Discussion – Coursework Example

post How can the first contact between the Europeans and Native Americans be described? Well, the first meeting between the Spaniards and the Aztecs was pretty interesting. When the Spaniards arrived to the palace at Tlayacac, the Aztecs welcomed them with open arms. The Aztecs flooded the Spaniards with gifts which reflected their customs and beliefs. These gifts were two suns, one made of yellow metal and the other of white metal. They also brought the Spaniards a mirror in which hung off the person, a gold collar, a gold pitcher, fans, ornaments of quetzal feathers, and a shield made of mother of pearls. It would be easier to believe that the Aztecs were a little more precautions of their land, of their people when strangers were passing through, but they were not. Apparently, the Aztecs felt safe as if the Spaniards were of no threat to them. After reading both articles, "The True History of the Conquest of New Spain" by Bernal Diaz and "An Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico", it seems as if the Aztecs had a second chance, they would definatly try a different approach when they first came in contact with the Spaniards. This is best described in the article by Bernal Diaz which states, "Senior Malinche, if I had thought that you would so insult my Gods, i would not have shown them to you." In my opinion, this should have been the precaution that should have occured from the beginning.
Response
The Aztecs welcoming gesture to the Spaniards were not to be blamed for the conquest of Mexico. Even if the Aztecs were not hospitable, the Spaniards were bent on conquering them anyway. One has to bear in mind that those were the colonizing times where countries, particularly in Europe were in quest to expand their territories be it by force or whatever means. The Aztecs on the other hand were happy as they were, enjoying their own culture that made them for ages. The Aztecs may be a warrior society but they were hospitable to their guests especially if they know that their guests are superior than them in terms of technology, arms and resources.
So it is not surprising that despite of the hospitability of the Aztecs, the Spaniards conquered them anyway and obliterated their culture in the process thinking of it as pagan religion unworthy of their Catholicism. So they replace Aztec religion with Catholicism and took their resources. This is not however limited to the Aztecs. Spaniards did the same to other cultures and countries they colonialized from Latin America to Philippines in Southeast Asia. The pattern is the same, they will destroy the existing culture and religion and replace it with them while taking their resources in the process and subjugating them as a people.