broken spears the aztec account of the term paper


Excerpt from Term Paper:

Broken Asparagus spears: The Aztec Account from the Conquest of America, edited by Miguel Leon-Portilla (Beacon Press, 1992).

Broken Spears tells the Aztec peoples’ account from the Spanish cure of Mexico.

Throughout history, the cure has been told from the viewpoint of the conquistadors – the Spanish victors. Broken Asparagus spears was the first book to share with the story in the conquest from your Aztecs’ perspective.

It was originally released in Spanish (in 1959), and was only released in English in the year 62.

The book begins some three years before the cure by showing of the Aztecs’ perceived omens of the cure, and the remainder of the publication gives a chronological account of the conquest.

The main impetus in the book is definitely not historic data gathering but , alternatively, is of the storytelling and human feeling behind the Spanish conquest.


Hernando Cortes’ military arrived in Mexico in the early on 16th 100 years and defeated the Mexicans in relatively short order.

Educado had at first been delivered to Mexico by the Cuban texas chief to search for precious metal, but when he was asked to withdraw and return to Havana, he collected 11 ships and six-hundred troops to make his way to South america.

Previous The spanish language expeditions was sent to Mexico as early as 1517, but Educado was a incredibly powerful, powerful leader and was able to rally the soldiers, so to speak. Also, the Indians turned out to be extremely susceptible to the Spaniards’ superior weapons, as well as the new Western viruses just like smallpox, chicken-pox, and measles.

Of vital importance was the Aztec leader’s (Moctezuma) indecisiveness about Cortes’ motives and confusion as to whether Cortes’ arrival was a religious arrival or maybe a spiritual sign – a serious mistake. Finally, the Philippine Indians were internally divided and there were much internal resentment regarding the Aztec domination in Mexico. Consequently , the Tlaxcaltecs and others – the Aztecs’ enemies – became the Spaniards’ allies.

Cortes found its way to the Yucatan Peninsula in 1519 and marched to Tenochhtitlan. In September of these year, his army battled with the Tlaxcaltecs, and the Tlaxcaltecs, defeated, became Spanish allies.

After a great October 1519 massacre in Cholulam, Cortes and his soldiers arrived in Tenochtitlan, and the the following month Montezuma was performed prisoner of Cortes’ armed service.

However , in May of 1520, Cortes still left Tonochtitlan to confront Corto de Narvaez and during time a massacre occurred in the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs were then in a position to force the Spaniards to their quarters.

By simply June, Educado returned to Tenochtitlan (after defeating Narvaez) and in that same month, Montezuma perished.

The Spaniards were required to flee Tenochtitlan when they chop down under attack, and in This summer of 1520, the Struggle of Otumba took place.

By simply April 1521, numerous The spanish language reinforcements got arrived to compliment the Educado army, and Indian cities began to ensure that the Spaniards.

Finally, in August 1521, Cuauhtemoc was captured plus the Aztecs surrendered. The when great Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, was now in ruins and their once good leader, Moctezuma, was useless.

The The spanish language defeat of the Aztecs was of great historical significance. First, the greatest Of india civilization in history had been decimated. Second, the Spanish win created a new race of people – created by the blend the Aztecs and the Spaniards – that resulted in present Mexican contest.


The value of this book is that it finally released the overcome peoples’ viewpoint of the Spanish conquest from the Aztecs.

Many commentators and readers include applauded the book accurately for this reason.

The subject can become very emotional for many readers due to racial and cultural significance. For example , a few have commentated that “conquest” is too loose a term, and that the term “holocaust” or perhaps “mass murder” of the Aztecs, the most powerful tribe in those days in South america, should instead be used the moment describing what occurred when the Spanish Europeans invaded South america.

They did not have nor could find any arrows, javelins or stones with which to strike us, and our allies fighting with us were using swords and bucklers, and slaughtered a lot of of them upon land in addition to the water that more than fourty thousand were killed or taken that day. Thus loud was your wailing of the women and children that there were not one gentleman among us whose heart would not bleed at the sound.


The Aztecs called the Mechica. These people were originally nomads, and they found the Area of Mexico in 1276. Although they had been originally subjugated under the Toltecs, they were good mercenaries, and in the end were able to set out to build all their great metropolis – Tenochtitlan. It was a gigantic city of superb efficiency and a marvel in its coming back its approach to canals and waterways.

Even though many commentators show the Aztecs as local victims of violent Euro bloodshed and colonialism, additionally it is important to comprehended that as a result of power and advancement from the Aztec world, the Aztec became a really powerful judgment tribe among the Indian foule in Mexico. And they are not peaceful rulers. They were known as violent dictators – most likely a natural reaction to their mercenary pasts – and they engaged in great amounts of human sacrifices of their overcome victims.

Without a doubt, it could be asserted that Cracked Spears has an indigenous, pro-victim bias, when it was published to give voice to the perspective with the conquered.

Yet , the more disclosing stance is to instead examine the Aztec account not from the point of view of the author – who may be merely the instrument through which the story has been told – but rather, to scrutinize and criticize both different perspectives (the The spanish language and the Aztec) at issue.

Domination Engendered through Assimilation

While many authorities scathingly hang something on Cortes to be yet another Impérialiste conqueror whom decimated an indigenous tradition with no consider for its native people or perhaps native qualities, such an accounts overlooks the key fact that one of the primary reasons Cortes was able to eliminate the Aztecs was as they first discovered how to become one. In short, he learned to assimilate into their culture.

For instance , when Cortes first found its way to Mexico, he freed a Spaniard held in captivity by the Indians, Geronimo de Aguilar. Aguilar continues to be shipwrecked (in Cozumel) eight years ahead of Cortes’ arrival in Mexico, and the Indians had required him into slavery. As being a slave, he learned the Mayan terminology of his Indian captors. Aguilar became crucial to Cortes’ strategy, as Cortes was now capable of communicate inside the language with the Indians.

After leaving Cozumel, Cortes wonderful ships sailed up the east cost of Mexico, fighting and defeating a large number of Indians over the coast. For Tabasco, he quickly defeated the Indians and when that they made serenity offerings, food, gifts and females were offered.

These Indians were known as the Caciques, and did not speak the language in the Mayans, the chinese language spoken by Aguilar, Cortes’ comrade. Nevertheless , a woman called Dona Yacht club – who had been presented as a gift, recognized the Mayan language and translated Cortes’ words of gratitude. Dona Marina was an Aztec princess who had the misfortune to become a slave to the Tabascan Indians; this is how the lady had come to know the chinese language of the Aztecs (Nahuatl) plus the Tabascan and Mayan languages.

Marina and Aguilar proved to be Cortes’ greatest weapons, since Cortes was now able to communicate with each of the Indian people that he encountered, including the Indians inside the capital city of the Aztecs – Tenochtitlan.

But over and above this assimilation of the Indians’ language through his ships’ crew, Educado assimilated the Indian lifestyle in other crucial ways.

Dona Marina and Cortes had a passionate love affair, and the lady became his ultimate friend. She was his ear canal on the ground, so to speak, and will warn him of and building plots against his army and against his life. Later, even though the girl had been given like a gift to a single of Cortes’ captains, Marina bore Cortes a kid.

This kid was Don Martin Cortes.

Don Matn Cortes was both virtually and figuratively the beginning of the Mexican competition, and the response to Cortes’ powerful assimilation in the Indian culture – a great assimilation which would in the end prove to be all their defeat.

W. Heroine or Traitor: The Role of Dona Flotta in the Conquest

Commentators possess debated the role of Dona Yacht club in the conquest of Mexico. Some describe her being a traitor for the Aztecs. Others describe her as the symbolic mother of a new race of folks – the Mexicans, or maybe the mestizos.

Absolutely, if Broken Spears is exclusive precisely since it is an account from the Aztec cure from the Aztec perspective, then Marina – as a great Aztec little princess – could be properly seen as a traitor to the Aztec people. Yet , it should be reiterated that the stage of this article is to consider the two views, the Aztec and the Spaniard – the conquered

  • Category: history
  • Words: 1726
  • Pages: 6
  • Project Type: Essay