"Who am I as a descendant of the Indigenous people?". To ensure the legality of this action several members of his expedition, including Francisco Montejo and Alonso Hernandez Puertocarrero, returned to Spain to seek King Charles acceptance of the cabildo's declaration. Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images The Aztecs demanded regular tributes of their conquered subjects, and often these tributes took the form of human sacrificial offerings. Cortés stayed twenty days in Tlaxcala, giving his men time to recover from their wounds. The papers that Medina had been carrying were sent to Cortés. Professor Davíd Carrasco of Harvard University sums up the city’s glory as ‘the place where Aztec culture, authority and domination were expressed in buildings, stone, sound, myth, public spectacles, and sacrifices. The land was ruled by Aztec King Moctezuma who had been the Aztec Emperor since 1502. [21]:203, Cortés then sent emissaries to Moctezuma with the message that the people of Cholula had treated him with trickery and had therefore been punished. 44-89, Clendinnen, Inga. Xicotencatl the Younger, however, sought an alliance with the Mexicans, but was opposed. “Fierce and Unnatural Cruelty: Cortes and the Conquest of Mexico,” New World Encounters. With Mexico's president still insisting on Spain's apology and calling for "reconciliation" with the Spanish over the conquest, it will continue to be present in modern-day Mexico. 6 guns Cortés's conquest has been depicted in numerous television documentaries. On 8 November 1519 after the fall of Cholula, Cortés and his forces entered Tenochtitlan, the island capital of the Mexica-Aztecs. On his arrival, Hernan Cortes was accompanied by a force of 530 Armed Europeans and a few hundred Cuban natives and African slaves. Hernán Cortés and his men retreating from Tenochtitlán, undated illustration. [21]:265 Moctezuma told his Caciques that "their ancestral tradition, set down in their books of records, that men would come from the direction of the sunrise to rule these lands" and that "He believed...we were these men. Brandt, Anthony. To this day, the title of Duke of Moctezuma is held by a Spanish noble family. SECTION 1: Moctezuma’s Empire[A word on names: we know him as Moctezuma or Montezuma, but neither is correct, it should be Motecuhzoma in the language of the Aztec empire, Nahuatl; and others called them ‘Aztecs’ after their mythical place of origin Aztlan (‘Place of White Herons’) - they called themselves the Mexica people, a word based on the Nahuatl word meztli or ‘new moon’. Regardless, on command, the Spaniards seized and killed many of the local nobles to serve as a lesson.[21]:199. During the campaign, Cortés was given support from a number of tributaries and rivals of the Aztecs, including the Totonacs, and the Tlaxcaltecas, Texcocans, and other city-states particularly bordering Lake Texcoco. Greater risk reaped greater rewards. Ome is Nahuatl for ‘two’, and teotl means not just god or goddess, but life force, energy and spirit. This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service. Although the Spanish forces numbered some 500 men, they managed to capture Aztec Emperor Montezuma II. Spanish conquest of Mexico had antecedents with established practices.[3]. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. A major work that utilizes colonial-era indigenous texts as its main source is James Lockhart's The Nahuas After the Conquest: Postconquest Central Mexican History and Philology. However, there was a whole generation of Spaniards who participated in expeditions in the Caribbean and Tierra Firme (Central America), learning strategy and tactics of successful enterprises. War in History (1995): 87-104. Cuauhtámoc, Cuitláhuacs successor as emperor, was taken prisoner and later executed, and Cortés became the ruler of a vast Mexican empire. As a result of these unions, as well as concubinage and secret mistresses, mixed race individuals known as "Mestizos" came into being as the majority of the Mexican population in the centuries following the Spanish conquest. By all accounts the city, boasting public toilets, clean water and steam baths, was spotless, swept clean every day by an army of 1,000 professional sweepers. Google provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. The market was highly organised, with its own police, judges, water- and load-carriers, even hotels! Castile yearned to reach out again to cities and markets, old and new: one of the topics that most fired the imagination of Cortés’s band of adventurers - and about which they wrote extensively in their diaries - was the Great Market at Tlatelolco. Many of the Spaniards, weighed down by their armor and booty, drowned in the causeway gaps or were killed by the Aztecs. "The image we have of the Aztecs was overwhelmingly invented by Spaniards at the time," says Restall. There Cortés and his army slaughtered thousands of unarmed citizens after learning of their plan to ambush the Spanish. He left Tenochtitlán in the hands of his trusted officer Pedro de Alvarado and set out to subdue the arrest party. Cortés invested a considerable part of his personal fortune to equip the expedition and probably went into debt to borrow additional funds. An exchange of gifts was made and thus began the highly significant and effective alliance between Cortés and Tlaxcala. The Aztec Empire ceased to exist with the Spanish final conquest of Tenochtitlan in August 1521. Tile mosaic located in, Cortés scuttling fleet off Veracruz coast, Meeting place of Montezuma and Hernán Cortés, Cortes and his counselor, the Nahua woman, Model depicting the first lake battle between Spanish and Aztecs. The most important of these are the pictorial Lienzo de Tlaxcala and the Historia de Tlaxcala by Diego Muñoz Camargo. On this occasion, Cortés shrewdly won them over with bribes. Scholars who were part of a branch of Mesoamerican ethnohistory, more recently called the New Philology have, using indigenous texts in the indigenous languages, been able to examine in considerable detail how the indigenous lived during the era of Spanish colonial rule. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.