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Introduction to Latin American History_McLarnon_Date_030210

Introduction to Latin American History_McLarnon_Date_030210...

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Cortez & Pizarro - Hernando Cortes - Spanish Conquistador; frontier mentality - Myth that he was looking for the fountain of youth, really looking for gold - One of two explorers who finds vast amounts of gold - Born to a Hidalgo family, he went to Salamanca to pursue a law career but opted instead to go into the military - Chosen by Governor Diego Velázquez to lead an trading expedition to Mexico but at the last minute Diego changed his mind and called off the expedition; Cortes ignored the command and sailed to Mexico with a force of 600 men - Arrived in Mexico in 1519, the same year the Aztec prophecies said Quetzalcoatl would return (hence why the Aztecs believe him to be their returning revengeful god) - Extramadura - Spanish province - Home to conquistadors such as Pizarro, Cortes and Alvarado - Governor Diego Velázquez of Cuba - Vera Cruz - Cortes, believing that conquest and settlement would better serve the crown than trading, established a settlement here called Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (The rich village of Vera Cruz) - He appointed its first officials and gave them the authority Velázquez had bestowed upon him - In turn they gave him the title of Captain General with the authority to conquer and colonize the new lands - Basically, though Cortes was ordered to trade with new lands and not to conquer them he found a shady legal loophole. Important because this is how he goes to conquer the Aztec lands. - Moctezuma - Showered Cortes with gifts of gold and precious artifacts in the hope that he, mistakenly believed to be the returned god Quetzalcoatl, would not march on Tenochtitlán and reclaim his throne - Tenochtitlán - Cortes begins his march on the capital city first by fighting the Tlaxcalans (enemies of the Aztecs) and gaining their allegiance. - They then slaughtered the Cholulan village (under the pretense that he had heard rumors that they were going to attack him) after assembling them in a courtyard. (This spread mass fear and chaos through the Aztec capital).
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