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

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Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins. Categories: History , World. Publisher's Summary For hundreds of years, the history of the conquest of Mexico and the defeat of the Aztecs has been told in the words of the Spanish victors. What members say. No Reviews are Available. Sort by:. Most Helpful Most Recent.

Elizabeth Escamilla This book is perfect! Terry Shoemaker Outstanding Wish I would have read it before going to Mexico City this in combination of the book Summer canfield Taylor Torres Omar C.

Nicholas Weissman is a student at Georgetown University. This essay includes some of his ideas from his World History II class. Those referred to as Hispanic are designated as tied to Spain or the Spanish language, but may be of any race, ethnicity, or culture; furthermore, this term is often incorrectly used interchangeably with more specific terms like Latinx that denote origins in Latin America.

Many people of mixed native and European blood have no connection to their ancestry to the former. Before the indigenous people of the Americas were stripped of their language and culture, they were unique civilizations and spanned empires, like the Nahua peoples whose point of view is recorded in The Broken Spears. Fortunately, many of these indigenous cultures survive today within the borders of present North and South American states.

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Their practice of human sacrifice was brutal at the very least, but served a purpose in the grand scheme of their hegemony. This identity was challenged when the Spaniards arrived with alien technology such as metal armor, cannons, and arquebuses. Though the natives used canoes, the idea of a massive fleet of seafaring ships was foreign to them.

This structure would be lost as the empire fell and was exploited by the distant land of Spain. The government was headed by a king of noble blood and based in the elaborate capital of Tenochtitlan.

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The Nahua identity in regard to lifestyle was tied to their historic transition from bands of nomads into an urban collective. It is important to note the role of women in Aztec society and how the Spanish turned this upside down in favor of European norms. There was less of a place for women as the empire grew more militarized, although females were respected and had vital roles to play in society as weavers, maize grinders, mothers, and worshippers.

The application of Catholic social values onto indigenous society affected women as the institution of marriage was altered, seeing as Nahua nobility practiced polygamy. The encomienda system harmed women as much as it did men, forcing them into harsh agricultural labor for the Spanish crown.

Their polytheistic religion clearly made them heathens in the eyes of the Spanish who taught them of Jesus Christ. The Spaniards held no value for the divine importance of the golden artifacts they stole and they were shipped back to Europe to be melted down for the sole benefit of the Spanish economy.

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Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico / Edition 2

The surviving refugees were looted by the Spanish of their lip rings and plugs, nose rings, and any other valuable ornaments that identified them with the grandeur and wealth of their nation. Of equal sentimental value to their gold was jade, turquoise, and quetzal feathers that they similarly attempted to escape with -- this feat proved to be simple as the Spanish saw no worth in these items. As their city fell, so did the faith they held in their cultural objects.

The Nahuatl language united the inhabitants of the Aztec Empire and cemented their view of history in manuscripts, partially due to the efforts of Franciscan missionaries who developed and taught one unified grammar system. The beauty of Nahuatl texts and paintings is stained by the focus on death and destruction in a final effort to protect the truth.

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The use of a unique language, once important to the facilitation of an indigenous empire, now serves as a message to the colonizer that their language will not stamp out the past. In the aftermath of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, the establishment of the viceroyalty of New Spain, and subsequently the independent state of Mexico, the indigenous people were left devastated and without full autonomy.

Those who assisted the Spaniards as translators or guides, such as La Malinche, are now more often seen as traitors to the people. They survive either as scattered and integrated citizens of North or South American states or remain banded together with some semblance of their rich culture. The Broken Spears reveals the way of life of the Aztec citizens through codices and texts, unfortunately focusing on the tragedies.

The urban center they established, the gold with which they adorned themselves and worshipped, the language they spoke, and their unique belief system was maimed in a blaze of disease and gunfire. Christianity was quickly written over their former religion, leaving only memories of the gods formerly worshipped. The Nahua women were raped and otherwise married to European men, diluting their ancestry in favor of an assimilated people.

"The Broken Spears" and the Nahua and Aztec Identity | Owlcation

Nevertheless, the Nahuas persist to this day, holding tightly to their history and maintaining their language even as Spanish spread over the continent. Before these people are Hispanic or Latino, they are Nahuatl. The atrocities of the Latin American holocaust cannot be undone, but in spite of that, indigenous Americans such as the Nahuas have carried their identity into the modern era and will not be redacted from history.

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