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Chapter 4

HIS 315K Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: New Laws, Overgrazing, Túpac Amaru


Department
History
Course Code
HIS 315K
Professor
M Seaholm
Chapter
4

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A. Reflection (20 points)
I was not a huge fan of Malintzin’s Choices. Upon reading the introduction, I
assumed it would be written as a historical narrative and I thought that I would like
the book far more than any others for this course. However, it is similar to the other
books, in which it is mostly fact after fact written on every page. While that was
disappointing to discover, it is not nearly as annoying as the excessive use of
disclaimers throughout the book. In the introduction, Townsend made it very clear
that she and others do not know that truth about Malintzin’s life, but that she would
do her best to write a book that was as close to the truth as possible using all her
sources. She didn’t just state this once, she stated it multiple times.
1
However, even
though she covered it in the introduction, she still managed to put a disclaimer
before a lot of what she wrote about Malintzin.
2
I probably would’ve liked the book
better if I had known it was going to be similar to the others and if Townsend didn’t
include so many disclaimers.
I also did not like how it was not from the perspective of Malintzin and often,
it portrayed her as more of an influential background character. It seemed like the
book was more about Cortes than her. From pages 142 147, she was only
mentioned four times and only in passing. Malintzin’s Choices seems to tell the story
of Cortes’s conquests with the help of multiple translators, one of which happens to
be Malintzin. The only times it was primarily about her life was in the very beginning
when it describes how she came into Spanish hands,
3
and in the last two chapters
________. While I did not find this background characterization compelling,
Townsend did do a good job at expressing how Malintzin was a huge asset to the
Spaniards by included pictures and accounts from natives in which she was bigger
than even Cortes.
4
Referring to many sources, both native and Spanish, Townsend
did persuade me that Malintzin was incredibly important during the colonial era.
I did find the book helpful for understanding the Conquest of the Aztecs and
its aftermath. Townsend detailed the help of the Tlaxcalans and others when going
against the Mexicas and gave a long account of how Cortes was successful.
Townsend then focused more on Malintzin’s life and the struggles that Cortes faced
while trying to colonize and pacify Latin America. Mentioning who she married and
why, as well as her two children, Martin and Maria, illustrated how Spanish society
1
Camilla Townsend, Malintzin’s Choices: And Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico (Albequerque: University of
New Mexico Press, 2006), 7-10.
2
Townsend:, 22-23, 135-136, 149-151, 157, 162.
3
Townsend, 11-28.
4
Townsend:, 66-67, 69, 71-73, 75.

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worked and why Malintzin made some of her choices.
5
Maria lived a priviledged life
in Xilotepec and Marin experienced wealth and status in Spain after being named a
“persons of quality.
6
However, the two were always a sort of second class to the
Spanish which demonstrates how the Iberians thought of the natives and mixed-
bloods.
B. Identification (40 points)
1. Badeirantes were Portuguese settlers in Brazil who searched for wealth. Their
success in discovering gold in the southern highlands around 1695, initiated
Portugal’s colonization of Brazil’s interior. The Badeirantes survived mainly by
capturing and trading native slaves to sugar plantations that were growing in
popularity and they were later “hired to destroy runaway slave communities.”
7
2. The Quauhquechollan formed an alliance with Cortes that incorporated them
into the Spanish colony in Mexico. The Quauhquechollan rulers were integrated
into the colonial government and some even became conquistadors and fought
with the Spanish. These “Indians” played a big part in defeating the Mexica’s and
the Guatemalan highlands.
8
The Spanish tended to leave out the help from these
Native allies when writing their accounts of what happened but without them,
the Conquistadors could not have succeeded so quickly or possibly at all.
9
3. The Itza, Choco, and Mapuche were Native societies that resisted Spanish
Conquest and pacification for many decades after the defeat of the Aztecs and
Incas. The Itza’s were invaded by Spaniards in 1697 after negotiations between
the Itza leaders and Spanish ambassadors broke down. However, they were
unconquerable for a century and a half.
10
The Choco were invaded in 1510 and
again in the 1520’s because they had a lot of Gold on their land. But the Natives
continually resisted and the Spanish couldn’t conquer them until the mid 1600’s.
5
Townsend, 170-171.
6
Townsend, 195.
7
Matthew Restall and Kris Lane, Latin America in Colonial Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011),
109-110.
8
Matthew Restall and Kris Lane, Latin America in Colonial Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011),
122.
9
Matthew Restall and Kris Lane, Latin America in Colonial Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011),
125-126.
10
Matthew Restall and Kris Lane, Latin America in Colonial Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011),
115.
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They were then “pacified” and forced to pay tribute.
11
The Mapuche, like the
Choco, had a lot of gold on their land that the Spanish were after. They were
subdued at first by Spanish invaders but rebelled once they were forced to work
in gold mines. They managed to kill two Spanish governors and eat parts of them.
Successful in their attempts to push out the Spaniards, the Mapuche destroyed
all Spanish towns south of the Biobio River by 1600. They were successful
because the Mapuche trained their men to fight and were also great at adapting
to different circumstances.
12
4. Tupac Amaru I was an Inca leader. He was captured at Vilcambaba, the rebels
community that was formed while fleeing from Spanish rule, in 1572 after
multiple Spanish deaths occurred around the time he came to power.
13
Tupac
Amaru I was beheaded by orders of the Viceroy in Cuzco, but before his death he
was converted to Christianity. Spanish priests even tried to spare his life and
argued that he should be sent to Spain for the King to judge, but the Viceroy
refused.
14
His death essentially ended the last community of Inca’s that had
escaped Spanish defeat.
15
5. Francisco de Vitoria was one of the founders of international law and believed
war was just only if Natives refused to convert, tried to stop the Spanish from
living among them peacefully, or tried to turn converts back to idolatry. Vitoria
also believed it was just for the Spaniards to intervene to save an innocent
person from cannibalism or to help native allies/friends.
16
Juan Gines de
Sepulveda used Aristotle’s theory of “natural slavery” to justify Spanish war on
natives. He thought the Natives sins were reason enough to wage war and that
by doing so, the Natives would likely convert to Christianity. Sepulveda also
debated Las Casas in favor of Native enslavement.
17
Bartolome de Las Casas,
11
Matthew Restall and Kris Lane, Latin America in Colonial Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011),
119-120.
12
Matthew Restall and Kris Lane, Latin America in Colonial Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011),
120-121.
13
Restall and Lane, 123.
14
Restall and Lane, 123-124.
15
Restall and Lane, 125.
16
Mark A. Burkholder and Lyman L. Johnson, Colonial Latin America, 9th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2015), 79.
17
Burkholder and Johnson, 79-80.
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