What light does Broken Spears throw on the Spanish takeover of Mexico, 1519-21? The central question you have to answer is how a group of not many more than 200-300 Spaniards could in two years take over a country of 23 million? To answer this, you are going to have to look at a) Aztec culture, Montecuzoma, and views of the apocalypse (return of the gods) — how that helped; b) tensions between Aztec and non-Aztec Mexican groups, especially Thlaxcalans; c) how Cortes exploited them to build up his army; and d) why, after the Spaniards were kicked out of Tenochtitlan in 1520 (after the Aztecs finally rose up to fight them), they were able to come back a year later, lay siege to the town and finally take over. You will also have to discuss how the interpretation given by Broken Spears on this compares, contrasts or differs to conventional European views first expressed by Spanish conquistadors in the documents you should have been reading and summarizing. You have to put in at least 6 direct quotes (3 from Broken Spears; 3 from Spanish documents); you probably need twice that to get a good grade (they must be short quotes, though, integrated seamlessly into your exposition and analysis.

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