The Aztecs, the Conquistadors, and the Making of Mexican Culture


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About the Book

Tracing events from the discovery of the New World through the fall of the Aztec empire in 1521, this book discusses the battles between the Spanish explorers and the Aztecs—battles that culminated in the ruin of a civilization. The first half of the work alternates between Aztec and Spanish history, discussing events and motivations on each side as the two cultures expanded toward one another on their way to inevitable conflict. Placing special emphasis on Aztec mythology and religious beliefs, the author explains how the Spanish exploited the Aztecs’ own cultural practices to insure the success of their invasion. The gold-and-glory engines driving the Spanish Crown and the actions of contemporary Spanish explorers such as Juan Ponce de León and Francisco Cordoba are examined. The concluding chapters give a thorough account of the struggle between Hernán Cortés and the Aztec ruler Montezuma, including the role of other indigenous tribes in the eventual downfall of the empire. The final chapter details the siege of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, and summarizes the ultimate destruction of the Aztec civilization.

About the Author(s)

After a long career in the banking industry, Peter O. Koch now runs a small online business. The author of several books, his research interests include American Indian cultures and the New World expeditions of the Spaniards. He lives in Bradenton, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Peter O. Koch
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 283
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2252-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2106-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. The Flight of the Feathered Serpent      5
2. The Spanish Invasion      21
3. The Flight from Aztlán      32
4. The Voyage of Francisco de Córdoba      48
5. A Stone Rising from the Water      57
6. The Grijalva Expedition      72
7. The Road to Empire      84
8. In Search of Fame and Fortune      99
9. Divine Dedication      109
10. Tales of the Bearded Men      119
11. The Empire That Was Montezuma’s      133
12. Native Alliances      149
13. The Long Road to Tlaxcala      163
14. The Massacre at Cholula      177
15. Into the Realm of Enchantment      185
16. The Reins of Power      202
17. The Struggle for Control of Mexico      214
18. The Rage of the Sun God      229
19. La Noche Triste      237
20. A Foregone Conclusion      251

Chapter Notes      263
Bibliography      265
Index      269