Was Hernan Cortes a Positive or Negative Force in History?

Topics: Hernán Cortés, Aztec, Mexico City Pages: 3 (1216 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Was Hernan Cortes a positive or negative force in history?

Villains aren’t always just found in the stories we pass down from generation to generation. They can be found in everyday life throughout history from all across the globe. But what makes someone a villain? The definition of villain is someone that is blamed for a particular evil or difficulty (Webster). Hernan Cortes fits this description and the actions taken while in Mexico can be viewed as evil, making him a negative force in their culture. Some may see Cortes as a positive force due to how Mexico’s culture was shaped into what it is today, the building of Mexico City, the introduction of essential livestock, uncovering massive wealth from the Aztecs, and his success motivated the rest of Europe to explore the Americas. However, I believe that Hernan Cortes was a negative force in history due to the fact that he had no respect for the people with their own culture and religious beliefs and many people died in the name of Christianity, he used his superior technology and military skills to take everything from the Aztecs and torture them to fill his incessant greed and lust for power, and in the end after everything was said and done millions more died due to illnesses that Cortes and his men brought along with them on the journey. Even since first meeting of the indigenous people Cortes was on a mission to convert them to Christianity. With every tribe that he came across he pressured them to leave their faith behind and to begin to serve his God. He did not respect their religion or their cultural beliefs because in his mind and by his religion they were wrong. He also used his religion as a bargaining chip for protection. “Every day Cortes and his men had witnessed this act, [practice of human sacrifice] this barbarity, and it simply must cease, or he could not in good conscience be their ally and protect them from their “false beliefs” (Levy, Buddy, Conquistador, p. 54). He refused...
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