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Monday, November 18, 2019

Recommended Reading

See Cancel Culture Comes For Hernán Cortés in Mexico: On the 500th anniversary of Hernán Cortés’ meeting with Montezuma II, the conquistador deserves a reconsideration, not cancellation, by John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist.

Excerpt (emphasis mine):
...Cortés and his men overcame what seemed to be impossible odds to conquer Tenochtitlan, which by 1519 was comparable in size to Paris, Venice, and Constantinople, and was the center of one of the greatest military empires the western hemisphere had ever seen. By defeating Montezuma II and forcing the Aztecs to surrender, Cortés ended a religious and political system whose basic imperative was ritual human sacrifice on a grand, almost industrial scale. Whatever evils Cortés brought to the New World, they pale in comparison to the evil he stamped out....

[...]

...Cortés is therefore long overdue for a reconsideration—not just of his exploits but also his motives. It’s common enough nowadays to dismiss the Catholic faith of the Spanish conquistadors under the assumption that their religious beliefs could not have been sincere given their actions. But not all their actions were nakedly self-serving. Writing about the legacy of Cortés earlier this year in Canada’s National Post, Peter Shawn Taylor argued that the entirety of Cortés’ behavior in Mexico cannot be explained by a simple desire for gold and glory....
Read the rest HERE.

Additional reading: Largest Child-Sacrifice Graveyard Strikes Huge Blow to Native American Innocence Myth.

Unfortunately, too many today believe this revisionist history:

18 comments:

  1. The Spaniards came for conquest and gold. Period. Most were older or outcasts in Spanish society, and conquering for the cross and the crown was their redemption. The cultural practices of the conquered peoples was just an interesting sidelight.

    Spain is hated by almost everybody from Mexico to Argentina, and that includes those nations in between whose people are mostly of Spanish descent.

    It's not surprising Mexicans have grasped this and fetishized the Aztec culture (whose practices were indeed abhorrent) as a modern-day rejection of western culture.

    It is sad to see our putrid PC stupidities infecting nations to our south. The term 'Latinx' (one more linguistic vandalism of the left) is spreading. We will end up destroying western civilization with our cultural garbage.

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  2. This brought back memories of a Anthropology class in which this was discussed. I could not nor do I even now understand how a relatively few in number could have accomplished and subdued a nation. I am afraid I did not comport myself well!!
    It was suggested it was his Cortez's white horse.....sounds about right....

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    1. You should read up on how Pizarro and a handful of men conquered the entire Incan Empire. Its a fascinating story.

      Another good one is how Francisco Orellana left Quito after the conquest and struck out east over Antisana and the Andes, descended into the selva and "discovered" the Amazon, fought giant women (Amazonians)--one of them took out one of his eyes with a spear, leaving him the nickname "el Tuerto. He and his party came out of the Amazon basin into the Atlantic Ocean, and then returned to Quito to regale everyone with stories from their great adventure.

      I have walked the cobblestone Camino de Conquistadores--where they actually walked--that descends east out of Quito and into the Cumbaya valley.

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    2. SF,
      how Pizarro and a handful of men conquered the entire Incan Empire. Its a fascinating story

      I did a research paper on that topic back when I took Latin American history. I've looked and looked for that paper, but I must have tossed it out years ago. Pity!

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  3. Poultry likes to talk of nuance. He lives in a world where indigenous people are more Mazola commercials than human. He trots them out to bash America. He ignores the abuses of Ortega and Chavez in the current. His sole obsession with indigenous are contrived imposters who already possess an abundance of colonized real estate.
    No the Aztecs weren’t saintly. This does not rationalize latter colonial abuses. As an American I can accept my country had some bad chapters. Has poultry ever accepted Islamic colonial abuses. Does he live in a Disney version of Muslim history where minorities loved Jim Crow.
    No Cortez is no hero. He imposed a different brand of colonial abuses.

    While we are on the subject. How do academics seriously teach Jews controlled the slave trade with zero discussion of Muslim or African roles.

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    1. "Mazola commercials" LOL!

      Well Said. Back when I was still active duty, my fellow Latin American veterans and I would laugh at the ignorance of "experts" featured on TV programs to explain what was going on with some Latin American crisis.

      They were almost always Chicano Studies professors who had never lived outside the United States.

      My favorite derision of them was that they got their Hispanic Studies degree from Taco Bell U.

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    2. SF,
      they got their Hispanic Studies degree from Taco Bell U!

      Hahahaha! Good one.

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  4. If people want a contemporary snapshot of social issues in the Andean region of South America, I recommend "También la Lluvia," in English, 'Even the Rain.'

    They filmed it in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and they captured it well. So much beauty and so much misery...

    You get a view of social issues and also the uncomfortable dynamic between the locals and the Spanish film crew.

    The scenes toward the end where the violence spill out of control, gave me flashback nightmares. Excellent movie.

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  5. I watched about half of the 50+ hour episode "Bolivar" series on Netflix last summer (until it descended into soap opera). Seems that the chief complaint of the Revolutionaries was that although they were extremely rich and held vast estates, people born in the colonies (mestizos) couldn't hold Governmental positions. Only pure-blooded Spanish born and Court appointed "Royals" could hold high positions in colonial government and army.

    Hugo Chavez made a lot of hay out of Bolivar's "mixed/ mestizo" heritage and how "oppressed" they were. Evo Morales, the "indigenous cocolero" did likewise Bolivar himself had private tutors, was taught philosophy, and when he came of age spent time (years) in the Royal Courts in Madrid and Paris seeking noble titles and appointments to colonial positions. Failing that, Bolivar returned to manage his inherited plantations and estates. His "slaves" were all portrayed as his "best friends"... and when the Revolution began, several (still slaves) served as his trusted hands transmitting messages to other generals and body guards for his mistresses. The pure-blood Spaniards in the film series all maltreated their slaves and held the mestizo's in contempt (as they were commoners, not royals).

    Giving any man a privilege (aka- citizenship rights) and denying it to others is the best way to launch a million years of resentment. A lesson George Washington and the Society of Cincinnati failed to learn... as his "enlisted" Continental Army men all joined Democrat Tammany Societies to achieve the universal white male suffrage (which didn't occur in Colonial America until Andrew Jackson's presidency in 1824).

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    1. Actually, the distinction was whether you were born in Spain (a Spaniard) or born in the new world (a Criollo, who could also be a Mestizo).

      The Criollo class discriminated against the natives back then and still do today. That is the distinction between Chavez (a Mestizo) and Morales (an indigenous person).

      Neither the indigenous of South America nor the European descendants like the mixing of the races, so you see less "Mexican" looking people than you do in Mexico, where everyone apparently mixed with happy abandon.

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    2. The French Bourbons taking over the Spanish throne is another posited reason for the Criollo revolutions (there were various: San Martin in Argentina, O'Higgins in Chile, Bolivar in what is now Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, which is why their flags all look similar) in the Americas. They felt no allegiance to non-Spanish royalty.

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    3. Ah, thanks SF. That was the missing piece (criollo)...

      Again, the urge for "purity"... current bane of the DNC (and RNC Never Trumpers) strikes again! The Autonomen syndrome.

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    4. Progressivism, in its Endless March against human nature, hates the anthropological fact that people prefer their own tribe over others.

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    5. Please call it An Endless March to Establish Totaltarian Regimes, becise THAT's what it IS, and always has been, all the pious, faux-humanitarian rhetoric notwithstanding.

      "By their FRUITS ye shall know them."

      RESULTS are ALL that COUNT. PERIOD!

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  6. In the process of creating their American empire, Spain vanquished millions of natives and reshaped them in Spain’s own image. The societies they created remain with us today. The Empire of Spain lasted for more than 300 years … a long enough period of time to pass along to all subsequent generations their language, culture, religion, and social structure.

    The downside to this story is that Spain bequeathed to its successors lasting problems that originated within Hispanic society itself: its structure, philosophy, politics, its method of distributing wealth, and even its relationship to the Church. Modern Hispanic societies maintain many (if not most) features from the Middle Ages, including their class structure and embedded cruelty toward anyone “below” their station. This is not a judgment—it is a fact.

    Of course, the Spaniards could not help who they were. They were the product of centuries of events before them that was far beyond anyone’s control, and they could not help but to pass along to subsequent generations their unique culture. Then, as now, Spanish culture was true to its history and perfectly capable of transmitting its own unique set of values (or lack of them) to others.

    I do not think that modern-day Mexicans are substantially better off than they were under Aztec rule. Mexican government and Hispanic society continues to cut the hearts out of their people and there is little difference between the conquistadors of earlier times and the politicians who thrive in Mexico City.

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    1. +1

      The 1960's book Parasitism and Subversion: the Case of Latin America expounds on Mustang's comment.

      It's a great read and provides one explanation for why English-settled North America prospered and continues to do so, while the Spanish-settled lands suffer dysfunction.

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  7. ... as they rode unicorns high above the plains to see the earth below carried by turtles.

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  8. Just for the record I have to say that we were told in our FOURTH GRADE Social Studies Unit, that Spain acted cruelly and abusively in th Age of Exploration and Colonzation. The Conquistadores was out to PLUNDER without qualm of conscience territories they conquered and hd little or no respect for the native inhabitants whom they exploited ruthlessly.

    We were also told that the ENGLISH, though hardly without sin, themselves, were generally far more benevolent and basically CONSTRUCTIVE in their aproch to colonization. The English intent was more to establish CIVIIZATION in the New World more than merely divest it of its treasures and natural resources.

    That, supposedly is why The United States and Canada have been far superior to the mostly corrupt, periously unstable, poverty stricken nations ruled by despots and communists "South of the Border." The gulf between Rich and Poor, the Powerful and the Peasants is far wider and much deeper than it is in our now fractious, hotly disputed nation that has been invaded and taken over by fractious, dissident, treacherous, frankly MALIGNANT elements bent on OUR destruction.

    A gross generalization, of course, and open to endless debate no doubt <):^(, but tha basic premise we were given as children –– seventy years ago! –– pretty well sums up most of what has been said here.

    I have nothing but respect, affection and he highest hopes for the Hispanic people I've dealt with as teacher, an employer, and a ntimate friends over the past fifty-odd years. Al hve been hard-working, sweet-natured, generous to fault, and full of the kind of devoted family love and loyalty that we USED to have, but seem to hve lost.

    Why most of these dear people have not been able to fin a way to govern themselves more fairly is a mystery, but it probably has a lot to do with they way they were treated by Spain and Portugal during the era of conquest and colonization.

    WE did very well for a long time, but have lost MUCH ground, and become increasingly generate in the past hundred years. Sadly, we now seem headed to Hell in a Handcart.

    The determined effort to DERACINATE us as a people through ruthless INTELLECTUAL AGGRESSION by nefarious forces is, I believe, largely responsible for our tragic decline and imminnt fall.

    LIFE!

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