History Faculty Publications and Presentations

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The conquest and colonization of Mexico initiated by Hernan Cortes resulted in the fusion of the Indian and Hispanic cultures. This fusion led to the "mestizo" culture. Cortes was the bearer of the Hispanic heritage just as the Aztecs and other Indians in Mexico and the Southwest were the carriers of the Indian heritage. In studying the life of Cortes, he is seen not only as a military conqueror but also as a colonizer in which role he left a more lasting legacy than he did as the victor over the Aztec Empire. This booklet focuses on Cortes' colonizing efforts. In narrating the story, the teacher can stress the religious motivation of Cortes, the building of towns and cities, the introduction of Spanish political and economic institutions, agricultural products, mining and the Spanish language. At the same time the conqueror regarded the Indian as a Spanish citizen, whose civilization had much to offer to enrich what the Spaniard brought. Intended as a teaching tool, the booklet is intended primarily for elementary teachers. However, it can also be profitably used by junior and senior high school teachers. A brief select bibliography is included to provide additional sources which go into greater detail. Added to the bibliography are sources geared to the elementary and secondary levels and audio-visual aid materials.


Part of the The Tinker Pamphlet Series for the Teaching of Mexican American Heritage.

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