This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Role Of Religion In "The Conquest Of New Spain"

827 words - 3 pages

During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church was the dominant force in Western civilization. As the Dark Ages came to a close, the monarchies of Europe began to consolidate power; providing an alternative power base. With the Protestant Reformation came another blow to the influence of the Church. Spain, the forerunner in the Age of Discovery, was a fervently Catholic country. During the 16th century, the monarchy combined the forces of "cross and crown" in its imperial policy; much to the dismay and ultimate destruction of the indigenous peoples of the New World. Through an examination of Aztec polytheism and the Catholicism of the conquistadors, comes the central role of religion in the successful conquest of New Spain.

When the Spaniards arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in 1519, they encountered the advanced society of the Aztecs. With Tenochititlan at its capital, the Aztec empire was vast. The Aztecs had substantial wealth from trading and extensive payments of tribute from conquered peoples. Bernal Diaz in his The Conquest of New Spain comments, "We were dazzled at the richness of the country that we passed through" (282). The Spaniards encountered a powerful, advanced people in the New World, making Cortes and his crew of approximately 600 seemingly ensured of defeat. The Aztec religion lends much to Spanish success in conquest.

A major element of Aztec life was religion, as often is in the case in ancient civilizations. The Aztecs were a polytheistic people, and they often made use of human sacrifice to please their gods. Diaz often makes reference to the blood-stained walls of the Aztec temples in his account of the conquest. In reference to the success of Cortes and his soldiers, an ancient Aztec legend is of grave importance. The Aztecs, and especially their leader Montezuma, believed that one of their gods, characterized by light skin and light eyes, would someday return to Earth. Cortes fit this description quite well. According to Diaz, Montezuma told the Spanish that they,"must truly be the men about whom his ancestors had long ago prophesized, saying they would come from the direction of the sunrise to rule over these lands" (220).

Since the Aztecs considered the Spanish gods, they welcomed the conquistadors into Mexico City, the city which the Spanish were repeatedly cautioned not to try and conquer. Furthermore, the Spanish were well cared for and...

Find Another Essay On The Role of Religion in "The Conquest of New Spain"

The Conquest Of Greece Essay

1132 words - 5 pages The Conquest of Greece Swords clashing together, Athenians and Spartans standing side by side trying to fight the murderous Persians who are on a conquest to conquer all of Greece .The Persian empire was located on the continent of Asia, and it existed between 530 B.C.E to 330 B.C.E .The Greco -Persian war started in 479 B.C.E when the Persian empire (modern day

Identifying the Role of Religion in Persepolis

1296 words - 6 pages religion. Moreover, his teachings did not thrive for long because other prophets such as Jesus Christ came after the time of Zarathustra and changed peoples belief systems once again. In fact, many of the teachings of Zarathustra can be found in Christianity because it was just an improvement to a flawed religion. Thus, Satrapi claims that she is the “last prophet” as her new belief system will go unchanged because there is no flaw in its creation

The role of religion in Victorian Britain

1528 words - 6 pages time of religious confusion, but also, as we will see, of great charity, as well as of birth of new beliefs. What role did religion play in the lives of citizens of this period and their society?The Victorian era was marked by the immense influence of the Church of England in religion, of course, but also in politics- being linked to the government meant it had its hand in certain social decisions, such as the oppression of dissenters. This

The Role of Religion in Roman Society

3506 words - 14 pages The Role of Religion in Roman Society Throughout the history of Rome, from the monarchy to the late empire, religion had played a great role in it's society and was involved in almost every aspect of the life of the Roman citizen. It was common for each house to have it's own patron god/gods and ,on special occasions, the head of the house would make a sacrifice to the personal gods of the family. Also, great festivals were usually held in

The Role of Religion in Beowulf

718 words - 3 pages determine the role of religion in the poem, the difference between fate and God’s providence must be examined, and examples of Pagan beliefs and Christian beliefs in the story should be discussed. Fate is the development of events beyond a person’s control that is determined by a supernatural power, whereas God’s providence is the plan, or guardianship, that God has for every creature. The difference in definition is subtle, yet it makes a large

The role of religion in Beowulf

548 words - 2 pages The epic poems Beowulf was first written in a pagan Saxon society, before Christianity was introduced. However, the poem was once again rewritten around the 18th centuries by a Christian poet. There is evidence of this throughout Beowulf as the author is in conflict when it comes to mix his Christian belief with the pagan society of Beowulf. When I look at the text, I see two different element of religion mixed together as one. As a result, this

Exploration and Conquest of the New World and Africa

2358 words - 10 pages Geopolitical necessity drove the Europeans to explore and conquer, beginning in earnest in the fifteenth-century. New trade routes and colonies were established. Technological advances led to their success on the African continent as well as in the New World, and the discoveries made in turn led to further exploration and conquest. Eventually, as the results of these conquests became known, questions arose regarding the proper roles of

The History of Spain

1896 words - 8 pages in the Bahamas. He claimed the new land, which he mistook for India, for the Spanish Crown. Later to come Spain conquered huge empire in the Americas, notably in Peru and Mexico. Hernan Cortes took down the Aztec empire in Mexico from 1519 to 1521, and Francisco Pizarro destroyed the Inca Empire of Peru, from 1531 to 1533. After Fernando death, in 1529, his grandson Charles I replaced him. During the years of 1521 to 1556, Charles waged war

The Role of Religion in the Formation of America

2047 words - 8 pages The Role of Religion in the Formation of America Religion has played a large role throughout History. Entire nations have been founded on the ideals of one religion or another, and many wars have been fought purely for religious reasons. In fact there are wars still going on that are almost completely religiously motivated. New Religions may form, old religions may die or change, but they will always be a part of our culture and society

1066: Year Of The Conquest

919 words - 4 pages Book Review of 1066: The Year of the Conquest. 1066: The Year of the Conquest, written by David Howarth, tells of one of the most important dates in the history of England. In 1066, William the Conqueror and William of Orange fought the historical Battle of Hastings. The outcome of this battle lead to many changes to the English people. The Norman people became assimilated into the English way of life. Howarth proceeds to tell the tale of

The Role of Religion in the Alcoholic Anonymous Program

1022 words - 4 pages “Alcoholic Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism (Alcoholic Anonymous, p. 1).” Spiritually is believed to play a major role in helping members of Alcoholic Anonymous remain sober. It is suggested that Alcoholic Anonymous and the inclusion of religion is based on a suggestion Carl Jung made to one

Similar Essays

Religion Played An Integral Role In The Development And Culture Of European Colonialism In The New World

1933 words - 8 pages colonies to develop alongside the British colonial culture. Since religion was an essential component of settlers’ life, religion also played a strong role in the local colonies governments as the Puritan British colonies were led by the congregation’s leader. Unlike the Catholic colonies, settlers were granted more rights under the British colonies. The British colonies were established as religiously-focused societies. In colonies of New Spain

The Nature Of War In The 8th Century: A Comparative Analysis Of The Song Of Roland And History Of The Conquest Of Spain

1411 words - 6 pages mountain passes. In the book, History of the Conquest of Spain by Ibn Abd-El-Hakem, translated by John Harris Jones, Musa sent Bashir to the city of Cairwan, which he took people and children prisoner and plundered treasure. Musa then retired him and made Tarik the new governor and he remained there for awhile, and waged a holy war. Ilyan, the lord of Septa became governor and made peace with Roderick. Ilyan sent one of his daughters to Roderick

The Role Of Religion Essay

826 words - 4 pages According to Henslin, religion is an element of faith (2012). My religion is Romanian Pentecostalism. I am the first generation born in America and my parents are from Romania. My religion is based on Pentecostal beliefs as well as Romanian culture. The book Essentials of Sociology talks about the functions and dysfunctions a religion, the symbols and categories of a religion, and the social class and tolerance of my religion. Henslin explains

The Conquest Of Peru Essay

1048 words - 4 pages The conquest of Peru by an obscure adventurer is one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of the New World. Until he was nearly 50 years old, Francisco Pizzaro, serving as a minor Spanish official on the Isthmus of Panama, had nothing to show for his years of toil and peril but a small holding of land. Little more than a decade later, he had conquered the fabulously wealthy empire of the Incas and had bestowed on Spain the richest of its