Old Worlds, New Worlds (1400-1600)


Memoirs Bernal Diaz del Castillo describes the sights the Spanish conquistadors beheld in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán.   He comments that when they entered the Aztec market, they were “… astounded at the great number of people and the quantities of merchandise, and at the orderliness and good arrangements that prevailed, for we had never seen such a thing before….”   It would seem that they were highly surprised at the level of development the Aztec empire displayed.  In fact, the Aztecs and Spaniards had much in common.  Nevertheless, a relatively small band of conquistadors led by Cortés will bring down the Aztec empire.

The Europeans who follow will repeat some of the feats of the Spaniards who preceded them.  However, the Spanish will be the ones to carry the “Black Legend” label, alluding to their atrocities in the Americas.
  • Answer question below clearly and accurately.
  • Explain your answer based on factual information contained in readings.
  • Make sure that all statements are supported with facts.
English adventurers and Spanish conquistadors were “brothers under the skin.”  To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
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