Was the conquest of the Aztec Empire morally justified?

Jun 2015
5,732
UK
#41
Why judge the Spanish via our moral systems?

The Spanish, like most Europeans at the time, had less tolerance for non-Christians. Anybody who was not Christian, or from a faraway land like the Aztecs, were not subject to the same morals or consideration. Their acts were to be expected of any European power at the time.
 
Feb 2011
1,081
Scotland
#42
By the standards of belief OF THE DAY, the Spanish felt they were doing the locals a good turn.

Reading Bernal diaz, they considered that they were saving local non-Aztec tribes from selection for sacrifice, they were gaining gold and -in return- they sincerely believed that in converting the locals, they were giving them the chance for everlasting life and bliss instead of eternal damnation. As far as they were concerned, they were giving as much or more then they received.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,874
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#43
By the standards of belief OF THE DAY, the Spanish felt they were doing the locals a good turn.

Reading Bernal diaz, they considered that they were saving local non-Aztec tribes from selection for sacrifice, they were gaining gold and -in return- they sincerely believed that in converting the locals, they were giving them the chance for everlasting life and bliss instead of eternal damnation. As far as they were concerned, they were giving as much or more then they received.
Yes. We have to be balanced and we have [as usual, from a historical perspective] to consider the historical context.

Europeans, Christian Europeans, discovered a civilization where human sacrifice was considered even necessary. It was the kingdom of the Devil, what else?

Then, technically, we can observe that the European conquerors caused well more casualties than any "human sacrifice campaign" run by the Natives, but this was ideologically, philosophically and overall theologically irrelevant: it was a divine punishment [or something like that].
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,697
Portugal
#44
Then, technically, we can observe that the European conquerors caused well more casualties than any "human sacrifice campaign" run by the Natives, but this was ideologically, philosophically and overall theologically irrelevant: it was a divine punishment [or something like that].
Since many, if not most, f the “casualties” were caused by diseases, we can’t really make a number comparison, saying that caused “more”, can we?

Off topic note: Congrats to your new mod position! And Good luck!
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,874
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#45
Since many, if not most, f the “casualties” were caused by diseases, we can’t really make a number comparison, saying that caused “more”, can we?

Off topic note: Congrats to your new mod position! And Good luck!
Thanks, you're wellcome.

I agree that not knowing how diseases work, the Europeans weren't aware to be causing a disaster. This is clear.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,446
South of the barcodes
#48
Considering the religious practices of the Aztecs, i'd say getting rid of them was a benefit to human civilisation.

Theres few civilisations you can think of as being without merit and deserving extermination but the Aztecs made great strides in being in the top 5 alongside the Nazis.

We're talking about a culture that believed in the rights of Tlaloc.

Theyd buy children from their mothers, torture them because as a deity Tlaoc needed the tears to fertilise the ground before their religious immolation

To steal from wiki

According to the accounts of some, they assembled the children whom they slew in the first month, buying them from their mothers. And they went on killing them in all the feasts which followed, until the rains really began. And thus they slew some on the first month, named Quauitleua; and some in the second, named Tlacaxipeualiztli; and some in the third, named Tocoztontli; and others in the fourth, named Ueitocoztli; so that until the rains began in abundance, in all the feasts they sacrificed children

Oh and of course Xipe Totec where the victims was skinned and a priest danced round the Temple wearing it.

The conquistadors might have brought atrocities in destroying Aztec culture and government but they brought a far better future than the daily atrocities of living with Aztecs.

Sorry, have i mentioned in previous threads that i detest the Aztecs?
 
May 2018
821
Michigan
#49
Considering the religious practices of the Aztecs, i'd say getting rid of them was a benefit to human civilisation.

Theres few civilisations you can think of as being without merit and deserving extermination but the Aztecs made great strides in being in the top 5 alongside the Nazis.

We're talking about a culture that believed in the rights of Tlaloc.

Theyd buy children from their mothers, torture them because as a deity Tlaoc needed the tears to fertilise the ground before their religious immolation

To steal from wiki

According to the accounts of some, they assembled the children whom they slew in the first month, buying them from their mothers. And they went on killing them in all the feasts which followed, until the rains really began. And thus they slew some on the first month, named Quauitleua; and some in the second, named Tlacaxipeualiztli; and some in the third, named Tocoztontli; and others in the fourth, named Ueitocoztli; so that until the rains began in abundance, in all the feasts they sacrificed children

Oh and of course Xipe Totec where the victims was skinned and a priest danced round the Temple wearing it.

The conquistadors might have brought atrocities in destroying Aztec culture and government but they brought a far better future than the daily atrocities of living with Aztecs.

Sorry, have i mentioned in previous threads that i detest the Aztecs?
Wow, they were even more vile than I thought.
 
May 2018
821
Michigan
#50
Thanks, you're wellcome.

I agree that not knowing how diseases work, the Europeans weren't aware to be causing a disaster. This is clear.
I don't think we can hold Europeans giving natives diseases as responsible for the resulting deaths anymore than we can blame Asian traders and merchants for bringing the Black Death to Europe.

Cortez wasn't saying, "stop or I'll give you a disease.". Sometimes the worst tragedies are the result of relatively "innocent" parties.
 
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