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Pierre Desrochers

Lecture 3 1. Historical Background 2. Diamond’s Q & As 3. Military Historians’ Critique 4. Other Critics 1. Historical Background - Americas first colonized around 11,000 B.C. - 1 inconsequential contact with Europeans around 1000 AD 15 Century: 8 “Exploring/Expanding” Cultures - Latin Christeodom - Polynesians - Japan - China - Indian - Islam - Aztecs - Incas China (Zheng He: born 1371 1405 – 1433) 7 major maritime expeditions - 1 had 63 ships and > 27000 men - Might have reached Americas… Ming Navy: - 3500 warships - arguments: ships that big can’t be built & stopped exploring after finding things not very exciting India and Islam: Lecture 3 - Most adaptable ships - Best navigators - But right in middle of things…(so not really needed to explore) Japanese - Lacked curiosity Polynesians - Limits of technology Latin Christendom - Portugal - Spain - Italian navigators (work for other European countries) Aztecs (Mexicans) - Maps - No effective boats Incas (mountain people) - No maps - No writing - No effective boat (only reed boats) Pre-Columbian America: Aztecs - Immigrants from Northern Mexico / SW USA th - Settled Lake Texcoco in 14 Century - Expansion in later decades / century - Tenochtitlan was their capital city – was one of the bigger one’s in the world Pre-Columbian America: Incas Lecture 3 - Settled Cuzco valley 14 Ch - Empire began around 1450 - Rule over a bunch of tribes 2. Diamonds Q & As 1492: Columbus “discovery” of Americas Diamond’s Question: Why didn’t Inca emperor Atahuallpa capture King Charles I of Spain? (why did the other way happened?) Cajamarca (1532) - Success despite o 168 Spaniards vs. o 80,000 Incas  Why??? Spanish success NOT attributable to - Native allies (Incas were not very popular with their colonies) - Psychological novelty (Incas were living in almost a stone age) o (horses/weapons) - Being mistaken for Gods (the timing of the Spanish coming, the Incas were expecting the arrival of their god) But to a few proximate factors… 1) Weapons/Horses (Spaniards had better weapons then native armies, steel was an important factor)  Conquistador’s steel weapons 2) Smallpox had already decimated Inca Empire Smallpox actually preceded Spaniards (Spanish brought it to Caribbean which spread to the Inca empire later). By the time Spanish arrived to Inca empire, the epidemic led to civil war between Lecture 3 a. Atahuallpa b. Huascar (half brother) 3) Other Proximate Factors: The Spanish had: a. Naval power (can get continual supply) b. Political organization (central) c. Writing (can learn from other people’s account of native people; can expect to deliver accurate information over long distance) 3. Military Historians’ Critique Main Criticism: Invasions of Mexico/Peru ultimately “succeeded” not through fighting, but when influx of settlers was large enough to overwhelm native populations in target areas. - the conquest was not just a matter of few days: it was a long period of time, and immigration was a key factor Hegemony does not equal Conquest: Except for Mexico (1521), no real major invasion - Wars - Battles - Reinforcements, etc. - Spanish became the dominant tribe: they didn’t completely ov
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