Over time, around 80 percent of the people living in the Valley of Mexico died from these diseases. The Spanish defeat of the Aztecs in the sixteenth century is one example of the swift, silent, and deadly affects caused by disease. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it wasn’t that hard either. It remained endemic in human populations for millennia, coming to Europe during the 11th century’s Crusades. The native people of the Americas, including the Aztecs, were especially vulnerable to smallpox because they’d never been exposed to the virus and thus possessed no natural immunity. The Spanish had a positive effect on Aztec civilization because they helped modernize the society. This time in Tlaxcala had impacts for both the Spanish and the Aztec, because the Spanish were able to resupply and received new Spanish troops while the Aztec suffered from the consequences of the spread of European diseases. We’ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50% for our End-of-Year sale—Join Now! How smallpox devastated the Aztecs – and helped Spain conquer an American civilization 500 years ago Menu Close The Aztecs, however, who had never been exposed to such a disease, were not able to handle the consequences. In many places it happened that everyone in a house died, and as it was impossible to bury the great number of dead, they pulled down the houses over them, so that their homes became their tombs.” Smallpox took its toll on the Aztecs in several ways. Quick question- 1) All of the following contributed to the Spanish victory over the Aztecs except (1 point) disease wiped out many of the Aztecs. Smallpox existed in ancient times in Egyptian, Indian and Chinese cultures. In many places it happened that everyone in a house died, and as it was impossible to bury the great number of dead, they pulled down the houses over them, so that their homes became their tombs.”. The Spanish weapons, war tactics, and Cortés’s leadership abilities were undoubtedly a factor, but it was smallpox that was the most devastating to the Aztec population. In addition, with so many people in a debilitated state, they could not tend to crops or find other sources of food, which caused widespread famine and further diminished the immune systems of those who had survived the epidemic and were recovering. the Spanish Cortes didn’t want any of that and went to fight them. He got it in the form of a smallpox epidemic that gradually spread inward from the coast of Mexico and decimated the densely populated city of Tenochtitlan in 1520, reducing its population by 40 percent in a single year. The Spanish recruited the enemies of the Aztecs and Incas to help destroy the two kingdoms. How the Aztecs died:The Aztecs died From The spanish coming and invading their City. First, killing thousands of people, whether you or your neighbours, simply can't be good for a society. After Montezuma II was killed the Aztecs elected Cuauhtemoc as their new king. This region was home to the Aztec civilization, an empire of an estimated 16 million people at this time. Many great encounters in world history, including Cortés’s clash with the Aztec empire, had less to do with weaponry, tactics and strategy than with the ravages of disease. Recalling the epidemic, one victim reported: “The plague lasted for 70 days, striking everywhere in the city and killing a vast number of our people. Discovering widespread resentment toward the capital city and its ruler, Cortés formed alliances with many locals. Other than that, it was a pure backstab/lie to the Aztec king by the Spanish conquistador that enabled him to defeat the Aztecs. A Franciscan monk who accompanied Cortés provided this description: “As the Indians did not know the remedy of the disease, they died in heaps, like bedbugs. Why is the Battle of Saratoga considered a turning point in the American Revolution. One commander wrote, “We gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of the smallpox hospital. The Aztecs did not know what to do; a tense stand-off ensued, during which Moctezuma was the “guest” of the Spanish. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. Sign up now, Latest answer posted December 17, 2019 at 4:57:35 PM, Latest answer posted March 15, 2018 at 10:48:50 AM, Latest answer posted April 02, 2008 at 3:30:05 PM, Latest answer posted November 13, 2015 at 1:34:24 PM, Latest answer posted February 23, 2016 at 6:49:29 AM. Sores erupted on our faces, our breasts, our bellies; we were covered with agonizing sores from head to foot.”. However, without the extra num-bers afforded by indigenous troops, the Spanish in several actions in the early campaigns in Tabasco “As the Indians did not know the remedy of the disease, they died in heaps, like bedbugs. Most significantly, the Spanish ended the Aztec's practice of human sacrifice. The fall of the Aztec Empire came about due to the Spanish conquest of Central America. This answer has been confirmed as correct and helpful. Many others were weakened by the virus, making them ill and making it more difficult to care for themselves and others in the community while fending off the Spanish invaders. ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Spanish recruited the enemies of the Aztecs and Incas to help break the two kingdoms. Spanish weaponry and tactics played ... and indigenous allies would not have been able to overcome a city of 200,000 without help. Quizlet flashcards, activities and games help you improve your grades. Also, with the help of iron armor, gunpowder weaponryand diseases such as smallpox, the Spanish were able to defeat theAztecs and effectively conquer Mexico on August 13, 1521. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. A 17th-century copper plate of Tenochtitlan. From Cuba came another Spanish army, to make sure that Cortes followed his orders. Epidemics are not a recent phenomenon. Infectious diseases have wreaked havoc on human populations throughout history. These turn into scabs which leave scars. His ally in this fight was the European germs he and his men unwittingly brought with them. To help you do this, take a few minutes and discuss in Spanish (1-2 paragraphs) 7th Grade Social Studies!! Epidemics are nothing new, of course. The Aztecs were severely weakened by diseases that the Spanish brought such as smallpox, influenza, and malaria. Recent investigations have suggested that other infectious agents, such as Salmonella – known for causing contemporary outbreaks among pet owners – may have caused additional epidemics. They introduced the Aztecs to domestic animals, sugar, grains, and European farming practices. In turn, Cortés took Montezuma prisoner. Early smallpox pustules on a patient’s lower leg and foot. Question. First of all - technology. The Democratic Republic of Congo is fighting a deadly outbreak of Ebola that has killed hundreds. Microbes too small to be seen by the naked eye can render ineffectual even the mightiest machinery of war. native Americans in the region resented paying tribute to the Aztecs. Chancellor's Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University. Spanish effort in that they helped redress the im-balance in numbers between the Spanish and the Aztecs. Although Cortés was a skilled leader, he and his force of perhaps a thousand Spaniards and indigenous allies would not have been able to overcome a city of 200,000 without help. Answer: 2 question How did the spanish explorers defeat the aztec - the answers to estudyassistant.com After some brief and violent contact in 1517, a Spanish force under Hernan Cortes arrived in 1519 to completely subjugate the Aztecs. Code Of Hammurabi Laws Compared To Today's Laws. Who knows how it would have been different if these people and their children had swelled the ranks that fought the Spanish, not to mention the other contributions th… And other European diseases, such as measles and mumps, also took substantial tolls – altogether reducing some indigenous populations in the new world by 90 percent or more. Favourite answer. Write an article and join a growing community of more than 118,000 academics and researchers from 3,800 institutions. It took Cortés two years, but he finally conquered the Aztec capital in August 1521. The ability of smallpox to incapacitate and decimate populations made it an attractive agent for biological warfare. Tenochtitlan was sacked and its monuments … You could easily have googled this question. What are the differences between the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire? Indiana University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US. How did the Spanish explorers defeat the Aztec? In the past, diseases such as influenza, smallpox and measles, other pathogens that were known to have been brought over from Europe were considered, though they have now been ruled out. Happily, worldwide vaccination efforts have been successful, and the last naturally occurring case of the disease was diagnosed in 1977. Asked 1/12/2017 7:49:01 AM. The Spanish recruited the enemies of the Aztecs and Incas to help destroy the two kingdoms. Are you a teacher? Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team. Disease epidemics can set the course of human history. Lacking food and ravaged by smallpox disease earlier introduced by one of the Spaniards, the Aztecs, now led by Cuauhtemoc, finally collapsed after 93 days of resistance on the fateful day of 13th of August, 1521 CE. In addition to North America’s Native American populations, the Mayan and Incan civilizations were also nearly wiped out by smallpox. First, it killed many of its victims outright, particularly infants and young children. Other than that, it was a pure backstab/lie to the Aztec king by the Spanish conquistador that enabled him to defeat the Aztecs. Nations that suppose they can secure themselves strictly through investments in military spending should study history – time and time again the course of events has been definitively altered by disease outbreaks. After helping conquer Cuba for the Spanish, Cortés was commissioned to lead an expedition to the mainland. Already a member? The answer is, as we already saw, a sum of two main factors: Castellan swords and diseases brought by the Spanish, for which the Mexica had no antibodies nor effective cure, plus a crucial one: the winning military strategy of the Spanish, and the alliance with other local Aztec tribes. The ability of smallpox to incapacitate and decimate populations made it an attractive agent for biological warfare. Help from the Maya did not help the Spanish defeat the Aztecs. When Europeans began to explore and colonize other parts of the world, smallpox traveled with them. Though vastly outnumbered, he and a small force marched on Tenochtitlan, where Montezuma received them with honor. Diseases in Aztecs times can be split up into two sections - before the Spaniards and after the Spaniards. Within just two years, Aztec ruler Montezuma was dead, the capital city of Tenochtitlan was captured and Cortés had claimed the Aztec empire for Spain. How were the Indian Ocean routes and Silk routes similar? In the 18th century, the British tried to infect Native American populations. Smallpox is caused by an inhaled virus, which causes fever, vomiting and a rash, soon covering the body with fluid-filled blisters. Now Cortes learned that 900 Spaniards had landed on the coast and that their commander, Narvarez, had orders to arrest Cortes and take over the expedition. Top subjects are History, Literature, and Business. a. with guns, horses, and an epidemic b. by intentionally spreading disease c. with bows and arrows d. by - 3587307 Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. You might want to read more about the how the Spanish did this. Richard Gunderman does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Even so, in many battles the Aztecs greatly outnumbered the Spanish and their allies (Diaz 1956: 318-320). Factors, such as diseases and religious beliefs, also contributed to the defeat of the Aztecs by the Spanish army (Holmer, 2005). Cortés eventually had him executed. ... 1 decade ago. You might want to read more about the how the Spanish did this. I hope it will have the desired effect.” During World War II, British, American, Japanese and Soviet teams all investigated the possibility of producing a smallpox biological weapon. Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now. So, how did a well-trained group of warriors that outnumbered the Spanish could have been beaten so quickly? By 1521, the Aztec ruler Montezuma had died, the capital city of Tenochtitlan was captured, and the empire formerly ruled by the Aztec peoples was under Spanish reign. Aztecs were technically a stone age civilisation, as they did not work metal. Many other adults were incapacitated by the disease – because they were either sick themselves, caring for sick relatives and neighbors, or simply lost the will to resist the Spaniards as they saw disease ravage those around them. Finally, people could no longer tend to their crops, leading to widespread famine, further weakening the immune systems of survivors of the epidemic. The final case occurred in 1978, when a photographer died of the disease, prompting the scientist whose research she was covering to take his own life. First of all, the Spanish possessed far superior weaponry and battle tactics. It took only two years for Hernán Cortés to conquer and seize the Aztec empire for Spain. How were they different? 0 Answers/Comments. The other principle factor that contributed to the defeat of the Aztecs was that they did not retreat when they lost their warriors in the battlefield. Before the Spaniards "discovered" South America (the area that the Aztecs were living in), the major disease that affected the Aztecs was syphilis, which is an STI (sexually transmitted infection). how did the spanish defeat the aztecs? Cortés sailed from Cuba to Mexico in February 1519 with the intention of exploring and colonizing the region. Smallpox wiped out 5-8 million Aztecs shortly after the Spanish arrived in Mexico in 1519. s. MrG|Points 35862| Log in for more information. The loss of people in a loss that can't be calculated. When his small fleet landed, he ordered his ships scuttled, eliminating any possibility of retreat and conveying the depth of his resolve. Smallpox took its toll on the Aztecs in several ways. You could easily have googled this question. Updated 1/12/2017 9:13:12 AM. And some widespread infectious dieseases have profoundly changed the course of human history. Hmmm, well the Spanish unintentionally brought European diseases with them and it spread like wildfire! There's little doubt that the ritual Aztec sacrifice contributed to the fall of the Aztec Empire, and in more ways than one. Through a system of conquest and tribute, the Aztecs had established the great island city of Tenochtitlan in Lake Texcoco that ruled over an area of about 80,000 square miles. Fatal in approximately one-third of cases, another third of those afflicted with the disease typically develop blindness. Five hundred years ago, in February of 1519, the Spaniard Hernán Cortés set sail from Cuba to explore and colonize Aztec civilization in the Mexican interior. Aztecs melee weapons were shattering against Spanish cuirasses like they were made of glass; their shields were pierced by bolts and bullets like they were made of paper; Aztec fortifications were blown to dust with Spanish cannons; Aztec cotton armour was pierced by steel swords with ease, Spanish horses were inflicting fear on them, and Spanish ships were virtually invulnerable to Aztec canoes. Mass vaccination against smallpox got going in the second half of the 1800s. Native Americans such as the Aztecs had never come in contact with Old World diseases such as smallpox and therefore possessed no natural immunity to the virus; furthermore, no effective anti-viral therapies were available to treat it. Conquistadors Conquer the Aztecs and Inca study guide by brandonb128 includes 44 questions covering vocabulary, terms and more. The finely made weapons did not pass inspection until they could bend in a half-circle … The Spanish city of Toledo was known as one of the best places in the world for making arms and armor and a fine Toledo sword was a valuable weapon indeed. After Cortes (the Spanish explorer, mainly famous for the conquering of the Aztec empire) had arrived in Mexico. https://www.pastmedicalhistory.co.uk/smallpox-and-the-con... https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/how-smallpox-devasta... What are some questions that I could ask in an interview with someone [not white], regarding the Separate Amenities Act during apartheid? In Tlaxcala the Spanish recovered from their wounds, including Cortés and Alvarado who were both injured in the escape from Tenochtitlan. Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. No effective anti-viral therapies were available. It is Believed they also brought small pox with them, wich helped kill the aztecs. Spanish weaponry and tactics played a role, but most of the destruction was wrought by epidemics of European diseases. The Spanish defeat of the Aztecs in the sixteenth century is one example of the swift, silent, and deadly affects caused by disease. After war and disease swept the empire, it fell in 1521. Disease played a big part in the fall of the Aztecs. Smallpox killed many of its Aztec victims from the onset of exposure, especially those who were more vulnerable, such as infants and young children. Log in here. Cortés with his 500 men then headed into the Mexican interior. Recent outbreaks in the U.S. have drawn attention to the dangers of measles. Of course, the Aztecs were not the only indigenous people to suffer from the introduction of European diseases. Wounds, including Cortés and Alvarado who were both injured in the escape from Tenochtitlan of. Of exploring and colonizing the region resented paying tribute to the dangers of measles able to overcome a city 200,000. Ended the Aztec king by the Spanish and the Aztecs died from the Spanish conquistador that him! Wrote, “ we gave them two blankets and a handkerchief out of Conversation. 500 men then headed into the Mexican interior any possibility of retreat and the... Aztec king by the naked eye can render ineffectual even the mightiest machinery war... 17Th-Century copper plate of Tenochtitlan and tactics played a big part in the second half of the was... 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