Victors and Vanquished - Essay Example

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Name of the of the Concerned Professor History and Political Science 13 October 2011 Victors and Vanquished It was at some time in 1519 that the Spanish invaders entered Mexico, a great Mexica metropolis built on a lake island by the Mexicans…
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Victors and Vanquished Essay
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Download file to see previous pages It goes without saying that it was primarily through the accounts furnished by the Spanish chronicles and other texts of historical importance that the Historians have predominantly tried to judge the invasion of an acclaimed and great civilization in the pre-Columbian America. There is no denying the fact these historical accounts ensuing from the Spanish adventurers, churchmen and booty hunters were somewhat biased in their approach towards the Mexican history (Henderson 45). These historical accounts present only the Spanish side of the story, without caring much about the Mayan perspective regarding the Spanish invaders (Henderson 45). Many a times the historians never cared to bother that perhaps the conquered Mexicans may have set their own versions of the Spanish invasion of America. So a great part of the Mayan side of the story is known through the works compiled by Mexicans in their native language, which managed to survive the ravages of the Spanish Invasion. Though it is a fact that both the Spanish and Mexican accounts tell the same story, yet, these two sets of historical text tend to differ immensely in what they decide to convey and how they try to convey it. Though the modern historians of the European origins tend to outline varied cultural, moral and religious motivations that supported the Spanish invasion of the Native American civilizations, still even a cursory perusal of the Spanish invaders brings to fore the fact that the Spanish invasion was predominantly ruled and guided by economic and pecuniary motives (Patch 22). Many accounts of the Spanish encounters with the Mayan diplomatic missions strongly unravel the fact that the Spaniards tried to evaluate the gifts extended by the Mayans in a profit to loss context, without delving specifically on the artistic and cultural relevance of those gifts. The Spanish accounts of the history of the invasion amply testify to the fact that the Spaniards were there in America to seek what they liked the most that are the immense wealth and gold they had heard about, before planning these invasions (Patch 22). In contrast, there are ample Mayan accounts that talk about these diplomatic missions and the gifts they exchanged with the Spaniards. In the Mayan accounts one comes across elaborate details pertaining to these gifts, which are certainly not second to an explanation of a work of art furnished by a modern critic. As per the Spanish chronicles and accounts, the Spaniards in their accounts pertaining to their early interactions with Mayans do reveal that the Spaniards were trying hard to figure out the military and tactical strength of the Mayans. At the same time they left no effort unattended in trying to intimidate the Mayans by a show of their military tactics, weaponry and canons. In contrast, the way the Mexica tell their story, it becomes quite evident that the initial Mexica approach towards the Spaniards was reconciliatory and placatory. While the Spanish were convinced right from the start that they were there in America to subjugate a civilization, Mayans, to a great extent guided by their religious beliefs, do believed that they will be able to forge amicable relations with the invaders, irrespective of the fact that the Mayans were weary of the Spanish invaders and kept a close watch on their movements and maneuvers. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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