A Conquistador Arrives In Mexico, 1519 1520

919 words - 4 pages

Historians use a variety of evidence, such as written accounts from primary sources, in an attempt to reconstruct and understand the true events of history. Primary source accounts are a type of firsthand evidence made by a person at that specific time. Historians think of these accounts as the closest source to the origin of idea under study. When a historian reads A Conquistador Arrives in Mexico, 1519-1520 written by Bernal Díaz and The Diario of Christopher Columbus’s First Voyage to America written by Christopher Columbus, he or she can look at both accounts to verify their accuracy and to find comparisons when considering the Aztecs. The Aztecs were believed to be unorganized, ...view middle of the document...

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Describing the Aztecs Empire as a dream was no coincidence. Considering that the explorers had only heard negative detail about the empire, it is hardly surprising that Díaz and his fellow soldiers reacted to the sight of Tenochtitlán as they did; The Aztec Empire was in fact eye captivating
From his almost poetic descriptions of Tenochtitlán, historians may also use his account to verify that the Aztecs had a substantial economic and social organization. Seeing that the manuscript was published in 1519 it is clear that historians may have a doubt about how well Aztec society was intact. In order to gain a more clear understanding of the economic and social organization of the natives, historians may use this document to see the ergonomic environment of their market. The text states that the explorers had never seen a market so well laid out, so large, so orderly, and so full of people. Historians, seeing that the account describes the foods, fine textiles, jewels, precious metals, chocolate, paper, tobacco, human slaves, and other goods, can conclude that Díaz’s account provides perhaps the most accurate description of this early American society.
Columbus’s writing is similar to Díaz’s on the aspect of a positive attitude towards the natives. Historians can use his text to rule out the rumors of the natives being savages. Columbus’s text states that the natives, the Aztec people, were handsome and gentle in one of their first encounters. It also describes them as friendly, intelligent, and having a good understanding. The only negative trait of the Aztec people within Columbus’s is that he describes them as not having an organized religion. Historians may choose to not take this...

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