By Thomas S. Kidd
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Extra resources for American Colonial History: Clashing Cultures and Faiths
7 Cortés and his males eventually got here to Montezuma’s nice urban of Tenochtitlán. In 1519, this was once simply the most important urban within the Americas, with approximately 200 thousand citizens. It used to be higher than any city in Spain, and concerning the similar measurement as Paris. town featured a two-hundred-foot-tall stone pyramid dedicated to the Aztec gods of struggle and rain. The Aztecs practiced rituals of human sacrifice there. As Cortés and his males approached the wood drawbridge major into the lake-encircled urban, Montezuma and the Aztecs greeted them in an tricky rite. Cortés dismounted from his horse to embody the emperor, yet his attendants signaled for him to face back—no one touched Montezuma with no invitation to take action. however, Cortés and Montezuma exchanged present necklaces. Cortés stated that Montezuma declared the Spanish to be the descendants (or possibly spirits) of an outstanding lord who got here “from the place the solar rises. ” He supposedly said the Spanish king as their rightful lord, and promised that the Aztecs may obey him. This used to be most likely an unwitting—or witting—Spanish misinterpretation of Montezuma’s pronouncements of appreciate and hospitality. eight Reminiscent (again) of previous testomony scenes of the detoxing of pagan temples, Cortés purged the idols on the nice pyramid, shattering them at the steps and putting icons of the Virgin Mary and different saints the place the idols had stood. Montezuma used to be offended and envisioned that this rash act may precipitate an rebellion. The Aztecs “believed that these idols gave all of them their worldly items, and that in the event that they have been allowed to be unwell taken care of, they'd develop into offended and provides them not anything and take the fruit from the earth leaving the folk to die of starvation. ” Cortés countered that the Aztecs had to remember the fact that there has been just one precise God, and they may still worship him on my own. nine Cortés quickly apprehended and imprisoned Montezuma, precipitating an Aztec backlash that drove the Spanish from Tenochtitlán. In 1521, besides the fact that, the Spanish, besides Indian allies together with the Tlaxcaltecs, again and conquered the town, which had suffered a scourge of smallpox through the interim and misplaced a lot if its inhabitants. A Spanish historian recorded how the “pustules that coated humans brought on nice desolation; very many of us died of them, and plenty of simply starved to dying; hunger reigned, and not anyone took care of others from now on. ” The Spanish and their allies razed a lot of the susceptible urban, killing and wounding might be one other a hundred thousand. They in particular particular the Aztec clergymen, throwing them to their battle canine and burning their sacred texts. 10 those scenes of conquest performed out many times in different elements of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Peru. Spanish cost got here slowly to North the United States, notwithstanding. The particularly sedentary farming Indians of Mexico and Peru made perfect colonial pursuits; northern Indians had fewer and smaller cities or cultivated fields. nonetheless, tales of gold and silver drew Spanish explorers into Florida and north of the Rio Grande.