Hernan Cortes Hero or Villain

Last Updated: 17 Aug 2022
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The Sun Cannot be covered by a Finger Hearing of the word hero brings to my mind a good looking man with some qualities of fair, equal, courage, brave, honest and a positive leader. This makes the opposite a villain a person who wishes wrong for someone or a person who creates evil. The event changes dramatically, a hero of the past may not be considered a hero in the present and versa. Hernando Cortes a hero for joining two worlds and conquering the most powerful civilization of America or Hernando Cortes a villain for making the Aztec Empire disappear.

Hernando Cortez was an important symbol for the explorations, but killing people, ending the most powerful civilization in America and spreading diseases does not makes him a hero. With good strategy and few men Cortes defeated the Aztec Empire, first Montezuma II and then Cuauhtemoc.  Spreading disease “smallpox” to the Aztecs that then will spread the disease all over Mexico and making many people die. Taking over a civilization that had his culture, language, religion and after doing all this finished with the entire Aztec Empire. If you argue these reasons you get the results of a villain or in this case the result of Cortes. "For the people of Mexico, Cuauhtemoc is a hero as the Spanish are inhuman exploiters in their treatment of the indigenous population. " Not only Mexicans believe that poor and cruel treatment for human beans is a crime.

This is something that we were born and we immediately knew. Treating humans as slaves is shameful and this is exactly what Cortes did.Coming to a place that is not yours and saying that now is you place is one thing, but treating them bad so they would do what he order and killing them if they decided to oppose is another high level of evilness. Cortes was ultimately responsible for the abuses suffered by indigenous and this contributes immensely to the "black legend" of conquest. The black legend of the conquest was the abuse of the Spanish toward the Indigenous. Spanish began to take women and children for the Indians to serve and to use evil from them; they ate their meals that the Indians got from hard effort and work of everyday from them.  All of this where bad treatment towards the Aztecs that before the Spanish got to America was a civilization that was not bad treated by anyone.

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This was the form they treated the Aztecs that would later lead to the evaporation of the Aztec Empire. The Spanish were starting to settle as well as the diseases.In 100 years 90 percent of the Indians population died and this was a problem that Cortes carried since his arrival. Smallpox was undoubtedly the main villain, though not only, as the Spanish also introduced the mumps and measles, both responsible for many deaths. There is no evidence that these infections exist in America before the arrival of the conquistadores. The disease was certainly bloodiest than the smallpox in sixteenth century in Europe.  It can be considerate that this disease was passed in the first try of Cortes trying to conquer the Aztecs in 1521.

This being a fast disease that passed from person to person.  When Cortes entered the city in August, found that nearly half the population had died. In the course of six months there was hardly a single town without being infected. It has been estimated that nearly half of the Aztec people died in the first epidemic. While Cortes was preparing more men and building ships for attacking the city, the Aztecs were dying by the disease that his men left the first time they enter the city. This was a big extra help to make things much easier so Cortes could conquer the Aztec Empire.  Without really looking for extra help, help was falling from the sky towards Cortes; in this case he found out that he had killed a lot of men with one of his disease.

In addition, can someone by considered a hero for something that he really did not plan? After one eventually comes the other. Cortes did not only focus on killing the Aztecs he is still remembered for the battles of “La matanza de Cholula” and “La matanza del templo mayor”. Cortes needed men to help him finish the Aztec empire. “La matanza de Cholula” was an attack by military forces of the Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortes in his path to the city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan in the year 1519. According to writings of Cortes it was a preventing action because there was a rumor that there was going to be a possible ambush inside the city of Cholula. The result was the death of 5 000 or 6 000 Cholula, mostly unarmed civilians in a period not exceeding six hours. The other battle “La matanza del templo mayor” also known as the night of tears was the night that Cortes lost half of his men trying to escape from the city of Tenochtitlan were also many Aztecs died; this was the 20 of May 1520.

The 27 of June 3 days before the night of tears happened Montezuma was killed by his own people, this will lead to the first confusion; days later Cuauhtemoc will be the next leader of the Aztecs being recognized for a more aggressive leader.  Cuauhtemoc knowing that Cortes was trying to empower Tenochtitlan, he organized the army and people to defend the city, offered to remove the tributes to his vassals, fortified the plaza and destroyed the bridges.The Aztecs defended their positions for 75 days, until August 13, 1521. After the 75 days the city was impossible the leader tried to escape but they were capture by Spanish people.  Cuauhtemoc was then captured and was threatened to death if he did not said were the gold was. Cuauhtemoc remained imprisoned for 4 years. He was killed by the conquerors during the expedition of Cortes to Central America in 1525 and this was the end of a civilization that suffer since the arrival of the Spanish.

Getting to a conclusion, we analyze how Cortes treated, killed, fight. Cortes a villain for making bloody battle fields where he stepped. Clearly here is the definition of a villain. Spreading diseases, making people suffer, finishing the civilization only for the purpose of gold and his own benefits. A hero thinks of everyone not just on himself. Once again with good strategy and few men Cortes defeated the Aztec Empire, first Montezuma II and then Cuauhtemoc making this suffer much more. However spreading disease “smallpox” to the Aztecs that then will spread the disease all over Mexico and making many people die.

This disease killed 90% of the Natives in 100 years. Taking over a civilization that had his culture, language, religion and after doing all this finished with the entire Aztec Empire. No one can be considered a hero by doing these evil things. Cortes proof to be a villain in almost every act, sometimes is not enough to be a brave men and courageous. You need to use this qualities for good not for bad treatment.

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Hernan Cortes Hero or Villain. (2018, Aug 12). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/hernan-cortes-hero-or-villain/

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