Article

Conquest of Mexico

Camilla Townsend

in Latin American Studies

ISBN: 9780199766581
Published online October 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0046
Conquest of Mexico

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The conquest of Mexico has fascinated the world for many generations. Most works have focused on the Spaniards’ defeat of the so-called Aztecs (or more properly, the Nahuas, and those who spoke the Nahuatl language, in particular those who inhabited the city of Tenochtitlan and dominated the Central Basin and surrounding areas). However, Spanish wars against the Maya and other groups have also received their share of attention. Until quite recently, classic works underscored European superiority, but in the second half of the 20th century, scholars’ approaches shifted dramatically. Presently, many scholars work on what they call the “New Conquest History,” meaning that they take indigenous agency seriously and recognize that although Cortés’s most famous deeds all occurred between 1519 and 1521, the conquest of Mexico actually took much longer than those dates imply. The conquest was an uneven process, with victory much more difficult for the Spaniards to achieve in isolated or remote areas. Everywhere cultural hegemony remained an elusive goal. In short, the “conquest of Mexico” no longer refers merely to the toppling of Moctezuma but to a much broader and more complex process. In this bibliography, for the sake of organization only, we categorize studies pertaining to the initial military invasion by the Spaniards in any one area as “the conquest” and the negotiations that continued in ensuing generations as “the aftermath of conquest.”

Article.  7322 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies ; History of the Americas

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