La Noche Triste (the night of sorrows) - Term Paper Example

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The Different Perspectives on La Noche Triste On the 30th of June, 1520, Hernan Cortes and his Spanish troops tried to the break through a siege set up by natives of what is now known as Mexico. There are accounts that the said natives who controlled a territory called Tenochtitlan were Aztecs…
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La Noche Triste (the night of sorrows)
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Download file to see previous pages Due to the fact that the Cortes letters to Charles V were the only written sources of information available then, the conquistador’s words were mostly credited as the truth. The description that the Spanish army was just victims of treachery committed by the Aztecs and that it fought bravely and wisely under the able leadership of Cortes were concepts that were widely considered as accurate. However, as an increasing number of historians came to explore further the details of La Noche Triste, it was soon found out that the letters sent by Cortes to the king of Spain may not be the most accurate source of information regarding the events that took place prior to it. One observation is that made by Jonathan Loesberg, who points out that that Cortes actually used a style of writing that puts him in position to influence instead of just obeying the king. In the letter Segunda Relacion, he used a style in which the king would develop support and sympathy for Cortes and his troops. This would naturally serve Cortes’s self-interests later. ...
According to Inga Clendinnen in his book Aztecs: An Interpretation, “the traditional tale being too much in accord with European preferences to be easily surrendered, and the story the victors told continues to for truth.”2 To base the an analysis of an important historical event on the narratives of one man who happens to have a vested interest related to it would certainly produce inaccuracies that may be upheld as truths in the end. This is the reason why, in order to objectively appreciate such event, it is necessary to seek information from other sources as well. Cortes’s accounts are the bases of the theory that Spain intention of exploring the New World and colonizing it is to the introduce Christianity to pagan natives. Under such pretext, all actions Spaniards in the Caribbean as well as in the mainland of what is now known as Latin America were made with missionary work as the excuse. However, as mentioned earlier, Cortes has his own selfish intentions of gaining political power by getting the favor of the king as well as discovering gold for the crown and for himself. These alone are already powerful motivations that drove Cortes to lead his outnumbered but well-equipped army into the Mexican interior. Prior to this, Cortes had heard about the existence of a relatively advanced civilization among the natives. The city-state of Tenochtitlan was the seat of Aztec power in Mexico and its capture could mean the unquestionable dominance of Cortes’s army. The expedition towards Tenochtitlan proved to be productive for the small Spanish army. They met native tribes who happen to be enemies of the Aztecs, such as the Tlaxcaltecas and the people of Tliliuquitepec. Cortes treated these natives as friends although this was all according ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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