- Published: December 31, 2021
- Updated: December 31, 2021
- University / College: University of Washington
- Level: Doctor of Philosophy
- Language: English
- Downloads: 35
Ancient Mexico and the Spanish Affiliation: Evaluate the differences in Aztec andSpanish technology and political control.
Aztec was a native and naïve empire compared to Spain. They still used stone-age technology to conduct their businesses and protect themselves from attacks from other empires. The Spanish on the other hand had modern technology which was mighty and not in any way comparable to that of the Aztec. The Aztec for example used canoes and human transportation while the Spanish had mighty ships, horses and even dogs for transport. The Aztec used swords to fight and the Spanish came with guns and cannons (Castillo, 2004).
Politically, the Aztec empire was ruled by leaders who had inherited their leadership from their parents and hence the rulers were not necessarily qualified to rule. On the other hand, the political control and power of the Spanish even before they came to conquer new world in the 1500s was invested in military personnel who were qualified in terms of leadership skills and prowess to fight. This is thus the reason it was not so hard for the Aztec rulers to welcome the Spanish due to their lack of leadership skills and wisdom.
Specifically, what led to the Aztec defeat by a few Spanish in a very short period of time?
According to history, there are three major reasons that led to the defeat of the Aztec by the Spanish in not only a short span of time but also by a very small number of Spanish people. These reasons include but are not limited to: technology, disease and religion (Pohl, 2005). As discussed earlier, the technology of the Aztec and that of the Spanish was incompatible. The technology used by the Aztec was naïve, ancient and could not stand a chance with the modern technology of the Spanish. This is especially so with fighting technological gear. The Spanish therefore easily used their horses, guns, cannons and qualified military to fight the unqualified, sword-fighting Aztec soldiers.
The Aztec people were religious individuals who related everything in their life with religion including sickness, death and success. As a result of their many gods, they thought the Spanish were one of their gods and hence welcomed them in their empire and exposed them to their lifestyle and once the Spanish had learnt enough about the Aztec people, they easily conquered them without using much military force or personnel.
The Spanish brought with them diseases like measles when they came in 1519 to Aztec. Since the Aztec people had no developed technology in medicine and relied on herbal doctors who had no idea what measles what or even how to cure it, many Aztecs died of the disease and the remaining were too weak to fight the conquers hence it was easy for the Spanish to defeat them.
Discuss whether the defeat of the Aztecs was inevitable, given the differences between the Aztecs and the Spanish. Explain your reasoning.
The defeat was inevitable. The Spanish first used the religious belief of the Aztec to trust the enemies (Spanish), they then exposed them to their culture while treating them like gods and hence let them know how weak their technology was and what other weaknesses they had. The disease the Spanish brought and knowing the lack of medical expertise in the empire was another inevitability of their defeat. The final blow however came when other ancient empires joined hands with the Spanish to help defeat the Aztec empire and this eventually brought the down fall of this once powerful and successful empire (Hassing, 2006).
Castillo, B. (2004). The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico 1517-1521. New Jersey: Routledge.
Hassing, R. (2006). Mexico and the Spanish Conquest. Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.
Pohl, J. (2005). Aztecs and Conquistadores: The Spanish Invasion and the Collapse of the Aztec Empire. New York: Osprey Publishing.