February 20, 2012
Comparison of the Spanish Conquest
After the Spanish Conquest, many written document have become used as sources that help recount major events from the past. Therefore, it becomes that job of historians to analyze sources and determine their accuracy and relevancy. “The Conquest of New Spain” written by Bernal Díaz and “The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico” are two sources whose themes can be compared and contrasted in order to determine their accuracy as primary sources. There are several themes portrayed throughout both sources such as: the civility of Cortez and Montezuma, initial encounters, the difference between the perception of gift versus greed, and the variation of religious beliefs between the Spaniards and the Aztecs. Through the comparison of these themes, we can determine that the Aztec account is more accurate based on certain aspects, such as bias, time the account was written after the event, who wrote the document, and the perspective of certain events, that help conclude the reliability of this specific source.
Both sources, “The Conquest of New Spain” and “The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico”, contribute completely different viewpoints despite the fact that both sources are written about the exact same series of events. The account written by Díaz, “The Conquest of New Spain”, does not perceive the Spaniards visit as threatening and demanding as the Broken Spears account claims it to be. “Montezuma had ordered his stewards to provide us with everything we need for our way of living” (Díaz, 601) shows how the Spaniards viewed Montezuma as welcoming and generous. From the Spaniards point of view, they showed Montezuma the up most respect and civility in every one of their encounters. Not once did it mention any form of disrespect or any hostility between the two clans. However, from the Aztec’s point of view the Spaniards were greedy and disrespectful from the...
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