Causes Of The Conquest Of Mesoamerica

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1. What were some of the major causes of the conquest of the great empires of Mesoamerica and Peru? How did a relatively small force of Spaniards bring about the fall of these large empires? What were some of the features that led to their conquest and resistance? (p 137 in 1491)
1. Many different sources from history have been used for insight into conquest of the Mesoamerica and Peru. In the compilation of all of these different sources together, we are able to gain a better understanding of the conquest. The conquest began when Cortes decided to explore Mexico after they had conquered Cuba (Woodward, pp.3). During the conquest, Cortes finds a translator who also became his new mistress (Woodward, pp. 4). On September 2, 1519, the Tlaxcalans and the Spaniards begin to fight (Woodward, pp. 6). This fight ended with by winning Tlaxcalan allies. Then, on October 1519, there was a massacre at Cholula. Then by November 8, 1819, Cortes had reached Tenochtitlan (Woodward, pp. 7). The next main event of the conquest of Mesoamerica was Panfilo de Navaez in May 1520 when Cortes leaves Pedro de Alvaro in Charge (Woodward, pp. 7). During this time Predro Alvardo attacks Mexica during a festival. Later, in June of 1520, Moctezuma is killed and ends up being replaced by Cuauhtemoc (Woodward, pp. 8). Following these events, Cortes ends up making an attempt to take over the city of Tenochtitlan. This really begins by smallpox decimating the entire population of Tenochtitlan in October of 1520 (Woodward, pp. 10). After this happened, Mexica fortifies Tenochtitlan like European cities. Then in May of 1521 the Spaniards lay siege to Tenochtitlan (Woodward, pp. 10). However, after failing to take over the city of Tenochtitlan, Cotes decides to destroy it instead. On August 13, 1521 Cuathemoc either surrenders or is captured and the battle of Tenochtitlan comes to an end and the city is in ruins.
During the time period of 1493 until about 1525, Inca Huayna Capac ruled Peru with an army of about 50,000 loyal followers. The Incas looked at him as somewhat of a God (Woodward, pp. 11). When Capac died, he was still in possession of all estates and properties that he held during his life and the Inca nobility managed all the property of the dead Incas (Woodward, pp. 12). The issue was that by 1525, so much property was in the hands of dead Incas that there was almost none left available for the Incas there were still living (Woodward, pp. 12). Francisco Pizarro came to Peru and tricked Atahualpa who was not a legal heir but had support of the nobility (Woodward, pp.15). In tricking Atahualpa, Pizarro got his gold.
The Spaniards controlled Peru by disease, especially smallpox (Woodwar, pp. 16). “Peru’s population fell from 1.3 million in 1570 to 600,000 in 1620” and “Mexico’s population fell from 25.3 million Indians in 1519 to 1 million in 1605” (Woodward, pp 16).

What was the cause and consequences of the Indian Removal Act (Trail of Tears, Sand Lake Tragedy, Nez Perce, etc.)? How did the Lewis and Clark Exhibition impact Native Americans in the West?

2. There are many different events in history that triggered the Indian Removal Act. The idea of “westward expansion” was one of the main causes and reasons for removing the Indian populations from their homelands. “The Native Americans already lived on the land that white explorers claimed to have ‘discovered’” (Woodward, pp. 3). Lewis and Clark set out on an expedition in order to discover a “northwest passage.” They did not achieve their goal, however, the gained much knowledge on the continents animals, people, plants and terrain (Woodward, pp. 6). As a result, The United States claimed Oregon Country which resulted in an increase in the western fur trade and changed the relationship between the United States government and the Native American tribes and also caused the public to become much more interested in the West (Woodward, pp. 6). Settlers began to move westward putting