An Analysis of the Mexico and Peru Rebellions against the New Spanish Empire

Category: Culture, Spain, Spanish
Last Updated: 25 May 2023
Pages: 4 Views: 76

A child rebels against his father, because he thinks that his father's rules are unjust; he thinks that if he rebels then maybe his father will change those rules. Rebellion may manifest itself in many ways: the child may refuse to eat, do his homework or even throw a temper tantrum. Some historians have argued that the above situation was very similar to the Latin American uprising against the Spanish crown. Although Spain thought of the colonies as little sons, in need protection from revolutionary ideas. However, the source of rebellious grievances differed greatly in each region of the new empire. The origins and manifestations of these grievances can be traced back to the pre-Columbian rulers in each region: the Aztecs, in what is now Mexico and Central America; the Incas in the Andean region of South America. These pre-Columbian rulers left an imprint or lack thereof on the people of their region; thus, shaping the indigenous society. Societies that would later rise up against the outside authority; either trying to replace it with the old Inca regime, or they considered it weak and needed a new central government.

Frist let us look at the conquest of Mexico by Hernan Cortez. Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula were ruled by the Aztecs. The Aztecs rule was compromised by the arrival of the Spanish. Cortez and his men were seen as Gods, who returned to save the poor from the tyrannical hands if the Aztecs. The pre-Columbian civilization was centralized around the war god, Huitzilopochtli, which meant they were constantly at war and the central system was in unrest. The Aztecs forced upon the people of Mexico, unfair trading practice, forced taxation and more importantly human sacrifice. They expanded their territories not only usurp more and land from the people, but also to sacrifice hundreds of people to their god. This relentless effort to expand their empire was viewed by the people of Mexico as barbaric and tyrannical. So, when Cortez came riding into Mexico on white horses, promising to overthrow the tyrannical overlords. The genet Corrientes cheered and revered the Spanish as their saviors and embraced the Spanish rule. However, this was not the case in Peru with the Incas.

The Andean rulers although expanded their empire by military means, they were more widely accepted among the people of Peru. The Incas has a very organized structure of power, that appealed to the people at every level. Unlike their Mexican counterparts, the Incas did not eradicate the local government. The people were allowed to continue their own religious practiced. The social pyramid now consisted of the Inca at the very top, followed by the ethnic chiefs, the ayllu's and lastly the families. The close-knit infrastructure made assimilation into the Inca society much easier. The people enjoyed the stability and advanced technology of their new ruler; however, never were their original sense of community ever in danger. The Inca's legitimization of the original community help ties the people to the old Inca way of living. After Pizarro's conquest, this communal tie to the Inca fostered rebellions as earlier as the sixteenth century. The Andean people wanted to return to what they viewed as the golden age of the Incas. The important question, however, is how did these differences were the bases of future rebellions?

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In the rebellion in Mexico, such as Chiapas and the rural rebellions, one can find common elements between the two Mexican rebellions. The rural rebellions in Mexico are characteristics as being spontaneous, never having a distant leader. More importantly, they were small and short lived, never spreading outside the community. These characteristics are traced back to the communities ruled by the Aztecs. These communities in central and southern Mexico were fragmented; there was not a common language nor any power ethnic authorities, plus the tribes were a lot smaller. The Mexican tribes were seen as small communities, thrown together under one crown. These characteristics would manifest themselves later in key Mexican rebellions, which will be explored later in this essay.

As to Peru, it was based more upon a stable system of integration into the ruling society. The constant desire by the people to return to the Inca system is based upon the highly accepted structure of Inca society. The Andean people's belief in community and its leadership played a major role in future rebellions. Both, the Taki Ongoy and Tupac Amaru rebellions tried to replace Spanish rule with the Inca. The people saw the Inca as a source of stability and prosperity and wanted to erase the Spanish and form a new and improved Inca government. Consequently, the Tupac Amaru rebellion of 1780, was according to the participants, a continuation of the Taki Ongoy rebellion of the 16th century.

This essay will focus on two rebellions from each region of the new Spanish empire. Examining closely how each rebellion originated from the indigenous structure of society. It will also suggest that not only were the rebellions a consequence of racial pressures, but also a direct example of social violence.

William Taylor defined the rebellions in central and southern Mexico as, "Localized mass attacks generally limited to restoring a customary equilibrium".

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An Analysis of the Mexico and Peru Rebellions against the New Spanish Empire. (2023, May 25). Retrieved from

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