The May Revolution was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. This Spanish colony included the territories of present-day Argentina, Paraguay and parts of Brazil; the result was the removal of Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros and the establishment of a local government, the Primera Junta, on May 25. It was the first successful revolution in the South American Independence process; the May Revolution was a direct reaction to Spain's Peninsular War. In 1808, King Ferdinand VII of Spain abdicated in favor of Napoleon, who granted the throne to his brother, Joseph Bonaparte. A Supreme Central Junta led resistance to Joseph's government and the French occupation of Spain, but suffered a series of reversals that resulted in the Spanish loss of the northern half of the country. On February 1, 1810, French troops gained control of most of Andalusia; the Supreme Junta retreated to Cadiz and dissolved itself, the Council of Regency of Spain and the Indies replaced it.
News of these events arrived in Buenos Aires on May 18, brought by British ships. Viceroy Cisneros tried to maintain the political status quo, but a group of criollo lawyers and military officials organized an open cabildo on May 22 to decide the future of the Viceroyalty. Delegates denied recognition to the Council of Regency in Spain and established a junta to govern in place of Cisneros, since the government that had appointed him Viceroy no longer existed. To maintain a sense of continuity, Cisneros was appointed president of the Junta. However, this caused much popular unrest, so he resigned under pressure on May 25; the newly formed government, the Primera Junta, included only representatives from Buenos Aires and invited other cities of the Viceroyalty to send delegates to join them. This resulted in the outbreak of war between the regions that accepted the outcome of the events at Buenos Aires and those that did not; the May Revolution began the Argentine War of Independence, although no formal declaration of independence was issued at the time and the Primera Junta continued to govern in the name of the deposed king, Ferdinand VII.
As similar events occurred in many other cities of the continent, the May Revolution is considered one of the early events of the Spanish American wars of independence. Historians today debate whether the revolutionaries were loyal to the Spanish crown or whether the declaration of fidelity to the king was a necessary ruse to conceal the true objective—to achieve independence—from a population, not yet ready to accept such a radical change. A formal declaration of independence was issued at the Congress of Tucumán on July 9, 1816; the United States' declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776 led criollos to believe that revolution and independence from Spain were feasible. Between 1775 and 1783, the American patriots of the Thirteen Colonies waged the American Revolutionary War against both the local loyalists and the Kingdom of Great Britain establishing a popular government in the place of the British monarchy; the fact that Spain aided the colonies in their struggle against Britain weakened the idea that it would be a crime to end one's allegiance to the parent state.
The ideals of the French Revolution of 1789 spread across Europe and the Americas as well. The overthrow and execution of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette ended centuries of monarchy and removed the privileges of the nobility. Liberal ideals in the political and economic fields developed and spread through the Atlantic Revolutions across most of the Western world; the concept of the divine right of kings was questioned by the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, by the oft-quoted statement that "all men are created equal" in the United States Declaration of Independence and by the Spanish church. However, the spread of such ideas was forbidden in the Spanish territories, as was the sale of related books or their unauthorized possession. Spain instituted those bans when it declared war on France after the execution of Louis XVI and retained them after the peace treaty of 1796. News of the events of 1789 and copies of the publications of the French Revolution spread around Spain despite efforts to keep them at bay.
Many enlightened criollos came into contact with liberal authors and their works during their university studies, either in Europe or at the University of Chuquisaca. Books from the United States found their way into the Spanish colonies through Caracas, owing to the proximity of Venezuela to the United States and the West Indies; the Industrial Revolution started in Britain, with the use of plateways and steam power. This led to dramatic increases in the productive capabilities of Britain, created a need for new markets to sell its products; the Napoleonic Wars with France made this a difficult task, after Napoleon imposed the Continental System, which forbade his allies and conquests to trade with Britain. Thus Britain needed to be able to trade with the Spanish colonies, but could not do so because the colonies were restricted to trade only with their parent state. To achieve their economic objectives, Britain tried to invade Rio de la Plata and conquer key cities in Spanish America; when that failed, they chose to promote the Spanish-American aspirations of emancipation from Spain.
The mutiny of Aranjuez in 1808 led King Charles IV of Spain to abdicate in favor of his son, Ferdinand VII. Charles IV requested.
Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata
The Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata was a five-year-long naval blockade imposed by France and Britain on the Argentine Confederation ruled by Juan Manuel de Rosas. It was imposed in 1845 to support the Colorado Party in the Uruguayan Civil War and closed Buenos Aires to naval commerce; the Anglo-French navy trespassed into Argentina’s internal waters to sell their products, as Rosas maintained a protectionist policy to improve the weak Argentine economy. Both Britain and France gave in, signing treaties in 1849 and 1850 acknowledging the Argentine sovereignty over its rivers. Buenos Aires faced the French blockade of the Río de la Plata between 1838 and 1840; the Peru–Bolivian Confederation, allied with France, declared the War of the Confederation on Argentina and Chile. Rosas resisted the blockade longer than France estimated he would do, his strategy of generating disputes between France and England over the blockade bore fruit. France lifted the blockade in 1840, exchanging mutual most favoured nation status between her and the Argentine Confederation.
Unable to deploy French troops during the blockade, France promoted civil wars against Rosas to support the naval actions. For this purpose, France aided Fructuoso Rivera against the Uruguayan president Manuel Oribe, forced to resign. Oribe escaped to Buenos Aires, Rosas received him as the legitimate president of Uruguay, denying such recognition to Rivera; this started the Uruguayan Civil War, where the Blancos sought to restore Oribe in power and the Colorados to keep Rivera. As Rivera was hesitant to attack Rosas as the French expected, the Argentine expatriate Juan Lavalle was convinced to do so, but his army bolstered by French troops was weakened by desertions and hostility from the local population on their march to Buenos Aires, French monetary support was curtailed, as France conducted negotiated peace with Rosas by that time. Lavalle's army retreated to the north without attacking Buenos Aires as intended. Rivera's ambition was to expand the borders of Uruguay, annexing Paraguay, the Argentine Mesopotamia and the Riograndense Republic, into a projected Federation of Uruguay.
The Argentine José María Paz, allied with Rivera against Rosas, was against this project. Rivera took control of Paz's forces, but without his superior military training, he was defeated by Oribe at the battle of Arroyo Grande. Rivera's project never got off the ground, he was forced to stand in Montevideo against Oribe's siege. Brazil proposed a military alliance to Rosas: Rosas would take Uruguay with Brazilian support, Brazil would take the Riograndese Republic with Argentine support. Tomás Guido, Argentine representative in Brazil, supported the proposal. Rosas thought that such treaty would violate the Uruguayan sovereignty, that it would be null if Oribe was not part of it. Honório Carneiro Leão, representative of Brazil, did not accept Rosas's alternative proposal, Brazil distanced from Argentina. Britain did not have great interests at stake in Buenos Aires; the purpose of the war was to foster the Entente cordiale with France, so as to make possible joint military operations elsewhere, such as the Opium War or the protection of the independence of the Republic of Texas.
The British interests in South America grew when Texas was annexed by the United States. Texas supplied Britain with cotton, the British calculated that it would be easier to secure cotton sources in South America rather than waging war with the powerful United States. Britain republished many Uruguayan libels against Rosas, such as the Blood tables, so that people supported military action against him; as there was a strong British religious tradition, Rosas was accused of replacing the crosses of churches with his portrait, persecuting religion, killing priests. Two influential French politicians of the time were the foreign minister François Guizot and the nationalist Adolphe Thiers. Thiers proposed, he explained his opinion with three main reasons and an accessory one: humanity, international law and expansion of commerce. He viewed Rosas as a ruthless dictator. Although Montevideo was not a French colony, he referred to it as such due to its high population of French Basques, he considered that Rosas would be in contravention of the 4th article of the Mackau-Arana treaty by attempting to impose an Argentine president on it.
The expansion of commerce was not mentioned as a main reason, as Rosist protectionist policy limited but did not forbid French imports. Guizot rejected these ideas, he did not consider that Rosas contravened the Mackau-Arana treaty because the Confederation was not at war with Uruguay, but was supporting one Uruguayan faction against the other. He did not think that the French economy could be further benefited by taking action in La Plata, nor that it was workable to keep a colony in the zone. In respect to humanitarian reasons, he dismissed the purported Rosist crimes because they were based on reports by the Unitarian Florencio Varela, who had no reputation as an impartial reporter. However, Guitoz agreed to the proposal, in order to foster an alliance with Britain and reduce the popular acclaim of Thiers. Brazilian viscount Miguel Calmon du Pin e Almeida met the British Lord Aberdeen, to request that Brazil join Britain and France in the action against
Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata
The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata was the last to be organized and the shortest-lived of the Viceroyalties of the Spanish Empire in America. The Viceroyalty was established in 1776 from several former Viceroyalty of Perú dependencies that extended over the Río de la Plata Basin the present-day territories of Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay, extending inland from the Atlantic Coast; the colony of Spanish Guinea depended administratively on the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata. Buenos Aires, located on the western shore of the Río de la Plata estuary flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, opposite the Portuguese outpost of Colonia del Sacramento, was chosen as the capital. Considered one of the late Bourbon Reforms, the organization of this viceroyalty was motivated on both commercial grounds, as well as on security concerns brought about by the growing interest of competing foreign powers in the area; the Spanish Crown wanted to protect its territory against the Kingdom of Portugal. But these Enlightenment reforms proved counterproductive, or too late, to quell the colonies' demands.
The entire history of this Viceroyalty was marked by growing domestic unrest and political instability. Between 1780 and 1782, the Rebellion of Túpac Amaru II inspired a violent Aymara-led revolt across the Upper Peru highlands, demonstrating the great resentment against colonial authorities by both the mestizo and indigenous populations. Twenty-five years the Criollos, native-born people of the colony defended against two successive British attempts to conquer Buenos Aires and Montevideo; this enhanced their sense of power at a time when Spanish troops were unable to help. In 1809, the Criollo elite revolted against colonial authorities at La Paz and Chuquisaca, establishing revolutionary governments, juntas. Although short-lived, these provided a theoretical basis for the legitimacy of the locally based governments, which proved decisive at the 1810 May Revolution events deposing Viceroy Cisneros at Buenos Aires; the revolution spread except for Paraguay and Upper Peru. Meanwhile, the Governor of Montevideo Francisco Javier de Elío, appointed as a new Viceroy by the Cortes of Cádiz in 1811, declared the Buenos Aires Junta seditious.
However, after being defeated at Las Piedras, he retained control only of Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo. He departed by ship to Spain on 18 November and resigned as Viceroy in January 1812. By 1814, as the revolutionary patriots entered Montevideo, following a two-year-long siege, the Viceroyalty was finished as government of the region. In 1680, Manuel Lobo, Portuguese governor of Rio de Janeiro, created the Department of Colonia and founded Colónia do Sacramento; the fort was developed as the department's capital. Lobo's chief objective was to secure the Portuguese expansion of Brazil beyond the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, which had defined areas of influence in the Americas between the Iberian nations. From 1580 to 1640, Spain had controlled Portugal and thus all of its territories in America. In 1681 José de Garro attacked and seized the new fort for Spain. On 7 May 1681, under the Provisional Treaty of Lisbon, it was ceded to Portugal; the Viceroyalty of Peru was requiring all commerce to go through the port of Lima, on the Pacific Ocean.
This policy failed to develop the potential of Buenos Aires as an Atlantic port, adding months to the transport of goods and commodities in each direction. It resulted in encouraging widespread contraband activities in the eastern region in Asunción, Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Under these conditions, Viceroy Manuel de Amat y Junyent issued a decree for the former Governor of the Río de la Plata Pedro Antonio de Cevallos to found the new viceroyalty in August 1776; the ruling was resisted by the elite of Lima. The Cabildo of the Captaincy General of Chile requested the King be excluded from the new viceroyalty, accepted; the Cuyo region, with its main city Mendoza, was split from the Captaincy General of Chile. Leaders in Santiago resented this action as the Cuyo region had been settled by Spanish colonists from Chile; the Portuguese prime minister Marquis of Pombal encouraged the occupation of territory, awarded to the Spanish in the Treaty of Paris, following the British defeat of France in the Seven Years' War.
King Charles III reacted to the advantageous conditions: France was bound to be an ally as a guarantor of the treaty, Great Britain, due to its own colonial problems with revolution in the Thirteen Colonies in North America, maintained neutrality on the issues between Portugal and Spain. Pedro de Cevallos conquered Colonia del Sacramento and the Santa Catarina islands after a siege of three days, gaining the First Treaty of San Ildefonso. With it, the Portuguese left the Banda Oriental for Spain. In exchange Spain ceded them the area of Rio Grande do Sul. Cevallos ended his military actions at this point and started working with government, but he was soon replaced by Juan José Vertiz y Salcedo; the viceroyalty was tasked with promoting local production of linen and hemp as export commodity crops, to supply the Spanish cloth industries that the Bourbons sought to favor. The conditions imposed by Spain on
Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain. He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas. Columbus discovered the viable sailing route to the Americas, a continent, not known to the Old World. While what he thought he had discovered was a route to the Far East, he is credited with the opening of the Americas for conquest and settlement by Europeans. Columbus's early life is somewhat obscure, but scholars agree that he was born in the Republic of Genoa and spoke a dialect of Ligurian as his first language, he went to sea at a young age and travelled as far north as the British Isles and as far south as what is now Ghana. He married Portuguese noblewoman Filipa Moniz Perestrelo and was based in Lisbon for several years, but took a Spanish mistress. Though self-educated, Columbus was read in geography and history.
He formulated a plan to seek a western sea passage to the East Indies, hoping to profit from the lucrative spice trade. After years of lobbying, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain agreed to sponsor a journey west, in the name of the Crown of Castile. Columbus left Spain in August 1492 with three ships, after a stopover in the Canary Islands made landfall in the Americas on 12 October, his landing place was an island in the Bahamas, known by its native inhabitants as Guanahani. Columbus subsequently visited Cuba and Hispaniola, establishing a colony in what is now Haiti—the first European settlement in the Americas since the Norse colonies 500 years earlier, he arrived back in Spain in early 1493. Word of his discoveries soon spread throughout Europe. Columbus would make three further voyages to the New World, exploring the Lesser Antilles in 1493, Trinidad and the northern coast of South America in 1498, the eastern coast of Central America in 1502. Many of the names he gave to geographical features—particularly islands—are still in use.
He continued to seek a passage to the East Indies, the extent to which he was aware that the Americas were a wholly separate landmass is uncertain. Columbus's strained relationship with the Spanish crown and its appointed colonial administrators in America led to his arrest and removal from Hispaniola in 1500, to protracted litigation over the benefits that he and his heirs claimed were owed to them by the crown. Columbus's expeditions inaugurated a period of exploration and colonization that lasted for centuries, helping create the modern Western world; the transfers between the Old World and New World that followed his first voyage are known as the Columbian exchange, the period of human habitation in the Americas prior to his arrival is known as the Pre-Columbian era. Columbus's legacy continues to be debated, he was venerated in the centuries after his death, but public perceptions have changed as recent scholars have given attention to negative aspects of his life, such as his role in the extinction of the Taíno people, his promotion of slavery, allegations of tyranny towards Spanish colonists.
Many landmarks and institutions in the Western Hemisphere bear his name, including the country of Colombia. The name Christopher Columbus is the Anglicisation of the Latin Christophorus Columbus, his name in Ligurian is Cristoffa Corombo, in Italian Cristoforo Colombo, in Spanish is Cristóbal Colón, in Portuguese is Cristóvão Colombo. He was born before 31 October 1451 in the territory of the Republic of Genoa, though the exact location remains disputed, his father was Domenico Colombo, a middle-class wool weaver who worked both in Genoa and Savona and who owned a cheese stand at which young Christopher worked as a helper. His mother was Susanna Fontanarossa. Bartolomeo, Giovanni Pellegrino, Giacomo were his brothers. Bartolomeo worked in a cartography workshop in Lisbon for at least part of his adulthood, he had a sister named Bianchinetta. Columbus never wrote in his native language, presumed to have been a Genoese variety of Ligurian: his name in the 16th-century Genoese language would have been Cristoffa Corombo.
In one of his writings, he says he went to sea at the age of 10. In 1470, the Columbus family moved to Savona. In the same year, Christopher was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of René of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples; some modern historians have argued that he was not from Genoa but, from the Aragon region of Spain or from Portugal. These competing hypotheses have been discounted by mainstream scholars. In 1473, Columbus began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro and Spinola families of Genoa, he made a trip to Chios, an Aegean island ruled by Genoa. In May 1476, he took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry valuable cargo to northern Europe, he docked in Bristol and Galway, Ireland. In 1477, he was in Iceland. In the autumn of 1477, he sailed on a Portuguese ship from Galway to Lisbon, where he found his brother Bartolomeo, they continued trading for the Centurione family. Columbus based himself in Lisbon from 1477 to 1485.
He married Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, daughter of the Porto Santo governor and Portuguese nobleman of
Indigenous peoples in Argentina
Argentina has 35 indigenous groups or Argentine Amerindians or Native Argentines, according to the Complementary Survey of the Indigenous Peoples of 2004, in the first attempt by the government in more than 100 years to recognize and classify the population according to ethnicity. In the survey, based on self-identification or self-ascription, around 600,000 Argentines declared to be Amerindian or first-generation descendants of Amerindians, that is, 1.49% of the population. The most populous of these were the Aonikenk, Qom, Wichí, Mocoví, Huarpe peoples and Guarani In the 2010 census, 955,032 Argentines declared to be Amerindian or first-generation descendants of Amerindians, that is, 2.38% of the population. Many Argentines claim at least one indigenous ancestor: in a recent genetic study conducted by the University of Buenos Aires, more than 56% of the 320 Argentines sampled were shown to have at least one indigenous ancestor in one parental lineage and about 11% had indigenous ancestors in both parental lineages.
Jujuy Province, in the Argentine Northwest, is home to the highest percentage of households with at least one indigenous person or a direct descendant of an indigenous people. The earliest evidence of indigenous peoples yet discovered in what today is Argentina is the Piedra Museo archaeological site in Santa Cruz Province, found to date from 11,000 BCE; the Cueva de las Manos, in the same province, is over 10,000 years old. Both are among the oldest evidence of indigenous culture in the Americas, have, with a number of ancient sites elsewhere in the hemisphere, challenged the "Clovis First" hypothesis on the settlement of the Americas. By the year 1500, many different indigenous communities lived in, they were not a unified group but many independent ones, with distinct languages and relations with each other. As a result, they did not face the arrival of the Spanish colonization as a single block and had varied reactions toward the Europeans; the Spanish people looked down on the indigenous population, to the point that they held in doubt whether they had souls, following the general thought in Europe.
For this reason, they kept little historical information about them. In the 19th century major population movements altered the original Patagonian demography. Between 1820 and 1850 the original Aonikenk people were conquered and expelled from their territories by invading Mapuche armies. By 1870 most of northern Patagonia and the south east Pampas were Araucanized. During the Generation of 1880, European immigration was encouraged as a way of occupying an empty territory, configuring the national population and, through their colonizing effort incorporating the nation into the world market; these changes were best summarized by the anthropological metaphor which states that “Argentines descend from ships.” The strength of the immigration and its contribution to the Argentine ethnography is evident by observing that Argentina became the second country in the world that received the most immigrants, with 6.6 millions, second only to the United States with 27 millions, ahead of countries such as Canada, Australia, etc.
The expansion of European immigrant communities and the railways westward into the Pampas and south into Patagonia was met with Malón raids by displaced tribes. This led to the Conquest of the Desert in the 1870s. Indigenous cultures in Argentina were affected by a process of invisibilization, promoted by the government during the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th; the extensive explorations and writing by Juan Bautista Ambrosetti and other ethnographers during the 20th century encouraged wider interest in indigenous people in Argentina, their contributions to the nation's culture were further underscored during the administration of President Juan Perón in the 1940s and 1950s as part of the rustic criollo culture and values exalted by Perón during that era. Discriminatory policies toward these people and other minorities ended, with the August 3, 1988, enactment of the Antidiscrimination Law by President Raúl Alfonsín, were countered further with the establishment of a government bureau, the National Institute Against Discrimination and Racism, in 1995.
Corrientes Province, in 2004, became the first in the nation to award an indigenous language with co-official status, all 35 native peoples were recognized by both the 2004 Indigenous Peoples Census and by their inclusion as self-descriptive categories in the 2010 census. In addition to the indigenous population in Argentina, most Argentines are descended from indigenous peoples or have some indigenous ancestry. Many genetic studies have shown that Argentina's genetic footprint is but not overwhelmingly European. In one of the most comprehensive genetic studies involving the population of Argentina, 441 Argentines from across the North East, North West and Central provinces of the country, it was observed that the Argentine population comprised on average of 65% European, followed by 31% Amerindian, 4% of African ancestry, it was found there were great differences in the ancestry amongst Argentines as one traveled across the country. For example, the population in the Nort
Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire
The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, or the Spanish–Mexica War, was the conquest of the Aztec Empire by the Spanish Empire within the context of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. There are multiple 16th-century narratives of the events by Spanish conquerors, their indigenous allies and the defeated Aztecs, it was not a contest between a small contingent of Spaniards defeating the Aztec Empire but rather the creation of a coalition of Spanish invaders with tributaries to the Aztecs, most the Aztecs' indigenous enemies and rivals. They combined forces to defeat the Mexica of Tenochtitlan over a two-year period. For the Spanish, the expedition to Mexico was part of a project of Spanish colonization of the New World after twenty-five years of permanent Spanish settlement and further exploration in the Caribbean. Following an earlier expedition led by Juan de Grijalva to Yucatán in 1517, Spanish settler, Hernán Cortés, led an expedition to Mexico. Two years in 1519, Cortés and his retinue set sail from Cuba for Mexico.
The Spanish campaign against the Aztec Empire had its final victory on August 13, 1521, when a coalition army of Spanish forces and native Tlaxcalan warriors led by Cortés and Xicotencatl the Younger captured the emperor Cuauhtemoc and Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire. The fall of Tenochtitlan marks the beginning of Spanish rule in central Mexico, they established their capital of Mexico City on the ruins of Tenochtitlan. Cortés made alliances with tributaries city-states of the Aztec Empire as well as their political rivals the Tlaxcalteca and Texcocans, a former partner in the Aztec Triple Alliance. Other city-states joined, including Cempoala and Huexotzinco and polities bordering Lake Texcoco, the inland lake system of the Valley of Mexico. Important to the Spanish success was a multilingual indigenous slave woman, known to the Spanish conquistadors as Doña Marina, as La Malinche. After eight months of battles and negotiations, which overcame the diplomatic resistance of the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II to his visit, Cortés arrived in Tenochtitlan on November 8, 1519, where he took up residence with fellow Spaniards and their indigenous allies.
When news reached Cortés of the death of several of his men during the Aztec attack on the Totonacs in Veracruz, he took Moctezuma captive, along with Cuitláhuac, his kinsman. Capturing the cacique or indigenous ruler was standard operating procedure for Spaniards in their expansion in the Caribbean, so capturing Moctezuma had considerable precedent; when Cortés left Tenochtitlan to return to the coast and deal with the expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez, sent to rein in Cortés's expedition that had exceeded its specified limits, Cortés's right-hand man Pedro de Alvarado was left in charge. Alvarado allowed a significant Aztec feast to be celebrated in Tenochtitlan and on the pattern of the earlier massacre in Cholula, closed off the square and massacred the celebrating Aztec noblemen; the official biography of Cortés by Francisco López de Gómara contains a description of the massacre. The Alvarado massacre at the Main Temple of Tenochtitlan precipitated rebellion by the population of the city.
Moctezuma was killed. According to one account, when Moctezuma, now seen by the population as a mere puppet of the invading Spaniards, attempted to calm the outraged populace, he was killed by a projectile. According to an indigenous account, the Spanish killed Moctezuma. Cortés had returned to Tenochtitlan and his men fled the capital city during the Noche Triste in June 1520; the Spanish and reinforcements returned a year on August 13, 1521 to a civilization, weakened by famine and smallpox. This made it easier to conquer the remaining Aztecs. Many of those on the Cortés expedition of 1519 had never seen combat before, including Cortés. A whole generation of Spaniards participated in expeditions in the Caribbean and Tierra Firme, learning strategy and tactics of successful enterprises; the Spanish conquest of Mexico had antecedents with established practices. The fall of the Aztec Empire was the key event in the formation of the Spanish Empire overseas, with New Spain, which became Mexico. Historical sources for the conquest of Mexico recount some of the same events in both Spanish and indigenous sources.
Others, are unique to a particular primary source or group narrating the event. Individuals and groups laud their own accomplishments, while denigrating or ignoring those of their opponents or their allies or both. 1428 – Creation of the Triple Alliance of Tenochtitlan and Tlacopan 1492-3 – Columbus reaches the Caribbean. One of the enslaved Nahua woman (known as La Malinche, Doña Marina
Spanish conquest of the Muisca
The Spanish conquest of the Muisca took place from 1537 to 1540. The Muisca were the inhabitants of the central Andean highlands of Colombia before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, they were organised in a loose confederation of different rulers. The leaders of the Confederation at the time of conquest were zipa Tisquesusa, zaque Quemuenchatocha, iraca Sugamuxi and Tundama in the northernmost portion of their territories; the Muisca were organised in small communities of circular enclosures, with a central square where the bohío of the cacique was located. They were called "Salt People" because of their extraction of salt in various locations throughout their territories in Zipaquirá, Nemocón and Tausa. For the main part self-sufficient in their well-organised economy, the Muisca traded with the European conquistadors valuable products as gold and emeralds with their neighbouring indigenous groups. In the Tenza Valley, to the east of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense where the majority of the Muisca lived, they extracted emeralds in Chivor and Somondoco.
The economy of the Muisca was rooted in their agriculture with main products maize, yuca and various other cultivations elaborated on elevated fields. Agriculture had started around 3000 BCE on the Altiplano, following the preceramic Herrera Period and a long epoch of hunter-gatherers since the late Pleistocene; the earliest archaeological evidence of inhabitation in Colombia, one of the oldest in South America, has been found in El Abra, dating to around 12,500 years BP. The main part of the Muisca civilisation was concentrated on the Bogotá savanna, a flat high plain in the Eastern Ranges of the Andes, far away from the Caribbean coast; the savanna was an ancient lake, that existed until the latest Pleistocene and formed a fertile soil for their agriculture. The Muisca were a religious civilisation with a polytheistic society and an advanced astronomical knowledge, represented in their complex lunisolar calendar. Men and women had specific and different tasks in their egalitarian society; the guecha warriors were tasked with the defence of the Muisca territories against their western neighbours.
To impress their enemies, the Muisca warriors wore mummies of important ancestors on their backs, while fighting. In their battles, the men used poisoned arrows and golden knives. Although gold deposits were not abundant on the Altiplano, through trading the Muisca obtained large amounts of the precious metal which they elaborated into fine art, of which the Muisca raft and the many tunjos were the most important; the Muisca raft pictures the initiation ritual of the new zipa. When the Spanish who resided in the coastal city of Santa Marta, founded by Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1525, were informed about this legend, a large expedition in the quest for this El Dorado was organised in the spring of 1536. A delegation of more than 900 men left the tropical city of Santa Marta and went on a harsh expedition through the heartlands of Colombia in search of El Dorado and the civilisation that produced all this precious gold; the leader of the first and main expedition under Spanish flag was Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, with his brother Hernán second in command.
Several other soldiers were participating in the journey, who would become encomenderos and take part in the conquest of other parts of Colombia. Other contemporaneous expeditions into the unknown interior of the Andes, all searching for the mythical land of gold, were starting from Venezuela, led by Bavarian and other German conquistadors and from the south, starting in the founded Kingdom of Quito in what is now Ecuador; the conquest of the Muisca started in March 1537, when the reduced troops of De Quesada entered Muisca territories in Chipatá, the first settlement they founded on March 8. The expedition went further inland and up the slopes of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense into Boyacá and Cundinamarca; the towns of Moniquirá and Guachetá and Lenguazaque were founded before the conquistadors arrived at the northern edge of the Bogotá savanna in Suesca. En route towards the domain of zipa Tisquesusa, the Spanish founded Chía. In April 1537 they arrived at Funza; this formed the onset for further expeditions, starting a month towards the eastern Tenza Valley and the northern territories of zaque Quemuenchatocha.
On August 20, 1537, the zaque was submitted in his bohío in Hunza. The Spanish continued their journey northeastward into the Iraka Valley, where the iraca Sugamuxi fell to the Spanish troops and the Sun Temple was accidentally burned by two soldiers of the army of De Quesada in early September. Meanwhile, other soldiers from the conquest expedition went south and conquered Pasca and other settlements; the Spanish leader returned with his men to the Bogotá savanna and planned new conquest expeditions executed in the second half of 1537 and first months of 1538. On August 6, 1538, Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada founded Bogotá as the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada, named after his home region of Granada, Spain; that same month, on August 20, the zipa who succeeded his brot