The military strategies of the Aztecs and Spanish were influenced by the worldviews of each group.
Despite their differences, the Aztecs and the Spanish were both greedy and used to having power.
Tlacaelel, the brother of Moctezuma, tried to convince his brother the emperor to choose a different approach when the Spanish arrived in Tenochtitlan.
The Spanish leader, Hernan Cortes, made use of an intermediary to help him communicate with the groups he conquered on his march to overtake the Aztec capital.
When the Spanish arrived at Tenochtitlan, Moctezuma welcomed them into the city. Shortly after, the Spanish captured Moctezuma and put him under house arrest in his own palace.
The Tlaxcalan people were loyal allies of the Aztecs, but after the Spanish held them off and made peace, they offered one thousand soliders to join the Spanish forces.
When Moctezuma made his welcoming speech to Cortes, Malinche translated it into Spanish. Cortes made a response to the Aztecs telling them not to fear because the Spanish came in peace and loved the Aztec people.
When the Spanish saw all of the gold sculptures and jewelry in the city of Tenochtitlan, their greed for riches increased.
A smallpox epidemic killed off many of the Aztec people and this weakened their defense against the Spanish when they returned six months later.
After the second battle between the Spanish and the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan, only 60,000 Aztecs survived and the city was left in ruins.
10. empire - <a union of dispersed states and unrelated people under one rule>
Section C – Short Answer (15 marks)
Answer the questions below USING COMPLETE SENTENCES (½ mark will be deducted for every question that uses incomplete sentences). The value for each is in parentheses at the end of the question.
What was Cortes’ plan for conquering the Aztec empire after establishing colonies on the coast? (2 marks)
< After establishing colonies on the coast, he planned to march to the centre of the Aztec Empire and either conquer or befriend the peoples they met along the way. With new allies added to the Spanish forces, Cortes would enter the capital city, Tenochtitlan, and overtake the citizens. When they had control of the capital city, they would have control over the entire empire and they could then establish a new Spanish colony. >
How did Hernan Cortes gain allies to add to his forces as he marched toward Tenochtitlan? Give one example. (2 marks)
< Cortes knew he would have to befriend or conquer each group as he met them. He would approach each group and find out what they needed and find a way to provide for that need. That way, they would see him as a friend and join the Spanish force by volunteering warriors or siding with the Spanish in any conflict. For example, Cortes offered protection from the Aztec tribute to the Totonacs.>
What kind of ruler was Moctezuma? What strategy did he choose when the Spanish arrived at Tenochtitlan? (3 marks)
< Moctezuma was a gentle ruler who did not believe in taking action or using force as a first method for dealing with conflict. Some accused him of being a weak or indecisive ruler because of this. The strategy he chose when the Spanish arrived was to welcome them and offer them hospitality. He gave them a tour of the city and its treasures, hoping to be able to deal with them reasonably. He chose to sit back and wait to see what the Spanish would do, rather than planning to defend the city from a possible attack. >
Who was Malinche? How was she useful to the Spanish during the conquest of the Aztec Empire? (2 marks)
< Malinche was a slave woman from among the Tabascan people. She had been born to a noble family and then sold into slavery when her father died. She was useful to the Spanish because she could speak two languages, Mayan and Nahuatl, and also learned to speak Spanish. She could act as an intermediary and even a spy. She could communicate with various groups and translate for the Spanish, even to the point of reporting battle strategies she overheard to help the Spanish conquer the Aztec allies. >
Define “strategy” and provide one example. (1 mark)
< A strategy is a military plan or technique designed to win a battle or war. Examples will vary, but one example of a strategy used by the Spanish was to allow the Aztec people to hold a festival in the city, and then attack the dancers during the ceremony when they were not on their guard. Another example of a strategy was the use of an intermediary to listen in to battle plans of other groups and report them to the Spanish.>
Based on what you have learned about the eventual defeat of the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan, how did the the people feel when their city was left in ruins? (2 marks)
< The Aztec people felt desolate and defeated. All around them, their city lay in ruins as proof that they were no longer the dominating power in their empire. They had tried to fight, but they were not prepared for the battle with the Spanish. Their Emperor had let them down, and they may have even felt abandoned by the gods they believed in; gods they believed had led them to the site of their capital city as part of their destiny.>
In your opinion, what makes a hero? Do you think Cortes was a hero? Give reasons for your answer. (3 marks)
< Answers will vary, but students may say that a hero is someone who shows great courage and determination. A hero does great things to benefit his people and puts others ahead of himself. A hero lives by a code of honor and is respected by those he serves and those who serve him. Based on ideas such as this, students will likely say that Cortes was seen as a hero to his own people, who believed he was strong and brave and won riches and power for his people. They may also say that, to the people he conquered to obtain land, riches and power, he would not have been seen as a hero because he was willing to do whatever it took to overtake the Aztecs, including using weapons they did not have, using spies and deceiving people to get what he wanted. >
Section D - Opinion Paragraph (10 marks)
Write a well-constructed paragraph response to the following question. Use information from what you have learned in your workbook activities to form your opinion. Use examples to support your opinion. You may consult the writing checklist below the space provided for writing to assist you. “Would the outcome of the battle for Tenochtitlan between the Spanish and the Aztecs have been different if both groups had access to equal weapons and military technology?”
< Your Title>
Student answers will vary. Students could argue that the outcome would have been different with equal weapons and technology because, despite their differences, the two groups shared traits in common that made them equals in that way (both traders, both greedy, both used to having power, both used to using their power for their own gain, both believed they were meant to have power and riches as part of their destiny or due reward.) They would have made similar choices and, with similar weapons, been able to hold each other off to the point that the Aztecs may have been able to hold on to Tenochtitlan. Other students may argue that even with similar weapons, the Spanish would still have overcome the Aztecs because they were willing to do whatever it took and were driven by their greed for power and riches. As well, Moctezuma’s choice of welcoming them rather than planning a defensive strategy set the Aztecs up for failure no matter what weapons they may have had. In addition to this, the smallpox epidemic had killed of 25% of the population, weakening the Aztec forces.
Writing Checklist Items – Opinion Paragraph
The first sentence of the paragraph should be indented. (½ mark)
The topic sentence of your paragraph should introduce what the rest of the paragraph is going to be about and this includes your clear opinion. (1 ½ marks)
The paragraph should discuss three reasons that support your opinion.
You should also discuss three examples that support the given opinion. (3 marks.)
Your paragraph will close with a strong clincher sentence. Remember, a clincher sentence indicates that the discussion is finished and the paragraph has come to a close. (1 mark)
Proofread your paragraph for any spelling or grammatical errors. Edit to make necessary changes. (1 marks)