The Spanish city of Toledo was known as one of the best places in the world for making arms and armor and a fine Toledo sword was a valuable weapon indeed. From Cuba came another Spanish army, to make sure that Cortes followed his orders. Also, with the help of iron armor, gunpowder weaponryand diseases such as smallpox, the Spanish were able to defeat theAztecs and effectively conquer Mexico on August 13, 1521. Sores erupted on our faces, our breasts, our bellies; we were covered with agonizing sores from head to foot.”. You could easily have googled this question. Five hundred years ago, in February of 1519, the Spaniard Hernán Cortés set sail from Cuba to explore and colonize Aztec civilization in the Mexican interior. They introduced the Aztecs to domestic animals, sugar, grains, and European farming practices. It took only two years for Hernán Cortés to conquer and seize the Aztec empire for Spain. Conquistadors Conquer the Aztecs and Inca study guide by brandonb128 includes 44 questions covering vocabulary, terms and more. How did the Spanish explorers defeat the Aztec? After war and disease swept the empire, it fell in 1521. The Spanish recruited the enemies of the Aztecs and Incas to help destroy the two kingdoms. In turn, Cortés took Montezuma prisoner. First of all, the Spanish possessed far superior weaponry and battle tactics. Question. The final case occurred in 1978, when a photographer died of the disease, prompting the scientist whose research she was covering to take his own life. Why is the Battle of Saratoga considered a turning point in the American Revolution. Updated 1/12/2017 9:13:12 AM. Quizlet flashcards, activities and games help you improve your grades. Top subjects are History, Literature, and Business. Finally, people could no longer tend to their crops, leading to widespread famine, further weakening the immune systems of survivors of the epidemic. To help you do this, take a few minutes and discuss in Spanish (1-2 paragraphs) 7th Grade Social Studies!! Are you a teacher? Within just two years, Aztec ruler Montezuma was dead, the capital city of Tenochtitlan was captured and Cortés had claimed the Aztec empire for Spain. A Franciscan monk who accompanied Cortés provided this description: “As the Indians did not know the remedy of the disease, they died in heaps, like bedbugs. We’ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50% for our End-of-Year sale—Join Now! Through a system of conquest and tribute, the Aztecs had established the great island city of Tenochtitlan in Lake Texcoco that ruled over an area of about 80,000 square miles. In the past, diseases such as influenza, smallpox and measles, other pathogens that were known to have been brought over from Europe were considered, though they have now been ruled out. The Aztecs were severely weakened by diseases that the Spanish brought such as smallpox, influenza, and malaria. Smallpox killed many of its Aztec victims from the onset of exposure, especially those who were more vulnerable, such as infants and young children. Cortes didn’t want any of that and went to fight them. Code Of Hammurabi Laws Compared To Today's Laws. Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. A 17th-century copper plate of Tenochtitlan. Spanish weaponry and tactics played ... and indigenous allies would not have been able to overcome a city of 200,000 without help. Though vastly outnumbered, he and a small force marched on Tenochtitlan, where Montezuma received them with honor. The loss of people in a loss that can't be calculated. The Spanish had a positive effect on Aztec civilization because they helped modernize the society. Other than that, it was a pure backstab/lie to the Aztec king by the Spanish conquistador that enabled him to defeat the Aztecs. First, it killed many of its victims outright, particularly infants and young children. How smallpox devastated the Aztecs – and helped Spain conquer an American civilization 500 years ago Menu Close The Democratic Republic of Congo is fighting a deadly outbreak of Ebola that has killed hundreds. Recent outbreaks in the U.S. have drawn attention to the dangers of measles. After some brief and violent contact in 1517, a Spanish force under Hernan Cortes arrived in 1519 to completely subjugate the Aztecs. The Aztecs, however, who had never been exposed to such a disease, were not able to handle the consequences. Aztecs were technically a stone age civilisation, as they did not work metal. After Cortes (the Spanish explorer, mainly famous for the conquering of the Aztec empire) had arrived in Mexico. The finely made weapons did not pass inspection until they could bend in a half-circle … In addition to North America’s Native American populations, the Mayan and Incan civilizations were also nearly wiped out by smallpox. After Montezuma II was killed the Aztecs elected Cuauhtemoc as their new king. Mass vaccination against smallpox got going in the second half of the 1800s. Native Americans such as the Aztecs had never come in contact with Old World diseases such as smallpox and therefore possessed no natural immunity to the virus; furthermore, no effective anti-viral therapies were available to treat it. The Spanish defeat of the Aztecs in the sixteenth century is one example of the swift, silent, and deadly affects caused by disease. He got it in the form of a smallpox epidemic that gradually spread inward from the coast of Mexico and decimated the densely populated city of Tenochtitlan in 1520, reducing its population by 40 percent in a single year. This time in Tlaxcala had impacts for both the Spanish and the Aztec, because the Spanish were able to resupply and received new Spanish troops while the Aztec suffered from the consequences of the spread of European diseases. In the 18th century, the British tried to infect Native American populations. Favourite answer. The answer is, as we already saw, a sum of two main factors: Castellan swords and diseases brought by the Spanish, for which the Mexica had no antibodies nor effective cure, plus a crucial one: the winning military strategy of the Spanish, and the alliance with other local Aztec tribes. You might want to read more about the how the Spanish did this. Happily, worldwide vaccination efforts have been successful, and the last naturally occurring case of the disease was diagnosed in 1977. Many great encounters in world history, including Cortés’s clash with the Aztec empire, had less to do with weaponry, tactics and strategy than with the ravages of disease. 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