Introduction to New Spain and the Atlantic World

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Hernan Cortés, a rogue conquistador out to prove his mettle with no authorization from the Spanish crown or any of the governors in their Caribbean holdings, landed with his crew at what is now Veracruz, Mexico in 1519.

Greeted at the coast by scouts and emissaries sent by Montezuma II, the Aztec emperor at the time, Cortés and his men were impressed by the wealth of the country in which they found themselves.

Read More: The Aztec Empire

Over the next few months, with the help of Mesoamericans, and perhaps even lured in by the Aztecs themselves, they made their way to Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital located at what is now modern Mexico City. And the closer they drew to the heart of Aztec society, the more obvious Mesoamerican wealth became. 

When they finally came within reach of Tenochtitlan, arguably the most splendid city in the world at the time, and certainly more opulent and clean than any city in Europe, Montezuma himself came to meet the foreigners. No doubt unfazed by their presence, the Aztec emperor welcomed the Spaniards and invited them into his palace compound.

While many have claimed that Montezuma and the Aztecs believed the Spanish to be Quatzicautl, a long lost god returned to earth, no evidence of this myth, or even this god, exists prior to 1519. It’s more likely that Montezuma, a collector of animals and creator of one of history’s earliest zoos, was simply curious about the Spanish, and eager to learn more about them.   

Read More: The Aztec Religion

Once the Spanish had worn out their welcome, or perhaps as an attempt at a ritual sacrifice, Montezuma ordered them killed. In a night now memorialized as the noche triste, many of the conquistadors in Cortes’s retinue died, but a good number, including Cortes himself, managed to escape the city. 

After two years of brutal warfare, in which both sides committed atrocities, including the murder of Montezuma, Cortes, his troop of conquistadors, and their Mesoamerican allies defeated the Aztec Empire. After razing Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards built the capital of their latest colonial province — New Spain — on its ashes. They named the capital Mexico City, a strange homage to the empire they had just defeated, the Aztecs having called themselves the Mexica.

The crown jewel in the Spanish monarchy’s New World empire, New Spain quickly became a multi-ethnic, multi-racial society that drew on influences from native Mesoamerican, Iberian, and African cultures. For this reason, examining the history of New Spain through the comparative lens of the Atlantic World framework allows us to gain many fascinating insights. By exploring facets of New Spain’s history in this way, we can see the heavy influences of the Reconquista, Aztec political systems, and Late Medieval Chrisitan thought on the colony’s history.   

The Reconquista and the Formation of an Imperial Spanish Mindset

During the conquests of their New World territories, Spanish conquistadors committed a large number of atrocities against the indigenous populations they sought to control. Sure, some of their cruelty was blown out of proportion by English and Dutch propaganda. As two Protestant nations with budding Atlantic empires of their own, they hoped to discredit a traditional Catholic enemy with the most powerful monarchy in Europe. But, most assuredly, many conquistadors behaved in a manner modern readers may deem psychopathic. Together, Protestant propaganda and the very real cruelty exhibited by Spain’s conquering forces, resulted in the Spanish Black Legend, which describes the dark role Spain played in the forming of a new Central and South American World. This is how many of us continue to think of the Spanish Empire. To truly understand Spanish actions in the new world, however, we must first examine the centuries-long conflict between Chrisitans and Muslims in Iberia known as the Reconquista. 

The Reconquista

An invading army that came north across the Strait of Gibraltar from modern-day Morocco, the people known to history as the Moors conquered most of the Iberian peninsula by the eighty-century. Left with only small territories in the north, the Christian kingdoms remaining on the Iberian peninsula began the slow, arduous process of ‘reconquest.’ In Medieval Europe, economies were mostly, if not entirely, agricultural in nature; thus, those who controlled the most land, wielded the most power. And the Iberian nobles wanted the land the Moors now controlled, known as al-Andalus.   

While the Visigtohic rulers who had been ousted won a victory as early as the eighth-century, the Reconquista began in earnest in the eleventh-century. In the centuries between, a complex web of small polities emerged that saw Christians fight Christians, align with Muslim rulers, and fight against armies of al-Andalus. By the eleventh-century, the conflict had evolved to become Christian vs. Muslim. 

As the Christian kingdoms slowly expanded south, Spanish rulers bankrolled the colonization of the formerly Moorish territory. The siege of Barbastro, a city just south of the Pyrenees, illustrates colonial aspects of the Reconquista, as well as the growing religious animosity. After besieging the city for 40 days, Christian soldiers ignored a treaty to not harm the city’s people, killing many Muslim citizens and taking their property. With each move south, the colonial impetus remained. As Iberian rulers won more victories, they “recognised and supported colonisation of Mulsim lands and emphasised the fact that they were free, which encouraged many more to move.”[1]

In 1096, the Reconquista received support from Pope Urban II, ushering in a new era, and he wouldn’t be the last pope to do so. In 1123 at the Council of Lateran, Pope Callistus II (1119-1124) called the Reconquista equal in importance to Christendom as the Crusades in the Middle East, stating

For effectively crushing the tyranny of the infidels, we grant to those who go to Jerusalem and also to those who give aid toward the defense of the Christians, the remission of their sins and we take under the protection of St. Peter and the Roman Church their homes, their families, and all their belongings, as was already ordained by Pope Urban. 

The Reconquista was now a holy war. This ideology fanned the flames of superiority the Iberians felt toward their al-Andalusian neighbors, allowing Chrisitan armies to kill, enslave, and disenfranchise Muslim and Jewish populations who did not convert in the wake of conquest. While it should be noted that Europeans from outside of the Iberian Peninsula fought in the Reconquista as a means of serving Christendom, this notion of Christiain superiority over “the infidels” was first carried into the New World by Spanish ships. 

The year that the conquest of Granada brought an end to the Reconquista — 1492 — Chrisotopher Columbus set sail hoping to find a western route to Asia. In addition, during this same year, Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon married, bringing together the two most powerful kingdoms on the Iberian peninsula and setting the stage for Spain’s imperial ambitions in the “new world.”

In his recent work, Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun, historian Charles M. Hudson described Spanish men of the time as “tough, arrogant, quick to take offense, undaunted by danger and hardship, and extravagant in their actions.”[2] It was these men who sailed with Columbus on his journeys to the Caribbean. 

The Spanish Caribbean

In January 1492, Columbus set sail from the port city Palos, after the conquest of Granada and having seen “the royal banners of your [Spanish] Highnesses planted by force of arms upon the towers… of that city.” Midway through October of that same year, the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria made landfall in the Caribbean. As the ships made their way along the shores of the Antilles, Cuba, and Hispaniola, Columbus made sure to “pass none of these islands without taking possession” of them. On his encounters with the indigenous Arawak and Taino populations, Columbus wrote of his desire to both conquer and convert. On October 11, he wrote in his journal that the Taino and Arawak “could be much more easily converted to our holy faith by gentle means than by force.” Three days later, he wrote, “I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men, and govern them as I pleased.” 

Though Columbus himself was Genoese rather than Spanish, he carried the Spanish imperial mindset into the Caribbean. Just as the Spanish back home in Iberia felt superior to the Muslim and Jewish popuations of al-Andalus due to their faith, Columbus and his men clearly felt superior to the Taino and Arawak “as they appear to have no religion.” During the Reconquista, the Spanish had developed the notion of a “just war,” and one of the principal components was that the enemy had to have rejected Christianty. The Taino and Arawk had seemingly never heard of Christ or his lessons, so how could they justifiably be conquered? While Columbus himself certainly did not treat the native populations with respect, his initial reaction was not violence. And even after capturing several people and bringing them back to Spain, Spaniards remained unclear as to whether they should send missionaries or soldiers. 

Then, just as in the Reconquista, the Pope stepped in. In 1493, between Columbus’s return from his initial voyage and departure on his second, Pope Alexander issued a papal decree known as the Inter Caetera. In essence, the decred gave the Spanish and Portuguese, the two most active kingdoms in Europe’s burgeoning Age of Exploration, the right to colonize, convert, and enslave peoples in the lands they explored. It also divided the world between Spain and Portugal, an ecclesiastical agreement later formalized between the kingdoms in the Treaty of Tordesillas. 

In the Inter Caetera, “by the authority of Almighty God conferred upon us,” the pope told the Spanish monarchy that “should any… islands have been found by your enjoys and captains, give grant, and assign to you and your heirs and successors… all islands and mainlands found and to be found, discovered and to be discovered towards the west and the south.” Continuing on, the papal edict decreed that to “make, appoint, and depute you [the Spanish monarchy] and your said heirs and successors lords of them  [all found lands] with full and free power, authority, and jurisdiction of every kind.”

Introduction to New Spain and the Atlantic World 1
Map of Columbus’s first voyage

The Spanish now had a carte blanche from His Holiness to do as they pleased in the Caribbean. In Columbus’s subsequent voyages to the New World, relations with the Taino and Arawak peoples of the Caribbean deteriorated. Columbus and his brothers took control of Hispaniola and enslaved the Taino in order to mine the island’s gold. Those who did not submit to the will of the Admiral, whether Taino or Spanish, could expect a brutal end. 

Documents discovered in 2006 reveal just how cruel Columbus proved. A man caught stealing corn had his hands cut off before being sold into slavery; a women accused of suggesting Columbus was of low birth was stripped naked, paraded through town on the back of a mule, and had her tongue cut out. Ultimately, Columbus was sacked by the monarchy for his wanton use of violence, as well as his incompetence. The precedent for enslaving natives was set, however, and was soon to be legitimized. 

As news of the atrocities committed under the Columbus brothers and other Spanish leaders made its way back to Spain, controversy, especially among the clergy, arose. In response to this controversy, the monarch created the Law of Burgos, more popularly known as the Spanish Requirement of 1513. The first law meant to govern Spanish actions in the Americas, the Spanish Requirement ordered conquistadors to read a document aloud to the indigenous populations they intended to invade. The document told the listener that they must accept the Spanish monarchy as their rulers and allow Catholic priests to “declare and preach to you” the tenets of the “Holy Faith.” If the listeners agreed, then the Spanish promised to receive them “in all love and charity.” If they didn’t agree, however, the conquistadors promised that “with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their Highnesses; we shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them… we shall take away your goods, and shall do all the mischief and damage that we can…” And, to add insult to injury, the Requirement insisted that “the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their Highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us.” 

As the Requirement was only ever read in Spanish, a language none of the people who the conquistadors sought to conquer understood, this scene of violence played out across the Caribbean. Meant as a means of easing the conscience of the men sent to do the violent work of empire building, the Spanish Requirement gave religious, legal, and moral justification for invading, killing, and enslaving thousands. Six years after the monarchy enacted the Laws of Burgos, with this justification in hand, Henan Cortes and a group of fellow rogue conquistadors set sail for the mainland of Mexico. 

The Spanish-Aztec War 

Cortes and his men landed in Mexico in 1519. While some of his men had not seen battle, others, including Cortes himself, had fought the wars of conquest against the Tainos of Cuba. Many more had fathers who had participated in the final battle of the Reconquista a generation earlier, the Siege of Granada. Brought up in homes where military glory meant so much, the conquistadors under Cortes landed in Mexico looking to win acclaim and riches.[3]

After establishing a settlement on the coast which they named Veracruz, Cortes left 100 men in the new town as the rest of the crew set off inland.[4] On the road to Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards used interpreters to make clumsy treaties that were often translated through several languages. While history has treated the Spanish as the master of these negotiations, and thus the fate of Mesoamerica, Cortes’s men were, in fact, pawns in another geopolitical struggle. Traditional enemies, such as the Tlaxcala, and nations conquered by the Aztecs were still chafing under their rule, unhappy with paying tribute and desirous of sovereignty or power. When Cortes and his crew came walking through town, the Tlaxcala, and others, saw an opportunity. 

Introduction to New Spain and the Atlantic World 2
A stylized portrait of Montezuma Meeting Hernan Cortes

On November 8, 1519, the Spaniards reached the gates of Tenochtitlan with their Tlaxcalan, Tliliuhqui-tepec, and Huexotzinco allies. Montezuma welcomed the Spaniards into his capital city. The Spanish remained in the city for six months before relations went south. In typical Spanish military fashion, the conquistadors seized the head of state, Montezuma – a move that had precedents in the Reconquista and Spanish conquests in the Caribbean.[5] Whether or not Montezuma feared for his life is hard to tell. Life seemed to go on as normal in the days following his capture, and, after all, he was one of the most powerful men in the world, in his own estate, in the middle of his imperial capital. It must have seemed highly illogical that the Spanish could expect to both do him harm and make it out of Tenochtitlan alive. 

Then, one night, as the Aztec performed a religious ceremony, the conquistadors came out clad in full war regalia, and began killing. Thousands of unarmed Aztecs died before the city and its warriors could regroup and expel the Spanish. The Aztecs succeeded in killing many of the conquistadors as they fled. In the chaos, Montezuma was also killed. The Spanish blamed the Aztecs, the Aztecs blamed the Spanish. More than likely the conquistadors killed Montezuma as a means of depriving a people they hoped to conquer of their leader. 

READ MORE: Aztec Gods

After regrouping from the Noche Triste, or sad night, as they came to call it, the Spanish headed for Tlaxcala. A city-state that sat between Tenochtitlan and the Caribbean coast, Tlaxcala sought to use the Spanish to their own advantage.[6] Though they had never been conquered by the Aztecs, the Tlaxcala were envious of their power and standing in the region. In the months that followed Spanish expulsion from Tenochtitlan, the Tlaxcala would affirm their alliance with Cortes’s men. When war time came, the Tlaxcala sent approximately 200,000 troops to the Siege of Tenochtitlan, a lion’s share of the forces facing the Aztec, indigenous or otherwise. [7]

For the Spaniards’ part, they employed many of the same tactics their fathers had used in the Siege of Granada. During the final stage of the Reconquista, the Spanish armies had surrounded Granada, cutting off access to resources that lay outside the city’s walls. The Spaniards then destroyed crops, wells, and irrigation systems, cut down fruit trees, and stole what they could before razing everything else. [8] In the fight against Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards did what they could to surround the city, though it proved more difficult here as the Aztec capital rose out of the middle of a lake, accessible only by causeways with retractable bridges. But, the Spanish found footing beyond the city, and, just as their fathers had done, made it impossible for the enemy to access their food supply. The Aztecs used an agricultural system in which plots of land were divided up into squares on which they grew, all outside of the city. The Spanish and their more than 200,000 allies were thus able to cut off the Aztec food supply without destroying crops.[9]

Their city, which had been plagued with smallpox the previous year, was now starving, and Aztec soldiers slowly lost ground to the Spanish-Tlaxcalan alliance. On August 13, 1521, Tenochtitlan surrendered. Upon entering the city, one Spanish conquistador, Bernal Diaz, noted how its inhabitants had become “so thin, sallow, dirty and stinking that it was pitiful to see them.”[10]

Establishing New Spain

After tearing down Tenochtitlan brick for brick and rebuilding it into Mexico City, the Spanish had to learn to govern. While expansion continued over the next several decades, much of the territory now called New Spain had previously fallen under the Aztec Empire. Yet, even after they had taken control of New Spain, the Spanish colonists were still vastly outnumbered by native Mesoamericas. Thus, in order to maintain control, the Spanish kept many Aztec systems in place; the difference being, the Spanish slotted themselves in at the top. 

One way of looking at this phenomenon is by discussing the encomienda system, a method of colonization that had been in place since Spain’s early days in the Caribbean. At its core, the encomienda system gave conquistadors the right to govern, tax, and exploit the labor of a particular area. In return, they were supposed to see to the people’s well-being, specifically their conversion to Christianity. The encomienda system resulted in de facto, though not de jure, slavery for millions across the Spanish Americas, and it led to the decimation of native populations. 

When conquistadors came to the Aztec Empire, they found a complex hierarchy of city-states, or altepetl, ruled by leaders known as tlatoani. Each tlatoani, in turn, owed allegiance and tribute to the emperor, or huey tlatoani. Each region ruled over by a tlatoani owed tribute to the emperor, and citizens, with exception of the highest and lowest social strata, owed taxes. 

Additionally, an imperial official was placed in a conquered region to ensure tribute payments were made. As Spain colonized the former Aztec Empire following the fall of Tenochtitlan, the encomiendas came to mirror the altepetl. As historian Charles Gibson notes, “a one-to-one relation between the tlatoani community and encomienda was surely regarded as a norm.” [11] And for those encomienda that did organize around an already established tlatoani community, “a simple internal adjustment could make it operate as if it did.” [12] As the encomienda system spread across former Aztec territories, it was able to draw upon a pre-established system of tribute and taxation. The Spanish encomenderos, though, were far crueler than the Aztecs had been to conquered communities. 

Another interesting means of exploring how the Spanish colonists utilized existing Aztec social structures to gain control of their new empire is by comparing the Aztec caste system with the casta system that evolved in New Spain. Prior to Spanish arrival, Aztec society consisted of four main castes: nobles, commoners, serfs, and slaves. The category a person belonged to by and large determined what they could do in life. The nobles worked as government officials, priests, judges, military leaders, and land owners. Below them, the commoners found work as artisans, farmers, lower-level priests, and traders. The wealth of commoners varied widely, as some were able to create profitable trade guilds. Finally, the serfs and slaves formed the bottom rung of the Aztec social ladder. The serfs worked land owned by land holding nobility, and slaves were, well, slaves. Typically, one became a slave by not paying tribute, being captured in war, or committing certain crimes. Unlike the system of chattel slavery that evolved as a consequence of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in which a person was considered forever a slave; Aztec people were not born slaves, and they could not inherit unfreedom.

When the Spanish Empire, through the Viceroyalty of New Spain, came to replace that of the Aztecs, this general structure remained in place. At the top sat the nobles, who held positions in the Church, government, military, and owned large estates. Directly below them, though still considered elite, came another class of wealthy landowners and merchants, though this class’s role in the Church and government was very limited. 

The middle class came next, followed by the two lower classes, one of which consisted of slaves. The Spanish did, however, put their own twist on the caste system. The caste system of New Spain, known as the casta system, was predicated upon race. The elite were all born in Spain, and thus came to be called peninsulares. The less-elite class of elites, called creolos, consisted of Spaniards who had been born in New Spain. Finally, the poorer classes consisted of native Mesoamericans, mestizos (people with a Spanish father and Mesoamerican mother), mulattoes (people with a Spanish father and African mother), and African slaves. As individuals from these castes intermingled and had children, the number of races grew. At its most extreme, the casta system identified over 40 racially-based castes.  

Introduction to New Spain and the Atlantic World 3
A casta painting displaying the various races of the Casta System

While the casta system played off the Aztec social hierarchy, the notion of race determining a person’s prospects in life had roots in the Reconquista. Back in the Old World, the notion of limpieza de sangre, or purity of blood, had evolved during the centuries-long conflict between al-Andalus and the Christian kingdoms. Originally consisting of three classifications, cristiano, judio, and moro, as the Reconquista won more territory, these categories evolved.[13] 

In the wake of Christian conquests, some Jewish and Muslim populations decided to convert to Catholicism. To distinguish these converts, cristianos nuevos, from traditionally Christian families, cristianos viejos, Jewish converts were labeled as converso and Muslim converts as morisco.[14] These labels, however, did not just apply to the individuals who changed faiths, but became multi-generational markers. Thus, they became markers of ethnicity more than religion. As time went on, these labels took on a segregational meaning in Spain, as well. By the end of the Reconquista, due to the large numbers of cristiano nuevos, in order to hold governmental or Church positions, receive a university degree, or enter into a guild, one had to be a cristiano viejo, and have the paperwork to prove it. [15]

Dealing With Empire 

In the decades that followed the fall of Tenochtitlan and the rise of New Spain, the Spanish monarchy had to learn to contend with the difficulties of empire. What in 1492 was a loose confederation of kingdoms tenuously held together by marriage had, by the 1540s, become the largest empire in the history of the world. As it took weeks if not months for the crown’s messages to reach the New World, this growth depended on independent agents acting in the name of Spain – conquistadors. But the cruelty the conquistadors and encomenderos showed to the native peoples, no matter the region, caused much debate back home across the Atlantic. To better the condition of the native peoples, whom the crown viewed as vassals, wrest control back from the encomenderos, and centralize its own authority, the crown passed the New Laws of 1542. 

The core of the New Laws was to alter the encomienda system. Rather than having individual encomenderos in charge of each encomienda, and responsible for the trickling up of its tribute to the monarchy, royal officials would take them over. The law was meant to do more than just put officials in charge of the encomiendas. Throughout their colonization efforts, conquistadors and encomenderos had ignored orders from their king and the Church in regards to the humanity of the native populations they encountered. Their continued insistence on enslaving and waging war against the peoples of the Americas proved an affront to the king’s authority. By removing encomenderos from the equation, Charles V, now the king of Spain, hoped to regain control over his chaotic American empire. 

The New Laws, however, proved exceedingly unpopular with colonists. In New Spain, the viceroy stopped enforcing them because so many of the encomenderos refused to accept the law. By 1545, Charles V had no choice but to repeal the laws. The encomienda system, however, would slowly die out, as the harsh conditions under which Native Americans were forced to work led many to die; others married white colonists, and their children, by law, were born free from the encomienda system. 

Apart from the New Laws, the crown also sought to centralize its authority through trade. In the sixteenth-century, Spain adhered to the economic philosophy of mercantilism, which stated a kingdom should export more than it imports. To this end, the Spanish monarchy used the absolute power it had cultivated at home to create trade monopolies with the colonies.[16] By setting monopolies on various goods, like tobacco and gunpowder, the crown closely controlled what came in and out of Spain’s Iberian borders. 

Introduction to New Spain and the Atlantic World 4
Map of the Spanish Caribbean and New Spain

On the colonial side, they were helped by the fact that the colonists of New Spain had created only one viable port, Veracruz. All goods shipped to New Spain came through Veracruz first. In fact, three ports, Veracruz in Mexico, Nombre de Dios in Peru, and Santo Domingo in the Caribbean combined for 90% of colonial imports.[17] Due to these restrictions, the monarchy was able to keep large amounts of the wealth generated in the Americas to itself. These monopolies had the additional benefit of keeping the merchant class from growing wealthy or powerful enough to challenge crown authority. [18] 


The history of New Spain is a complex one. While the issues mentioned here touch on the aspects necessary to understand the creation of New Spain in an Atlantic World context, there will undoubtedly be things about this important time in history left out. 

First and foremost among these topics is Bartolomé de las Casas and the works he produced while advocating for Native American rights in the Spanish colonies. Another important issue that has not been included, but is worth delving into elsewhere, is the Spanish push to convert Native Americans to Christianity. This played a large part in their colonization efforts and has had a tremendously lasting impact on the people of Mexico. 

These omissions, and others, were made because their impacts were mostly felt by people in the Americas, rather than on the Spanish Empire itself, and also to further emphasize the truly transnational forces that lead to the creation of New Spain and the Spanish Empire in the Americas. By tracing Spanish attitudes on war, conquest, and otherness back to the Reconquista period, we can see the foundations for the harsh treatment of native Mesoamericans and racial hierarchies that cropped up there. We can also observe how native societies affected the Spanish, whether that meant toppling an enemy empire or working within the existing trade and social networks of these societies to establish New Spain. 

The history of New Spain is about far more than the meeting of Montezuma and Cortez and the fall of the Aztec empire. While that was undoublety a watershed moment, the establishment of New Spain was a trans-Atlantic process that took decades to unfold.


  1. Marin-Guzmán, Roberto. “Crusade in al-Andalus: The Eleventh Century Formation of the Reconquista as an Ideology.” Islamic Studies, vol. 31, no. 3, p. 296. Accessed via
  2. Hudson, Charles. Knights Of Spain, Warriors Of the Sun: Hernando De Soto and the South’s Ancient Chiefdoms. The University Of Georgia Press, 2018, p. 8. Accessed via Google Books
  3. Thomas, Hugh. Rivers Of Gold: The Rise Of the Spanish Empire, From Columbus To Magellan. Random House, 2005, pp. 481-483. Accessed via Google Books
  4. Ibid, p. 483
  5. Lockhart, James and Stuart B. Schwartz. Early Latin America: A History Of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil. Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 80. Accessed via Google Books
  6. Brinkerhoff, Thomas J. “Reexamining the Lore of the ‘Archetypal Conquistador’: Hernán Cortés and the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire, 1519-1521.” The History Teacher, vol. 49, no. 2, Feb. 2016, p. 178. Accessed via
  7. Ibid, p. 180-181
  8. Knauff, Francis H. “The Spanish Conquest of Granada.” The Military Engineer, vol. 28, no. 161, p. 328. Accessed via
  9. Brinkerhoff, “Reexamining the Lore of the ‘Archetypal Conquistador,’” p. 176.
  10. Ibid 
  11. Gibson, Charles. The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule: A History of the Indians of the Valley of Mexico, 1519-1810. Stanford University Press, 1964, p. 65. Accessed via Google Books 
  12. Ibid, 70
  13. Schwaller, Robert C. “Defining Difference in Early New Spain.” The Pennsylvania State University Graduate School, p. 38,
  14. Ibid
  15. Ibid, 43
  16. Acemoglu, Daron, et al. “The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth.” The American Economic Review, vol. 95, no. 3. Accessed via
  17. The Spanish Seaborne Empire – John Parry – University Of California Press – 2010 – 128- Accessed via Google Books.
  18. Daron, et al. “The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth.”

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