First Conquests

        I.            Caribbean origins

A.      Caribbean conquests set pattern for future conquests

1. Seize local leader (cacique)

2. Spoils divided based on sonority and hierarchical rank

3. Spanish more inclined to pillage first, establish colony second. Portuguese tended to build trading posts first.

4. Amerindians put to work on land for tribute

5. Immediate emergence of mestizo people (few Spanish women in early period)

6. Each conquest becomes a base for the next

7.  Brute force conquest in islands, helped along by smallpox epidemic

8.  Two legal and hierarchal systems (“republics”) set up for Spanish and Amerindians

B.      Hispanola

1.  Santo Domingo founded,  1493

2.  Grid structure, with main political and religious buildings on main square

3. This pattern (inherited from Romans) becomes model for all Spanish settlements

C.      Puerto Rico conquered 1506

D.      Cuba, 1511

1.  Supersedes Hispanola as center of Caribbean activity

2.  Emergence of large estates – will become pattern elsewhere

      II.            Mexico, 1519

A.      A clash of two militant, expanding, religiously aggressive empires

B.      Hernan Cortes

1. Educated, from bottom rungs of Spanish nobility

a.       Lack of opportunities propels him to the Caribbean

b.      Similar in this to many conquistadores

2.  Becomes successful landowner in Cuba, able to finance much of the 1519 expedition himself

C.      Tweaking the model of conquest

1. Founds Veracruz to establish legal authority

2. Bullies various groups, notably Tlaxcalans, to ally with him

3. In turn, helps Tlaxcalans defeat their Cholulan enemies (and later their Aztec enemies)

4. Acquires Malintzin/Marina – better known as La Malinche

a.       Young Amerindian woman, probably of noble origin

b.      Would provide language interpretation, diplomatic knowledge

D.      Taking Tenochtitlan

1.  Invited into city, Cortes follows pattern and captures Motecuzoma

2. Later forced to flee city, but able to build an anti-Aztec alliance

3.  Some technological advantages

a.       Steel weapons, crossbows, cannon, large dogs, horses

b.      Built ships on Lake Texcoco

4. Greater advantage in smallpox, which would devastate Aztec nobility and kill about 40% of Amerindian population

5.  Ahead of an army of thousands of Amerindians, lays siege and captures city in August, 1521

    III.            Peru, 1532

A.      Again, a clash of two expanding empires

B.      Francisco Pizzaro

1. Illegitimate son of minor Spanish noble

2. More military experience tan Cortes, but less educated or sophisticated

C.      Arrives in an empire in crisis

1.  Previous Inca, Huyana Capac, dies c.1526

2.  No clear heir, struggle emerges between two sons, Atahualpa and Huascar

3. Atahualpa wins a brutal civil war by 1532

D.      Decapitation of the empire

1.  Pizzaro manages to kidnap Atahualpa on their first meeting

2.  Uses the ensuing turmoil to gather wealth, seek out allies

3. Once Atahualpa is lo longer useful, killed and replaced with a puppet

E.       A merger of civil wars

1.  Huacsar followers ally with Pizzaro, seize Cuzco

2. Meanwhile, disagreement over division of spoils divides Spaniards, while Pizzaro founds coastal capital, Lima

3. What follows is bizarre back-and-forth of alliances, assassinations, and civil wars

4.  Last rebellion amongst Spaniards in 1533

5. Small remnant of Inca state survives until 1570s