Hernán Cortes - Page 5




 
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April 29th, 2005  
Zucchini
 
The slaves brought into Mexico at the time of Cortez were servants for people like Cortez, and there were very few of them.

In Mexico, blacks were brought in as slaves after tremendous pressure stopped much of the use of indigenous peoples as slaves.
April 29th, 2005  
Corocotta
 
 
Yes, he was lucky. But he was also a really good militar, remember that he used 450 soldiers to conqueor an empire. In many battles he had to fight against more that 30.000 thousand indians, i guess that he had to be a good strategic. He also knew how to control an army where he had a lot of opossition,some of his soldiers were followers of a rival captain. He was a good diplomat as well.
April 30th, 2005  
DTop
 
 
Just some facts on Cortez in Mexico for clarification:

On Feb. 19, 1519, Cortés, with a force of some 600 men, fewer than 20 horses, and 10 field pieces, set sail from Cuba, despite the cancellation of his commission by Velázquez, who had become suspicious that Cortés, once in a position to establish himself independently, would refuse to recognize his authority. Cortés sailed along the coast of Yucatán and in March 1519 landed in Mexico, subjugating the town of Tabasco; the artillery of the Spaniards, the ships, and particularly the horses filled the natives with awe. From the natives of Tabasco Cortés learned of the Aztec Empire and its ruler, Montezuma II.

Cortés took numerous captives, one of whom, Malinche (c. 1505–50; baptized Marina), became his mistress; out of loyalty to him she acted as the interpreter, guide, and counselor for the Spaniards. Finding a better harbor a little north of San Juan, the Spaniards moved there and established a town, La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (now Veracruz). Cortés organized an independent government, and renouncing the authority of Velázquez, acknowledged only the supreme authority of the Spanish crown. In order to prevent those of his small force who opposed this movement from deserting him and carrying the news to Cuba, Cortés destroyed his fleet.

After negotiations with Montezuma, who tried to persuade Cortés not to enter the capital city of Tenochtitlán, Cortés started his famous march inland. He overcame the native Tlascalans and then formed an alliance with them against the Aztecs, their enemies. From that time until the conquest was achieved, the Tlascalans continued to be the most important of all the native allies of the Spaniards.

Montezuma pursued an irresolute policy during Cortés’s march, and finally determined not to oppose the Spanish invaders but to await their arrival at the Aztec capital and to learn more about their purposes. On Nov. 8, 1519, Cortés and his small force, with some 600 native allies, entered the city and established headquarters in one of its large communal dwellings. Because of an Aztec prophesy about the return of Quetzalcoatl, a legendary god-king who was light-skinned and bearded, Cortés was believed to be a god and was received with honor. The Spanish soldiers were allowed to roam through the city at their pleasure and found much gold and other treasures in the storehouses. Despite the amicable reception given the Spaniards, Cortés had reason to believe that attempts would be made to drive him out. To safeguard his position, he seized Montezuma as hostage and forced him to swear allegiance to Charles I, king of Spain, and to provide a ransom of an enormous sum in gold and jewels. Meanwhile Velázquez dispatched an expedition under the Spanish soldier Panfilo de Narváez to Mexico. In April 1520, Cortés received word that Narváez had arrived on the coast. Leaving 200 men at Tenochtitlán under the command of Pedro de Alvarado, an explorer who had also been with Grijalva, Cortés marched with a small force to the coast, entered the Spanish camp at night, captured Narváez, and induced the majority of the Spaniards to join his force.

Meanwhile harsh rule by Alvarado had aroused the Aztecs in the capital. An Aztec revolt against the Spaniards and their own imprisoned ruler, Montezuma, was under way when Cortés returned to the city. He was allowed to enter with his followers and to join Alvarado, but thereupon was immediately surrounded and attacked. At Cortés’s request Montezuma addressed the Aztecs in an attempt to quell the revolt. The Aztec ruler was stoned, and he died three days later. The Spanish and their allies were driven out of the city by a group of Aztecs led by Montezuma’s nephew Cuauhtémoc on a dark, rainy night, the famous la noche triste (“sad night”), June 30, 1520. The Aztecs pursued the retreating Spanish troops and at Otumba, on July 7, 1520, after defeating a very large force of Aztecs, Cortés finally reached Tlaxcala. There, during the summer, he reorganized his army with the aid of some reinforcements and equipment from Vera Cruz. Cortés then began his return to the capital, capturing outlying Aztec outposts on the way. On Aug. 13, 1521, after a desperate siege of three months, Cuauhtémoc, the new emperor, was captured, and Tenochtitlán fell.

Cortés had Tenochtitlán razed and built Mexico City on its ruins. Colonists were brought over from Spain, and the city became the principal European outpost in America. The consolidation of Mexico by Cortés was not accomplished without great cruelty to the Indians. The popularity that Cortés achieved in Spain because of his conquests and the riches he had sent resulted in his being named governor and captain general of New Spain in 1523. Cortés then undertook an expedition to Honduras from 1524 to 1526. Meanwhile, fearing his ambition, the Spanish court had sent officials to Mexico to investigate his acts. In 1528 Cortés was ordered to relinquish the government of Mexico and return to Spain. There he appealed to the king, was created marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca in the New World, and was reappointed captain general. He was not restored, however, to the civil governorship of Mexico. He married the daughter of the count of Aguilar and in 1530 returned to Mexico. There he found himself constantly checked in his activity, his property kept from him, his rights interfered with, and his popularity waning.

In 1536 Cortés discovered the peninsula of Baja California in northwest Mexico, and explored the Pacific coast of Mexico. In 1539 the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado secured the right to seek the Seven Cities of Cíbola, and in disgust Cortés went back to Spain to complain. Again he was received with honor but could secure no assistance in recovering his rights or his property. He was a volunteer in 1541 in the unsuccessful Spanish expedition against Algiers, lost a large part of his remaining fortune, and was shipwrecked. Neglected by the court, he retired to a small estate near Seville, where he lived until his death.

http://www.historychannel.com/perl/p...k.pl?ID=206569

See, Cortez didn't merely stroll on shore in Mexico and conquer the whole place overnight. There were many factors contributing to his success.

The Mexicans still feel a great deal of resentment over what happened. In fact, when I was last in Mexico visiting the Mayan ruins http://www.locogringo.com/past_spotlights/aug2002.html , there was a clear (to me) resentment of the entire Spanish conquest and espescially toward Cortez. That's just the way they feel, even to this day.
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April 30th, 2005  
Corocotta
 
 
Quote:
In order to prevent those of his small force who opposed this movement from deserting him and carrying the news to Cuba, Cortés destroyed his fleet.
For sure that was one of his reasons, but Cortés was very "maquiavelic", he usually let his soldiers made the decisions that he had already decided. I think that destroying the boats was a way of saying that the trip was a no way back conqueor.

Quote:
The Mexicans still feel a great deal of resentment over what happened. In fact, when I was last in Mexico visiting the Mayan ruins http://www.locogringo.com/past_spotlights/aug2002.html , there was a clear (to me) resentment of the entire Spanish conquest and espescially toward Cortez. That's just the way they feel, even to this day.
Yes, i have never been there, but some spanish people told me the same,
April 30th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Quote:
On Feb. 19, 1519, Cortés, with a force of some 600 men, fewer than 20 horses, and 10 field pieces, set sail from Cuba, despite the cancellation of his commission by Velázquez, who had become suspicious that Cortés, once in a position to establish himself independently, would refuse to recognize his authority.
Quote:
Cortés organized an independent government, and renouncing the authority of Velázquez, acknowledged only the supreme authority of the Spanish crown. In order to prevent those of his small force who opposed this movement from deserting him and carrying the news to Cuba, Cortés destroyed his fleet.
Quote:
Meanwhile Velázquez dispatched an expedition under the Spanish soldier Panfilo de Narváez to Mexico. In April 1520, Cortés received word that Narváez had arrived on the coast. Leaving 200 men at Tenochtitlán under the command of Pedro de Alvarado, an explorer who had also been with Grijalva, Cortés marched with a small force to the coast, entered the Spanish camp at night, captured Narváez, and induced the majority of the Spaniards to join his force.
Sounds like a traitorous megalomaniacal despot to me. He followed nobody's orders but his own.
May 1st, 2005  
Corocotta
 
 
Quote:
Sounds like a traitorous megalomaniacal despot to me. He followed nobody's orders but his own.
He followed the orders of the spanish emperator Carlos V. There are tons of letters btw the emperator and him. He was not a traitor
He began the conquer his own because all the others that tried it before srew up. That was the way things worked there. You have to think that they were thousand of Km from the metropoli, with almost no comunications. Despot? You have to read something about him. The decisions taken in his army were very democratic.
Megalomaniacal? May be, he had a great and ambicious proyect for the spanish empire in America. he knew want he want and he did it.
May 1st, 2005  
Zucchini
 
I guess maybe one nation's megalomaniacs are another nation's best and the brightest.
May 1st, 2005  
Corocotta
 
 
Yes, this is a very subjetive issue. But you can call Cortés everything except traitor. Anyone who have readen something about him will knew that.
May 1st, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
So willfully disobeying your superior officer's lawful commands isn't traitorous?
May 1st, 2005  
Corocotta
 
 
Charge, I will give some antecedents concerning Mexico´s conqueor:

- In 1511, Cortés and Diego de Velazquez participated toguether in Cuba´s conqueor. Velazquez became Cuba´s governor.Cortés lived in Baracoa and worked as a scribe, winning a lot of money. he got married with Catalina Juárez. Then the problems began with Velazquez, probably due to jelousy. Velazquez sent Cortés to prision.

- Once they reconciliated, Cortés was appointed Mayor of Santiago de Baracoa by Velazquez. In 1518 Cortés knew about the adventures and discoveries of Hernández de Córdoba and Juan de Grijalba.

- Velazquez ordered Cortés to go to Yucatán to see what was going on with Grijalba. Cortes inverted all his fortune and the fortune of some friends in the preparations for the expedition. Velazquez began to distrust Cortés because he was getting powerful, but he did not snatch him the power until it was to late, he already left. You can say he was a traitor, I prefer to say that he disobey the orders of a boss that was only worried about his personal interests.

- In 1521 Velazquez was removed due to plots that were taking place in Velazquez´s administration and also due to his enmity with the bishop Fonseca, then came the new governor, Cristóbal de Tapia.

- Cortés did not accept his autority. He send a boat to the spanish Emperator, Carlos V. He explained the situation....and he also sent a fabolous tresoure. In 1522 he was apointed new Governor of Cuba and General Captain of all the armies in Nueva España ( New Spain)


As you can see things were a bit more complicated( they are ven more, a made a quick resume). We can´t see the spanish administration in Cuba at that time as a solid state with a solid army, and with a solid hierachy. Each of the adventurous had their army. There were many plots,cospiracy, personal interests involved....