Spanish Conquest on the Aztecs

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The Aztecs were a civilisation that lived between 1250-1522 (Barlington, 2012). They worshipped many gods such as Tlaloc, the rain god. In 1519 the Spanish ships, led by Hernán Cortés, landed on the shore of what is now known as Mexico. Cortes was then welcomed as a god as he resembled Quetzalcoatl – an Aztec god of the sky (Aztec Gods, 2013). This essay will attempt to prove that the Spanish had a negative influence on the Aztec people. The Spanish made the Aztecs lose control of their social structure, they lost control of their resources and the Aztecs were exposed to deadly European diseases. Firstly, the arrival of the Spanish made the Aztecs lose control of their social structure. The social structure of the Aztecs before the Spanish invaded was very sophisticated. People were classified into four major classes, nobles (pipiltin), commoners (macehualtin), serfs, and slaves. (Aztec Social Structure, 2009) The Spanish had changed this however. Cortes wasn’t happy that he and his men were put in the noble category of the society, so they decided that there would be a new social structure with the Spaniards just under the king (Smith, 2010). The Spanish also used up a lot of the Aztecs resources. Secondly, the Spanish used and wasted the Aztecs natural resources. The main plant resources the Aztecs had were reeds, trees, fruits, cocoa, cotton, corn, feathers, shells, and jaguar skins (Hill, 2011). The main metals and stones the Aztecs had on offer were: gold, silver copper, jade, green stones, turquoise, onyx, rock crystal and porphyry (Aztec Stones and Minerals, 2009). Whilst the Spanish started to attack Tenochtitlan, they striped the civilisation of her minerals and stones (Jones, 2008). The Aztecs had very little resources left. The Spanish didn’t only take things they also gave the Aztecs a very dangerous disease called smallpox. Finally, the

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