If you want a first-hand account, read “The True History of the Conquest of New Spain” by Bernal Diaz. It is still in print as a Penguin Classic.
Diaz was a conquistador with Cortes from the formation of the expedition in Cuba to the reduction of the Aztec cities in the north after the final fall of Tenochtitlán (Mexico City).
Great..thank you. I will order it. I believe it was Diaz and some of Cortez’’s other officers that went out further south and freed some of south America from the savageness of the Inca’s and others, right?
I’m so glad someone mentioned the author’s full name Bernal Diaz Del Castillo. At the end of his life, Castillo was blind & poor. He wanted to leave his family something, so he dictated his memoir. A most amazing account of the Conquest. The other best book is not so well known: “The Hummingbird & the Hawk.” I will find the author later. There was an Aztec General, Tlacael I believe, this General served under Montezuma I AND Montezuma II. With these two books, you learn about all the factors that contributed to the conquest. Not just the technological advantages, guns, sabres, horses. Cortez arrived at a time of the Aztec calendar that predicted doom. Cortez was of course pale in comparison to the natives. A previous culture had a ‘pale’ hero who departed from the shore where Cortez arrived (Veracruz today). Some believed the hero had returned. The Aztecs had many enemies. They used one culture, the Tlachclalans, to practice attacks and war, but they never completely conquered and and defeated them. When Cortez and his soldiers arrived, the Tlachclalans were ready, willing, and able to join Cortez in the conquest.Gosh, there is so much more. Some believed that the horse and the man on the horse were one creature.
I will write more later. The Hummingbird & the Hawk is one of the best books ever.