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Effects of Colonization for the Aztecs

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When the Aztec civilization was taken over by the Spanish, many things changed. Some of the changes include, war and violence, religion, disease and population decline, the destruction of culture and cities, Spanish rule and land owner ship; and a few positive effects.

When Cortès and group of 11 ships and five hundred men set out to explore Mexico and the Central American Coast, they had no intention of finding a huge new civilization in the middle of a lake, although they had heard rumours of a grand kingdom in Mexico. When they arrived Tenochtitlan, the Aztecs thought they were some sort of god. Following this, they sent him gifts. But Cortès was not satisfied. He waited until Montezuma, the Aztec King, had sent him a sufficient amount of gifts, before attacking, but when he did attack, in was in an extremely bloodthirsty way.

Once the Spanish had taken over the Aztecs, there were many things they wanted to change. One of these was religion. There were huge amounts of Aztecs converted to Christian, which was the Spanish native religion. The main orders of Spanish monks who were doing this converting were the Fracsciscians, the Dominicans, and the Augustinians.

One of the problems that the Spanish imposed on the Aztecs was the fact that many of them carried around diseases. Epidemics spread throughout Mexico in the Sixteenth century like wildfire. The main diseases were measles, smallpox, typhus, mumps and a few unknown ones. Sixty percent of the Central Mexicans were wiped out with one epidemic of Typhus.

The destruction of the Aztec culture and tradition was inevitable once the Spanish had arrived. Most of the languages were lost, and the land ownership system had been changed. Despite the losses, there were some things that didn’t change. The Spanish left the peasants alone, but they were the carriers of the Mesoamerican culture, which obviously stayed. Another thing that changed was the building style. Houses were built the same way for early one hundred years after the day that Cortès and the Spanish came.

The new land ownership system was completely different to the one that Aztecs had originally. It was called Encomienda, and it very different. Now wealthy Spaniards owned the land between them. The peasants of the land probably didn’t even notice much difference because they just kept working for people as usual!

Despite the fact that there were an immense amount of negative changes for the Aztecs, there were some positive ones as well. Being cut off from the rest of the world meant that others had technologies that they didn’t, and this was certainly the case the Spanish. They got new technologies, as well as getting rid of some terrible rules; sacrifice and tribute etc.

With the Aztecs no longer imposing the rule and the Spanish ruling, the Aztecs eventually died out, but still leaving their mark in history.

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