The Broken Spears: the Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico Essays

Words: 1405
Pages: 6

Perspective on the Columbian Exchange and Effect on Information Conveyance
While most of what has happened historically is clouded by speculation and wonder, some events have been well-documented. The Conquest of the Americas by the Spanish was an event in which many aspects were recorded, which has helped historians tremendously. The Broken Spears is a historical outlook on the Spanish Conquest of the Americas that includes several different texts written by many different indigenous people. Numerous texts are written in such a way that show the fear that the people experienced while having their towns overtaken, while other texts simply explain what was happening at the time. In Traditions and Encounters, a more factual approach is
…show more content…
In The Broken Spears, Cortes played a larger role. He converted many of the royals and dignitaries to the Catholic religion, and personally took part in the baptisms for “…he wished to repay their kindness by teaching them the law of God…” By introducing the Aztecs to Catholicism, Cortes was able to unravel everything that the people had ever known and usher out everything that the people had ever worshiped. The idols that craftsmen had spent so much time on were burned, and temples were destroyed. Traditions and Encounters does not explain this aspect of what happened at all, while in The Broken Spears is able to demonstrate the feeling of hopelessness and starting anew for the people who weren’t baptized. Another major difference between the two texts is their story of what led up to the conquest. In The Broken Spears, eight omens are described, “which reveal how the Nahuas interpreted the downfall of their civilization.” All of these omens were recorded separately by at least three different historical recorders and were predicted to precede the reemergence of Quetzalcoatl and other gods. The native peoples were led to believe that the arrival of the Spaniards was destined to happen and that they should be welcomed. By following these prophecies the native peoples were left vulnerable to the militaries of Spain. These omens provide background information for what led up to the conquest of the Americas that