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The Fatal Role of Columbus’ Discovery in the History of the Arawaks and Aztecs

1. Introduction

The goal of this work is to divulge the fatal role of Columbus' discovery in the Arawaks' and Aztecs' history.

On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on an island in the present-day Bahamas. He stepped ashore thinking he had reached the East Indies. In reality, he had discovered a whole new continent, which would come to be known as the Americas. This event would change the course of history forever.

At the time of Columbus' arrival, the Americas were inhabited by native peoples who had been living there for thousands of years. Among these were the Arawaks and the Aztecs. The Arawaks were a peaceful people who lived in what is now the Caribbean. The Aztecs were a warlike people who lived in central Mexico.

Both of these cultures would be forever changed by the arrival of the Europeans. The Arawaks would be all but wiped out by disease and massacre. The Aztecs would fall to the Spanish conquistadors.

2. The Arawaks before the Europeans

The Arawaks were a peaceful people who lived in what is now the Caribbean. They were excellent farmers and grew crops such as maize, beans, and squash. They also hunted and fished for food.

The Arawaks lived in small villages of thatched huts. Their houses were built on stilts to protect against flooding. Each village had a chief who made decisions for the good of the community.

The Arawaks were a happy people who enjoyed music and dance. They also had a rich spiritual life. They believed in many gods and goddesses, as well as in spirits that inhabited plants and animals.

3. The landing of Columbus

On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on an island in the present-day Bahamas. He stepped ashore thinking he had reached the East Indies. In reality, he had discovered a whole new continent, which would come to be known as the Americas. This event would change the course of history forever.         When Columbus first saw the Arawaks, he was amazed by their friendliness and hospitality. He wrote: "They willingly traded everything they owned…. They do not bear arms or know them… With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want" (Columbus).     However, relations between the Europeans and the Arawaks soon deteriorated. There are several reasons for this:
– The Europeans wanted gold and other riches from the New World, but there was none to be found among the Arawaks.- The Europeans wanted slaves to take back to Spain, but the Arawaks were unwilling to part with their families.- The Europeans began to mistreat the Arawaks, forcing them to work in gold mines and on plantations.- The Europeans brought with them diseases such as smallpox and measles, to which the Arawaks had no immunity. These diseases killed thousands of Arawaks.

4. The Arawaks after the Europeans

By the early 1500s, the Arawaks were all but gone. They had been killed by disease, mistreatment, and massacre. Of the millions of Arawaks who had lived in the Caribbean at the time of Columbus' arrival, only a few thousand were still alive by the year 1600.

Today, the Arawaks are extinct as a people. However, some of their descendants still live in the Caribbean. These people are known as the Lucayan Indians.

5. The Aztecs before the Europeans

The Aztecs were a warlike people who lived in central Mexico. They were excellent warriors and conquered many other peoples, adding them to their empire. The Aztecs also built a great city, Tenochtitlan, which was filled with magnificent temples and palaces.

Like the Arawaks, the Aztecs had a rich spiritual life. They believed in many gods and goddesses, as well as in spirits that inhabited plants and animals.

6. The Spanish conquest of the Aztecs

In 1519, a Spanish conquistador named Hernando Cortes arrived in Mexico with an army of soldiers and sailors. He soon made allies with some of the peoples who were oppressed by the Aztecs. Together, they laid siege to Tenochtitlan. After a long and bloody battle, they captured the city and destroyed it.         Cortes then took control of the Aztec Empire and made it a colony of Spain. He renamed Tenochtitlan "Mexico City" and made it the capital of New Spain (as Spain's colonies in the Americas were then known).     The Spanish imposed their will on the Aztecs, forcing them to convert to Christianity and live according to Spanish laws. The Aztecs resisted these changes, but they were no match for the Spanish military power. Over time, they were assimilated into Spanish culture.

7. The Aztecs after the Europeans

Today, there are few full-blooded Aztecs remaining. However, there are many Mexicans of Aztec descent. These people still retain some of their ancestors' traditions and customs.

8. Conclusion

The arrival of the Europeans in the Americas changed the course of history forever. The native peoples who had been living there for thousands of years were forever changed. Among these were the Arawaks and the Aztecs.

The Arawaks were all but wiped out by disease and massacre. The Aztecs fell to the Spanish conquistadors. Today, there are few full-blooded Aztecs remaining. However, there are many Mexicans of Aztec descent. These people still retain some of their ancestors' traditions and customs.

FAQ

European expansionism in the 15th and 16th centuries was motivated by a desire for wealth, power, and prestige.

The arrival of Europeans impacted the indigenous peoples of the Americas by introducing new diseases, destroying their way of life, and forcing them into slavery.

The Spanish conquest of the Aztecs differed from other European colonization efforts in the Americas in that it was much more brutal and resulted in the complete destruction of the Aztec civilization.

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