Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Aztec empire conquered at the table. from The Last Flight of The Scarlet Macaw. Bruce Barcott. Random House. 2008.

Lured by reports of gold jewelry spotted on natives of what is now Mexico, Spanish adventurer Hernan Cortes landed a force of 530 men at a village on the Gulf of Mexico, and led them on an eight-month march to the Aztec temple of Tenochitlan...

Fired by opportunity and greed, Cortes kidnapped the Aztec leader Moctezuma, and demanded the king's ransom in gold. A few months later Cortes invited Aztec nobles to the city's central plaza for a traditional feast. With the nation's leaders unguarded and unarmed, Cortes unleashed his horses, swords, and cannons - technology unknown in the New World - and killed them all. After that, the conquest of Mexico was a mop-up operation.

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