Defeating the Aztec Empire
Hernan Cortes, a affronted Spanish conquistador, landed at San Juan de Ulua, in April 1519. With him, Cortes had 508 soldiers, one hundred sailors, arms cannons, eleven ships and sixteen horses. Cortes and his baby army, marched through Mexico, basic alliances with Aztec rivals, until extensive the Aztec basic of Tenochtitlan. Tenochtitlan was the basic burghal of the massive Mexican authority accepted as the Aztecs or Mexica. It had a citizenry of 200,000 people; about three times that of the better burghal of Spain, Seyville (Windschuttle, 43).
Within the abutting two years, Cortes and his men had triumphantly defeated the Aztecs and taken ascendancy of Tenochtitlan adjoin all odds. (Daniel, 1992) So how, admitting be hopelessly outnumbered, after the achievability of new aliment or reinforcements, affronted alternative built-in tribes and Spaniards, and the Aztecs on their own turf, did this tiny Spanish force defeat such a appalling army. Today, there are a cardinal of affidavit why the Spanish accept believed to been able to affected such odds.
A aggregate of poor Aztec aggressive approach adjoin beforehand Spanish ammunition and strategy, a anemic Aztec ruler, the advance of disease, Tenochtitlan’s poor administering over its populace, and the interconnectedness of Aztec aggressive and adoration ultimately led to the annihilation of its empire. The aboriginal appearance of the Spanish aggression of Mexico took abode in April 1519. In affront of the Governor of Cuba and his campaign sponsor, Cortes took ascendancy over his armament and confused them inland.
On the way, Cortes met attrition from alternative locals, who he eventually baffled and absolved into his army as allies. After extensive Tenochtitlan, basic of the Aztec Capital, the Spaniards were initially greeted as adopted ambassadors. Alternative claims accompaniment that the Aztecs beheld Cortes as the god, Quetzalcoatl (Windschuttle, 50). The Spanish did not acknowledgment the favor, eventually kidnapping Emperor Montezuma and, application him as a puppet, ran the country. The Governor of Cuba, affronted with the aggressive Cortes, beatific a force beneath Panfilo Narvaez to end his exploration.
As the citizenry afore him, Cortes defeated this force and had them accompany him in his conquest. In Cortes’ absence, the Spanish troops larboard abaft had massacred Aztec nobles during a religious festival, a action that additionally larboard emperor Moctezuma dead. The Spanish were affected to leave Tenochtitlan, catastrophe the aboriginal appearance of the conquest. For a year, the Spanish armament recuperated, acquisition eight thousand built-in allies and new supplies, including three argosy vessels. “To ay annoy to a lake-girt burghal acute the architecture of thirteen brigantines on the far ancillary of the mountains, eight thousand carriers to carriage the pieces, their reassembly in Texcoco, the digging of a aqueduct and the deepening of the basin for their acknowledged ablution (Clendinenn, 72)” For a year, Cortes and his built-in allies lay annoy to the burghal of Tenochtitlan. Application acquaintance aggressive tactics, adjoin an Aztec force extemporaneous for them, Cortes and his troops captured the basic city, killing about all inside. This would be the end of the Aztec empire.
Moctezuma II was the ninth adjudicator of Tenochtitlan and the aboriginal Aztec emperor to accomplish acquaintance with Europeans. Moctezuma’s poor administration and abhorrence to accord with the advancing Spaniards are admired as ample factors of the Aztec’s demise. He anon affected the foreigners to be adopted ambassadors and was blindly clumsy to see their accurate intent. At their aboriginal meeting, the two leaders exchanged gifts. Clendinnen declared that “Cortes interpreted Moctezoma’s aboriginal adeptness as gestures of acquiescence of aboveboard attempts of bribery. To the Aztecs, Moctezuma adeptness were best acceptable “statements of dominancy, superb gestures of abundance and accommodation fabricated the added august by the aloof abasement of their giving (Windshuttle, 40). ” After alive months in Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards launched a coup, demography Moctezuma as a hostage. Back he was taken hostage, he adopted to advance to allurement the invaders rather than, although accept the adeptness to, belch them from the city. Actuality heavily religious, Moctezuma would depend on his oracles for a plan of action, proving his averseness and crumbling admired time.
Indecisiveness of the baton and cessation to accord with the invaders led to the annihilation of the Aztec authority (Windschuttle, 45). The Aztec’s accurate aphorism over its altered cities and populations accustomed for Hernan Cortes to recruit bags of built-in allies. Alone afresh ascent to power, the Aztecs depended on absolute regions and populations for demanding accolade that included aliment and alternative necessities. “They exacted accolade by blackmail of alarm and retribution.
In fact, anniversary year, the agronomical autumn heralded the access of a six-month division of war, in which warriors from Tenochtitlan would go out to alternative settlements to claiming them to battle, to accompany aback captives for sacrifice, and to backpack off women, children, and disciplinarian (Windschuttle, 54). ” The basic burghal of Tenochtitlan’s use of murder, sacrifice, and close aphorism over its acreage acquired alternative Aztec cities to admiration them to be overthrown. The Aztec’s accurate aphorism was heavily resented, and did ailing to attain any loyal sentiments amid its extensive population.
Cortes was able to calmly breach these all-a-quiver alliances, and accept these angered built-in populations accompany him in accepting rid of the Aztecs. By the additional annoy of Tenochtitlan, Cortes had about every alternative Aztec burghal affronted abaft him. It was these built-in allies that led to the final annihilation of the actual Aztecs in Technoctitlan (Clendinenn, 91). Since the aboriginal acquaintance amid Europeans and American natives, diseases such as smallpox, measles, and chicken agitation had advance like wildfire, killing millions of natives. The advance of ache to citizenry defective amnesty additionally contributed to the abatement of the Aztecs.
During the additional annoy of Tenochtitlan, a Spanish soldier from the force beatific by the Governor of Cuba, had brought the smallpox ache with him. This ache advance bound and was actual able at killing the natives. “Smallpox was the better distinct account of afterlife in the Valley of Mexico and dead off abounding added Aztec warriors than did Spanish swords or accoutrements (Windschuttle, 46). ” Back the additional annoy of Tenochtitlan began, their citizenry had dwindled so abundant that defeat was acutely imminent. A above acumen for the Spanish achievement over the Aztecs was their accomplished and accomplished aggressive soldiers.
They had bottom soldiers with pikes, swordsmen, muskets and artillery. Spanish forces, accomplished by abundant wars with the French, were comprised of tercios, or units of 250 men. Soldiers were acquiescent and put through drills that fatigued the accent of the assemblage alive together. Cortes and his army, due to abridgement of men, had to acclimatize to chase Spanish aggressive strategy. “During the annoy of Tenochtitlan the force was acclimatized into nine companies of about fifty men each, aggregate in about-face into three “divisions,” anniversary of three companies. This administration of troops was in befitting with Spanish convenance of the aeon (Daniel, 189). Cortes’ sixteen horses additionally accepted to be abundantly able adjoin the Aztec soldiers and a played a basic role in their victory. “At Cintla in Tabasco, aboriginal in the expedition, thirteen horseman avenue a huge adversary force affianced with the infantry. At Otumba the blood-soaked and beat army afresh bankrupt through the acid numbers of Aztec troops until they aloof (Daniel, 189). ” After the advice of battling built-in groups, such as the Tlaxcala and Texcoco, the Spanish would accept been alike added outnumbered by the Aztec forces. This appropriate use of alliances was possibly the best important aspect of Cortes’ acquisition of Mexico.
Overall, the use of infantry, cavalry, and allies seemed to be too abundant for the Aztecs. The appropriate alignment of the Aztec aggressive was abundant altered than that of the Spanish. The Aztec armament were comprised of every able man, who had little option, as adjoin to the Spanish armament comprised of volunteers. Their armament were disconnected into four units of four hundred men, allowable by a agent of the emperor. Best of these troops were low chic commoners. There were additionally units of aristocratic soldier fraternities, such as the Eagle and the Jaguar, that provided added aggressive accomplishment to the Aztec army.
Typically, Aztec armament would use accessible formations and advance to affected their foe application crabbed approach (Daniel 120). The Aztecs and their adherent cities were additionally not acclimated to annoy warfare or the use of cannons. “European cities had over this time acclimatized their construction, aliment and defenses to the achievability of a siege. Moreover , at the time the Spaniards were abandonment from America, European fortifications were activity through a accelerated redesign because of the claiming presented by the apparatus of cannon.
In Tenochtitlan, however, Cortes begin a bodies who had never alike conceived of European-style annoy warfare, let deserted complete defenses adjoin it (Clendinenn, 56). ” The Aztec use of accessible formations and disability to avert adjoin army attacks led to a disadvantage on the battleground. The Spanish army’s bankrupt sword-wielding formations were able to authority up able-bodied adjoin the Aztecs, generally breaking through their lines. The cavalry, time and time again, were able to breach up the Aztec formations, causing them to retreat. An archetype of the acid Spanish army approach was accent by the Action of Otumba.
Here, a ample Aztec army confronted beat Spanish forces. Cortes ordered his army to advance the aggressive leaders and the Aztec army’s flanks, breaking through their curve and causing confusion. The Spanish infantrymen affianced the Aztec bottom soldiers, continuing to advance as the Aztec retreated. These approach of Cortes and his men accepted to too abundant alike ample Aztec force. Aside from aggressive tactics, the aggressive technologies activated by the Spanish army were far added above to the weapons of the Aztecs. Europeans were abundant added avant-garde in agreement of weaponry, application weapons of animate and adamant adjoin the Aztec’s copse and stone.
As the Aztecs advised kills with long-distance weapons to shameful, their arrows and darts were alone meant to abuse their opponents. Aztec warriors agitated board arrows, knives of flint bean and board clubs anchored with flakes of obsidian, a anatomy of agitable bottle (Windschuttle, 45). ” These clubs with bean tips were the best able weapons agitated by the Aztecs. Spanish soldiers on the alternative duke agitated “cutlasses, lances, arrowheads and armor all artificial from adamant and steel, additional duke guns, crossbows, and cannons (Windschuttle, 1997-45). Their lances and cutlasses were abundant added able in hand-to-hand combat, with the adeptness to annihilate opponents with one strike. The Spanish additionally brought with them armored cavalry, cannons, crossbows, brigantines (ships), and handguns. In the additional annoy of Tenochtitlan, the three brigantines lay decay to Aztec canoes affronted in aegis of the city.
The Aztec aggressive was acutely outmatched and did not alarm the invaders in the least. “Spanish soldiers, in fact, begin Aztec weapons so inconsequential that they deserted their own abundant metal armor in favor of checky affection (Windschuttle, 55). The Spanish ammunition was too abundant for the anachronous weapons of the Aztecs to accept a chance. One historian, Inga Clendinnen, argued that the better Aztec disadvantage was how they beheld aggressive confrontations. As they did with the Spanish, the Aztecs would accelerate aliment and adeptness to an adversary beheld as inferior. The Aztecs acquainted that war and adoration were interconnected. The Aztecs adopted hand-to-hand action with the ambition of application captives for sacrifices to the gods. They were adjoin to killing opponents from a ambit and beheld abruptness ambushing as an absurd aggressive tactic.
The Spanish army, however, admired their long-ranged weapons, such as their muskets and crossbows. To accomplish affairs worse, Aztec warriors advised actuality dead by a long-distance weapon as an base death. “Spaniards admired their crossbows and muskets for their accommodation to aces off called enemies able-bodied abaft the band of engagement: as snipers, as we would say. The cerebral abashing accessory those sudden, trivializing deaths of abundant men corrective for war, but not yet affianced in combat, charge accept been appalling (Clendinnen, 80)” Cortes additionally launched abundant attacks in the orning, accepted as aurora raids, charging on biting villages and slaughtering men, women, and children. Cortes and the Spanish army abstruse to booty advantage of the Aztecs’ religious aggressive tactics. Spanish soldiers would pretend to retreat, appetizing Aztec troops to accompany chases in the hopes of accepting sacrificial captives. Cortes would afresh accompanying accept his troops about-face about and annihilation the biting Aztecs (Windschuttle, 52-53).
Cortes states that “Sometimes, as we were appropriately abandoning and they pursued us so eagerly, the army would pretend to be fleeing, and afresh aback would about-face on the,; we consistently took a dozen or so of the boldest. By these agency and by the ambushed which we set for them, they were consistently abundant hurt; and absolutely it was a arresting afterimage for alike back they able-bodied knew the abuse they would accept from us as we withdrew, they still pursued us until we had larboard the burghal (Clendinenn, 80). ” The Spanish acclimated annoy warfare to ultimately accompany bottomward Tenochtitlan.
They attenuated its perimeter, banishment alternative tribes to accompany them adjoin the Aztecs, and acid off aliment to the Tenochtitlan’s inhabitants. “Siege was the quintessential European strategy: an economical architecture to apply best burden on accomplished populations with alive engagement, carrying ascendancy over bodies and abode at atomic amount (Clendinenn, 83). ” Aztecs abhorred this anatomy of warfare, preferring the added atonement hand-to-hand combat. The Spanish, however, would abstain this blazon of warfare, afraid calm in bound formations and application long-distance weapons and artillery.
In the end, admitting actuality heavily outnumbered, outgunned, and angular the Aztecs followed their affected means and banned to surrender. “Again they encountered apparitional figures, of women and angular children, and saw the warriors still stationed on the rooftops, but bashful now, and unarmed, close-wrapped in their cloaks. And still the abortive pretense at negotiation, the dumb, adamant attrition (Clendinnen, 91). ” Here Cortes seems to be agape by the animation of the acutely defeated Aztecs. In the advancing day, Cortes and his army dead twelve thousand added Tenochtitlan inhabitants.
Cortes afresh approved to get them to surrender. “I said abounding things to actuate them to abandonment but all to no avail, although we showed them added signs of accord that accept anytime been apparent to a baffled bodies for we, by the brand of our Lord, were now the victors (Clendinnen, 91). ” After two added canicule of Aztec refusal, Cortes appear their built-in accessory forces, which atrociously murdered “forty-thousand” added Aztec civilians. Amid the 15th and 16th centuries, the Aztec authority had been a advancing authority with extensive access throughout Mexico.
The closing annihilation befalling them would go blindly alien as Hernan Cortes and his army of Spanish Conquistadors explored Mexico. Aural two years of seeing Tenochtitlan and affair its emperor Moctezuma II, the Spanish armament of almost bristles hundred men had destroyed the Aztec burghal and dead off best of inhabitants. There are abounding affidavit that contributed to this acutely absurd scenario. Moctezuma fabricated the aboriginal blooper by accepting the invaders as adopted ambassadors and basically acceptance them to roam advisedly about the city. His closing kidnapping at the easily of the Spanish seemed to be the alpha of the end.
After the antecedent annoy of Tenochtitlan was unsuccessful, the Spanish were able to ameliorate in a adjoining burghal of Texococo. Preying on anemic ties amid Technotitlan and the cities it actively and authoritatively disqualified over, Cortes was able to amalgamate a built-in accessory army. In affiliation with the Spaniards’ avant-garde ammunition and aggressive strategy, and application the poor religious-backed aggressive approach of the Aztecs to their advantage, the Aztecs fell aural a year. The defeat of the Aztecs acutely opened the aperture to European colonization of the Americas and the added abolition of the continents’ natives.
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