The Conquest of Mexico During the year Ce Acatl ( One Reed

IN the Americas
In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue
Inception of the Scientific Method
• Hypothesis: It is possible to reach the Orient
by sailing West
• Experimentation: Voyages of Discovery
• Analysis: There are two large land masses
blocking access to the East
• Conclusion: Two new continents – North
and South America
• The Age of Exploration
presented enormous
challenges and dilemmas to
the world view of European
• Even Columbus wavered
between this fervent hope
that he had discovered the
Garden of Eden and his
desire to exploit the riches
and peoples of the New
Engraving by Theodore DeBry
Hispanic Exploration and Conquest
1492 – 1542
Spain and Portugal
• In one generation Hispanics explored and colonized
over half the earth & waters
• During the period of exploration, in one generation,
approximately 300,000 Spaniards had emigrated to the
New World
• They established over 200 cities and towns throughout
the Americas.
• In one generation Hispanics acquired more new
territory than Rome conquered in five centuries .
Spanish and Portugese Colonial Empires c. 16th c.
Major Hispanic
Explorations and Conquests
• 1492- 1504: Columbus’s 4 voyages to New World
• 1500: Pedro Cabral (Portugese) discovered Brazil
• 1501-02: Amerigo Vespucci (Italian) after accompanying
Spanish conquistadors decided that what they had discovered
was not Asia, but new continents
• 1508-21: Juan Ponce de Leon explored Cuba, Jamaican and
Florida –Cuban conquest: 1508
• 1513: Vasco de Nuñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of
Panama and named the Pacific ocean
Detailed chronology of Spanish explorations and conquests
Major Hispanic
Explorations and Conquests
• 1519- 22: Ferdinand Magellan's crew & ship, completed
voyage of circumnavigation.
• 1519-21: Hernando Cortez’s conquest of the Aztecs in
• 1531: Francisco Pizarro’s conquest of the Incas in Peru
• 1540: Vasquéz de Coronado explores California, Kansas,
Arizona, New México, Texas, Oklahoma.
• 1539-42: Hernando de Soto explores SE United States and
discovers Mississippi River
Detailed chronology of Spanish explorations and conquests
Spanish Conquistadors in Florida
Ponce de León’s Explorations: 1513-1521
Panfilo de Narvaez’s Explorations: 1527-28
Hernando de Soto’s Explorations across southern North
America: 1538-1542; discovered Mississippi River
Fray Luis Cancer’s failed missionary attempt: 1549
Tristan de Luna created garrison at Pensacola: 1559-1561
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés built a fort at St. Augustine and
defeated the French at Fort Caroline: 1565
Ponce de León
Ponce de León, who had accompanied Columbus on his second voyage
and had colonized Puerto Rico, lost the Governership of that island to
Columbus's son. In recompense, the king granted him rights to Bimini,
legendary site of the fabled Fountain of Youth. In his Elegias de
varonesillustres de Indias (1589), Juan de Castellanos, a veteran of numerous
Spanish expeditions in the Caribbean and northern South America,
describes the quest:
I return, then, to Juan Ponce
strong in the gifts of Juno and Belona,
in quest of greater undertakings
and service to the royal crown.
He never wished to live in ease,
although his station permitted it;
and being free of his office,
he wished to seek out this tale.
Castellanos relates the tale of the miraculous waters at some
length and with some humor although he scoffs at the search for
"such foolish nonsense." Indeed Ponce de León never found
the Fountain of Youth, but he did bump into the Florida
To the north, then, they turned their course,
accompanied by great difficulties,
far indeed from the famed fountain
and the prosperous dwellers in its land:
but he discovered the peninsula which he named Florida
because he sighted it on Easter Sunday.
Having made this discovery, he returned
and asked to be made its adelanto.
It was on Easter Sunday (Pascua florida in Spanish),
1513, that Ponce de León not only named the
peninsula, but by doing so, claimed it and incorporated
it into the body of European knowledge..
The Gulf Stream
• An important discovery, unrecognized by Ponce de León, was the
existence of a river in the ocean: the Gulf Stream.
• The pilot, Anton de Alaminos, understood the importance of the
• By riding the current, the ships could be carried to a point where the
winds would carry them back to Spain.
• This became the route of the later treasure ships.
Thomas Moran, Ponce de Leon in Florida -- 19th c
De León's Return: Aborted Settlement
The King of Spain knighted Ponce de León and
made him governor of Florida.
Ponce de León left Santa Domingo in 1521 with
two ships carrying two hundred colonists and
domestic animals. They landed near Charlotte
The Calusa attacked, and Ponce de León was
wounded. The colonists got into their ships and
Ponce de León reached Cuba where he died of
his wounds.
The indigenous peoples of Florida resisted and held off
European settlements for the next fifty years despite
numerous attempts by Spanish conquistadors.
The Conquest of Mexico
During the year Ce Acatl ( One Reed)
Aztec Empire
 Aztecs came into the Valley of Mexico during the
12th and 13th century and rose to be the greatest
power in the Americas by the time the Spaniards
arrived in the 16th century.
 According to myth, Huitzilopochtli told Tenoch to
lead his people to a place of refuge on a swampy
island in Lake Texcoco. When they reached their
destination, they were to look for an eagle perched on
a cactus.
 At that location, they were to build their city and
honor Huitzilopochtli with human sacrifices. The city
they built was called Tenochtitlán, the city of
Aztec Foundation Myth
• April 21, 1519 (Good Friday),
Cortés landed on an island off
eastern Gulf Coast with 11 galleons,
550 soldiers and sailors, and 16
Staked claim for God and King and
founded a settlement Villa Rica de la
Vera Cruz
Sailed to Cozumel and rescued de
Aguilar from the Mayas – valuable
Mayan interpreter
Took Malintzin/Marina as Nahuatl
interpreter and mistress
Burnt the remainder of his fleet and
proceeded on to Tenochtitlán,
making allies of tribes hostile to the
La Malinche
c. 1505- c.1529
Malinalli (Malintzin) was born to a noble family, but sold to a
Tabascan chief by her mother to ensure her half-brother’s inheritance
• Brought from her native Nahuatl-speaking home of Veracruz to the
Yucatan, she learned the Maya language
La Malinche
• Given to the
Spaniards by the
Maya, she was
baptized as Marina
in 1519.
• She began to work
for the Spanish as
an interpreter
between the
Nahuatl and Maya
and quickly learned
La Malinche
• She became Cortés’s
interpreter, confidante
and mistress, called
"la lengua de Cortés"
(Cortés's tongue, or
• Bore him a son,
Martín, the first
mestizo of historical
• “After God we owe
this conquest of New
Spain to Doña
Marina.” – Cortés
José Clemente Orozco
Cortés and Malinche
17th C. portrait, artist unknown
• Emperor of the Aztecs,
Moctezuma was aware of
Cortés’s approach
• He sent Cortés a cordial
message and gifts but
warned against approaching
• The gold and finery whetted
the Spaniards’ greed
• Although Moctezuma
commanded a huge army, he
feared to greet Cortés with a
hostile force because of
ancient legend
The Prophecy of
• Ancient legend
prophesied that
Quetzalcoatl, the
Plumed Serpent, the
bearded, fair-skinned
Toltec ruler-god
would return in the
year Ce Acatl to
reclaim his kingdom.
Omens of Return
• Lake Texcoco flooded Tenochtitlan
• The temple of Huitzlopochtli caught fire
• The voice of woman wailing in the night
disturbed the city
• Immense comets shot through the sky
• A column of fire appeared every night for
a year
• The last city the Spanish had seen was Seville, the largest
in Spain, population: 60,000. London, Europe’s largest
city, had a population of 100,000.
• Its site was fixed by the god Huitzilopochtli, who sent a
sign in the form of a great eagle
• Priests were everywhere. Like
Spanish priests, they wore long dark
robes. But the robes were stained
with human blood, and their long
hair was clotted with it, and while
some of the blood was their own,
most came from the human victims
they slew daily.
• An essential part of the rituals
conducted in the shrines crowning
the shining pyramids was human
Sacrifice of Prisoners
To Huitzlipotchli
Códice Magliabecchi.,
siglo XVI
The Beginning of the End
• Cortés met little resistence and on November 8, 1519 he crossed
the causeway over Lake Texcoco to enter Tenochtitlán.
Moctezuma personally went out to meet Cortés and his men.
Doña Marina interpreted what Moctezuma said for Cortés:
"Lord, you are weary. The journey has tired you, but now you
have arrived on earth. You have come to your city of México."
Then Cortés responded through Marina: "Tell Moctezuma that
we are his friends and that there is nothing to fear. We have
waited long to meet with him." (Florentine Codex)
Within a week Cortés seized the emperor, put him in chains and
held him hostage.
• Cortés left Tenochtitlan to
deal with a Spanish rival.
• In his absence, the
Spanish attacked the
citizens during a religious
• The Aztecs rebelled.
• Cortes tried to use
Moctezuma to appeal for
peace, but the people
hurled stones and arrows
at him
• The Spaniards threw the
body of Moctezuma into
a canal
Death of
La Noche Triste
• Cuitláhuac, Moctezuma’s successor,
besieiged the Spaniards
• June 30, 1520, the Spaniards tried to escape
but were attacked by the Aztecs – hundreds
• Cuitláhuac died of smallpox, succeeded by
• Cortés regrouped with Tlaxcalan allies
Last Aztec Emperor
January, 1521, Cortés reentered
valley of Mexico and demanded
Cuauhtemoc refused
Cortés attacked with a newly built
fleet and besieged Tenochtitlan
After a valiant resistance and an
80 day seige, the Aztecs, overcome
by smallpox and famine,
The Spaniards lay the Aztec
Empire to waste, burned
Tenochtilan, and levelled the
The Conquest of Peru
Incan Empire
The Incan Empire
in Peru
• The Incan Empire was held
together by military force and
linked by an extensive road
• In 1548 Huayna Capac
became the Sapa (Supreme)
• In 1527 he received word that
strange people with white
skin and hair on their faces
had arrived in floating
wooden houses on the
northern Peruvian coast.
• By the end of 1527, a
smallpox epidemic arrived in
Peru killing over 200,000
people including Huayna
Incan Roads
Incan Civilization
Heavily indebted to Chimu civilization
and the Lords of Chan Chan
 Master assimilationists
 Reciprocity: Mutual commitment
between state and citizen
 Mit’a: labor tax
 Master road builders
 Gold artifacts
databanks in colored
knotted cords
Civil War
• After Huayna Capac died, his two sons Huascar and
Atahualpa vied to become Sapa Inca.
• During the five-year civil war, hundreds of thousands of
people were killed.
• The army of Atahualpa captured Huascar and executed
• Atahualpa declared himself the Sapa Inca and started to
go south to Cuzco.
• Word continued to come to Atahualpa about the
approach of strange, bearded white people who wanted
to meet with him. . .
Pizarro Meets Atahualpa
Chronology of Conquest
1526–1529 – Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro make first contact with Inca
Empire at Tumbes, the last Inca stronghold in the northern coast
1528–1529 – Pizarro returns to Spain where he is granted by the Queen of Spain the
license to conquer Peru
1531–1532 – Pizarro's third voyage to Peru, Atahualpa captured by Spaniards
1533 – Atahualpa is executed; Almagro arrives; Pizarro captures Cuzco and installs
seventeen year old Manco Inca as new Inca emperor
1535 – Pizarro founded the city of Lima; Almagro leaves for Chile
1537 – Almagro seizes Cuzco from Hernando and Gonzalo Pizarro. Manco flees
to Vilcabamba, the new Inca capital
1538 – Hernando Pizarro executes Diego de Almagro
1541 – Francisco Pizarro is murdered by Diego de Almagro II and other supporters of
1544 – Manco Inca is murdered by supporters of Diego de Almagro. The Inca do not
stop their revolt.
1572 – Viceroy of Peru, Francisco Toledo, declares war on Vilcabamba; Vilcabamba is
sacked and Túpac Amaru, the last Inca emperor, is captured and executed in Cuzco.
The Inca capital of Vilcabamba is abandoned.
Death of Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca on 29 August 1533 (Luis Montero)
Meanwhile, back in La Florida…
Panfilo de Narvaez arrived
near Tampa Bay in 1528
with about 400 men.
The Uzita were initially
When the Spanish found a
small amount of gold, they
tortured the Indians in their
search for more gold, silver,
and enslaved natives to
serve as guides and burden
Panfilo de Narvaez
Unwilling or unable to reveal the location of any treasure, Chief Hirrahigua had
been forced to watch as his Mother was torn to shreds before his eyes by fierce
Spanish war dogs. Narvaez then ordered the nose of the chief to be cut off.
Hunting for Gold
The Indians told them that they could find the gold in the
land of the Apalachee
Narvaez divided his men, sending part of them by ships
while he himself marched north by foot
The four ships were told to coast north until another good
harbor was found, finding nothing they returned to New
Spain (Cuba).
In June 1528 Narvaez reached the area of Apalachee nation
on the Georgia--Florida border. All the villages in the area
were deserted and the natives were hiding.
The Apalachees waged
guerilla-war against
Narvaez: the march
forward changed into a
The Spanish built rafts and
drifted along the coast of
Florida, landing near
After eight years only
three men survived,
arriving in Mexico City:
Cabeza de Vaca, Oviedo,
and Estevanico of Azamor
• Cabeza De Vaca: After a brief period of glory
and renown, De Vaca returned to Spain and
wrote a book which with vivid description and
detail reports the entire de Narvaez-de Vaca
adventure. But he fell out of favor and died in
exile in Africa
• Estevanico of Azamor: a black Muslim from
Morocco, he mesmerized the Mexican natives.
He led two great exploration expeditions into
California, Arizona and
New Mexico, but he finally overplayed
his hand. On the second, he had become
so arrogant in his treatment of the
Indians, they lynched him.
The Original Pocahontas?
The frieze of the Rotunda of the United States Capitol
Juan Ortiz and Princess Hirrihigua
In 1528, Juan Ortiz, a member of the expedition sent from
Cuba to find Panfilo De Narvaez, was captured by Chief
Hirrihigua, who hated the white men because of the
violence of Narvaez.
Juan Ortiz was condemned to death but Princess Hirrihigua,
eldest daughter of the chief, pleaded with her father and
saved his life.
Princess Hirrihigua saved Ortiz from death three times.
In 1539, Hernando De Soto rescued Ortiz who became his
guide and interpreter.
Hernando De Soto
 Hernando De Soto had had
been with Pizarro in Peru and
wanted to find his own goldcountry to conquer.
In 1538 De Soto sailed from
Spain with 600 experienced
soldiers, weapons and
• In 1539 De
Soto reached
Florida, and
made a
landing at
Tampa Bay.
• He
conquered the
village, and
from there
pillaged the
whole area,
every village
within his
De Soto died of fever in 1542 somewhere in
Mississippi – he was buried in the river to hide his
body from angry
The remnants of his men finally managed to build
boats and sail to Mexico
The frieze of the Rotunda of the United States Capitol
Spanish Colonization
of Florida
Pedro Menéndez de Aviléz was sent to Florida to counteract
threats posed by the French colony.
Menéndez landed on the coast at St. Augustine in 1565.
After establishing a base of operations, Menéndez sailed
with five ships to Fort Caroline.
When the Spanish sailed into the mouth of the St. Johns
River, they found the French ships there and tried to board
Unsuccessful at this attempt, they sailed southward back to
St. Augustine, and began to build a fort.
Aviles marched his soldiers overland to Fort Caroline, made a
surprise attack, and massacred all the inhabitants save those who
declared themselves Catholic, the muscians, and some of the women
and children. French soldiers, who later surrendered to Aviles, were
also massacred at Matanzas Inlet. This massacre put an end to
France's attempts at colonization in Florida
Aviles de Menendez, conqueror of the Huguenots and founder
of St. Augustine, was committed to building a permanent
settlement in Florida.
Ft. San Marcos in St. Augustine
begun 1672
The Spanish fort and town of St. Augustine that became the
first continuous European settlement in North America.

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