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Cortes vs. Columbus

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During the 15th and 16th century there was a large amount of conquistadors who took over huge amounts of North America through force. The two most influential must be Christopher Columbus and Hernan Cortes, who took control of what later became the United States of America and Mexico. In 1492 Columbus sets out on his first journey searching for a trade route to Asia through the west. However instead of finding Asia when he hits land, he is surprised to have found a new continent. Columbus then returns to Spain to tell his king of the discovery he has made. This starts the mad rush for Gold, God and Glory that spreads through Europe for the next several hundred years. In this rush for Gold, God and Glory another explorer by the name of Hernan Cortes sets sail on his quest to conquer Mexico, even after the governor of Cuba cancelled the mission.

Cortes wasn’t concerned about what governor Velazquez because he had his eyes set on the Glory that came with being the one to conquer and control Mexico. Both Columbus and Cortes did things that they believed was best for their country, whether it was morally right or not. When Columbus landed on what is now known as San Salvador he had his first encounters with the native people of North America. When he met these people he noticed several things at first, their use of gold as jewelry, the fact that they seemed to have no god and followed no religion, and that their weaponry was extremely basic and that it would take little effort to take over their entire island. On his voyages he took many natives prisoner and kidnapped several and took them back to Spain to show people what they looked like.

Many of the natives died on the travel back to Spain and Columbus killed any natives in tribes that refused to trade goods or convert to Christianity. When Columbus discovered North America, the strongest nation in the world as of today was born. In 1519 Hernan Cortes landed on the Yucatan Peninsula, former Mayan territory, where he would begin his conquest of Mexico over the Aztecs. During his conquest he fought many battles of which he never lost. Also in a tactic to install fear in the enemies before entering the battles he massacred thousands of innocent civilians. In doing so he managed to move into and take control of Mexico’s capital city Cuauhtémoc and become the sole governor of Mexico.

These pieces of evidence prove that both explorers were extremely important and significant to the development of North America. If it weren’t for Cortes thousands of native Mexican/Aztec lives could have been saved, and Mexico wouldn’t have all of the Spanish culture that is has today. On the other hand if it were not for Columbus North America would not have been discovered, which in turn means that Cortes would have never set out on his mission in Mexico and the super power that we know today of the United States of America would not have been created.

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