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What if Cortez had lost, and the Aztecs won?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
    a energetic Jewish civilization with serious military skills.

    A contradiction in terms back then, wasn't it?

    Columbus just barely made it, with teh best technology of the day and seamanship skills that were incredible. I find it hard to believe that anyone could have made it before he did, unless they used the nothern route. During the little Ice Age, that was not likely.
    The technology had existed for quite a while, but no one in
    Europe ot the Arabic world had invested in bringing it together for exploration, until the Portuguese did so from the 1620s. And, the Portuguse went south. Columbus was fairly skilled at navigation, but the other skill needed was that of interested investors. In the late 1400s the cash, financial acumen, and interest were just starting to coalece for this project.

    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
    Wild idea, even cooler then the idea of China arriving at the same time, and a world war errupting over contol and colonization of the whole Hemisphere.
    Theres a book called ''1421 The Year China Discovered America". It recounts the evidence for Chinese merchant & exploration fleets reaching the American continents in both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as Africa and Austraila. Internal strife and the stagnation of the Ming Dynasty brought a end to the era of Chinas maritime expansion, but it is a intersting What If.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
      I'd say this what if does raise a valid question.

      first, it was very plausible that Cortez bought the farm. after all, if not for montezuma's naive believing (I mean, people believe in god... what a concept?!) and if they fought better, the chances of the 500 or so spaniards were slim.

      so if utterly defeated and sacrificed on Tehituacan's pyramid, what woudl be spain reaction?

      another expedition, this time 100 times stronger? i.e. stay the course (and ultimately win)

      or negotiate trade agreements?
      I was under the impression that Spain was not happy with Cortez, and had actually sent an expedition to arrest him, because he had overstepped his boundries. I would imagine that Spain probably wouldn't have continued their attack if Cortez had died. Once they realized how much gold he had acquired, he was no longer in danger of being arrested.

      "You're riding high in April,
      Shot down in May
      But I know I'm gonna change that tune,
      When I'm back on top, back on top in June." 'That's Life'

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Sgt. Rock View Post
        I was under the impression that Spain was not happy with Cortez, and had actually sent an expedition to arrest him, because he had overstepped his boundries. I would imagine that Spain probably wouldn't have continued their attack if Cortez had died. Once they realized how much gold he had acquired, he was no longer in danger of being arrested.

        "You're riding high in April,
        Shot down in May
        But I know I'm gonna change that tune,
        When I'm back on top, back on top in June." 'That's Life'
        If I recall my history leasson from 1971 correctly it was the Govenor of Cuba who had a problem with Cortez & his plans. Cant recall if the Gov. saw Cortez as hijacking a expedition he wanted to run, or if there was some other problem such as Cortez lacking a reputation for good sense and military skill.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
          If I recall my history leasson from 1971 correctly it was the Govenor of Cuba who had a problem with Cortez & his plans. Cant recall if the Gov. saw Cortez as hijacking a expedition he wanted to run, or if there was some other problem such as Cortez lacking a reputation for good sense and military skill.
          Now Carl, how will you win on "Jeopardy" if you can't remember 1971 history?

          I think it was the first book of "What If?" that dealt with the question about what if Cortez loses, and they seemed to do a pretty good job. I can't remember if it was Spain or you may be right it was Cuba that wasn't happy with Cortez. I had also learned a little bit about Malinche from my wife, as she had a book about her.

          "You're riding high in April,
          Shot down in May
          But I know I'm gonna change that tune,
          When I'm back on top, back on top in June." 'That's Life'

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          • #20
            Factors

            Many good points have been raised here, and I maybe repeating someone else, but something to keep in mind is that Cortez was not exactly a boy scout. He burned his ships not just out of sheer bravado, he was literally on his last penny. He was in hock up to his eyeballs and he had more enemies than he had friends in Spain; he could not go back, at the very least he would have been thrown in jail or worse.

            Likewise it must be remembered that the Mexica, what the Aztecs actually called themselves, had pissed off most of their neighbors. There was the matter of going to war to provide sacrifices for their priests. I am willing to bet that their neighbors were not terribly happy with the idea of their boys and young men having their hearts cut out and ending up on the dinner table, I could be wrong.

            Bottom line is that Cortez was extremely lucky; however I do not believe that the English would have given any assistance to the Mexica. They were not Christian, cannibalism and human sacrifice were not popular with any Europeans, and they were at least as greedy as the Spanish. I am willing to bet that the English would have gone to war with the Spanish to see who would get the spoils.
            Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

            Initiated Chief Petty Officer
            Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

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            • #21
              Yeah, not the English... but you can't rule out the Portugese!
              They also had the route to the back-door partly mapped out.

              How about that idea? England and Spain allied against the "Mexica", and Portugal sending covert aid to the natives?

              An Alliance of desperation with the other Indians would have been a given, but how would Spain have treated such allies after (if) they had won? Assuming they were still alive in appreciable numbers.

              Aztecs were not capable of building an Empire like Rome- they offered nothing to conquered people... but what if the plauge convinced them to change that policy? Lessed disassaters have caused civilizations to change thier wayss.
              "Why is the Rum gone?"

              -Captain Jack

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                The whole pattern of colonization would have changed.... but in what ways?
                It would have delayed the time table until another Estremaduran came along, but that's about it. There were too many penniless sons of knights in that area with nothing better to do (having already driven the Moors out of Iberia). One of them would have come over and kicked Aztec butt.
                Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                "Never pet a burning dog."

                RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Janos View Post
                  It would have delayed the time table until another Estremaduran came along, but that's about it. There were too many penniless sons of knights in that area with nothing better to do (having already driven the Moors out of Iberia). One of them would have come over and kicked Aztec butt.
                  Just One? As you say there were to many second and third sons of the Spanish warrior families. One book I saw claimed one of five Spanish males survivng to age 18 was considered a 'gentleman', and hence not trained in a trade, willing to farm, or do anything actually productive. Exporting its otherwise unproductive males to rob other nations was one possible economic solution.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                    Just One? As you say there were to many second and third sons of the Spanish warrior families. One book I saw claimed one of five Spanish males survivng to age 18 was considered a 'gentleman', and hence not trained in a trade, willing to farm, or do anything actually productive. Exporting its otherwise unproductive males to rob other nations was one possible economic solution.
                    Ok, two or twenty. My point was that one of them would be like Cortez or his cousin Pizarro and would lead and expedition to conquer Mexico. Estremadura was, and probably still is, the poorest part of the Iberian Peninsula. If you can't eat (or make your fortune) at home, you're going to migrate where you can -- you don't have to like it, but it's been reality for thousands of years.
                    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                    Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                    "Never pet a burning dog."

                    RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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                    http://www.sca.org
                    http://www.scv.org/
                    http://www.scouting.org/

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                      Columbus just barely made it, with teh best technology of the day and seamanship skills that were incredible. I find it hard to believe that anyone could have made it before he did, unless they used the nothern route. During the little Ice Age, that was not likely.
                      Yeah, the Vikings had the know-how, skills and technology to make the northern route, and did it long before anyone else did. So, a What-If addendum to this discussion...what if the Vikings managed to stay up north and spread south, with a permanent presence? Would the Spanish meet North American Indo-Vikings that were evenly matched for the Spanish tercio and matchlocks? How would things appear during that scenario?

                      Yay, first post!
                      The First Amendment applies to SMS, Emails, Blogs, online news, the Fourth applies to your cell phone, computer, and your car, but the Second only applies to muskets?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Hida Akechi View Post
                        Yeah, the Vikings had the know-how, skills and technology to make the northern route, and did it long before anyone else did. So, a What-If addendum to this discussion...what if the Vikings managed to stay up north and spread south, with a permanent presence? Would the Spanish meet North American Indo-Vikings that were evenly matched for the Spanish tercio and matchlocks? How would things appear during that scenario?

                        Yay, first post!
                        ...and a though-provoking first post at that!

                        That would have been interesting, indeed. Canada as a Scandanavian country! Ha! What would that be like? Could they have stopped English expansion into the New World?
                        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                        Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                        "Never pet a burning dog."

                        RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                        http://www.mormon.org
                        http://www.sca.org
                        http://www.scv.org/
                        http://www.scouting.org/

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Janos View Post
                          ...and a though-provoking first post at that!

                          That would have been interesting, indeed. Canada as a Scandanavian country! Ha! What would that be like? Could they have stopped English expansion into the New World?
                          I'm not sure if it would have stopped it, but it would have eventually led to the New World being accessed earlier. I made mention of the Spanish pushing north and meeting Indo-Vikings, but more likely that part of the New World would have already been known about to Spain at that time. The colonial conflicts between the European powers would have started a lot earlier in the New World. Or the Native Americans would be prepared for what was to come (thanks to Viking influence).

                          But with Scandinavia Canada in existance, would Cortez, or even Colombus, had the reasons to do what they did in the first place? I still think so, but with different goals in mind this time around.

                          Unless the Vikings managed to colonize all of the New World by that time, what, then, would be the point of Colombus sailing in the first place?

                          And I just thought of this. Suppose the Vikings managed to colonize all of the New World. Then would it be their decendants sailed West across the Atlantic and discovering the Old World for the first time? Maybe Olaf the Indo-Viking lands in Spain and is hailed as a god?

                          I love alternate history, even when I'm not 100% sure of what I'm talking about!
                          The First Amendment applies to SMS, Emails, Blogs, online news, the Fourth applies to your cell phone, computer, and your car, but the Second only applies to muskets?

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                          • #28
                            Contact with Europeans a couple centurys earlier, and a slower movement to the new world due to a less robust European economy and population pressure of the 13th and 14th Centurys. That might give the native Americans more time to recover from the devastating plagues like those that that swept through after the entry of the Spanish in the early 16th Century. Then there is more time to asorb European technology and adapt to larger and different political structures.

                            So as the Europeans accquired the economic power and population pressure to migrate they woud met a recovering and more capable population in at least North America.

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                            • #29
                              The little Ice Age destroyed the Viking Colony in Greenland, and thus severed the link that North American colonies might have had with Iceland.

                              I think that any colony in Vineland would have collapsed and the survivors been assimilated into the native population, and some believe was the case with Roanoke Island.
                              "Why is the Rum gone?"

                              -Captain Jack

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                              • #30
                                The french found red haired indians when they arrived, somewhere up north.

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