Conquest of Guatemala and Yucatan

Laura E. Matthew

in Latin American Studies

ISBN: 9780199766581
Published online October 2011 | | DOI:
Conquest of Guatemala and Yucatan

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  • Regional and Area Studies
  • History of the Americas


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Excellent work has been done on the conquest wars of the 16th and 17th centuries in Guatemala and Yucatan and their long-term impacts on indigenous society. “Conquest” in the Guatemalan and Yucatecan contexts was not a single event, but a two-hundred-year period of violent takeovers of territory beginning in 1524 by Spanish and Mesoamerican (mostly central Mexican Nahua) allies, leading to these areas’ early incorporation into the Spanish empire. The idea of conquest also encompasses the demographic, cultural, and political changes instigated by Mesoamerican contact with Europeans. Contemporary movements for indigenous political rights in Mexico and Guatemala utilize much of the scholarship listed here to remind the world of the losses suffered as a result of conquest. However, indigenous activists often reject the term “conquest” itself, preferring the term “invasion” as a way of asserting their territorial and cultural rights and their survival to the present day.

Article.  5307 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies ; History of the Americas

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