Latin American Civilization: History and Society, 1492 to the Present

By Benjamin Keen | Go to book overview

3
CONQUEST

THE DISCOVERY of America is linked to a number of great European movements: the decline of feudalism and the rise of the nation-state; the rapid growth of the merchant class and international trade; a series of advances in navigational science and shipbuilding that facilitated European overseas expansion; and a new intellectual climate (the Renaissance) that helped to dispel old geographical dogmas and fired men's curiosity to penetrate the unknown.

More immediately, the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus resulted from the search for an all-water route to the East. That search was promoted by the monarchs of Portugal and Spain in an effort to break the Italian-Arab monopoly of European trade with the East.

From its primary base on Hispaniola the Spanish conquest of the Americas branched out to the other great Antilles (Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica) and simultaneously sent out weak offshoots to the coasts of South and Central America. Slave-hunting and exploring expeditions gradually mapped the coasts of Central America and Mexico and revealed Indian societies far wealthier and more advanced than those found in the West Indies.

The discovery of these societies led to the invasion of Mexico by Hernando Cortes in 1519. The superstitious fears of the Aztec emperor Moctezuma ( Montezuma) led him to identify Cortes as the god and priest king Quetzalcoatl, who was believed to have left Mexico long centuries before. These fears enabled Cortés to enter the Indian capital without opposition, but an unprovoked aggression by his lieutenant Pedro de Alvarado precipitated a mortal struggle. Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec ruler, only surrendered to Cortés in 1521 when Tenochtitlán lay in ruins and its native defenders were dead or starving. From Mexico the stream of conquest flowed south into Guatemala and Honduras; in Nicaragua it joined another current formed by Spaniards coming north from Darien.

The town of Panama, founded in 1519 across the isthmus from Darien, became a base for expeditions seeking golden kingdoms that were rumored to lie southward. After repeated failures, Francisco Pizarro and his compan-

-39-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Latin American Civilization: History and Society, 1492 to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 507

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.