Summary Of Matthew Restall's Seven Myths Of The Spanish Conquest

Good Essays
When discussing the importance of Spanish alliances, it is important to discuss Matthew Restall’s interpretation of “the myth of the white conquistador”. A common myth in regards to the Spanish Conquest is that the Aztecs were conquered by a small group of white Spanish men. Within Restall’s book titled “Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest”, he debunks the myth of the white conquistadors. Restall’s argues that “there is no doubt that the Spanish were consistently outnumbered by native enemies on the battlefield. But what has so often been ignored or forgotten is the fact that Spaniards tended also to be outnumbered by their own native allies. Furthermore, the invisible warriors of this myth took an additional form, that of the Africans, free and enslave, who accompanied Spanish …show more content…
What the Tlaxcala people gave to the Spanish is power in numbers, information, and safe territory. Upon the alliance between the Tlaxcala and the Spanish, the Spanish gained information regarding to the Triple Alliance and the city of Tenochtitlán. Tlaxcala had conflicted with the city of Tenochtitlán for some time, and would gladly march with their Spanish forces. The Tlaxcala helped provide the route to the city of Tenochtitlán, resulting in the confrontation with the Aztec leader Moctezuma. When the eventual battle began within the city of Tenochtitlán, only because of Tlaxcala did the Spanish survive their initial retreat during the “Noche Triste”. Due to the alliance with the Tlaxcala, the Spanish had the ability to regroup in an allied city resulting in only 860 of the initial 1300 Spaniards being killed. With the ability to regroup in friendly territory, the Spanish and their allies could product a successful counter attack, ultimately leading to the defeat of the Aztec. Another important ally to the Spanish was Doña Marina, who was a translator. With Doña Marina, the Spanish had the ability to both negotiate with the natives and inform the Spanish of possible plots against

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Written Assignment One: The Globalization of Food In Matthew Restall’s book Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest, he states that “the Spanish Conquest is a mere episode in the globalization of access to resources of food production. The plants and animals of certain Old World environments and regions have a greater potential as food, and the peoples of those regions have enjoyed advantages over others as a result.” (145). In this, he asserts that the “big picture” reason for the Spaniards to…

    • 938 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    BOOK REVIEW Matthew Restall, _Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest_ New York, Oxford University Press, 2003 3 pages, 889 words _Myths of the Spanish Conquest_ is broken into seven chapters, each dedicated to a different myth or mis-conception regarding the Spanish conquest. In debunking these myths, Matthew Restall works with three themes regarding the conquest. First, that the European discovery of the Americas was one of the greatest events in human history. Second, that the conquest was the achievement…

    • 915 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Book Review: Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest Mathew Restall’s Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest is a well-written book that serves an important purpose. That purpose being: the debunking of generally accepted falsehoods about the Spanish Conquest beginning in the 15th century. Restall’s book is separated into seven chapters that specifically address general myths most historians and students perceive as basic --- universal truths. Restall uses the term “myth” to describe the inaccurate/fictitious…

    • 904 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Spanish Conquest Summary

    • 1028 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The Nahua Interpretation of Spanish Conquest It is very difficult to explain defeat without seeming to make excuses. Such was the task of the Nahua chroniclers whom learned to write their language and produced the codices that were used in The Broken Spears. These accounts were put together by Native Americans roughly thirty years after the conquest based on Nahua oral history. These are not direct first hand accounts and cannot be accepted as specific historical evidence. What can be understood…

    • 1028 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The book offers important events and discoveries that were by the Spanish in both Europe and America. The author highlights that the Spanish were first people to discover the printing press. The Spanish Conquest was made possible by the elaborate strategies utilized by renowned individuals such as Christopher Columbus and Pizarro. According to Restall (2003), the European discovery and the conquest of the America were as a result of courageous adventurers. The author highlights how powerful empires…

    • 587 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The accounts of the Spanish conquest of Mexico are often Spanish and almost always "patently self-serving" (Hassig 3). They glorify the ideals of the groups that the authors represent and emphasize the improbability of the Spanish victories. They largely ignore the Native points of view of the conquest, due to both a smaller number of Native accounts and due to their own motives. However, Hassig presents a balanced narrative of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and considers the Native perspectives…

    • 612 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Spanish Conquest

    • 1711 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Nahua and Inca empires an encounter of the Spanish, the meeting of the two cultures was a conquest because the Spanish brutally defeated and took over the indigenous cultures with the help of many advantages. There are three major factors which contributed to the successful conquest between the Spanish and the Nahuas, also known as the Aztecs, and Incas. First, the Spanish leaders had experience in forming alliances with indigenous people. Second, the Spanish had superior weaponry and military advantage…

    • 1711 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Spanish Conquest

    • 686 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The Spanish Conquest of Mexico Christine Schoonover Grand Canyon University His103 September 11, 2009 Joyce Kievit The conquest of Mexico was started around March of 1519. The Spanish became greedy for gold and other precious metals. Cortes was friends with governor which gave him friends of great nobleness. Cortes was called upon to complete a mission to take over Mexico by the governor of Cuba. The governor came to the conclusion he could not trust Cortes and wanted him arrested…

    • 686 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Spanish Conquests

    • 391 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Some of the conquests of the Spanish on the Native Indians were brutal. While most conquistadors and Spanish people treated the Indians badly, one names Las Casas did not. He defended them. Why My Congressman/Congresswoman Matters to Me. Our congressmen and congresswomen are some of the most important parts of our government. Normally, when one thinks of members of congress, it seems as though the members are nothing but a group of people arguing from different political…

    • 391 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Spanish Conquest

    • 582 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The Spanish had no idea how lucky they were that the Aztecs misunderstood who they were and why they were there. The Spanish conquistadors were looking for lands to conquer, gold to capture, and people to convert to the Catholic religion. The Spanish were amazed at what they found in the capital city of Tenochtitlan. Everything was clean. There were “eating houses” and hairdressers. You could buy medicines and herbs and all kinds of food. You could buy meat and game. There were streets that…

    • 582 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays