Document Analysis: The Second Letter of Henan Cortés to Charles V

Essay by ArkingsUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2014

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Document Analysis: The Second Letter of Henan Cortés to Charles V

The Second letters to Charles V were written by Hernan Cortés of Spain in 1520. The letters were sent to Charles V to justify Cortés actions of attacking the Aztec's against his superiors order. The letters that Cortés wrote details the lifestyle, and culture of the Aztec's and how worshipped pagan gods. This document is a set of letters that Hernan Cortés wrote detailing his experiences within the area known today as Mexico. These documents allow readers to see the Aztec culture through the eyes of Cortés during his conquest in Mexico. As a result of this, there is a bias against the Aztecs in the letters since Cortés was a very religious Christion. This article was intended mainly for the Emperor, but the details Cortés put into explaining the power of Aztecs would eventually be used to present the achievements of Cortés.

[1: Arkenberg, Cortés. "Hernan Cortés: From Second Letter to Charles V, 1520." Internet History Sourcebooks. January 1, 1998. Accessed November 13, 2014.]

In 1485, Hernan Cortés was born in Spanish kingdom of Castile and would later on die in 1547 at the age of 62. Cortés would go to become a Spanish Conquistador and would eventually lead a campaign that would end in the creation of New Spain or future Mexico. His most well-known achievement would be his ability to conquer the Aztec empire in 1521. Cortés did have an education since he studied at the University of Salamanca to become a lawyer but would drop out after two years, to chase after the tales and stories of the new world. As a result, Cortés education allows the Second letter to Charles V to illustrate the society of the Aztecs in a sharp way. Cortés...