Segments in this Video

The Conquest: The Drama and Protagonists: Two Empires (03:26)


After the wars of expulsion of the Moors from Iberian Peninsula, the Spanish Empire needed to replenish its coffers; whereas, the Aztec Empire was at its apex of wealth and power in 1502. The two empires had state religions, vast territories, and were unloved by their subjects.

Similarities of the Two Empires (02:29)

Varios authorities comment on on the similarities of the two Empires, their imperial structure, religious authority of the Emperors, class system. The tributary economics of the Aztecs facilitated the Spanish Conquest.

Christopher Columbus and the Symbolism of St. Christopher (06:12)

St. Christopher was popular as the giant who carried Jesus across the waters. As Columbus's ships sailed around the coasts of the Caribbean Islands, Cuba and Mesoamerica, news of their arrival spread to Mexico.

The Voyage of Cortés (05:15)

The first governor of Cuba named Cortés to lead an expedition to the Yucatan coast in 1518. Cortés and his chroniclers were surprised by the civilization they encountered. Two shipwrecked sailors lived with the natives; one chose to join Cortés and communicate with the Malinche, the other fought with the Mayas.

The Encounter with the Malinche in Tabasco (05:14)

The first battle of the Conquest occurred in Tabasco where Spanish weaponry defeated the odds against them. Thirty female slaves were given to the conquerors, including the Malinche. who spoke Nahuatl as well as Maya, and enabled Cortés to communicate with various language groups.

Cortés Recruits Those Oppressed by the Aztecs (04:30)

Cortés was an educated man and strategist who took advantage of internal divisions in the Aztec Empire, encouraging a rebellion against Aztec tyranny. Cortés ordered his ships dismantled, not burned, and began the advance toward Tenochtitlan, defying Velázquez's orders.

The Spaniards' Technological Advantage (02:17)

The wooden clubs of the Aztecs were no match for Toledo steel swords or firearms. The Spaniards killed in battle, but the Mexicas took victims for sacrifice.

War of Indians Versus Indians: The Massacre of Cholula (04:06)

After Cortés tricked and massacred the nobles of Cholula with the aid of the Tlascaltecas , the war became a war of revenge among the native nations. Moctezuma didn't know what to make of the Spaniards and erred by not taking action against them.

Cortés Marches to Tenochtitlán (02:59)

Cortés attracted native allies as the Spaniards advanced toward Tenochtitlán. Nov. 6, 1519, Bernal Díaz marveled at the city,Tenochtitlán.

Moctezuma's Dilemma (03:58)

Young extremist warriors had advised their leaders to kill the Spaniards early in the campaign, but Moctezuma chose to a diplomatic approach, especially after the defeat of the Tlascaltecas. Moctezuma's spies and presents only encouraged Cortés to go to Tenochtitlán.

Credits: The Drama and its Main Characters: The Conquest-Part 1 (01:22)

Credits: The Drama and its Main Characters: The Conquest-Part 1

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The Drama and its Main Characters: The Conquest—Part 1

Part of the Series : The Conquest
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This program, part of a series presented by Televisa and produced here by Independent Production Fund, begins the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico with its main protagonists, Hernán Cortés and Moctezuma. We hear of the similarities and weaknesses of the the Spanish Empire under Carlos V and the Aztec Empire led by Moctezuma, and follow Columbus' exploratory journeys to the New World. We learn how two shipwrecked sailors chose opposite sides in the initial combats that won the invaluable translator, the Malinche, for Cortés. Spanish technology overcame the numeric odds against the Spaniards and the Aztec Empire's onerous tribute helped Cortés form alliances with subject nations, especially after the Cholula Massacre. Hear how Moctezuma made a fatal mistake as Cortés advanced toward Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital. (In Spanish)

Length: 44 minutes

Item#: BVL93885

ISBN: 978-1-68272-065-3

Copyright date: ©2011

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