• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

IB Extended Essay - How where the Conquistadors able to defeat the Incan and Aztec Empires?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Spanish conquistadors between the 16th and 17th centuries are often known to be the dominant world power of that time period. Two of their most significant conquests were that of the Aztec and Incan empires. How though were they able to assert such dominance? They were debatably known as the greatest naval power of the time along with Britain, and also were equipped with the most modern and efficient artillery. They conquered these empires with this military, but not necessarily in the form of force. Of course the Spanish used force to sack the Aztecs and Incas, but more than anything their primary and most destructive force was disease. The use of disease was not deliberate, but how they used disease in their favor stems primarily from the bubonic plague of Europe. The use of disease in conquest was extremely relevant in modern day central Mexico where the Aztec Empire had at a time dominated and modern day Peru where the Incan Empire once thrived. In 1347 the Bubonic plague also known as the Black Death hit Europe. It is debatably the most devastating time period in at least the last thousand years of human history if not longer. The pandemic is often believed to have originated from China, and from there spread throughout Europe. ...read more.

Middle

Montezuma II is believed by many historians to have been murdered by his own Aztec people, the Spanish having him hostage and under their control demanded he and his people give up to the Spanish forces. It is highly speculated that he addressed his people and some of the Aztecs felt he betrayed them and so therefore they took his life, but also there is much speculation that possibly it could have been the Spanish that killed him. Although their Emperor had just died, the Aztec people proved that they were not going to be demanded and ordered by Cortes and the Spanish like Montezuma II had done. Meanwhile Cortes had to deal with forces sent by a personal enemy by the name of Velasquez to stop and take out Cortes. Cortes defeated the forces that were sent to defeat him despite the fact that he was out numbered. After his victory he returned to Tenochtitlan only to arrive at the same time that Montezuma II was murdered, and his successor Cuitahuac took the people Tenochtitlan against the Spaniards. Cortes and his men fled as the native Aztecs ran them out, Cortes barely escaped, but in the process lost nearly all of his material possessions including much of his troops' artillery. ...read more.

Conclusion

"The disease killed over 94% of the Inca population of about 16 million. During this bloody civil war many more diseases came about from the Europeans and killed many more" (Scholar). Warfare killed thousands of Incas. Disease killed millions. And it was a disease that killed the Sapa Inca (Only Emporor) Huayna Capac that originated a need for a civil war in the first place. Not to say Francisco Pizarro's strategic command and military tactics did not play a role in the decline of the Inca Empire, because they certainly did. However, 168 Spanish men would not have been able to conquer the Inca Empire of 16 million people without the primary assistance of diseases, such as smallpox, typhus, and the bubonic plague, that dispersed across the South American continent. The Aztecs and the Incas were two of the greatest civilizations in the world, but were destroyed by the Spanish. It was something of an inevitable fact though due to the disease that brutally transformed Europe into the strongest continent in the world physically. Also their common exposure to livestock further strengthened Europe's immunity to disease. The Incan and Aztec Empires never made global connections and never had been around European livestock. Thus, when Spain touched down in the Americas it didn't matter what their military strengths were, because these lost, destroyed, and forgotten civilizations began dying as soon as the Spanish stepped foot in the "New World". ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Interwar Years: 1919-39

    The Anglo-German Naval Convention (June 1935) - Britain angered France and Italy by signing the Anglo-German Naval Convention in June 1935, allowing Germany to have a navy with a tonnage of 35% that of Britain's. Effectively, Britain was unilaterally sanctioning a breach of the military restrictions laid down by

  2. George Orwell in the Spanish Revolution

    For the POUM, it stressed the need for a different cause (the oh so feared revolution) than liberal bourgeoisie as the republic's economic system would be capitalism while the POUM were Marxists. Then the Communists, they stressed the need to focus on defeating the fascists before thinking ahead (thereby trying to undermine the revolution).

  1. Continuity/ Change over Time Essay. Dominating throughout almost the whole region of Eurasia, the ...

    When he became a ruler of a thriving empire he had no idea about how to run things and probably didn't realize the importance of strong government. The future Khans also created a mess in the government. In China, the Mongols didn't trust the Chinese, so they got a lot of foreign peoples to come and do the governing.

  2. the causes and consequences of the spanish civil war

    Expectedly, in October 1931 two Catholic ministers resigned. This was a great loss. The Radical Party also left the government. This resulted to a government which was mainly composed of Left republicans. This meant that the government was unbalanced and the majority of the Spanish people were not pleased with this assortment.

  1. Historical Investigation IB

    what would happen if you opposed Britain, and in response to the Boston Tea Party, which took place on December 16th 1773 when a group of Colonists disguised as Native Americans snuck onto British ships which carried crates of tea.

  2. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Students banned from belonging to student groups. 4. Peace in universities until 1887 and new rioting (increase in fees). 5. Students continued to organize themselves into unofficial regional societies, by the late 1890s individuals active in illegal political activity used them for unrest.

  1. Analyse the causes of the Spanish Civil War

    The right republic came to power in November 1933, because of the bad reputation the left was getting, by smoking out anarchists and killing many opposition, causing the loss of support from the left republic working class. This lead to a complete revolt in Spain, that went completely against left modernizing policies, eventually causing damage to the citizens.

  2. Lasting from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the outbreak of the Black Death ...

    Another example of this greed and concern of money was in Miguel Parets document. It says that the nurses were actually hired to help the Plague patients, but instead the nurses made the patients die faster, so they could get their wage sooner (Doc#11).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work