The Conquest of Mexico

The story of Hernan Cortes' conquest of Mexico is more exciting and more improbable than the wildest fiction. In 1519, the Spaniard set out with a tiny army to conquer an extensive and old-established empire, with an apparently impregnable capital built on an island in the middle of a great lake. Cortes and his companions reached the capital and seized it by guile; they were admitted as honored guests because the Aztec Emperor thought they were gods corning to reclaim their earthly kingdom, and once inside they imprisoned the Emperor and forced him to issue their own orders. The Spaniards eventually conquered the whole empire and ended the cannibalism and human sacrifices practiced by the Mexicans, forcibly converting the natives whom they dominated to Christianity. In the savage battles that gained the Aztec Empire for Spain, Cortes and his followers destroyed a magnificent ancient civilization. This primary source portfolio presents the evidence of that civilization and describes the way in which it met its end. 6 Illustrated Broadsheet Essays: * Two Cultures Mingle * Ancient Mexican Civilizations * Cortes Scales the Mountains * The Spaniards Defeated * Cortes Fights Back * Aftermath 9 Primary Source Documents: * Four pages from the Codex Laud, a Mexican folding book, with an interpretation * The Songs of Xipe and other songs from the Florentine Codex * Durer engraving of Hernan Cortes' plan of Tenochititlan * Mexican Gods and temples, a picture sheet * Four pages from the Codex Mendoza, a manuscript made soon after the conquest * Two pages from the Lienzo de Tlaxcala, a manuscript made by a native of Mexico shortly after the conquest * Page from the True History of the Conquest of New Span by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, with translation * Two pages from a letter sent by Hernan Cortes to the Emporer Charles V, with translation * Maya stone lintel depicting a religious penance

Product type: Primary Source Portfolio
ISBN: 978-1-5669-6105-9
Author: Irene Nicholson
Copyright: 1968
Reading Level: Grades 8-12+
Interest Level: Grades 8-12+
Dimensions: 14" x 9 1/4"