The Spanish and the Aztecs

In August of 1519, Hernan Cortes of Spain led an expedition that would radically change the history of Mesoamerica forever. With a force of just over 600 Spaniards and their Amerindian allies, they set out toward the great city of Tenochtitlan - center of the mighty Aztec Empire.


This is a study of the clash of cultures between Renaissance Europe, represented by Spain, and the New World, represented by the Aztecs. By studying the worldview of the Aztec people in comparison with that of the Spaniards, we bare and permanently reshaped the culture and civilization of Mexico as a result. The question that we will be processing throughout this study is whether or not competing worldviews make conflict inevitable. This question, larger than this isolated conflict, is one that continues to find relevance in today’s society.


When studying the Aztecs we will leanr about the ways in which their society had worked in pre-Columbian times, and how their own beliefs and attitudes contribute to the inevitablity of their conflict with the Spanish, whose own militaristic worldview pit them against countless empires and peoples throughout the world. 


From the Alberta Program of Studies: Through an examination of Spanish and Aztec societies, students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of how intercultural contact affects the worldviews of societies.