Author Archives: Morgan Carson

Class Notes September 23

In class on Tuesaday September 23, we covered the two versions of conquest, with Three different perspectives. The reading was from the Florentine Codex, writings from Bernel Diaz and Hernàn Cortez. One being from Bernal Diaz work The Truth History of the Conquest of New Spain. In this work, he describes how the Indians interact and their life in general. It brings an insight into the ability of the Indians, what they used as weapons and the binding relationships of trading. With explaining the beautiful gifts, the Indians brought, while the Spanish gave unusual blue and green beads. This represents how the Europeans often took advantage of the indigenous people. The next work that was discussed was by the one and only Hernán Cortés. His journal is the most interesting personally to me, the way he describes the environment and indigenous people by exaggerating it all. Why Cortés does, this is because he is writing to the king and the hope of new supplies. He describes the indigenous people as good people until the idea of sacrifice comes into play. When he describes the actions of the sacrifice, he then goes into saying that they need to save the indigenous people and show them, god. While looking at the work from the indigenous people, they talk about they often gave extravagant gifts so that the Spanish wouldn’t kill them. Indigenous reports are rare to find and cause historians to have to analyze what was the truth of what happened.

Key Terms:
Florentine Codex: The Florentine Codex is a 16th-century ethnographic research study in Mesoamerica by the Spanish Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún. The work consists of 2,400 pages organized into twelve books; more than 2,000 illustrations drawn by native artists provide vivid images of this era. It documents the culture, religious cosmology (worldview) and ritual practices, society, economics, and natural history of the Aztec people. It has been described as “one of the most remarkable accounts of a non-Western culture ever composed.”

Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: missionary priest and pioneering ethnographer who participated in the Catholic evangelization of colonial New Spain.
Bernal Díaz del Castillo: was a Spanish conquistador, who participated as a soldier in the conquest of Mexico under Hernán Cortés and late in his life wrote an account of the events
Hernán Cortés: a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century
Malintzin (Doña Marina):was a Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast, who played a key role in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, acting as an interpreter, advisor, and intermediary for the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés.

Chamberlain, Robert S. “Two Unpublished Documents of Hernán Cortés and New Spain, 1519 and 1524.” The Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 18, no. 4, 1938, pp. 514–525. JSTOR,
ALMON, BERT. “Woman as Interpreter: Haniel Long’s ‘Malinche.’” Southwest Review, vol. 59, no. 3, 1974, pp. 221–239. JSTOR,
Brinkerhoff, Thomas J. “Reexamining the Lore of the ‘Archetypal Conquistador’: Hernán Cortés and the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire, 1519-1521.” The History Teacher, vol. 49, no. 2, 2016, pp. 169–187.,
Exam Questions:
What was the primary purpose of the Florentine Codex? How does it compare and contrast to Bernal Diaz work?
How does the Aztecs culture differ to the other indigenous groups we have studied thus far, and how has their actions differ in the way they interact with the Europeans?
How should historians view The Truth History of the Conquest of New Spain

The Truth of the Aztec Religion

Often when reading the Europeans reports of the Aztecs, they are betrayed as kind people. Until the idea of religion is brought in to play, where the Aztecs are viewed as “horrible and abominable” people. Often the view of what truly happened is lost about the new world, with the Europeans reports. I am interested in researching the Aztec religion and how they worshiped their gods or god. I think it is very fascinating learning more about the religions of the indigenous group’s religion and how it compares to modern-day catholicism. With bringing the idea of sacrificial practices and the idea of cannibalism can’t help but spark my entrance.

Primary Source:
An Image of human sacrifice from the Aztec codex, 16th century from Victors and Vanquished

Secondary Source:
Bošković, Aleksandar. “In the Age of the Fifth Sun: Jacques Soustelle’s Studies of Aztec Religion.” Anthropos, vol. 87, no. 4/6, 1992, pp. 533–537. JSTOR,, Kay A. “The Fleeting Moment: Cosmogony,

Eschatology, and Ethics in Aztec Religion and Society.” The Journal of Religious Ethics, vol. 14, no. 1, 1986, pp. 113–138. JSTOR,

Brumfiel, Elizabeth M. “Aztec Religion and Warfare: Past and Present Perspectives.” Latin American Research Review, vol. 25, no. 2, 1990, pp. 248–259. JSTOR,

HIGGINS, LILY. “Sculpting Nature: An Aztec Rattlesnake in Stone.” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, 2017, pp. 78–83. JSTOR,

BARRERA, JOEL ANDRÉS. “Aztec Civilization: Second Prize, Adler Book Collecting Contest, 1985.” The Princeton University Library Chronicle, vol. 47, no. 1, 1985, pp. 79–80. JSTOR,

Sanders, William T. American Antiquity, vol. 31, no. 5, 1966, pp. 759–760. JSTOR,

Student Research

While reading through the recent sources that have been shared, I have learned so much more about the smaller tribes in the Latin America area. One topic that really catches my eye was the way the Incas and Aztec societies grew to such an extent. How there didn’t have a set a government in place to grow into some of the largest civilizations in Latin America. Id also likes to look deeper in their religious elements in the societies and how the ways they started following certain gods such as the sun gods and many more.

What I Want to Learn This Semester

A big part of the American experience is saying who is a true native in the area, with Latin American history is a huge argument torse what communities have been there the longest. With recent studies showing that most communities in the Latin American citizens of recent days are descendants of the original ancestors that lived in the colonial Americas. The biggest population traveled from north Siberia through the land bridge that connected Siberia and Alaska between about 34,000 and 11,000 years ago.

Learning the history of where the true ancestors would create and open mind that no one is truly a native in the land. This would make more of an idea that we are all immigrants and that everyone should be equal. It would help with the acceptance of immigration moving to different countries. While also learning the process of finding proof of the original tribes located in Latin America. With also showing what was truly their experience they had with the Europeans traveling over. With the allegations torse of Columbus that truly made showed that the Europeans did not come to make things better and took advantage of people that different than them. Which shows that this is a constant problem in all of history.