Alvarado Massacre Essay Research Paper During the — страница 3

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Mexico during the Alvarado massacre. Bernal Diaz Del Castillo, Franciscan Fray Bernardino de Sahagun, and Dominican Fray Diego Duran believed that Pedro de Alvarado led the revolt against the Mexicans in 1520. While Durnan argues that Cortes was present during the revolt Castillo and Sahagun disagree, theorizing that he was near Chempola fighting against Narvaez and his crew. Although each argument differs all agree that Alvarado and his men attacked first. In an earlier segment of Castillo s book Pedro Alvarado admits that he attacked the Indians first. However, in Sahagun s and Duran s document Alvarado remains the main person at fault for the bloodbath, but his participating voice in Castillo s book becomes silent in the remaining texts. For example Sahgun writes When the

great courtyard of the idol, Huitzilopochtli, god of the Mexicans, was full of nobles, priests, and soldiers, and throngs of other people, intent upon the idolatrous songs to that idol, whom they were honoring, the Spaniards suddenly poured forth ready for combat and blocked the exits of the courtyard so that no one could escape. Then they entered with their weapons and ranged themselves all along the inner walls of the courtyard. (1) While Duran writes, Cort s, instigated by Alvarado, ordered ten soldiers to be placed at each of the four gates of the courtyard so that no one could escape, (1). Even though the authors of the three books use a variety of methods to theorize that Alvarado was the culprit in the battle they do not realize just by mentioning his name in their work

holds accountable for the slayings. Agreeing with the three historians that Alvarado was the main person who led the attack against the Indians, I have also arrived at a conclusion. Hernando Cortes led his expedition to the New World with the intention of new labor and gold. The only means possible of establishing superiority over the Indians was through force and bribery. As Hernando led his men up to Mexico he conquered many Indian villages along the way. He would offer peace through elegant hand crafted beads, if the methods were not successful he would turn to force. Once he was victorious he would tear down the statues of Indian Gods disgracing the pagan religion the Indian tribes practiced, and incorporate Catholicism. By using force and incentives Cortes was successful in

establishing a God like superior image of himself and his soldiers. As the second of command Pedro de Alvarado saw Cortes absence as an opportunity to uphold this greater image. From Castillo s vivid memory it is obvious that Alvarado proved himself to be as powerful as Cortes by leading an unjust revolt against the Mexicans. In Bernal Diaz documentation of the conversation between Pedro and Cortes he states But they told me, said Cortes, that they asked your permission to hold their fiesta and dances. Alvarado agreed that this was so, and said that, to surprise and scarce them and prevent them from attacking us, he had got his attack first, (286). The fact that Alvarado gave the Mexicans permission to hold their fiesta then turns and attacks them with unjust cause proves that

Alvarado wanted to uphold Cortes superior image. He saw no other alternative of doing so if not by Cortes techniques. For example compare the methods Cortes used to recruit tribes of Indians to Alvarado s technique of leading a revolt against the Mexican s. First they both sent out signals that they were peaceful creatures, Hernando offering beads while Pedro gave the Mexicans permission to hold their celebration and then without caution they attacked. Even though each historian had different interpretations of the Alvarado massacre each author including myself believed Pedro de Alvarado was present during the battle. Although one historian argued that Cortes was present and was influenced by Alvarado to attack the Indians, the truth remains: Cortes was near Chempola fighting

Navraez and his army during the revolt. Therefore Cortes had nothing to do with Pedro s mistake. Whether we want to admit it or not Pedro de Alvarado was the key influence to the attack against the Indians. His battle not only led to the colonization of the indigenous people but it led to the destruction of a truly enriched culture. For in the years to come the Indians would become slaves to the Catholic religion and die from European diseases. Works Cited Castillo, Bernal Del Diaz. The Conquest Of New Spain. NewYork: Penguin books, 1963. Cline, Sarah. History Of Mexico. HSSB Lecture Hall. University California of Santa Barbara, Fall1999. Cohen, J.M. The Conquest Of New Spain Introduction. NewYork: Penguin books, 1963. Fray Diego Dur n. History of the Indies of New Spain.