hum aztecs - 1 Humanities 1224 TR 9:30am 3 Why did the...

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October 15, 2006 Humanities 1224 TR 9:30am 3. Why did the Aztecs think they were unable to defeat the Spaniards? Was it something cultural, technological, spiritual, or something else? In formulating your answer be sure to use concrete examples drawn from the reading. What causes an entire civilization to lose the will to fight for their way of life? Belief if the answer to this question. Belief is what can hold a group together when they are standing on their last leg. However, if someone or something destroys this belief, than that cause and those people are completely vulnerable. This is exactly what happened to the Aztecs before and during the destruction of their empire by the Spaniards. The Aztecs did not believe that they would be able to defeat the Spaniards because of their spiritual beliefs, a lack of leadership within the civilization, and an immense inferiority in weaponry. Perhaps the most prominent reason that the Aztecs were under the impression that resistance to the Spanish invasion was futile was due to their spiritual beliefs. The omens described by Sahagun’s informants were all interpreted by the Aztecs as prophecies of the future. They felt as if these omens were messages from the gods that predicted a terrible event occurring which would ultimately lead to the demise of their way of life. This is best represented when Muñoz Camargo explains, “To the natives, these marvels [omens] augured their death and ruin, signifying that the end of the world was coming and that other people would be created to inhabit the earth” (Leon-Portilla 11). The 1
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Aztecs were so consumed and overwhelmed by these beliefs that they were unable to fight against the Spaniards when they did arrive. Well after the first set of omens appeared, one final omen was seen by the Aztecs. The reaction of the Aztecs is described in greater detail within the text where it says, “No one cried out when this omen came into view: the people knew what it meant and they watched it in silence” (Leon-Portilla 116). Clearly, the Aztecs had given up their will to fight against the Spaniards after they see this omen. This undoubtedly proves that the spirituality of the Aztecs played a key role in their belief that they could not defeat the Spaniards.
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course HUM 1224 taught by Professor Dwmurphree during the Fall '06 term at Virginia Tech.

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hum aztecs - 1 Humanities 1224 TR 9:30am 3 Why did the...

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