human forfeit, which allowed him to happen Indian Alliess and besides respect among local folks that opposed and feared the Aztecs. Many decided to follow Cortes as they had similar positions on the ‘human forfeit ‘ capable. For those, Cortezs appeared as a liberator of the Aztec regulation dictatorship.[ 2 ]
Second, another of import cause for Cortes ‘ success was the fact of European diseases distributing rapidly among the Aztecs. Although this may non look a really important ground, it really benefited the Spanish due to the population decrease it comported. The Europeans were already immune to that sort of diseases, so it did non affect so much suffer to them. On the contrary, the Aztecs were more and more demoralized by a cryptic unwellness that led them to decease but non the Spaniards, as if their enemy was provided with some sort of charming indomitability. In fact, variola was the chief ground why the Aztecs had to halt prosecuting the Spanish around Texcoco Lake after the ‘Noche Triste ‘ . However, Cortes ‘ allied Indian forces besides suffered from the disease, which implied of import losingss on his side excessively.
Third, another ground that enabled the Spanish to get the better of the Aztecs was certainly their transcribers, Dona Marina -also known as ‘La Malinche’- and Geronimo de Aguilar. After a short period contending against the Tabasco people, they exchanged gifts with the Spanish. One of the nowadayss for the Spanish was a Tabasco miss, who would be baptized and named ‘Dona Marina ‘ by the Spanish.[ 3 ]She was able to understand and talk some of the local Indian linguistic communications, including Nahuatl, the linguistic communication of the Aztecs. Geronimo de Aguilar besides played an of import function. He had been shipwrecked in the seashore of Mexico in 1511 and, while he was in the part, he was able to larn some local idioms.[ 4 ]Cortes found an highly utile aid in the combination of Marina and Aguilar. The interlingual rendition procedure consisted of two stages. First, Marina translated the local linguistic communication into some idiom that Aguilar was able to understand, and so Aguilar tried to interpret the message into Spanish. Marina subsequently learned Spanish herself. She had besides a really of import function when Cortes wanted to derive local Alliess, as she helped explicating Cortes what the Spanish could make for them. Dona Marina was for certain a cardinal aid for Cortes in the licking of the Aztec Empire.
Fourthly, Moctezuma believed that Cortes was the great God Quetzalcoatl, who was eventually returning to the Aztec land.[ 5 ]This fact truly benefited Cortes, as Moctezuma was overwhelmed by a immense confusion seeking to clarify whether Cortes was really Quetzalcoatl or non. This province of perplexity gave Cortes excess clip to move while Moctezuma was still believing. Moctezuma considered that there were a batch of facets that proved Cortes to be the god Quetzalcoatl. Furthermore, the Spanish heavy weapon may hold represented to the eyes of the Aztecs the properties of the God Quetzalcoatl, boom and lightning.[ 6 ]
On the other manus, Aztecs besides started to happen several facets which showed that Cortes was non the God prophesised for so long. Cortezs referred to a superior -King Carlos I- , and Quetzalcoatl would non hold had any. Furthermore, Cortes was non able to talk Nahuatl, the Aztec linguistic communication, which even Moctezuma found estrange, as it was non plausible for a God to bury his ain linguistic communication. The mental province of Moctezuma should hold been of entire confusion, and he likely had no thought about what he was supposed to make by so. Moctezuma was impressed about the laterality of the Spanish over the Tlaxcalans, a people whom the Aztecs had ne’er achieved to get the better of. He felt all the cosmogonic bases of his civilisation fall ining, as the returned Gods were destructing his people. Moctezuma ‘s confusion made easy for the Spanish to capture him and destruct his imperium.
Finally, and likely the most of import factor, Cortes was able to prosecute in confederation with local Indian peoples such as the Tlaxcalans, which really composed much of Cortes forces.[ 7 ]By utilizing smart anti-Aztec policies,[ 8 ]Cortezs was able to set on his side many valuable local Alliess. The Tlaxcalans, for illustration, had spent about a century contending against the Aztecs. Thus, the Spanish represented the coveted opportunity on interrupting the political statu quo of the part and overthrow Aztec power. The Tlaxcalans provided Cortes with valuable elaborate information about Tenochtitlan, particularly sing the causeways over the lake that led to the metropolis. Cortezs obtained the support of the whole Tlaxcalan province, which implied holding an highly critical ally. Around 50,000 Tlaxcalans, along with 25,000 Indian Alliess from other folks, supported the Spanish in the recapture of Tenochtitlan. Those Alliess worked besides in other ways than contending. At the ‘Noche Triste ‘ , they were responsible for transporting span edifice equipment and heavy weapon. As we can see, if Cortes had non made net income from competitions among locals, and incorporated much of them into his ground forces, he would ne’er hold had the opportunity of get the better ofing an imperium as the Aztec, with a population of 1000000s of people.
As we have seen above, the grounds of the licking of the Aztecs are multiple and complex, and we can non presume that technological high quality played a cardinal function above the others. In fact, other Indian peoples adopted horse and pieces in the centuries after, and they were defeated every bit good. Of class, the daze that these new arms may hold produced on the Aztecs should be regarded, but the idea of merely a few 100s of Spanish get the better ofing a whole civilisation of 1000000s of people merely because of that may be naif. For certain, the chief ground should be found in the confederation with the Tlaxcalans or the inability of Moctezuma to make an organized opposition. Without the technological factor it seems plausible for the Spanish to suppress the Aztecs with the support of other Indians and the powerlessness of Moctezuma. Without these factors, and holding merely the technological one, the expedition of Cortes would hold ne’er been successful.