The Broken Spears Essay Example

Good Essays
The Broken Spears written by Miguel Leon-Portilla is a book that goes into depth about the conquest of Mexico starting in 1519 from an Aztec point of view. The book discusses everything in depth about what occurred during this time period of the conquest. It discusses when the Aztecs first take news of the arrival of Cortez and the Spaniards comparing it to small floating mountains off the Mexican coast, all the way to the revolt of the Aztec people that lead to the end of the Aztec civilization. This book portrays the story from an Aztec point of view so it is clear that the author is on the Aztecs side.

Leon-Portilla based the stories told in the book upon old writings of actual Aztec people who survived the Spanish massacres. Many of the people who were in these writings were: priest, wise men and simply regular people. Most history of the Aztec empire are based of Spanish accounts of the events. this is why I feel this story is so special because it represents a realistic point of view coming from Aztec survivors. This story portrays the Spanish as horrible people. It shows the Spanish exploiting the Aztecs and even killing them for what they would like to say no reason. Simply it depicted how the Spanish would come through and brutally murder everyone . An example is when the Spanish sealed off the entrances to the palace so that no one could leave, then went through murdering anyone in sight.

These documents differ from the arguments made in the book in regards to the American Exchange greatly. In the book they don’t depict the American Exchange negatively at all. Christopher Columbus is seen as a hero and everything is glorified. In The Broken Spears Leon-Portilla depicts the Spaniards actions as horrid and brutal. I think they are depicted as complete opposites in the context of each

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Broken Spears

    • 854 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The author argues that the Spanish were completely at fault for the total destruction of the Aztec Empire. In Broken spears, the author explains how many factors other than Spanish power contributed to the downfall of the Aztecs. Not only did the Spanish have many advantages over the Aztecs, but also they also exploited them and took advantage of the cultural difference. The main key aspects to the Spanish victory, is that the Spanish were viewed as gods at first because of their appearance, the…

    • 854 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Broken Spears

    • 1475 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The Broken Spears “The Broken Spears” is a collection of many accounts of the destruction of Mexico by Cortes and the conquistadors in their invasion. The motive behind this conquest was Cortes’ desire to bring a fortune of gold, spices, and land that can be claimed, back to Spain. Although these desires were admirable, they were sought after at the expense of the Aztecs and consequently changed an entire civilization, due to an initial drive for power, control, land, and money…

    • 1475 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Broken Spears

    • 1538 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Focus Paper #1 The Broken Spears The book The Broken Spears, by Miguel Leon-Portilla, presents an account of the Conquest of Mexico from the point of view of the some of the indigenous people who survived those events. The passages used, written in the native language of the victims, provide us a brief description of the encounters with the Spaniards that were not seen in the documented history of the conquest. Native priests and wise men had documented the welcoming of Cortes and his men as…

    • 1538 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Broken Spears

    • 1117 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico Author: Miguel León-Portilla History of the Spanish defeat of Mexico and the Aztecs has always been told in the words of the Spaniards. It has often been forgotten that with only having one impression of the events that took place during this time period, we can never be certain of the entire story, or what actually took place. For this reason, Miguel León-Portilla took it upon himself to further explore pre-Hispanic history and gain…

    • 1117 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Broken Spears Quotes

    • 472 Words
    • 2 Pages

    While reading “Broken Spears”, written by Miguel Leon-Portilla, I’ve had a small view of what Mexican culture was like back in those times. They are sort of different from America’s traditions and societies. Broken Spears is unlike others written about the loss of the empire because it was written from the point of the Aztecs and not the Spanish. As the book goes on, Miguel Leon-Portilla describes how the Spanish were successful in taking over the solid empire. The book really starts out by giving…

    • 472 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    broken spears focus paper

    • 806 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The Broken Spears Focus paper In The broken spears, author Miguel Leon-Portilla gives accounts from the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1519. These accounts include several texts written by surviving indigenous people of the Aztec civilization; these perspectives truly shows the emotion, fear, and uncertainty the Aztec’s felt in depth during this time. With the accounts in our textbook and the broken spears, we are able to draw conclusions viewing both facts and experiences through this…

    • 806 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Two Accounts: Broken Spears and Bernal Diaz In every historical event there tends to be conflicting sides, each member has their own point of view based on a plethora of statistics. These statistics include but are not limited to, socio-economic classes, race, geographical boundaries, gender, etc. When two cultures interact for the first time there is bound to be some discrepancies over what truly occurred. These discrepancies are portrayed quite well through Bernal Diaz’s The Conquest of New Spain…

    • 1295 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    _The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of _Mexico, edited and with an introduction by Miguel Leon-Portillo (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992), pp. 196 Reviewed by: Nicholas Adams Broken Spears is an accumulated, chronological collection of texts and accounts of the invasion of the Aztec empire by the Spanish from April 22, 1519 to August 13, 1521. This time period from arrival to the surrender of the Aztec empire to the Spanish is filled with interactions between two different people and…

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    historians tremendously. The Broken Spears is a historical outlook on the Spanish Conquest of the Americas that includes several different texts written by many different indigenous people. Numerous texts are written in such a way that show the fear that the people experienced while having their towns overtaken, while other texts simply explain what was happening at the time. In Traditions and Encounters, a more factual approach is taken, conveying only facts. The Broken Spears includes facts, yet also…

    • 1427 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    the Spaniards brought to Mexico from Europe. These became known as virgin soil epidemics, as Europeans brought diseases which the native people had no immunity for. These plagues were deadly and wiped out large amounts of the native population. An example of this was when the Spaniards were in Tlaxcala, “a great plague broke out in Tenochtitlan” (92). This plague spread in the city rapidly and “a great many died… and many others died of hunger.” Hence, the Spaniards were always at an advantage during…

    • 270 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays