States with bigger populations conquered by states with lower populations

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,898
SoCal
That's not quite the same though. Spain's total population when counting not just Spain proper but also the Holy Roman Empire and Italy (and England even seeing how they were in a dynastic union thanks to Catherine of Aragon) numbered about the same population as Mexico.

Also, it was way more than 1,400. Try some 3,000 (1,400 would be the initial force of Cortés, before it got reinforced by another contingent of the same size from Cuba that was originally sent to arrest him but which came to ally with Cortés instead), who were basically mercenaries for Tlaxcalans who made up the bulk of the anti-Aztec army and even the army that invaded the Mayans.
Why'd the Cuban force change sides?
 
Aug 2018
274
America
Why'd the Cuban force change sides?
Cortés ambushed Pánfilo de Narvaez, who was only expecting to meet Cortés to negotiate so he had few men with him, at a temple by Zempoala where he defeated him. The rest of Narvaez's men joined Cortés having little option.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,898
SoCal
Cortés ambushed Pánfilo de Narvaez, who was only expecting to meet Cortés to negotiate so he had few men with him, at a temple by Zempoala where he defeated him. The rest of Narvaez's men joined Cortés having little option.
OK; makes sense.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,646
Spain
That's not quite the same though. Spain's total population when counting not just Spain proper but also the Holy Roman Empire and Italy (and England even seeing how they were in a dynastic union thanks to Catherine of Aragon) numbered about the same population as Mexico.

Also, it was way more than 1,400. Try some 3,000 (1,400 would be the initial force of Cortés, before it got reinforced by another contingent of the same size from Cuba that was originally sent to arrest him but which came to ally with Cortés instead), who were basically mercenaries for Tlaxcalans who made up the bulk of the anti-Aztec army and even the army that invaded the Mayans.

Moreover, the Aztec kingdom proper, which is not Mexico as a whole, definitely had less population than the lands ruled by Charles V.

Now... it is going to be... 100 billions Spaniard conquered 1 poor Aztec... oh my God.. what´s the pride makes us to not recognize a mistake.... Cortez had 400 men.. after Panfilo de Narvaez arrived. not as reinforcements but to take him prisoner ...Corte´s forces grew to 1.000 men... Total: 1.400 men (more or less)...

Nobody more took place in the conquest... not the rest of Spain that was 1 year distance (as for us, planet Mars) and of course not HRE nor nobody more...
By the same reason... UK had more inhabitants that each little Indian State....
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,646
Spain
Aztecs, Incas, which other Native American empires did they conquer?
I guees not other indian Empire.. well Maya if you like....they fought all kind of indians tribes.. from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego...though Amazonas (from Birth to Mouth), Chaco, Arauco, Pampa etc etc...
 
Aug 2018
274
America
Now... it is going to be... 100 billions Spaniard conquered 1 poor Aztec... oh my God.. what´s the pride makes us to not recognize a mistake.... Cortez had 400 men.. after Panfilo de Narvaez arrived. not as reinforcements but to take him prisoner ...Corte´s forces grew to 1.000 men... Total: 1.400 men (more or less)...

Nobody more took place in the conquest... not the rest of Spain that was 1 year distance (as for us, planet Mars) and of course not HRE nor nobody more...
By the same reason... UK had more inhabitants that each little Indian State....
Cortés did not have 400 men, he had close to 1,500. Same with Pánfilo de Narvaez, doubling Cortés's men to about 3,000 (also yes, I know that Narvaez was there to arrest him, I already mentioned this elsewhere in this thread, that still doesn't change how his men in the end acted as reinforcements). And you said that only 1,400 conquered "19,000,000" people, except that's not how it works. This is as stupid as saying as saying that the Gothic-led army of Odoacer of a few dozen thousand men conquered many millions of Romans. We compare the population of the conqueror and conquered instead because obviously it's not the whole conquered population that fights, only their military does. Twenty million Mexican natives did not fight the army of 3,000 that Cortés had, only the armies of the Tlaxcalans and Aztecs did, and the Spaniards in the end didn't fight the former since they got added to it as a mercenary force to fight the latter.

And yes, only Spaniards were in the army of Cortés, not people from Austria, Germany, Netherlands or Italy. However, we should still count the greater Spanish Empire because Spain utilised its resources to create its fleet and arm the conquistadors. Portugal did not engage in nearly the same level of conquest, and even got conquered by the Spaniards, precisely because they didn't control the Holy Roman Empire and had much less resources. But even if we only count Spain alone, we're still talking about 10 million people. That's about the same as the Aztec kingdom. So in other words, the Spaniards conquered a state that was just as populous as theirs.

Also, stop using the term "empire" as if the Aztecs controlled a vast portion of Mexico. The Aztecs were more properly a kingdom whose territory was also about as big as Spain at its best, and I'm very sure it was much less than that in fact. You have to stop using the Prescottian version of the Spanish conquest. The Aztecs get today called an empire, wrongly in my opinion, because they were in a confederation with other states whose name roughly translates to more or less the "Triple Alliance", but this alliance no longer existed by the time the Spaniards had arrived and was instead fighting with each other. At best, it existed nominally, but definitely not de facto, thus leaving the Aztec state with its capital in Tenochtitlan as a separate entity from the rest of the Triple Alliance.

Finally, even if we count the 20 million figure you give, which is for the whole of the Triple Alliance while the Aztecs proper at most composed roughly half of it, we're still talking about a state that was just as populous as the Spanish Empire under Charles V, and even if we only count Spain, was only about double. And if your figure is even for the whole of Mexico and not just the Triple Alliance, then we're talking even less for the Aztecs proper, since the 20 million would be distributed not just among the Triple Alliance but also the Mayan polities of Yucatán and Chiapas that were a completely separate entity as well as the natives of northern Mexico that also were completely independent, both of which getting subjugated years after Cortés's capture of Tenochtitlan. In fact, the Spaniards didn't finish annexing the whole of today's Mexico until about the 1600s. Not to mention that would mean that Spain still added a territory with a population that is just double that of Spain itself (disregarding the Holy Roman Empire) even if Mexican territory is four times that of Spain (again, disregarding the Holy Roman Empire).
 
Jan 2019
135
Finland
Bringing up defeats is also very interesting. Sweden would have very much conquered Poland under Charles XII had it not been for Russian intervention. And the Russians needed the help from the Danes and Prussians to wear down Sweden.
It was more Saxony than Prussia (Brandenburg?) that was a principal enemy of Sweden in that war. And Charles XII had no intention of conquering Poland, rather to put his preferred candidate on the throne, as opposed to August the Strong of Saxony. From what I've read, whether it was August who wanted to be king (for the prestige) or Charles XII trying to put his man on the throne it was like pouring water down a well, because it was Poland and the king, whoever it was, was never going to have power over the Polish nobility. When Charles was in Poland the Polish nobility were very stingy about letting August raise an army from Poland, and even stingier about August bringing in troops from Saxony.