Date: May 1980
Creator: Hollingsworth, Ann Prather
Description: In 1521 a band of several hundred Spaniards overthrew the Aztec empire in Mexico and its ruler, Moctezuma II. This defeat in itself created a major cultural shock for the indigenious population, but the later arrival of Spanish officials and colonists constituted a far greater if less dramatic upheaval. For the victorious Spaniards rejected Aztec governmental institutions, considering them to be distinctly inferior, and quickly substituted their own. Moctezuma II and a substantial number of the Aztec ruling class had died during the violence which accompanied the conquest and those who remained were not permitted to exercise leadership. It was, however, the stated policy of the Spanish Crown that the Indian population of New Spain should be treated with kindness, allowed to retain their property, and led gently toward acceptance of the Christian faith. Among the surviving members of the Aztec nobility were several of the emperor's children, to whom Spanish authorities accorded special attention because of their unique position. Moctezuma II's son, Tlacahuepan, who on his conversion was baptized Pedro de Moctezuma, was one who received special grants and favors, for it was the Crown's intention that members of the emperor's family should be treated with consideration and be ...
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