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Analysis of an Aztec Encounter

            The Spaniard and Aztec civilizations were two completely different worlds whose fated encounter caused some surprising reactions from both parties. Neither of these nations knew exactly what to expect or how to react to each other's behaviors. Differences in religion, customs and weaponry became the deciding factors of who would be the dominant aggressor in these encounters. Even though both parties were unsure of what to expect, the Spaniards had already set a goal for themselves before they set foot in Mexico. They wanted to conquer the other nation and exploit them for anything of value. .
             The climax of the Aztec Empire and the conquistadors occurred when Motecuhzoma and Cortes met face to face for the first time. The Spaniards as well as the Aztecs had no clue what to expect. Motecuhzoma told Cortes, "Our lord, you are weary. The journey has tired you, but now you have arrived on earth to sit on your throne, under its canopy." This was due to the fact that the Aztec religion told of a god, Quetzalcoatl, who would come from the heavens and take his place as ruler of the Aztec Empire. Thus Motecuhzoma showered the Spaniards with many fine gifts. Unlike the Spaniards believed, these fine gifts were not really a sign of Aztec submission but rather as a sign of wealth and power. In order to give proper respect to their so-called god, the Aztecs had to show that they were a worthy and powerful nation. The Spaniards took this as a weakness. They thought the Aztecs feared them, which boosted up their confidence level even though they were greatly outnumbered. .
             The Spaniards had to communicate with the Aztecs by using La Malinche as an interpreter. She basically made the Aztecs believe that Cortes was a good man and would be cause them no harm. They also had other indigenous people who were allied with the Spanish. The Aztecs must have viewed this as a sign that these strangers would be peaceful since they had others of their kind on the Spaniard's side.

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