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These turn into scabs which leave scars. The answer is, as we already saw, a sum of two main factors: Castellan swords and diseases brought by the Spanish, for which the Mexica had no antibodies nor effective cure, plus a crucial one: the winning military strategy of the Spanish, and the alliance with other local Aztec tribes. Early smallpox pustules on a patient’s lower leg and foot. Tenochtitlan was sacked and its monuments … Microbes too small to be seen by the naked eye can render ineffectual even the mightiest machinery of war. Diseases in Aztecs times can be split up into two sections - before the Spaniards and after the Spaniards. Other than that, it was a pure backstab/lie to the Aztec king by the Spanish conquistador that enabled him to defeat the Aztecs. Many others were weakened by the virus, making them ill and making it more difficult to care for themselves and others in the community while fending off the Spanish invaders. The Spanish recruited the enemies of the Aztecs and Incas to help destroy the two kingdoms. Cortés sailed from Cuba to Mexico in February 1519 with the intention of exploring and colonizing the region. Sores erupted on our faces, our breasts, our bellies; we were covered with agonizing sores from head to foot.”. This time in Tlaxcala had impacts for both the Spanish and the Aztec, because the Spanish were able to resupply and received new Spanish troops while the Aztec suffered from the consequences of the spread of European diseases. How did the Spanish explorers defeat the Aztec? Nations that suppose they can secure themselves strictly through investments in military spending should study history – time and time again the course of events has been definitively altered by disease outbreaks. In Tlaxcala the Spanish recovered from their wounds, including Cortés and Alvarado who were both injured in the escape from Tenochtitlan. a. with guns, horses, and an epidemic b. by intentionally spreading disease c. with bows and arrows d. by - 3587307 The Spanish defeat of the Aztecs in the sixteenth century is one example of the swift, silent, and deadly affects caused by disease. By 1521, the Aztec ruler Montezuma had died, the capital city of Tenochtitlan was captured, and the empire formerly ruled by the Aztec peoples was under Spanish reign. the Spanish Though vastly outnumbered, he and a small force marched on Tenochtitlan, where Montezuma received them with honor. Discovering widespread resentment toward the capital city and its ruler, Cortés formed alliances with many locals. So, how did a well-trained group of warriors that outnumbered the Spanish could have been beaten so quickly? The final case occurred in 1978, when a photographer died of the disease, prompting the scientist whose research she was covering to take his own life. The Spanish city of Toledo was known as one of the best places in the world for making arms and armor and a fine Toledo sword was a valuable weapon indeed. Within just two years, Aztec ruler Montezuma was dead, the capital city of Tenochtitlan was captured and Cortés had claimed the Aztec empire for Spain. He got it in the form of a smallpox epidemic that gradually spread inward from the coast of Mexico and decimated the densely populated city of Tenochtitlan in 1520, reducing its population by 40 percent in a single year. Updated 1/12/2017 9:13:12 AM. It took only two years for Hernán Cortés to conquer and seize the Aztec empire for Spain. https://www.pastmedicalhistory.co.uk/smallpox-and-the-con... https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/how-smallpox-devasta... What are some questions that I could ask in an interview with someone [not white], regarding the Separate Amenities Act during apartheid? It took Cortés two years, but he finally conquered the Aztec capital in August 1521. The Spanish weapons, war tactics, and Cortés’s leadership abilities were undoubtedly a factor, but it was smallpox that was the most devastating to the Aztec population. How smallpox devastated the Aztecs – and helped Spain conquer an American civilization 500 years ago Menu Close Cortés eventually had him executed. Many other adults were incapacitated by the disease – because they were either sick themselves, caring for sick relatives and neighbors, or simply lost the will to resist the Spaniards as they saw disease ravage those around them. 0 Answers/Comments. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. In addition, with so many people in a debilitated state, they could not tend to crops or find other sources of food, which caused widespread famine and further diminished the immune systems of those who had survived the epidemic and were recovering. First, it killed many of its victims outright, particularly infants and young children. Why is the Battle of Saratoga considered a turning point in the American Revolution. Disease played a big part in the fall of the Aztecs. Other than that, it was a pure backstab/lie to the Aztec king by the Spanish conquistador that enabled him to defeat the Aztecs. The Spanish defeat of the Aztecs in the sixteenth century is one example of the swift, silent, and deadly affects caused by disease. The native people of the Americas, including the Aztecs, were especially vulnerable to smallpox because they’d never been exposed to the virus and thus possessed no natural immunity. And other European diseases, such as measles and mumps, also took substantial tolls – altogether reducing some indigenous populations in the new world by 90 percent or more. Indiana University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US. You might want to read more about the how the Spanish did this. This region was home to the Aztec civilization, an empire of an estimated 16 million people at this time. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team. The Spanish had a positive effect on Aztec civilization because they helped modernize the society. In turn, Cortés took Montezuma prisoner. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. A 17th-century copper plate of Tenochtitlan. In many places it happened that everyone in a house died, and as it was impossible to bury the great number of dead, they pulled down the houses over them, so that their homes became their tombs.” Smallpox took its toll on the Aztecs in several ways. Disease epidemics can set the course of human history. The Democratic Republic of Congo is fighting a deadly outbreak of Ebola that has killed hundreds. Of course, the Aztecs were not the only indigenous people to suffer from the introduction of European diseases. native Americans in the region resented paying tribute to the Aztecs. Infectious diseases have wreaked havoc on human populations throughout history. It is Believed they also brought small pox with them, wich helped kill the aztecs. The ability of smallpox to incapacitate and decimate populations made it an attractive agent for biological warfare. Sign up now, Latest answer posted December 17, 2019 at 4:57:35 PM, Latest answer posted March 15, 2018 at 10:48:50 AM, Latest answer posted April 02, 2008 at 3:30:05 PM, Latest answer posted November 13, 2015 at 1:34:24 PM, Latest answer posted February 23, 2016 at 6:49:29 AM. Quick question- 1) All of the following contributed to the Spanish victory over the Aztecs except (1 point) disease wiped out many of the Aztecs. You might want to read more about the how the Spanish did this. Native Americans such as the Aztecs had never come in contact with Old World diseases such as smallpox and therefore possessed no natural immunity to the virus; furthermore, no effective anti-viral therapies were available to treat it. Help from the Maya did not help the Spanish defeat the Aztecs. Fatal in approximately one-third of cases, another third of those afflicted with the disease typically develop blindness. The loss of people in a loss that can't be calculated. “As the Indians did not know the remedy of the disease, they died in heaps, like bedbugs. s. MrG|Points 35862| Log in for more information. After helping conquer Cuba for the Spanish, Cortés was commissioned to lead an expedition to the mainland. Smallpox wiped out 5-8 million Aztecs shortly after the Spanish arrived in Mexico in 1519. Mass vaccination against smallpox got going in the second half of the 1800s. Epidemics are nothing new, of course. There's little doubt that the ritual Aztec sacrifice contributed to the fall of the Aztec Empire, and in more ways than one. After some brief and violent contact in 1517, a Spanish force under Hernan Cortes arrived in 1519 to completely subjugate the Aztecs. When his small fleet landed, he ordered his ships scuttled, eliminating any possibility of retreat and conveying the depth of his resolve. Most significantly, the Spanish ended the Aztec's practice of human sacrifice. Over time, around 80 percent of the people living in the Valley of Mexico died from these diseases. The Aztecs, however, who had never been exposed to such a disease, were not able to handle the consequences. Spanish weaponry and tactics played a role, but most of the destruction was wrought by epidemics of European diseases. Code Of Hammurabi Laws Compared To Today's Laws. Smallpox existed in ancient times in Egyptian, Indian and Chinese cultures. Now Cortes learned that 900 Spaniards had landed on the coast and that their commander, Narvarez, had orders to arrest Cortes and take over the expedition. Spanish weaponry and tactics played ... and indigenous allies would not have been able to overcome a city of 200,000 without help. Epidemics are not a recent phenomenon. Quizlet flashcards, activities and games help you improve your grades. Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now. Spanish effort in that they helped redress the im-balance in numbers between the Spanish and the Aztecs. Recent investigations have suggested that other infectious agents, such as Salmonella – known for causing contemporary outbreaks among pet owners – may have caused additional epidemics. They introduced the Aztecs to domestic animals, sugar, grains, and European farming practices. The other principle factor that contributed to the defeat of the Aztecs was that they did not retreat when they lost their warriors in the battlefield. His ally in this fight was the European germs he and his men unwittingly brought with them. First, killing thousands of people, whether you or your neighbours, simply can't be good for a society. Question. Cortés with his 500 men then headed into the Mexican interior. Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. Favourite answer. Are you a teacher? Even so, in many battles the Aztecs greatly outnumbered the Spanish and their allies (Diaz 1956: 318-320). Write an article and join a growing community of more than 118,000 academics and researchers from 3,800 institutions. Recalling the epidemic, one victim reported: “The plague lasted for 70 days, striking everywhere in the city and killing a vast number of our people. The fall of the Aztec Empire came about due to the Spanish conquest of Central America. The Spanish recruited the enemies of the Aztecs and Incas to help break the two kingdoms. Chancellor's Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University. Log in here. Finally, people could no longer tend to their crops, leading to widespread famine, further weakening the immune systems of survivors of the epidemic. Smallpox killed many of its Aztec victims from the onset of exposure, especially those who were more vulnerable, such as infants and young children. 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