re: The Spaniard Hernando Cortes ... arrived with 508 soldiers on eleven ships, 100 sailors, 16 horses, a few cannons, crossbows and other pieces of artillery.... Three reasons have been given for the conquest of Mexico by this small but formidable force. The arrival of the Spanish conquistadors with their metal breastplates, snorting horses, loud smoking guns, and vicious dogs proved a frightening spectacle to the Indians. Cortes, through the Indian interpreter Dona Marina, cleverly won over outlying Indian tribes, such as the Tlaxcalans, who resented the heavy tribute demanded by the Aztecs. In addition, the Aztecs and others had no immunity to smallpox brought to American shores by the Europeans, and were decimated in a smallpox epidemic that began in 1520.
This is poor history. Practically upon landing Cortez had to fight against a tribe of 100,000 Indians. That’s 600 men against 100,000! And that was only the beginning.
The conquest of the tribes was a miracle far exceeding Gedeon’s in scripture. The 13 muskets they had (1520!), took a long time to load. THINK!- Go another 300 years in weaponry improvements and find me where any army of 600, ALL with rifles, could conquer 100,000 American Indian, Hindus,or Africans, let alone 8 million!
Read the short book Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness, by Warren H. Carroll
I’m listening to a lecture set about the history of warfare, and happen to have just finished the section on the conquest of Mexico. The presenter believes that steel swords made a very big impact, and also thinks that the nature of Native society, with the elites so distinct from the commoners, made it possible for the Spanish to “decapitate” the state, as it were, and impose their own military-religious superstructure with modest disruption, or even improvements, for the Indian peasantry.
The true tragedy is the epidemics, for which nobody can be blamed.