Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
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    05 Jun '18 22:425 edits
    In various threads, several writers have offered their opinions about
    the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century. It's a vast subject.
    I shall make some points that all these writers seem not to comprehend.
    (The impact of epidemic disease upon the Mexica already has been noted.)

    1) The victory of Hernán Cortés was far from a foregone conclusion.
    In fact, his adventure almost ended in complete disaster, with Cortés coming
    close to being captured and killed. In 1520, surrounded in Tenochtitlan,
    Cortés attempted a desperate break-out with most of his forces.

    (Who would volunteer to serve in the rearguard and risk the bloody vengeance of the Mexica?
    Cortés solved that problem by NOT informing some of his men that he intended
    to break out, therefore leaving them behind to serve as a sacrificial diversion.)

    Even though Cortés achieved remarkable surprise (by breaking out in an
    unexpected direction), the Spanish losses were heavy, and the survivors
    were fortunate to straggle into refuge offered by one of Cortés's native allies.
    If the Mexica had been more alert, then the entire Spanish force (including Cortés himself)
    could have been destroyed. By the way, the Spanish left behind managed
    to hold out for a day or two before they were overwhelmed, captured,
    and offered as human sacrifices to the Mexica's gods.

    2) The Spanish never could have succeeded without the strong support
    (both military and logistical) from their native allies (particularly the Tlaxcalans),
    who were enemies of the Mexica. The war was NOT one of Spanish vs
    all the natives; it was a war of Spanish and many native allies vs the Mexica.
    If all the native peoples had fought united against the Spanish, the Spanish would have lost.

    3) Firearms (arquebus) were NOT the decisive weapon of the war.
    In the first place, the Spanish had relatively few (slow-firing) firearms and not
    much ammunition (which was heavy to transport) for them.
    Firearms initially had a 'shock-and-awe' effect, but that soon wore off.
    Crossbows were probably more useful as ranged weapons against the Mexica.

    Horses gave the Spanish a major advantage in combat in open country.
    So the Mexica preferred to lure the Spanish into street fighting, where
    the Spanish advantage in mobility would be much less important.

    The battles really were decided by close combat. The Spanish had armor
    and swords made of steel. The Mexica had cotton armor (which offered
    hardly any protection against steel swords) and wooden swords with serrated obsidian.
    The Mexica's swords were effective against exposed flesh but not against armor.
    It was very hard for Mexica warriors to use their swords to kill--in contrast
    with just wounding--the Spanish in steel armor.

    The Mexica had a society organized for war. From early childhood,
    boys were trained to become warriors and aspired for martial glory.
    But there was a major difference between Mexica and Spanish military ethos.
    The Mexica warriors aimed, above all else, NOT to kill their enemies
    immediately, but to capture them alive so they could be offered in religious sacrifice.
    So the Mexica warriors were trained in using their wooden swords to
    wound and incapacitate rather than directly kill their enemies.

    Mexica warriors were physically tough and as brave as any Spaniard.
    To a considerable extent, the Mexica were able to learn from and adapt
    to Spanish tactics. (The Mexica even offered to spare the lives of some
    captured Spaniards if they would fight against Cortes.) But the Mexica
    leadership had major weaknesses, being too 'top heavy', too dependent
    upon a few leaders. Once the Spanish had cut off the head of Mexica
    leadership, the remaining body tended to resist only in uncoordinated ways.

    My general point is that Spanish conquest of Mexico was not a foregone
    conclusion and depended upon several factors that do NOT confirm a
    notion that the Spanish were superior to the natives in every way.
  2. Joined
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    05 Jun '18 22:49
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    In various threads, several writers have offered their opinions about
    the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century. It's a vast subject.
    I shall make some points that all these writers seem not to comprehend.
    (The impact of epidemic disease upon the Mexica already has been noted.)

    1) The victory of Hernán Cortés was far from a foregone conclu ...[text shortened]... actors that do NOT confirm a
    notion that the Spanish were superior to the natives in every way.
    Enjoyed that.
  3. Joined
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    05 Jun '18 23:001 edit
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    In various threads, several writers have offered their opinions about
    the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century. It's a vast subject.
    I shall make some points that all these writers seem not to comprehend.
    (The impact of epidemic disease upon the Mexica already has been noted.)

    1) The victory of Hernán Cortés was far from a foregone conclu ...[text shortened]... actors that do NOT confirm a
    notion that the Spanish were superior to the natives in every way.
    The scope of genocide is perhaps unparalleled in human history, in terms of Europeans killing off native people in the Americas. Although the Europeans probably wanted to kill off the native peoples in or order to take their land and gold, as many did in battle, the fact of the matter is that the Europeans had cooties and unbeknownst to them their diseases killed them off in numbers we never comprehend or know. (Hence the suddenly abandoned cities, etc)

    Secondly, Europeans would have just kept coming. They had superior weapons and an endless number of men coming from Europe that would have eventually done the job.

    I used to feel sorry for the native people, that is, before I learned how they were heavily into human sacrifice, mostly women and children. After that, I concluded that the world was probably better off without them.
  4. Zugzwang
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    05 Jun '18 23:09
    Originally posted by @whodey
    The scope of genocide is perhaps unparalleled in human history, in terms of Europeans killing off native people in the Americas. Although the Europeans probably wanted to kill off the native peoples in or order to take their land and gold, as many did in battle, the fact of the matter is that the Europeans had cooties and unbeknownst to them their diseases ...[text shortened]... omen and children. After that, I concluded that the world was probably better off without them.
    "I used to feel sorry for the native people, that is, before I learned how they were heavily into human sacrifice."
    --Whodey

    Far from all the native peoples wiped out (or enslaved) by the Europeans had cultures embracing human sacrifice.
  5. Joined
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    06 Jun '18 00:47
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    "I used to feel sorry for the native people, that is, before I learned how they were heavily into human sacrifice."
    --Whodey

    Far from all the native peoples wiped out (or enslaved) by the Europeans had cultures embracing human sacrifice.
    Hmm. Good point. Is slavery or murder better?

    Well, it just goes to show what the state of the human condition is.

    Today we have far more slaves than in that era, and we have far more murdering going on, especially those still in the womb.
  6. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    06 Jun '18 01:48
    That is all generally correct, but you should say that Cortes's conquest of Mexico was not a foregone conclusion.

    In reality, it seems very predictabel that eventually the Aztecs would be conquered.

    The Spanish had already visions of conquering that land, and treaties had been signed concerning the division of said land.

    They also had the technological superiority and the Aztecs had many enemies at home.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tordesillas
  7. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    06 Jun '18 02:03
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    That is all generally correct, but you should say that Cortes's conquest of Mexico was not a foregone conclusion.

    In reality, it seems very predictabel that eventually the Aztecs would be conquered.

    The Spanish had already visions of conquering that land, and treaties had been signed concerning the division of said land.

    They also had t ...[text shortened]... and the Aztecs had many enemies at home.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tordesillas
    I referred to the *historical* Spanish conquest (led by Cortes) of Mexico, NOT to a
    *hypothetical* Spanish conquest in an alternative universe where Cortes had failed.

    It seems predictable enough that every empire (not only the Mexica) eventually falls.
  8. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    06 Jun '18 02:11
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    I referred to the *historical* Spanish conquest (led by Cortes) of Mexico, NOT to a
    *hypothetical* Spanish conquest in an alternative universe where Cortes had failed.

    It seems predictable enough that every empire (not only the Mexica) eventually falls.
    Social Justice Warrior effort posting liberal Duchess,
    who attacks the character o fall who disagree even
    when there is little reason to; elevating every innocent
    thread into a social justice cesspool of semantics...

    Oh, well, your phrasing in the very last sentence was not specific enough, and that was what I was responding to.

    You had written:

    My general point is that Spanish conquest of Mexico was not a foregone
    conclusion and depended upon several factors that do NOT confirm a
    notion that the Spanish were superior to the natives in every way.
  9. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    06 Jun '18 02:38
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    Social Justice Warrior effort posting liberal Duchess,
    who attacks the character o fall who disagree even
    when there is little reason to; elevating every innocent
    thread into a social justice cesspool of semantics...

    Oh, well, your phrasing in the very last sentence was not specific enough, and that was what I was responding to.

    You had writ ...[text shortened]... at do NOT confirm a
    notion that the Spanish were superior to the natives in every way.[/quote]
    Philokalia shows abysmal reading comprehension, if not also paranoia.

    How does Philokalia find anything in my last post (explaining my intentions) anything
    in which I allegedly 'attacked his character'?
  10. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    06 Jun '18 02:481 edit
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Philokalia shows abysmal reading comprehension, if not also paranoia.

    How does Philokalia find anything in my last post (explaining my intentions) anything
    in which I allegedly 'attacked his character'?
    Duchess has poor memory.
    Duchess said, in a general sense, the invasion of
    Mexico by Spain was no tinevitable.
    A quote was posted, but he is uncomfortable.

    Woe is he.

    EDIT: This is kind of fun. I see why you do this.
  11. SubscriberAThousandYoung
    Just another day
    tinyurl.com/y3ngvdp2
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    06 Jun '18 03:28
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    In various threads, several writers have offered their opinions about
    the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century. It's a vast subject.
    I shall make some points that all these writers seem not to comprehend.
    (The impact of epidemic disease upon the Mexica already has been noted.)

    1) The victory of Hernán Cortés was far from a foregone conclu ...[text shortened]... actors that do NOT confirm a
    notion that the Spanish were superior to the natives in every way.
    Yeah that’s more or less accurate.
  12. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    06 Jun '18 03:39
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    Duchess has poor memory.
    Duchess said, in a general sense, the invasion of
    Mexico by Spain was no tinevitable.
    A quote was posted, but he is uncomfortable.

    Woe is he.

    EDIT: This is kind of fun. I see why you do this.
    Philokalia's extremely deluded if he's unaware of spewing nonsense.
    Where, in my comments on history, did I allegedly attack Philokalia's character?

    Now I regard Philokalia as morally reprehensible, but my aim in creating
    this thread was to write about history, not a troll.
  13. SubscriberTom Wolsey
    Aficionado of Prawns
    Texas
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    06 Jun '18 03:402 edits
    Apparently the duchess thought it very important and went to great lengths to give credit to Cortes. The net-net is the Mexican bloodline has been changed forever. My dark-skinned Mexican wife has a white-skinned sister, thanks to duchess' hero, Cortes.

    Should we join duchess and applaud Cortes' efforts in forcibly intermixing white-skinned European DNA into the Mexican genome? As long as it results in more people having white skin, the ends justify the means. Right, duchess?
  14. Zugzwang
    Joined
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    06 Jun '18 03:421 edit
    Originally posted by @philokalia
    That is all generally correct, but you should say that Cortes's conquest of Mexico was not a foregone conclusion.

    In reality, it seems very predictabel that eventually the Aztecs would be conquered.

    The Spanish had already visions of conquering that land, and treaties had been signed concerning the division of said land.

    They also had t ...[text shortened]... and the Aztecs had many enemies at home.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tordesillas
    Philokalia has overlooked that I wrote in my original post:
    "The victory of Hernan Cortes was far from a foregone conclusion."
    Hiow many times need I reiterate it?
  15. Zugzwang
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    06 Jun '18 03:46
    Originally posted by @tom-wolsey
    Apparently the duchess thought it very important and went to great lengths to give credit to Cortes. The net-net is the Mexican bloodline has been changed forever. My dark-skinned Mexican wife has a white-skinned sister, thanks to duchess' hero, Cortes.

    Should we join duchess and applaud Cortes' efforts in forcibly intermixing white-skinned European ...[text shortened]... ong as it results in more people having white skin, the ends justify the means. Right, duchess?
    The racist troll Tom Wolsey's shameless blatant lies are not convincing.
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