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The Spanish Conquest of the Aztec and Inca Kingdoms

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1 The Spanish Conquest of the Aztec and Inca Kingdoms
Mr. Hardy RMS IB Middle School

2 The Aztec By 1500, the Aztec controlled a kingdom that covered almost all of Mexico The Aztec were a fierce, warlike people, who conquered their neighbors and ruled through fear and cruelty. The Aztec were cannibals, whose religion revolved around human sacrifice on a huge scale.

3 The Arrival of the Spanish
April 21, 1519, 11 Spanish ships arrive off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, having set sail from the Spanish colony in Cuba The force of 550 soldiers and 16 horses, (the first ever in North America) is under the command of Hernan Cortes.

4 Hernan Cortes Conquistador
Born in 1485 in Spain, Cortes was a university law student, when he dropped out in 1504 and moved to Santo Domingo to seek his fortune in the new world as a conquistador. Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers and explorers who came to the new world to seek glory and wealth. 1511 – Participated in the Spanish conquest of Cuba, where he became known for his bravery and daring.

5 Hernan Cortes Conquistador
Why did Cortes want to conquer Mexico? Gain wealth for Spain and the Spanish King, Charles V. Increase Spanish territory Spread Christianity Gain personal wealth, glory, and power for himself The Spanish had heard rumors from Indians in the Yucatan of the great wealth of the Aztecs and the grandeur of the Aztec cities in the Central Interior of Mexico.

6 The Campaign Against the Aztec
Cortes gets two lucky breaks The Aztec religion said that one day, one of their gods would return in the form of a fair skinned man from the East. Montezuma, the Aztec king thought Cortes might be that god, and welcomed him with lavish gifts and gold. When he arrived in Mexico, Cortes found a Spanish prisoner who could speak Mayan dialects, and was given an Aztec girl as a prize, who could speak the Aztec dialect and Mayan as well. Cortes could now communicate with the Aztec.

7 The Campaign Against the Aztec
The lavish gifts of Montezuma and his warnings to Cortes to stay away, only fueled the Spanish desire to conquer the city. Upon arrival in the city, the Spanish were impressed with the grandeur and riches of the Aztec capital, but horrified by the barbarism and cruelty of the Aztecs. Cortes immediately decided to put a stop to the cannibalism and human sacrifice and end the reign of a tyrant.

8 The Campaign Against the Aztec
Cortes and his men are welcomed in to the city, but fearing an attack, Cortes takes Montezuma prisoner in his own palace. After several months, the Aztec people riot, killing Montezuma and many Spaniards. Cortes and most of his men escape. Cortes reorganizes his army in the countryside, and attacks the capital in After a three month siege, the Aztec capital surrenders and is destroyed.

9 Why did the Spanish Win? The Spanish had a much smaller force, so why did they win? Superior technology, steel weapons, guns, artillery, horses, steel armor. Indian allies – The Aztecs were so hated, it was easy for the Spanish to recruit the help of other Indians. Disease – European diseases, particularly small pox, devastated the Aztec population

10 Time to Reflect Over the last 40 years, it has become fashionable and popular in the United States and Mexico, to portray Cortes as evil. The Spanish he commanded killed thousands of Aztecs and tortured prisoners. He has gone from being a brave Spanish hero, to a greedy, racist, killer. A romanticized, heroic version of Aztec culture has become very popular with Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. What do you think? Was Cortes justified in destroying the Aztec culture? Was it ok for the Aztecs to sacrifice and eat people, as part of their religion? Is Aztec history and culture something you would be proud of?

11 Conquest of the Inca 1528 – The Inca Empire controlled about 690,000 square miles and an estimated population of 6 to 14 million people. The Inca Empire included many different tribes of people, ruled by local leaders, under the control of the Incan capital of Cuzco. The vast size of the empire, the rough terrain, and the fact that all travel had to be done on foot, made the empire hard to govern. Very Rich – The Inca were rumored to have vast resources of silver, gold, and jewels.

12 Inca Treasure An Incan Gold Cup Incan Gold Knick Knack

13 Francisco Pizarro Conquistador
More so than anything else, the ambition of one man, Francisco Pizarro was responsible for the conquest of the Inca. Pizarro had been with Balboa on his 1513 expedition to Panama. Pizarro wanted to gain personal wealth, fame, and glory, and had heard stories from the Indians in Panama about a very rich empire in Peru Traveled to Peru in 1526 to explore, contacted the Inca, then returned to Spain in 1526.

14 Francisco Pizarro Conquistador
1530 – Impressed by the gold and silver Pizarro had brought back, Charles V, King of Spain agreed to finance an expedition to attack and conquer the Inca. Charles named Pizarro Governor and Captain-General of the new territories he would conquer. Pizarro returned to Peru to find the Inca much weakened due to a civil war and a deadly smallpox epidemic. Pizarro’s expedition fought along the frontier of the Incan Empire. 1532- Pizarro and a force of about 180 men captured the Inca Emperor, Atahualpa Hoping the Spanish will go away, Atahualpa offers Pizarro a room full of gold, if they will leave. Pizarro agreed, but instead had Atahualpa executed.

15 Defeat of the Inca 1533 – Inca capital Cuzco falls to the Spaniards.
The Inca fought on, but within a few years, they faced annihilation. Reasons the Inca were defeated: Superior Spanish weapons, like guns, horses, canons, and steel armor and swords. Disease killed as many as 90% of the Inca. Spanish Fighting Experience – the Spaniards made use of their experience gained fighting the Aztec Spanish Worldview – Spanish thought it was their duty to wipe out non-Christians Modern buildings sitting on the ruins of the Incan foundations of Cuzco.

16 Primary Source Reading
Read the document about the meeting between Pizarro and the Incan king, Atahualpa. On a separate sheet of paper, answer the nine questions. You must use complete sentences to get credit.

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