Latin American Colonial Society


The Indians arrived form Asia by walking over the Bering Strait at least forty thousand years ago and, over a period of time, spreading and developing a wide range of cultures on both continents. These cultures ranged from nomadic groups of hunters and food gatherers to elaborate empires of the Aztecs and the Inca and the culturally advanced Mayan states.


Latin American colonial society was shaped largely by the interaction of Spanish and Portugese invaders while the indigenous people that inhabited the American continents for thousands of years before invaders\' arrival. The Indians\' usual response to the arrival of the European invaders was armed resistance. Even after the invaders conquered the continents, the unyielding spirits of the overrun Indians wouldn\'t let them give up and they (the Indians) resisted with strategies ranging from revolts to the use of their master\'s legal codes for purpose of defense and offense. It is because of their spirits that, despite immense loss of life and inestimable suffering, the communities and institutions in key areas of Latin America survived colonial oppression into nineteenth century and even down to the present.


In Aztec warfare there was one ruler, known as the lord of men, whom determined, disposed, and arranged how the war would be made. Before waging war on a city, the ruler would send youths and seasoned warriors as scouts to watch the enemy city and to study all the roads and determine the easiest points of penetration. He had a "painted plan" (map) that showed the location of the city. With information obtained by the scouts, the chief marked all the roads and noted the easiest entry points. Upon completing that task, the chief then summoned the general, the commanding general, and all warriors. He then commanded them how they were to get there, the entry points, for how many days they would march, and how they would arrange the battle. He also commanded them that they were the ones that would wage war and they were to make sure that all men that could fight were supplied with provisions for war and insignia. After that, the ruler met with all the people that were in charge or running the palace and he ordered them to take out all of the valuables, which he then presented to the men going to war. The people that took out the goods were also ordered to follow the people that these goods were presented to and carry them into battle. The ruler then informed the rulers of Texcoco, Talcopan, and all swamp lands to wage war on the same city he was waging. Again, he sent valuables to those rulers as an expression of gratitude. He also ordered the common folk to rise up and go to war.


When marching out to war, the priests were the first ones to go; a day ahead of Aztec warriors. Then, all of the brave warriors and seasoned (Aztec) warriors followed. Then, the warriors of Acolhuacan, Tepaneca, Xilotepec, and so-called Quaquata, followed with gaps of one day in between them. The men of other cities were dispatched in like manner. They all followed their given course with accuracy and precision. When the unfortunate city was reached, all warriors were arranged in order. Anybody that would break the ranks, or cause a confusion was beaten or slain on the spot. The warriors awaited for the priests to start fire and use shell trumpets to signal the beginning of the invasion. During the invasion the first captives were slain by having their breast slashed open with a flint knife. After a city was overrun, there was a tally of the captives and dead bodies. The ruler then told the high judges to go to homes of the people that were killed and tell their families to grieve. The high judges also went to the households of those who were alive and told the families that they received honors for their valor. If two men claimed rights to capturing someone and there was no third party verification confirming either man\'s story, then that person was sacrificed/slaughtered.


Montezuma was "of good height"(tall) and well proportioned. He had two official wives, Cacicas, but he liked to whore around. He was very