Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro and the City of the Aztecs from Hernan Cortés: from Second Letter to Charles V, 1520.
The letter of Cortés to Charles V was an impressive and very descriptive interpretation of a man raised a Catholic and partisan to some extent of Spanish nobility and the true faith. The letter is tempered as a first person account. The flagrant off-hand comparisons to this “native, heathen” empire, to his homeland of Spain. With the letter showing his obvious admiration (or just a politically correct sales pitch) of the Aztecs and what they were able to accomplish without knowledge of God and king, he passively introduces the fact that all though the Aztec nation is great, they could be so much better with Spain’s help. That they need Spain, the king, the faith, to make them the equal of España. To assist them in the culturalization of their people was the Christian thing to do. One of the items that Cortés does neglect to add in his letter is any demonstration of resistance. Open arms. The absence of malice. The proximity of armed natives. Battle capability. Being the man on the ground, witnessing these natives lives and culture would add to the credibility of the tale. “I saw it. Trust me.” The letter is laid out that although an industrious, and thriving tribe, they are still savages, the inability of higher thinking, deprived of formal education. Cortés hints throughout to the fact of savagery, and naitivity. That conquest could be so easy. Which, it turned out to be. Cortés’ glowing and beautiful description of this kingdom is breath-taking. I could see the streets, walk across the bridges, and hear the street vendors hawking items to customers, a city full of life. Being a mechanical person of sorts I was also amazed by the presence of knowledge toward water access, utilization and obvious awareness of sanitation. These tales had an effect on me. What would they do to a king whom wanted to expand his own kingdom? Mouthwatering. Too...
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