. The President took a different view. On despotism, "The Tezcucan monarchs, like those of Asia, and ancient Egypt, had the control of immense masses of men, and would sometimes turn the whole population of a conquered city, including the women, into the public works" (1:180). By contrast, "Far from looking back, and forming itself slavishly on the past, it is characteristic of the European intellect to be ever on the advance" (1:131–132). Montezuma is offered as a Romantic figure—the Aztec "Representative Man"—and also displays Prescott's use of orientalist images. Boston: American Stationers Company, 1837. ." the time will not have come to write the history of the Union" (Miscellanies, p. 305). For Prescott, virtuous actions and the development of wise institutions determine human progress, and these can be found, to some measure, in any society. It is an invaluable source of information on both the common lives of…, …de la Nueva España (1632; True History of the Conquest of New Spain) by the explorer Bernal Díaz del Castillo. He told them, they were now to embark, in earnest, on an enterprise which had been the great object of their desires; and that the blessed Saviour would carry them victorious through every battle with their enemies. Prescott, History of the Conquest of Mexico, 1:130–131, 1:392–393, 2:361–362. History as Romantic Art: Bancroft, Prescott,Motley, and Parkman. Their works are deemed "American" because they imply that the United States represented the providential destiny of the Americas' settlement, for which the histories of imperial Spain, France, Britain, and the Netherlands were flawed forerunners. The Conquest of Mexico can be read as an object lesson in the dangers of military adventurism—admonitory rather than celebratory American history. William H. Prescott 1843. The Spaniards attacked and conquered the city. (3:222–223). . The Conquest of Mexico offers readers a Romantic chapter in the ongoing history of West versus East. . Prescott's use of racial stereotypes about Native Americans is contained within his Orientalism. McWilliams, John P., Jr. See alsoHistory; Orientalism; Romanticism. The Conquest of Mexico was also a cautionary tale to his fellow citizens, warning them against assuming too readily, as Cortés had done, that providence was on their side, and reminding them of the dangers faced by a government in which people differed violently over whether its institutions supported human prosperity and progress. (1847). Encyclopedia.com. Summary Acting on information from the seafarers Córdoba and Grijalva, Cortes organized an expedition, which left Santiago de Cuba in February 18 th, 1519. On luxury, "The Spaniards might well have fancied themselves in the voluptuous precincts of an Eastern harem, instead of treading the halls of a wild barbaric chief in the Western World" (2:86). Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. one spirit, and to move on a common principle of action!" The affected sections were 12, 13, 27, 28, 33, & 34.) The great square before the palace was deserted, as, indeed, it had been since the fall of Montezuma. The famous Noche Triste (Melancholy Night) during which Cortés's forces were nearly destroyed, really did take place on a dark and stormy night. but this was the development of the material, rather than the intellectual principle" (1:204–205). The fleet approached the shore of Yucatan, near the island of Cozumel and sailed along to Tabasco, where they landed on March 14 th. As they passed along the lanes and alleys which opened into the great street, or looked down the canals, whose polished surface gleamed with a sort of ebon luster through the obscurity of night, they easily fancied that they discerned the shadowy forms of their foe lurking in ambush, and ready to spring on them. For their sympathies were his, and he shared in the romantic spirit of adventure which belonged to them. Two Accounts: Broken Spears and Bernal Diaz In every historical event there tends to be conflicting sides, each member has their own point of view based on a plethora of statistics. Gardiner, C. Harvey. . If the American continent was the stage on which the world's destiny would be played out, the United States was not necessarily the chosen vehicle to carry the designs of providence forward. These expeditions were organized by Governor Diego de Velazquez de Cuellar. At length, a lighter space beyond the dusky line of buildings showed the van of the army that it was emerging on the open causeway. BIBLIOGRAPHY He ended by comparing their achievements to those of the ancient Romans, "in phrases of honeyed eloquence far beyond any thing I can repeat," says the brave and simple-hearted chronicler who heard them [Bernal Diaz]. As developed by Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Representative Man was the natural outgrowth of Herder's Romantic nationalism: a heroic figure who embodies the qualities of a people. The Mexican-American War (1846–48) achieved U.S. expansionist goals by adding more than one million square miles to the United S…, ZUMÁRRAGA, JUAN DE Steadily, and as noiselessly as possible, the Spaniards held their way along the great street of Tlacopan, which so lately had resounded to the tumult of battle. If, under Ferdinand and Isabella, Spain had made progress toward constitutional liberties, this was ruined by their successor, Charles V, and by the creation of the Spanish Inquisition. The True History of the Conquest of Mexico, https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-True-History-of-the-Conquest-of-Mexico, Latin American literature: Chronicles of discovery and conquest. "History of the Conquest of Mexico to breathe . Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. ." In his younger days, he had tempered the fierce habits of the soldier with the milder profession of religion. Ringe, Donald A. . History of the Conquest of Mexico with a preliminary view of the ancient Mexican civilisation and the life of the conqueror Hernando Cortez This edition published in 1949 by G. Allen & Unwin in London. To be a Boston writer was to be at once provincial and cosmopolitan. The Aztec monarchy fell by the hands of its own subjects, under the direction of European sagacity and science. receives honors and riches from the Spanish government, but he also becomes victimized by the Byzantine politics of the Spanish court. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1843. A once great civilization, the Mexica Empire was left in ruins when the Spaniards razed Tenochtitlan to replace it with a Spanish capital, Mexico City. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969. "Indeed," he added, "this assurance must be our stay, for every other refuge is now cut off, but that afforded by the Providence of God, and your own stout hearts." Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1959. It would be more accurate to think of Prescott as a Boston Federalist striving to come to terms with his city's place in the nation's conflicts. However, The History of the Conquest of Mexico comes to us in seven books, not five. There are multiple 16th-century narratives of the events by Spanish conquerors, their indigenous allies, and the defeated Aztecs. (1843), and his History of the Conquest of Peru, 2 vol. He affected a reserve unknown to his predecessors; withdrew his person from the vulgar eye, and fenced himself round with an elaborate and courtly etiquette. If Spain's salutary laws, domestic tranquility, and public credit could be ruined by the war spirit, so too could the American republic. Retrieved October 16, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/history-conquest-mexico. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002. Note: This project had some missing and duplicate sections. Levin, David. . Broken Spears The Aztec Account Of The Conquest Of Mexico Summary. United States History I. Prescott's comparison of the Spanish Inquisition with Aztec human sacrifice also advances the image of Spanish despotism. But the distinctions Prescott makes among races and nations are never absolute. At the same time, Boston's commercial interests made the city unusually cosmopolitan, a trait reflected by Prescott's contemporaries who sought to overcome their provincial upbringing by seeking education and travel in Europe. About The Book The "Conquest of Mexico" is a spirited and graphic narrative of a stirring episode in history. To use his own words, the author (see p. 271) has "endeavoured to surround the reader with the spirit of the times, and, in … The aspiring mind of Montezuma rose with the acquisition of wealth and power; and he displayed the consciousness of new importance by the assumption of unprecedented state. Prescott, William Hickling. Contrary to the belief held in the writings by Francisco López de Gómara that the Indians regarded the Spaniard as divine gods, the author of the article “Burying the White Gods: New Perspectives on the Conquest of Mexico”, Camilla Townsend provides a detailed and new perspective showing that the Indians never regarded the Spaniards as gods. History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic. These include two 16th-century sources: an excerpt from Bernal Díaz del Castillo’s The True History of the Conquest of New Spain and a passage from fray Bernardino de Sahagún’s collection of Nahua accounts called The Florentine Codex. This generalization captures the underlying moralism in the works of the Romantic historians but obscures the complexity of their identity as American authors. (3:355). 294–305. In his review of Bancroft's History of the United States, written while he was completing Conquest of Mexico, Prescott claimed that "until the period has elapsed which shall have fairly tried the strength of our institutions, through peace and through war, . 2 (1993): 231–249. The condition of the empire, too, under his reign, was favorable to this change. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html. "We are ready to obey you," they cried as with one voice. Apparently whi…, The viceroyalty of New Spain included all of the territory claimed by Spain in North America and the Caribbean from the conquest of the Aztec Empire…, History of Mathematical Astronomy in India, History of Geoscience: Women in the History of Geoscience, History of Exploration II (Age of Exploration), History of Exploration I (Ancient and Classical). Excerpt from Victors and Vanquished. Within any society—Spain, Mexico, or, for that matter, the United States—Prescott finds varying mixtures of the qualities he associates with progress or decline. Boston's mercantile connections with Latin America encouraged Prescott and his peers to view this region as an independent partner in trade rather than a potential new area for U.S. colonization. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1845. The foremost Nahuatl conquest account is Book Twelve of the Florentine Codex. A telling example comes in his description of Guatemozin, Montezuma's successor as Aztec emperor, who fought nobly against Cortés through the final siege of Tenochtitlan. American History Through Literature 1820-1870. . Prescott is often grouped with Parkman, Motley, and other contemporaries as "American" historians, even though their subject was not the United States. Prescott's rendering of Spain and its empire as tainted by oriental qualities has been described by Richard L. Kagan as "Hispanism.". Not surprisingly, Prescott suggests that Guatemozin's "complexion [was] fairer than those of his bronze-colored nation" (3:205). These series of military expeditions were originally intended to establish a colony on the mainland from which mineral riches and a labor force could be supplied to replace the quickly depleted indigenous population of the West Indies. Under a system of salutary laws and an equitable administration, domestic tranquility was secured, public credit established" (1:211–212). Prescott framed the drama with two other very different books—the first, a "philosophical" description of Aztec society before Spanish conquest; the last, an account of Cortés's career after his triumph in Mexico. In twentieth-century Mexico, no name was used more frequently to name streets, public buildings, and towns than…, Mexican-American War All was now hushed in silence; and they were only reminded of the past by the occasional presence of some solitary corpse, or a dark heap of the slain, which too plainly told where the strife had been hottest. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates. The conquest of Mexico began with an expedition to search for gold on the American mainland. Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. These statistics include but are not limited to, socio-economic classes, race, geographical boundaries, gender, etc. His haughty demeanour touched the pride of his more potent vassals, particularly those who, at a distance, felt themselves nearly independent of his authority. https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/history-conquest-mexico, "History of the Conquest of Mexico . ." The parallels between Spain's emergence as a united monarchy out of "the numerous states, into which she had been so long divided" (1:211) and the nascent American republic are obvious, and the meaning of Cortés's conquest is clear—the short-term riches and power that military expansion brought to Spain were in the long run disastrous, not only for Mexico but for Spain as well. He recommended a vigorous prosecution of the war—not for conquest: that was disavowed—but for the purpose of conquering peace; that is, to compel Mexico to sign a treaty making a sufficient cession of territory to indemnify this Government both for the claims of its citizens and for the expenses of the war. BEYOND a doubt the one-term president who left behind him the greatest record of accomplishment was Ja…, Juárez, Benito 1806-1872 That was also the time that Spanish adventurers were swarming by the hundreds to the West Indies, following the discovery of the Americas in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. . The Conquest of Mexico therefore begins with a comparable account of Aztec society that allows his subsequent narrative to depict a clash between two conflicting peoples. Embedded in these comparisons are standard Orientalist oppositions: Christian versus infidel, civility versus barbarism, science versus superstition, representative government versus despotism, masculine vigor versus feminine passivity, and an underlying racial distinction between white Europeans and colored Asiatics. Not that Prescott avoided the conventions of Romantic fiction—he was fond of portraying dramatic action against spectacular backdrops—but he always required documentary evidence to substantiate his scenic displays. 16 Oct. 2020 . American History Through Literature 1820-1870. For the purpose of summary and analysis, this guide breaks the introduction into three parts while retaining the ntroduction's original subtitles within the summary sections. . Kagan, Richard L., ed. . The Inquisition, on the other hand, branded its victims with infamy in this world, and consigned them to everlasting perdition in the next" (1:84). Early Globalization Reader. American History Through Literature 1820-1870. . As the Conquest of Mexico has occupied the pens of Solís and of Robertson, two of the ablest historians of their respective nations, it might seem that little could remain at the present day to be gleaned by the historical inquirer.