The Aquilar and Sahagun Culture - Essay Example

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Historically, the Meso-American civilization is regarded as a refined cultural setting that existed in the ancient world offering…
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The Aquilar and Sahagun Culture
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Insert The Aquila and Sahagun Culture Introduction The Aztec empire of Mexico continues to offer fascinating history and culture regarding the Mexican culture and the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Historically, the Meso-American civilization is regarded as a refined cultural setting that existed in the ancient world offering useful insights into the cultural civilizations and the history of the ancient world.
The Spanish invasion of the Aztec is one of the most important historical events describing the Spanish colonial regime of the Americans. Even with the final takeover by the Spanish, historical views have long presented differing views on the account of events and aftermath arising from the invasion. The account of the Spanish conquest and contradictory opinions on the role of small pox and virgin soil displays how personal interests, ethnic biases and political thoughts can largely influence the outcome and historical understanding of historical events.
The Spanish account of the Mexican conquest is intertwined in propagating Spanish prowess and strategies leading to their victory. In many Spanish memoirs, the concentration is settled on how the Spanish employed tactical strategies with extraordinary technology to conquer the Aztec empire. More often than not, Spanish conquer of the Aztec is largely premised on the introduction of smallpox in Mexico in what is commonly referred to as “Black slave”, with the subject appearing in most of the Spanish chronicles and historical memoirs as having spread from Tepeaca, towards Tlaxcala and finally to Tenochtitlan. (Schwartz, 2000)
Arising from the devastating effects of smallpox, Mexican populations died and reduced considerably, neighboring towns of Mexico were enveloped and, ruling elites ravaged while their diplomatic and military cadres abated.
Moreover, Schwartz (2000) has also supported that the Spanish view holds that while the Spanish mainly used the Mexicans as slaves and laborers, they were made to believe that the Spanish were gods, who would then take advantage of the opportunity to conquer the Mexicans. Nevertheless, there is progressive emphasis on the deadly firearms, snort, and armored horses used by the Spanish as having aided their victory in the war.
On the other hand, alternative opinions on the events that led to the victory present a different approach to the Aztec defeat. The work of Franciscan Friar Bernardino de Sahagun for instance, holds out conspicuously representing a natives view on the accounts of the events. The Sahagun hypothesis posits an excessive and deliberate Spanish cruelty commonly called “Black legend”. The account continuously associates the Spanish horrific acts, and making its victims helpless because of their greed, aggression and brutality during the conquest. Further, strong suggestions point out the influence of “soil epidemics” in reducing populations who had never been exposed to such catastrophes in escalating Spanish quest for power, high labor requirements and intolerance to indigenous ways. (Schwartz, 2000)
To this far, it can be asserted that a presentation of different opinions propagates cultural superiority and dominance in the events leading to the Aztec defeat, further exposing how personal interests, ethnic biases and political thoughts justify the events. Nevertheless, both the Spanish and Nahauti accounts lead to a single conclusion: the role of smallpox in aiding Spanish victory over the Mexicans, perhaps one of the worst crises in Mexico around 1522. Further, the role of the disease in Spanish victory cannot be treated in isolation without considering inhuman treatments that were associated with Spanish colonization.
Schwartz, S. B. (2000). Victors and Vanquished: Spanish and Nahua Views of the Conquest of Mexico (illustrated ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Read More
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