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Cartoon by Viv Quillin on the Spanish conquest

The Spanish ‘Conquest’

Terms can be controversial: some feel we shouldn’t refer to the Spanish Conquest of Mexico but rather to the Spanish Invasion or ‘Spanish-Aztec War’, some feel we shouldn’t use such terms as ‘pre-Hispanic’ but rather ‘pre-Cuauhtémoc’, some feel the term ‘Conquistador’ is insidiously romantic - we will be building up a resource bank here of insightful material on the ‘Clash of Cultures’ between ‘indigenous’ Mexica/Aztecs and the Spanish colonizers. Please keep coming back...

Our tongue-in-cheek cartoon above comes courtesy of and thanks to Viv Quillin...

NB Please note that we have several features relating to life in Mexico for the Nahuas after the Spanish invasion in other parts of the website; check for instance our ‘Ask Us’ section...

A few years ago the BBC recorded a discussion on the Siege of Tenochtitlan for the Radio 4 ‘In Our Time’ series. Two of the panellists are on our Panel of Experts. Link below...

Central section of a screen mural by Roberto Cueva del Río

Our ‘Ask Us’ section

‘How long did it take the Aztecs to realise that Cortés was not a god? ‘

‘What did the Aztecs call the Spanish invaders?’

‘What happened straight after Moctezuma’s death?’

The effect of the Spanish invasion on Nahuatl

Hear a BBC podcast on the Siege of Tenochtitlan

Dissertation: ‘Spanish and Nahuatl Views on Smallpox and Demographic Catastrophe in the Conquest of Mexico’

NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers, Oaxaca, 2015 - teaching resources on the Spanish Invasion

Explore a series of interactive paintings of the Conquest - Library of Congress website

Encounters* Countdown: our guide to the quincentennial of the Spanish invasion of Mexico...Month-by-month guide to the quincentennial

of the Spanish invasion of Mexico...

Aztec Hell - Christian MictlanThe Spanish demonised the Aztec underworld

Mictlan - turning it into a place of torment...

IN THE NEWS: gender pay gapIN THE NEWS: the gender pay gap -

see just how wide it was in 1550s New Spain...!

The fate of the wise {italictlamatque} - spiritual leaders of Nahua communitiesHow wise spiritual leaders of Nahua communities

ended up branded as charlatans by the Spanish...

RESOURCE for younger students: the stories of Doña Marina and PocahontasMalinche and Pocahontas: the stories of two women

who survived through a time of great crisis...

‘Conquest’: the impact - expert opinions (1)Experts offer some provocative thoughts

on the impact of the Spanish invasion...

‘Conquest’: the impact - expert opinions (2)The Spanish invasion of Mexico

- the perspective of women...

Europeans admired the ‘razor-sharp’ ingenuity of Aztec artistsThe skills of Aztec artists

were judged ‘razor-sharp’ by Europeans

‘Conquest’: the impact - expert opinions (3)The Spanish-Aztec War was

a ‘failure of basic understanding’...

The Aztecs and the Spanish Conquest for GCSE (I)A new resource for GCSE students

on the Aztecs & the Spanish Conquest

New terms, new resources, ‘New Conquest History’...Conquest, Invasion, or just

‘Spanish-Aztec War’...

Talking a Good Fight: Communication and Conquest (1)The Spanish conquest was a campaign won

mostly through politics and diplomacy...

The burning of [Maya] books‘Memory cannot be burned’ - it finds refuge

‘in mouths that sing the glories of men and gods...’

The Aztecs are back! Paradoxes of deliberate syncretism in Mexican Catholicism todayWhy would a Catholic priest

decide to build an Aztec pyramid?

‘How would the world be different today if the Aztecs had defeated the Conquistadors?’How would the world be different

if the Aztecs had defeated the Spanish?

Privateers, Pirates and Aztec GoldEnglish pirates secured new homes

for Mexican gold in our museums...

Syncretism: Aztec Christians‘Syncretism’: how the Mexica (Aztecs)

became Christians in the sixteenth century...

Conquest and the ‘Stranger Effect’The Spanish Conquest and

the ‘Stranger Effect’...

‘Manuscript of a Dogging’The ‘Manuscript of a Dogging’ is a lasting memorial

to the violence of spiritual as well as military conquest...

Did pre-Columbian dances survive the Conquest?Did any pre-Columbian dances

survive the Spanish Conquest?

The road Cortés followed to reach Tenochtitlán: Mexico is revealed to the world...Follow the road taken by Cortés

to reach Tenochtitlan in 1519...

Just how DID the Aztecs see the Conquistadors?Hear Professor Davíd Carrasco explain for us

how the Aztecs viewed the Spanish invaders

Making Herself Indispensable, Condemned for Surviving: Doña Marina (Part 1)Doña Marina -

a study in survival...

Making Herself Indispensable, Condemned for Surviving: Doña Marina (Part 2)Doña Marina -

a study in survival - Conclusion

What happened to the Aztec gods after the Conquest? (2) Part 1What happened to the Aztec/Mexica gods

after the Spanish Conquest? (2)

What happened to the Aztec gods after the Conquest? (2) ConclusionWhat happened to the Aztec/Mexica gods

after the Spanish Conquest? (2) - Conclusion

Bad omens!Did the Aztecs really know

of their impending doom?