Deadly Baggage: What Cortes Brought to Mexico and How It Destroyed the Aztec Civilization

Deadly Baggage: What Cortes Brought to Mexico and How It Destroyed the Aztec Civilization

by Al Sandine

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In 1519, a few hundred Europeans led by Hernan Cortes sailed from Cuba to the Mexican mainland, where they encountered representatives of the Aztec Empire. Their Iberian history, culture and religion, and their experience in the Greater Antilles made conquest and riches the aim of these adventurers. They regarded themselves as heroes in a romantic crusade of good against evil. Each member of the expedition sought to acquire precious metals and to become a lord of enslaved native labor. Their horses and steel swords, aided by native disunity and susceptibility to Old World diseases, ensured their success. This analysis of the conquest of Mexico stands in contrast to previous narratives that either reduce the conquest to a contest between Cortes and Montezuma, or describe a near miraculous victory of European ingenuity and Western values over Indian superstition and savagery. The author re-frames the clash of civilizations in New World prehistory that left inhabitants at a disadvantage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476622224
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 09/03/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 6 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Al Sandine, retired from a career of public service and political activism, lives in Kensington, California.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
1—Guests Without Baggage 11
2—Iberian Voyagers 26
3—Conquest as Romance 39
4—Crusaders in America 51
5—The Sword’s New Cutting Edge 64
6—America’s Gold and Silver Promote Slavery and Boost European Commerce 71
7—The Horse’s New Footing 98
8—Transplanting a Work Ethic 108
9—A New Kind of Savagery 125
10—Hog Heaven 149
11—Micro-Invaders 154
12—Leftover Baggage: The Triumph of an Oxymoron 166
Conclusion 189
Chapter Notes 195
Bibliography 218
Index 229

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