I will also describe their fear that one day a powerful god named Quetzalcoatl would return and take control. These omens and this story will play an important role in the collision between the Mexica and the Spanish. This lecture will survey the religious system of the Mexica, which revolved around human sacrifice. The human sacrificial system was especially repulsive to the Spanish, when they came to Tenochtitlan.
This lecture will present the background to the whole Spanish presence in the New World, beginning with Christopher Columbus. The early expeditions to the Mayan Yucatan will be covered, and how they pointed the Spanish to the Mexica. In this lecture, I will describe how Hernando Cortes came to the New World, and how he was chosen to lead the expedition to find the wealthy Mexica kingdom.
Already, we will see that Cortes is an extremely intelligent and shrewd man. This lecture will describe the main weapons used by both the Spanish and the Mexica at this time. The Spanish weapons will be extremely advanced compared to what the peoples of Mexico used. The use of gunpowder and horses were especially frightening to the peoples of the New World. Through this lecture we will see how the Spanish fared among the peoples on the Yucatan. The Spanish had to fight the Tabascans, but were able to make peace with the Totonacs.
One of the servant women given to Cortes was Malinche, who would be vital to the Spanish cause because of her ability to speak the language of the Mexica. In this lecture, I will describe the beginning of many delegations sent by Montezuma to Cortes. All of these delegations brought rich gifts, but also demanded that the Spanish do not approach the capital city.
This lecture will describe the confusion by Montezuma concerning these strange visitors to his kingdom.
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He does not know if they are gods or humans. Either way, their arrival in the city would probably be a disaster for Montezuma. More gifts come to Cortes, with the ultimatum given to take the gifts and leave. This lecture will describe how Cortes was able to convince his army to continue the quest for Tenochtitlan, despite Montezuma ordering them not to approach the city.
Cortes was able to officially ally with the Totonac people, and place the new township of Villa Rica. This town will be his home base of operations. In this lecture, Cortes makes very shrewd decisions that communicate to Montezuma that the Spanish are friendly, and only want to visit.
Montezuma responds by sending more gifts. There is an interesting political game between Montezuma and Cortes. In this lecture, Cortes receives important news from Cuba, which prompts him to begin sending letters to the King. With the first letter, he sends all of his accumulated treasure, to the chagrin of his army. However, the ship stops in Cuba, against Cortes' orders, so the governor Velasquez is informed of Cortes' actions against him.
There will be trouble ahead from Velasquez.
In this lecture, we will see that some of the Conquistadors loyal to the governor of Cuba attempted to steal one of Cortes' ships, and seize the treasure ship bound for Spain for governor Velasquez instead. Cortes finds out about the mutiny, punishes the men, and scuttles all of his ships.
The Conquistadors have no choice but to proceed on with their mission.
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In this lecture, the Spanish are attacked by the Tlaxcalans in a several day battle. Finally, Cortes is able to convince the chief that they have a common enemy in Montezuma, and the Tlaxcalan warriors become an important part of Cortes' military force. In this short lecture, Cortes must travel through Cholula, but Montezuma has ordered the Spanish ambushed there.
Cortes finds out about the ambush through Malinche, and Cortes attacks first, along with his allies. The massacre at Cholula frightens Montezuma even more, as Cortes gets closer to the capital city. As Cortes nears the capital city, Montezuma sends a double out to meet him, hoping the Spanish will leave after the meeting. But the allies with Cortes inform Cortes of the ruse. Cortes finally meets Montezuma, and Montezuma lodges all of the Spanish and his allies within Tenochtitlan.
Both parties are afraid for their future. The Spanish realize that they are in grave danger, and arrest Montezuma after hearing he has ordered some Spanish killed at Villa Rica. With Montezuma as hostage, they hope to preserve their lives. In this lecture, I will describe the tenuous situation with Montezuma under house arrest. The Mexica were growing suspicious of their leader. Bernal Diaz provides very interesting details concerning Montezuma's frame of mind during this time, and the Spanish attitude toward the king.
Cortes hears the alarming news that more Spanish Conquistadors have arrived, and correctly guesses they have been sent by governor Velasquez of Cuba to arrest Cortes and and take control of the expedition. Montezuma is also working with the new Conquistadors, who are under the leadership of Panfilo de Narvaez. Montezuma eventually urges Cortes to join his fellow Conquistadors, and take their ships home.
Instead, Cortes splits his forces and prepares to attack Narvaez. In this lecture, I will describe how both Cortes and Narvaez were able to learn important intelligence information against each other.
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Cortes attacks Narvaez at night while it is raining, and defeats his forces. Narvaez is jailed, and Cortes persuades the Conquistadors under Narvaez to re-enlist in Cortes' army, and share in the riches of Tenochtitlan. In this lecture, we will see how Pedro Alvarado, left in command at Tenochtitlan, attacked many Mexica at a festival, believing that an attack was planned upon the Spanish immediately after the festival. This caused a huge riot in the city. Cortes, along with his new army returns to Tenochtitlan as the Mexica plan to attack the Spanish soon.
This lecture will describe how Cortes asked Montezuma to try and calm the raging crowds outside the Spanish lodgings. When Montezuma is revealed, the Mexica mortally wounded him, as their faith in him was gone. With Montezuma their hostage dead, the Spanish knew they did not have long before a full attack upon them. In this lecture, I will describe how Cortes and his men attempted to escape the city around midnight, but the alarm was sounded, and a fierce battle ensued on the narrow causeways leading out of the city. Cortes loses about half of his army, and most of those who survive are wounded, including Cortes himself.
This lecture will describe how Cortes and his army were attacked as they attempted to travel back to Tlaxcala to recover. Soon the Spanish encountered a large force of Mexica with some of their allies in the Battle of Otumba. Despite the condition of the Spanish army, the Spanish win this battle and return safely to Tlaxcala to recover from their many wounds. In this lecture, I will describe how the Spanish recovered in Tlaxcala, while smallpox broke out in the capital city, brought there by one of Narvaez' men.
Harsh treatment of the tribute cities helped drive some of these cities into an alliance with Cortes. Cortes builds pre-fab ships to bring to the outskirts of the capital city. This lecture will explain how Cortes was able with his allies to successfully besiege and conquer the capital city of Tenochtitlan.
With the help of these ships, the Spanish were able to cut off food and water from those in the city, and there were many battles. Finally, the people of Tenochtitlan surrender to Cortes. This lecture describes how the Spanish took over the region and rebuilt the capital city.
Hernán Cortés - Biography, Facts & Accomplishments - HISTORY
However, a huge treasure shipment back to the king of Spain was intercepted by French pirates. In the aftermath of the fall of Tenochtitlan, there were other epidemics of disease, and the demography began to change as the Spanish intermarried with the local women. There were also many cultural contributions of the Mexica to the Spanish and European cultures. This final lecture will cover the history and legacy of the capital city of Tenochtitlan, focusing upon current archaeology there.
The Aztec Empire had fallen. He sent more expeditions out into new areas, including what is present-day Honduras. He died in Spain in But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.
Hernan Cortes and His Tlaxcalan Allies
In , while leading an expedition in search of gold, he sighted The story of North American exploration spans an entire millennium andinvolves a wide array of European powers and uniquely American characters. The 16th-century Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto c. Francisco Pizarro was an explorer, soldier and conquistador best known for conquering the Incas and executing their leader, Atahuapla. He was born around in Trujillo, Spain.
Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian-born merchant and explorer who took part in early voyages to the New World on behalf of Spain around the late 15th century. By that time, the Vikings had established settlements in present-day North America as early as 1, A.