Hernán Cortés: Conqueror of the Aztecs - Live Science
That's how the Aztecs did things
In the decade before the Spanish arrived in Mexico, Aztec Emperor Montezuma II and his people were filled with a sense of foreboding. A series of evil omens had foretold of calamities to come. A fiery comet crossed the sky. The temple of Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, burst into flames. The Lake of Mexico boiled and rose, flooding into houses. A weeping woman passed by in the middle of the night, crying "My children, we must flee far away from this city!" Fishermen discovered a bird that wore a strange mirror in the crown of its head. Montezuma looked into the mirror and saw a distant plain, with people making war against each other and riding on the backs of animals resembling deer.
Hernán Cortés: Master of the Conquest | HistoryNet
In lectures I emphasize that, like European contemporaries, preconquest Mesoamerican societies were urban, agricultural, literate, and militaristic, but the myths persist. I use primary sources to dispel student convictions that Latin America is a dismal place, forever scarred by the oppression of backward Spanish civilization against poor, dark-skinned victims.
What factors led to the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire?
This exercise also requires the teacher to supply background lecture material or readings to supplement the primary sources before students can answer basic questions about authors profile and intended audience. I find that students need to be encouraged to be as specific as possible with their answers. They often need help making connections between the Sahagún source and information from lectures and secondary sources on Mesoamerican societies. While they easily understand the cultural assumptions of the Spaniards, they remain somewhat perplexed by the Mexican view of the conquest. This is a challenge for me as a teacher. Students also have to be reminded that the Sahagún text was a collection of multiple accounts by anonymous Nahuas and not a single author.
9 Things You Didn’t Know About Cortés’ Conquest of the Aztec
In April 1520, Velázquez sent an expedition to capture Cortés. As Cortés left to fight the expedition, an Aztec revolt began in Tenochtitlán. Cortés returned and obliged Montezuma to face the crowd, but the Aztec leader was struck by a stone and died. The Spanish were driven out of the city, incurring heavy losses.