Broken Spears. Speaks of the conquest of the Aztec empire

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateB+, December 1996

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The conquest of the Aztec empire can be seen as a collision between two diverse societies whose cultural differences are just as distant as the dividing seas between the two worlds. Spaniards had the intention of territorial expansion and wealth accumulation while the Aztecs had intentions of maintaining their livelihood. Three of the most substantial factors that reflect the cultural differences are their perceptions of gold, warfare, and religion. (In my opinion,) The differing views of gold was the most important factor in onset of the war, thus it was the most significant cause of the cultural dispute. This dispute would lead to religious dispute, and ultimately to war which also showed incongruity in both cultures.

At the forefront of this dispute was the leader of the Spaniard expedition Hernan Cortes The economic motive of the Spanish conquistador Cortes was based primarily on gold. This was what ultimately drove to the Spaniards to the destruction of Aztec empire.

To the Aztec Indians, the value of precious metals/rare objects was highly prized. The king of the Aztec empire Motecuhzoma did have his own personal treasury where he kept his own desirables such as bracelets, golden jewelry, etc. (68) Gold, however, was not their center of focus; after the conquest, non-golden objects confiscated by the Spaniards were redistributed to their allies, who greatly appreciated such gifts, (121) and Motecuhzoma was willing to give to their 'new gods' much of their wealth (including gold) to appease them (19). Given that Aztecs were very religious, the tributes were considered to be 'divine adornments' (23).

The aim of the Spaniards' voyage, however, to the 'New World' was based on profit motive, especially gold accumulation. The Spaniards '.. burst into smiles... pigs for that gold.. eyes delighted with pleasure... monkeys transported by joy..' upon receiving the...