Conquest Of Mexico Essay, Research Paper
Columbus, a discoverer, who sought new lands and recognition for his home country, sought respect from the king and queen in Spain. Columbus s first impressions of the natives were that they were savages who wore no closes, as thus limiting his observations to physical description of the Indians. Columbus also so natives as primitive in culture, because they lacked clothes and an established religion that he were accustomed to. His first encounters with the Indian population were peaceful, as be observes the natives as kind and generous in exchange with the Spaniards. Indians did not value gold as a prized commodity, but rather used it to exchange for other objects, which they see as valuable. The Indians have no conceptions of private property, but shared everything communally, which seemed to change Columbus s first impressions of the natives as generous. Columbus did not truly comprehend the Indian culture, as he imposes his own ideals upon the people with the introduction of Christianity. The conversion did not go smoothly, as the once peaceful coexistence became a conflict of survival. Columbus saw the Indians as no more than slaves, subhuman in nature, inferior of the Spaniards.
As Cortes set out to colonize Mexico, Montezuma offered little resistance, as he told his fellow Indians to give up peacefully. A reason for little resistance was that Montezuma expected that a divine force would come and take over the kingdom. Cortes presented himself as a force that Montezuma s god intended as the new successor. Cortes s first concern was to gain wealth, slaves, and women from Mexico. The Indians of Mexico s first impressions of the Spaniards was that of otherness. Cortes wanted to take over Montezuma s Kingdom, as he was not content with just gold. There was also a communication problem between the Indians and Cortes, so Cortes sought an interpreter. The translation of language enabled a communication between the vastly different cultures. A woman who helped greatly was La Malinche, without her, the conquest would not have been possible. Interoperations allowed Cortes to discover the hidden history of the Indians and offering new insight to their culture. The conquistadors viewed the Indians as intelligent, much like Spaniards. The experience of seeing their civilization has changed their attitude towards Spaniard s views of inferior beings. Cortes saw the advance culture, yet was alienated from seeing natives as equals. As the colonization waged on, it brought bloodshed, as the Spaniards showed no mercy in killing everyone in sight. Along with the suffering, the Spaniards brought along diseases and plagues that spread to the natives, which were not immune to new diseases. The Conquest in Mexico brought forth hardship among the natives, as colonization devastated their culture.
Las Casas advocated Indian rights against the Spaniard s colonization by Cortes. Las Casas sought to convert Indians to believe in Christianity, while at the same time, drew up doctrines to promote his cause against the Spaniards. He did not believe in the cruelties that the Spaniards imposed on the natives, and saw the bloodshed as unnecessary. Las Casas treated Indians with benevolence, and loved them and believed that faith would lift them out of hardship. He sought the replacement of soldiers with priests, who could convert the natives to believe in the Christian faith. Las Casas, a powerful voice for the Indians, was a defender against colonization, sought to set free Indians from the oppressive wrath of Spain.
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