Cacamatzin

Cacamatzin (or Cacama) (1483–1520) was the king of Texcoco,[1]:217 the second most important city of the Aztec Empire.

Cacamatzin was a son of the previous king Nezahualpilli by one of his mistresses. Traditionally, the Texcocan kings were elected by the nobility from the most able of the royal family. Cacamatzin's election to the throne in 1515 was said to have been made under considerable pressure from Moctezuma II, lord of Tenochtitlán. Moctezuma II wished to lessen Texcoco's power in favor of greater centralization in Tenochtitlán.

Moctezuma II, under orders from Cortés, had Cacamatzin arrested "in his own palace while discussing war-preparations". The Caciques of Coyoacan, Iztapalapa, and Tacuba were also arrested.[1]:262–263

Cacamatzin died during the retreat of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, on the La Noche Triste.[1]:302[2]:90

Preceded by
Nezahualpilli
Tlatoani of Texcoco
1515–1520
Succeeded by
Coanacochtzin

References

  1. ^ a b c Diaz, B., 1963, The Conquest of New Spain, London: Penguin Books, ISBN 0140441239
  2. ^ León-Portilla, M. 1992, 'The Broken Spears: The Aztec Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico. Boston: Beacon Press, ISBN 978-0807055014
1483

Year 1483 (MCDLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar).

1520

Year 1520 (MDXX) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Aztec Empire

The Aztec Empire, or the Triple Alliance (Classical Nahuatl: Ēxcān Tlahtōlōyān, [ˈjéːʃkaːn̥ t͡ɬaʔtoːˈlóːjaːn̥]), began as an alliance of three Nahua altepetl city-states: Mexico-Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. These three city-states ruled the area in and around the Valley of Mexico from 1428 until the combined forces of the Spanish conquistadores and their native allies under Hernán Cortés defeated them in 1521.

The Triple Alliance was formed from the victorious factions in a civil war fought between the city of Azcapotzalco and its former tributary provinces. Despite the initial conception of the empire as an alliance of three self-governed city-states, Tenochtitlan quickly became dominant militarily. By the time the Spanish arrived in 1519, the lands of the Alliance were effectively ruled from Tenochtitlan, while the other partners in the alliance had taken subsidiary roles.

The alliance waged wars of conquest and expanded rapidly after its formation. At its height, the alliance controlled most of central Mexico as well as some more distant territories within Mesoamerica, such as the Xoconochco province, an Aztec exclave near the present-day Guatemalan border. Aztec rule has been described by scholars as "hegemonic" or "indirect". The Aztecs left rulers of conquered cities in power so long as they agreed to pay semi-annual tribute to the Alliance, as well as supply military forces when needed for the Aztec war efforts. In return, the imperial authority offered protection and political stability, and facilitated an integrated economic network of diverse lands and peoples who had significant local autonomy.

The state religion of the empire was polytheistic, worshiping a diverse pantheon that included dozens of deities. Many had officially recognized cults large enough so that the deity was represented in the central temple precinct of the capital Tenochtitlan. The imperial cult, specifically, was that of Huitzilopochtli, the distinctive warlike patron god of the Mexica. Peoples in conquered provinces were allowed to retain and freely continue their own religious traditions, so long as they added the imperial god Huitzilopochtli to their local pantheons.

Aztec emperors family tree

The following is a family tree of the Aztec Emperors from 1376 to 1525.

Cacamacihuatl

Cacamacihuatl was a Queen of Tenochtitlan as a wife of the King Huitzilihuitl. She was a mother of Prince Tlacaelel I (she bore him 1397 or 1398) and grandmother of Cacamatzin and Tlilpotoncatzin.

Cacamatzin (tlacochcalcatl)

Cacamatzin was a 15th-century Aztec noble — the eldest son of the cihuacoatl, Tlacaelel — and warrior who held the title of Tlacochcalcatl. His mother was princess Maquiztzin.He had twelve children, only three of whom are known:

A female (name unknown), who married Nezahualpilli, the tlatoani of Texcoco. The pair had a son, named Cacamatzin after his grandfather, who succeeded his father as ruler of Texcoco.

Tlacaelel II, named after his grandfather, who also became cihuacoatl.

Chicuey or Chicome Axochitzin, a warrior whose daughter became the mistress of Juan Rodríguez de Villafuerte, a Spanish conquistador.Cacamatzin was killed by the Purépecha after being captured in battle.

Fall of Tenochtitlan

The Siege of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, was a decisive event in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.

It occurred in 1521 following extensive manipulation of local factions and exploitation of preexisting divisions by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, who was aided by the support of his indigenous allies and his interpreter and companion La Malinche.

Although numerous battles were fought between the Aztec Empire and the Spanish-led coalition, which was itself composed primarily of indigenous (mostly Tlaxcaltec) personnel, it was the siege of Tenochtitlan—its outcome probably largely determined by the effects of a smallpox epidemic (which devastated the Aztec population and dealt a severe blow to the Aztec leadership while leaving an immune Spanish leadership intact)—that directly led to the downfall of the Aztec civilization and marked the end of the first phase of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire.

The conquest of Mexico was a critical stage in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Ultimately, Spain conquered Mexico and thereby gained substantial access to the Pacific Ocean, which meant that the Spanish Empire could finally achieve its original oceanic goal of reaching the Asian markets.

Huehue Quetzalmacatzin

Huehue Quetzalmacatzin was a tlatoani (ruler) of Amaquemecan in 15th-century Mesoamerica.

Ixtlilxochitl II

Ixtlilxochitl II (c. 1500–c. 1550) was the son of Nezahualpilli, king of Texcoco. In 1516 Nezahualpilli died, and the succession was contested by two of his sons, Cacamatzin and Ixtlilxochitl. The former was supported by Moctezuma II, emperor of Mexico, but the latter, appealing to the patriotic sentiment of his nation, would have persuaded them that his brother was too much in the Mexican interest to be true to his own country. A civil war ensued, and ended by a compromise, by which one half of the kingdom, with the capital, remained to Cacamatzin and the northern part to his brother. Ixtlilxochitl became from that time the enemy of Montezuma.

On the arrival of the Spaniards, the young chieftain sent an embassy to Hernán Cortés while he was at Tlaxcala, offering him his services and asking his aid in return. Through the influence of Cortés, Cacamatzin was deposed and Ixtlilxochitl finally placed on the throne. He was faithful to the Spaniards, and fought with them during the time of the conquest. As years passed he became more and more the friend of the conqueror and the enemy of his country and race. His important services have been commemorated by the Spanish historians, who have given him the credit of contributing more than any other chieftain of America to the conquest of the Aztecs.

After the submission of Mexico he was baptised and took the name of Hernan Cortés, after that of the conqueror, who was his godfather on this occasion. Afterward he took great interest in the propagation of Christianity, and brought in a bag the first stones to build the church of the convent of San Francisco in the city of Mexico. He accompanied Cortés on his expedition to Hibueras in 1525.

He threatened the people of Texcoco, including his mother Yacotzin, to convert to Christianity or be killed.In the 17th century, Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxóchitl, one of his descendants, defended Ixtlilxochitl and his actions in the 13th relation of the Historical Compendium of the Kingdom of Texcoco.

La Noche Triste

La Noche Triste ("The Night of Sorrows", literally "The Sad Night") also known as La Noche Victoriosa ("The Night of Victory" or "The Victorious Night") by Toltecayotl traditional groups (in the line of thought of The Broken Spears), occurred on June 30, 1520, was an important event during the Spanish conquest of Mexico, wherein Hernán Cortés and his invading army of Spanish conquistadors and native allies were driven out of the Mexican capital at Tenochtitlan following the death of the Aztec king Moctezuma II, who had been held hostage by the Spaniards.

List of Texcoco rulers

This is a list of the tlatoque of the pre-Columbian altepetl of Texcoco.

Maquiztzin

Maquiztzin was the daughter of the Aztec Tlatoque (ruler) Huehue Quetzalmacatzin and Tlacocihuatzin Ilama, in 15th-century Mesoamerica.

She married Tenochcan Tlacaelel and moved to Tenochtitlan with him. She had five children. Her eldest son was Cacamatzin. One of other children was the great warrior Tlilpotoncatzin. The last child was Princess Xiuhpopocatzin. It is unknown where she went.

She was a grandmother of Tlacaelel II, and an ancestor of Leonor Moctezuma and María Moctezuma.

Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire

The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, or the Spanish–Mexica War (1519–21), was the conquest of the Aztec Empire by the Spanish Empire within the context of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. There are multiple 16th-century narratives of the events by Spanish conquerors, their indigenous allies and the defeated Aztecs. It was not solely a contest between a small contingent of Spaniards defeating the Aztec Empire but rather the creation of a coalition of Spanish invaders with tributaries to the Aztecs, and most especially the Aztecs' indigenous enemies and rivals. They combined forces to defeat the Mexica of Tenochtitlan over a two-year period. For the Spanish, the expedition to Mexico was part of a project of Spanish colonization of the New World after twenty-five years of permanent Spanish settlement and further exploration in the Caribbean.

Following an earlier expedition led by Juan de Grijalva to Yucatán in 1517, Spanish settler, Hernán Cortés, led an expedition (entrada) to Mexico. Two years later, in 1519, Cortés and his retinue set sail from Cuba for Mexico. The Spanish campaign against the Aztec Empire had its final victory on August 13, 1521, when a coalition army of Spanish forces and native Tlaxcalan warriors led by Cortés and Xicotencatl the Younger captured the emperor Cuauhtemoc and Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire. The fall of Tenochtitlan marks the beginning of Spanish rule in central Mexico, and they established their capital of Mexico City on the ruins of Tenochtitlan.

Cortés made alliances with tributaries city-states (altepetl) of the Aztec Empire as well as their political rivals, particularly the Tlaxcalteca and Texcocans, a former partner in the Aztec Triple Alliance. Other city-states also joined, including Cempoala and Huexotzinco and polities bordering Lake Texcoco, the inland lake system of the Valley of Mexico. Particularly important to the Spanish success was a multilingual (Nahuatl, a Maya dialect, and Spanish) indigenous slave woman, known to the Spanish conquistadors as Doña Marina, and generally as La Malinche. After eight months of battles and negotiations, which overcame the diplomatic resistance of the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II to his visit, Cortés arrived in Tenochtitlan on November 8, 1519, where he took up residence with fellow Spaniards and their indigenous allies. When news reached Cortés of the death of several of his men during the Aztec attack on the Totonacs in Veracruz, he took Moctezuma captive, along with Cuitláhuac, his kinsman. Capturing the cacique or indigenous ruler was standard operating procedure for Spaniards in their expansion in the Caribbean, so capturing Moctezuma had considerable precedent.

When Cortés left Tenochtitlan to return to the coast and deal with the expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez, sent to rein in Cortés's expedition that had exceeded its specified limits, Cortés's right-hand man Pedro de Alvarado was left in charge. Alvarado allowed a significant Aztec feast to be celebrated in Tenochtitlan and on the pattern of the earlier massacre in Cholula, closed off the square and massacred the celebrating Aztec noblemen. The official biography of Cortés by Francisco López de Gómara contains a description of the massacre. The Alvarado massacre at the Main Temple of Tenochtitlan precipitated rebellion by the population of the city. Moctezuma was killed, although the sources do not agree on who murdered him. According to one account, when Moctezuma, now seen by the population as a mere puppet of the invading Spaniards, attempted to calm the outraged populace, he was killed by a projectile. According to an indigenous account, the Spanish killed Moctezuma. Cortés had returned to Tenochtitlan and his men fled the capital city during the Noche Triste in June 1520. The Spanish, Tlaxcalans and reinforcements returned a year later on August 13, 1521 to a civilization that had been weakened by famine and smallpox. This made it easier to conquer the remaining Aztecs.Many of those on the Cortés expedition of 1519 had never seen combat before, including Cortés. A whole generation of Spaniards later participated in expeditions in the Caribbean and Tierra Firme (Central America), learning strategy and tactics of successful enterprises. The Spanish conquest of Mexico had antecedents with established practices.The fall of the Aztec Empire was the key event in the formation of the Spanish Empire overseas, with New Spain, which later became Mexico.

Texcoco, State of Mexico

Texcoco (modern Nahuatl pronunciation ) is a city and municipality located in the State of Mexico, 25 km northeast of Mexico City. In the pre-Hispanic era, this was a major Aztec city on the shores of Lake Texcoco. After the Conquest, the city was initially the second most important after Mexico City, but its importance faded over time, becoming more rural in character. Over the colonial and post-independence periods, most of Lake Texcoco was drained and the city is no longer on the shore and much of the municipality is on lakebed. Numerous Aztec archeological finds have been discovered here, including the 125 tonne stone statue of Tlaloc, which now resides at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.Much of Texcoco's recent history involves the clash of the populace with local, state and federal authorities. The most serious of these is the continued attempts to develop an airport here, which despite the saturation of the current Mexico City airport, is opposed by local residents. The city and municipality is home to a number of archeological sites, such as the palace of Nezahualcoyotl, Texcotzingo (Baths of Nezahualcoyotl) and Huexotla. Other important sites include the Cathedral, the Juanino Monastery, and Chapingo Autonomous University. The most important annual festival is the Feria Internacional del Caballo (International Fair of the Horse), which showcases the area’s mostly agricultural economic base.

Texcoco (altepetl)

Texcoco (Classical Nahuatl: Tetzco(h)co pronounced [tetsˈkoʔko]) was a major Acolhua altepetl (city-state) in the central Mexican plateau region of Mesoamerica during the Late Postclassic period of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican chronology. It was situated on the eastern bank of Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico, to the northeast of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. The site of pre-Columbian Texcoco is now subsumed by the modern Mexican municipio of Texcoco and its major settlement, the city formally known as Texcoco de Mora. It also lies within the greater metropolitan area of Mexico City.

Pre-Columbian Texcoco is most noted for its membership in the Aztec Triple Alliance. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, it was one of the largest and most prestigious cities in central Mexico, second only to the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. A survey of Mesoamerican cities estimated that pre-conquest Texcoco had a population of 24,000 and occupied an area of 450 hectares.The people of Tetzcohco were called Tetzcocatl [tet͡sˈkokat͡ɬ] (singular) or Tetzcocah [tet͡sˈkokaʔ] (plural).

Tlacaelel

Tlacaelel I (1397 – 1487) was the principal architect of the Aztec Triple Alliance and hence the Mexica (Aztec) empire. He was the son of Emperor Huitzilihuitl and Queen Cacamacihuatl, nephew of Emperor Itzcoatl, father of poet Macuilxochitzin, and brother of Emperors Chimalpopoca and Moctezuma I.

During the reign of his uncle Itzcoatl, Tlacaelel was given the office of Tlacochcalcatl, but during the war against the Tepanecs in the late 1420s, he was promoted to first adviser to the ruler, a position called Cihuacoatl in Nahuatl, an office that Tlacaelel held during the reigns of four consecutive Tlatoque, until his death in 1487.

Tlacaelel recast or strengthened the concept of the Aztecs as a chosen people, elevated the tribal god/hero Huitzilopochtli to top of the pantheon of gods, and increased militarism. In tandem with this, Tlacaelel is said to have increased the level and prevalence of human sacrifice, particularly during a period of natural disasters that started in 1446 (according to Diego Durán). Durán also states that it was during the reign of Moctezuma I, as an invention of Tlacaelel that the flower wars, in which the Aztecs fought Tlaxcala and other Nahuan city-states, were instigated.

To strengthen the Aztec nobility, he helped create and enforce sumptuary laws, prohibiting commoners from wearing certain adornments such as lip plugs, gold armbands, and cotton cloaks. He also instigated a policy of burning the books of conquered peoples with the aim of erasing all memories of a pre-Aztec past.When he dedicated the seventh reconstruction of the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan, Tlacaelel had brought his nation to the height of its power. The dedication took place in 1484 and was celebrated with the sacrifice of many war captives. After Tlacaelel's death in 1487, the Mexica Empire continued to expand north into the Gran Chichimeca and south toward the Maya lands.

Tlahuicole

Tlahuicole or Tlahuicolli (1497–1518) was a Tlaxcaltec warrior noted for his skill and ethical standards.

Tlilpotoncatzin

Tlilpotonqui or Tlilpotoncatzin (died in the year 11 Reed/1503) was the second cihuacoatl ("president") of Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

Tlilpotoncatzin was the second son of Tlacaelel and Maquiztzin. His father was a son of the second tlatoani ("ruler" or "king") of Tenochtitlan, Huitzilihuitl. While Tlacaelel never became tlatoani himself, as cihuacoatl he played a significant role in the creation of the Aztec empire. His mother was the daughter of Huehue Quetzalmacatzin, king of Itztlacozauhcan in Amaquemecan Chalco. Tlilpotoncatzin succeeded his father as cihuacoatl upon his death in the year 8 Reed (1487).

According to the Crónica mexicayotl of Fernando Alvarado Tezozomoc, composed around 1598, Tlilpotoncatzin was a great, brave warrior. In battle he wore the quetzalpatzactli, a crest of quetzal feathers.Tlilpotoncatzin took at least two wives, both from Amaquemecan: Xiuhtoztzin, the daughter of Yaopaintzin, quauhtlatoani of Tequanipan Huixtoco; and Quauhtlamiyahualtzin, a noblewoman from Acxotlan Cihuateopan. He fathered fourteen children, eleven males and three females. A son by Xiuhtoztzin, Miccacalcatl Tlatletecuintzin, was installed as the ruler of Tequanipan; and one of his daughters, Tzihuacxochitzin II, married Moctezuma II, and gave birth to Leonor Moctezuma and María Moctezuma.Tlilpotoncatzin died in the year 11 Reed (1503). He was succeeded by his nephew Tlacaelel II, the son of his elder brother Cacamatzin.

Zultepec

Zultepec was an Aztec town which had many white-stucco temples and was the home to approximately 5,000 people, mostly priests and farmers. Today Zultepec is known as Calpulalpan which is in the state of Tlaxcala (100 miles east of Mexico City).

A recent archaeological expedition revealed that Aztec warriors captured a caravan of Spanish conquistadors as they traveled to Tenochtitlan in 1520 in response to the murder of Cacamatzin, King of Aztec city,Texcoco. This expedition reveals that the Aztecs did resist the Spanish Conquest.

The Aztecs imprisoned the Spanish caravan and over the course of six months, several hundred Spaniards were sacrificed, tortured and partially eaten. The bones found shows that about 550 victims had their hearts ripped out during ritual offerings as well as hard their bones boiled and scraped clean.[1]

"It was a continuous sacrifice over six months. While the prisoners were listening to their companions being sacrificed, the next ones were being selected," Enrique Martinez, director of the archaeologist dig explained to a visiting reporter from the Reuters news agency.[2]

Initially, the Aztecs welcomed the Spaniards because they believed that they were their returning gods. Montezuma suspected them to be “divine envoys” of the god Quetzalcoatl, who was prophesied to return in 1519 on the Aztec calendar. The Spaniards were led by Hernan Cortes who took advantage of the Aztecs, by taking Montezuma hostage, where he could control the empire through him.[3]

When Cortes found out what was being done to his people in Zultepec he renamed the town Tecuaque which means "where people were eaten" in the indigenous Nahuatl language. He then sent an army to destroy the town.

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