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HIST221: Colonial Latin and South America

Unit 2: Conquest of the Americas   Spanish explorers established the first permanent settlements in the Americas on the Caribbean island of Hispanola in the early 1500s.  Over the next half-century, Spanish conquistadors, or conquerors, used these early settlements as jumping off points for expeditions along the coasts of North, Central, and South America.  In 1519, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés landed on the east coast of modern-day Mexico with a small contingent of about 600 soldiers and sailors and began a two-year military campaign against the mighty Aztec Empire.  In 1521, Cortés’ Spanish forces, with the aid of a large number of Indian warriors, overthrew Aztec Emperor Moctezuma and took control of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.  The Spanish established Mexico City on the ruins of Tenochtitlan.  This new city became the heart of their growing colonial empire in the Americas.  In this unit, we will learn how Spanish conquistadors conquered native peoples across the Americas over the course of the 16th century and expanded Spanish domination of the Western Hemisphere.  We will also look at how Spanish contact with American natives led to technological and agricultural exchanges as well as the spread of new diseases among both groups.  The so-called “Columbian Exchange” led to unexpected consequences for each side and profoundly altered life in Europe and the Americas during the 1500s.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
Time Estimate: This unit will take you 10.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.4: 3 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Analyze the political, social, and military interactions between Iberian explorers and conquerors and the indigenous peoples of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries. - Assess the impact and consequences of the ‘Columbian Exchange,’ particularly in the areas of agriculture, technologies, and disease. 

2.1 Conquest of Mexico   - Reading: MexConnect: Dale Hoyt Palfrey’s “The Spanish Conquest (1519-1521)” Link: MexConnect: Dale Hoyt Palfrey’s “The Spanish Conquest (1519-1521)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this webpage for a brief overview of the conquistadors’ first encounter and later defeat of the Aztec Empire.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Canadian Libraries Internet Archive’s version of Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s True History of the Conquest of Mexico Link: Canadian Libraries Internet Archive’s version of Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s “True History of the Conquest of Mexico” (HTML)
     
    Also available in:
     

    PDF
     
    ePub format
     
    eText format on the Kindle
     
    Instructions: Please read the entirety of the selection, paying special attention to Castillo’s perceptions and observations of the Aztec Empire.
     
    You may view this text online, or you may choose to download the PDF version, by clicking on the links on the left side of the page.  This account, written around 1568, describes the invasion of Mexico by Don Hernando Cortes and his 600 Spanish conquistadors in 1519.  Written from the perspective of the European conquerors, this document is one of only a few texts that elucidates the collision of Spanish and Aztec cultures in the New World.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "Bernal Díaz del Castillo’s True History of the Conquest of New Spain" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "Bernal Díaz del Castillo’s True History of the Conquest of New Spain" (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment to help in your understanding of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.
     
    When you are done, please check your work against The Saylor Foundation's “Guide to Responding: Bernal Díaz del Castillo’s True History of the Conquest of New Spain." (PDF)

2.1.1 Hernán Cortés   - Reading: The Mariners’ Museum: “Hernán Cortés” Link: The Mariners’ Museum: “Hernán Cortés” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire webpage to get an overview of the life and achievements of Conquistador Hernán Cortés.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.2 Aztec Encounters   - Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Oliver J. Thatcher’s version of “Hernán Cortés: from Second Letter to Charles V, 1520” and “An Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico” Links: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Oliver J. Thatcher’s version of “Hernán Cortés: from Second Letter to Charles V, 1520” (HTML) and “An Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read both excerpts in their entirety.  In the first letter, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés describes the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan to Spanish king Charles V.  He describes the geography of the region, the layout of the city, and the designs of the buildings and temples in the city and explains how the Aztecs live their daily lives.  In the second reading, you will learn about the clash between European and Mesoamerican cultures in the sixteenth century.
 
This link is maintained by Paul Halsall at Fordham University.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.3 March to Tenochtitlan   - Web Media: UC College Prep’s “Cortés Defeats the Aztecs” Link: UC College Prep’s “Cortés Defeats the Aztecs” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: This resource covers subunits 2.1.3-2.1.4.  Please watch the entire video presentation (Topic 3 of Lesson 1–Discovery and Settlement of the New World). This session will give you an excellent introduction to the Spanish defeat of the Aztecs, with a particular emphasis on the treatment of the Aztec Indians. You may also want to click on the “Text” tab to read about what is being presented.
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  It is attributed to The Regents of the University of California and the original version can be found here (HTML). 

2.1.4 Defeat of Moctezuma   2.2 Conquest of Peru   - Lecture: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation's "Conquest of the Aztec Empire" Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation's "Conquest of the Aztec Empire" (YouTube).

 Instructions: Please watch the entire video (14 minutes).

2.2.1 Francisco Pizarro   - Web Media: University of Calgary’s Multimedia History Tutorials: “The Conquest of the Inca Empire: Francisco Pizarro” Link:  University of Calgary’s Multimedia History Tutorials: “The Conquest of the Inca Empire: Francisco Pizarro” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please be sure to click "Proceed with the Tutorial" and read the text page as well).  This site provides excellent information on the life and achievements of Conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.2 Incan Encounters   - Reading: Seton Hall University: Prof. Nicholas C.J. Pappas’ version of “Hernando Pizarro on the Conquest of the Incas” Link: Seton Hall University: Prof. Nicholas C.J. Pappas’ version of “Hernando Pizarro on the Conquest of the Incas
 
Instructions: Please read the entire excerpt. This is a letter from Pizarro to the Royal Audience of Santo Domingo.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Pedro de Cieza de Léon’s “Chronicles of the Incas, 1540” Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Pedro de Cieza de Léon’s “Chronicles of the Incas, 1540” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read the entire excerpt. Cieza, a Spanish soldier and explorer, offers readers a firsthand view of the Incan economy at the time. Less directly, the author illustrates the hierarchy of Inca society.

    This link is maintained by Paul Halsall at Fordham University.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Study Questions for ‘Hernando Pizarro on the Conquest of the Incas’ and Pedro de Cieza de Leon’s ‘Chronicles of the Incas, 1540’” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Study Questions for ‘Hernando Pizarro on the Conquest of the Incas’ and Pedro de Cieza de Leon’s ‘Chronicles of the Incas, 1540’” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please complete the questions in the assessment. You can check your answers against the "Guide to Responding" (PDF). This assessment should take about 1 hour to complete.

2.2.3 Spanish Victory   - Reading: Juanita College: David Sowell's "Encounter at Cajamarca" Link: Juanita College: David Sowell's "Encounter at Cajamarca" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please download Professor David Sowell's article "Encounter at Cajamarca" (pdf) and read the text in its entirety. Using three different accounts, Professor Sowell critically analyzes in this research paper the battle of Cajamarca, which is considered to be the beginning of the end of the Inca empire and the commencement of the colonial era.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3 Spanish Exploration of North America   - Reading: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” Link: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the section titled “The First Atlantic Encounters: Early Spanish and Portuguese Exploration of North America” in its entirety.  This reading will help you gain an understanding of the extent in which the Spanish conquistadors explored the North American continent as well as the causes and consequences resulting from their competition for fame and fortune with French and British explorers. 

 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of Concepcion Saenz-Camba.  Please note that this
material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity
without explicit permission from the copyright holder.
  • Web Media: UC College Prep’s: “Spanish and French Exploration” Link: UC College Prep’s:  “Spanish and French Exploration” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entire video presentation (Topic 1 of Lesson 3–Spanish and French Exploration). This session will give you an excellent introduction to the Spanish exploration of the Americas, and discusses the “Black Legend” of Spanish cruelty. You may also want to click on the “Text” tab to read about what is being presented.
     
    Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML). It is attributed to The Regents of the University of California and the original version can be found here (HTML).

  • Lecture: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation's "Conquest of the Inca Empire" Link: YouTube: The Saylor Foundation's "Conquest of the Inca Empire" (YouTube).

    Instructions: Please watch the entire video (14 minutes).

2.3.1 Hernando de Soto   - Reading: Donald E. Sheppard’s “History of Florida”: “Spanish Exploration and Conquest of Native America” Link: Donald E. Sheppard’s “History of Florida”: “Spanish Exploration and Conquest of Native America” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this section for an overview of the major achievements of Conquistador Hernando de Soto and his exploration of the territory of modern-day United States.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.2 Juan Ponce de León   - Reading: University of South Florida, College of Education’s “Exploring Florida”: “Ponce de León: Florida's First Spanish Explorer” Link: University of South Florida, College of Education’s “Exploring Florida: “Ponce de León: Florida's First Spanish Explorer” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entirety of this section for an overview of the major achievements of Conquistador Ponce de León and his exploration of Florida in his quest for the legendary “Fountain of Youth.”
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.3 Limits of Exploration   - Reading: The University of New Mexico: Lectures in American History: “Chapter III: Early American Colonies”  Link: The University of New Mexico: Lectures in American History: “Chapter III: Early American Colonies” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please, read this text in its entirety.  This reading offers a brief overview of the early European colonies in North America.  Pay special attention to the causes of the great division of North America between the European nations
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.4 The Columbian Exchange   - Web Media: UC College Prep’s: “Commerce” Link: UC College Prep’s: “Commerce” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions:  Please watch the entire video presentation (Topic 1 of Lesson 2–Europe and the Impulse for Exploration). This session will give you an excellent introduction to the exchanges between the Old and the New World, particularly commercial. You may also want to click on the “Text” tab to read about what is being presented.
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML). It is attributed to The Regents of the University of California and the original version can be found here (HTML).

  • Reading: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” Link: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the section titled “The Columbian Exchange” in its entirety.  This reading will address the importance of the “Columbian Exchange,” arguably, the starting point of real worldwide globalization. Pay special attention to the different ways the consequences of this global exchange still affect our world today. 

    Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of Concepcion Saenz-Camba.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

2.4.1 Agriculture   - Reading: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American Slavery: Professor Alfred Crosby’s “The Columbian Exchange” Link: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American Slavery: Professor Alfred Crosby’s “The Columbian Exchange” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this excellent article, which offers insight into the ‘Columbian Exchange.’
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.4.2 Technology   - Web Media: UC College Prep’s: “Technological Factors” Link: UC College Prep’s: “Technological Factors” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please watch the entire video presentation (Topic 2 of Lesson 2–Europe and the Impulse for Exploration). This session will give you an excellent introduction to the technological developments in the area of maritime navigation, in particular ship building and navigation. You may also want to click on the “Text” tab to read about what is being presented.

 Terms of Use: The article above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) (HTML).  It is
attributed to The Regents of the University of California and the
original version can be found
[here](http://uccpbank.k12hsn.org/courses/APUSHistoryI/course%20files/multimedia/lesson02/lessonp_uccp_ap.html)
(HTML). 

2.4.3 Disease   - Reading: Gettysburg College: Prof. Timothy J. Shannon’s “Diseases” Link: Gettysburg College: Prof. Timothy J. Shannon’s “Diseases” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entirety of this text for an overview
of the various aspects of the Spanish Conquest of America, in
particular the spread of diseases and its toll on both Native
American and European populations.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Lecture: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk's “The Columbian Exchange: Disease” Link: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk's “The Columbian Exchange: Disease” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please listen to or watch the entirety of the lecture (approximately 25 minutes).  This lecture discusses the exchange and impact of European diseases on the New World, and New World diseases on the Old World.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.4.4 Consequences of the Exchange   - Web Media: UC College Prep’s: “Exchanges” Link: UC College Prep’s: “Exchanges” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please watch the entire video presentation (Topic 4 of Lesson 2–Europe and the Impulse for Exploration). This session will give you an excellent introduction to the exchanges between the Old and the New World. You may also want to click on the “Text” tab to read about what is being presented.
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  It is attributed to The Regents of the University of California and the original version can be found here (HTML).