Cheryl A. Wheeler
December 13, 2014
Critical Essay The reading of historical events can be overwhelming to the point the reader is frustrated and tends to find disbelief in the accounts given on paper. This is partly because the reader is exposed to various accounts of what may or may not have happen. For example, in Cortes’s second letter in Chapter 4, he portrays himself as a friend to Muteczuma after Muteczuma declares his friendship to him. The reading of New Spain, demonstrates that Cortes could not have been a friend of Muteczuma because he would have not ordered the slaughtering of the inhabitants of its sister city, Cholula (pg. 46). However, the readings might encourage the reader to analyze the content of historical interpretations and the changes in response to the time in which it was written. During the course of my reading, I wanted to know more about Cortes and his faith in God. It appears that his public relationship to religion could be characterized as one of opportunistic pragmatism. Because if he revered the true living God as his savior, how in heaven’s name could he steal and order the massacring of so many people just to gain control of land to carry out his agenda and the agenda of his king. I also looked for concreate proof that the patterns and sequences, causes and consequences, agents and their motivation. Patterns were demonstrated by revealing intentional purposes for visiting cities that were known for their wealth, after Cortes befriended the inhabitants, received and gave gifts that consummated the friendship. Sequences occurred by following the destructive orders of Cortes and securing the valuable items that would increase the wealth of Cortes and his king. As for the cause, Cortes waged a spiritual war against the inhabitants of Aztecs and its leader, Montezuma, hoping to win souls to their faith, land for the Spanish crown, and large amounts of gold.