Essay on Victors and Vanquished

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Pages: 6

Victors and Vanquished

The history of the Western hemisphere is full of war and conquest. One of the most significant and defining of those conquests is the downfall of the Mexica/Aztec Empire. While there are many other events to choose from, this one stands out since it was one over one of the largest empires in Central America. It is also important to look at because of the immense cultural impact it had. The story of this takeover reads like a movie script, a small band of Spaniards single handedly takes down the most powerful empire in Central America. It was an epic battle, which unfortunately led to the destruction of a magnificent culture. As in any major historical event there are many underlying themes and storylines that
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However, they severely lacked many important advantages that were common in Europe at that time. The Aztecs had no iron tools or weapons, which had been widely used by their European counterparts for hundreds of years. They also lacked domesticated animals such as horses and pack animals. Another crucial material that the Aztecs lacked was gunpowder. Wars in Central America were fought with relatively primitive yet effective weaponry. Stone/Obsidian swords and spears along with bows, javelins and slings were the common weapons of choice. Although the tribes in Central America were quite militaristic, wars were fought in a different manner than in Europe. Indian battles concentrated on individual combats with an emphasis on being able to injure your opponent enough to capture him. Wars in Europe concentrated more on unit combat with the use of gunpowder weapons such as muskets and cannon. Hand to hand combat came secondary. When cavalry was complemented these gunpowder units European armies became efficient killing machines. In the battles with the natives in Central America the Spanish use of these advances gave them a head and shoulders advantage over their enemies. The first intense fighting against native forces occurred near the beginning of Cortez's expedition. The Spaniards were attempting to land near a village but they were