Cortes

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					Cortes' Strategies
        For thousands of years, many civilized nations on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean stayed far

from each other and did not know about each other’s existence. In the fifteenth century, southern

Europeans, directed by the Portuguese, discovered and sailed to the other side of the Atlantic. They

wanted to find the way to Asia via the sea. The America was discovered accidentally on the way to the

Asia. While the Portuguese were focusing first of all on Africa and Asia, the Spain government had great

ambitions to expand its territory and was focusing on the America.

        At the beginning of the transatlantic trips by water of Columbus and other travelers in 1490,

Spaniards created colonies in the Caribbean. After the first Spanish voyage and settlement to Santo

Domingo, on Espanola Island, Cuba became the basis for several exploratory expeditions in 1510. In

1519 the expedition was led by Hernando Cortes. Cortes and his people wanted to gain the profit rather

than to spread the Christianity. That is why the Spaniards under the rule of Cortes started the war

against the Mexico and their allies on the way to Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

        It is obvious that the Spanish people were in the better situation than their enemy. The

Spaniards had steel, gunpowder and horses and thus, they had got the great military advantages.

Swords, helmets and armor were a better weapon than bows, arrows and spear throwers. It was

impossible to stop the horsemen with lances as they fought for many hours. Mesoamericans suffered

great loses while the Spaniards had got only minor injuries. The guns were used mainly in the

investment of the town. Besides, the native inhabitants took the captives while the Spaniards killed their

enemies in the battle.

        Cortes made allies of the Indian communities such as the Tlaxcalans who were the enemies of

the Mexico. He communicated with them offering the victory over their enemies and other advantages

such as products, gunpowder, and armor. The Indian communities did not trust him and it was not easy

to overcome their reluctance. Nevertheless, Cortes was brave and strong and he was not afraid of them.
This very quality, his courage and bravery impressed these people who started trusted him. This strategy

helped the Spaniards in the battle.

        To the Indians as a mass Cortes was kind. He recognized that their preservation would give

eventual prosperity for the Spaniards, provided the Indians gradually accepted European ideas.

Therefore he considered the Church as the major instrument for the education of the Indian. In

comparison to Columbus attempts to "Pacify" the Indians of Hispaniola Cortes led the peaceful tactics

viewing the death of Indians as a tragedy, considering they could help the Spanish crown tap the

resources of the land.

        Also the European invaders brought the diseases such as the smallpox that Mesoamericans

were not familiar with. The disease killed many people and weakened the Mexica. This became the

crucial factor that allowed the Spaniards to win the battle. This demographic disaster reduced the

population by as much as 90 percent. All these advantages gave them the possibility to break the

resistance of the opponents and the Spaniards defeated the Mexica. And finally, the European invaders

founded their own capital city of the Mexico. Some time latter the Spanish presence in Mesoamerica

became a usual thing. Cortes spread the colonial control all over the territory. The central Mexican

valley and especially the Mexico City was the most important Spanish settlement in Mesoamerica.

				
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