BECK index

Mexico to 1768

by Sanderson Beck

Toltecs & Anasazi
Aztecs to 1519
Cortes in Mexico 1519-28
Mexico 1528-80
Cabeza, Coronado, Soto & Menendez
Mexico 1580-1700
Northern Mexico 1580-1700
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Mexico 1700-1768

This chapter has been published in the book Latin America & Canada to 1850. For ordering information please click here.

Toltecs & Anasazi

      In the central highlands of Mexico the Toltecs were dominant from the 10th to the 12th century with their major city at Tollan (Tula). Itzas arrived at Chichén about 918, and Toltec Chichén was not destroyed until about 1250. A Mixtec legend tells of a ruler named Eight-Deer Ocelot-Claw, who succeeded his father as king of Tilantongo at age 19 in 1030, won several battles, married many wives and sired numerous children, went to Tollan, and tried to set up a bureaucratic empire at Tutupec by uniting it with Mixteca Alta and Baja. Eight-Deer had the men of the royal families he conquered sacrificed, and he or his sons married their widows and daughters. When the ruler of Xipe-Bundle died in 1047, Eight-Deer was concerned that some of his relatives would try to rule the city. So he allied himself with the Toltec Four-Tiger and sacrificed his half-brother Twelve-Earthquake. However, his little empire soon failed, and in 1063 Eight-Deer was defeated, captured and sacrificed.
      Toltec legends tell of Quetzalcoatl incarnating as Ce Acatl Topiltzin, son of the Chichimec leader Ce Tecpatl Mixcoatl, who ruled Culhuacan 1122-50. Three years after his father died, Topiltzin went to Tollan and claimed the title of Quetzalcoatl as a divine king. Art, metalwork, and crafts thrived, and everyone prospered. According to Mendieta, Quetzalcoatl did not sacrifice men or animals, and he prohibited war and violence. Tollan had a population of about 120,000. The Annals of Cuauhtitlan told how the wizards tried to trick Quetzalcoatl into offering human sacrifices; but he never did it because he loved the Toltec people. This angered the magicians, and they began to mock him. By tricks and evil deeds (inspired by the evil god Tezcatlipoca) Huemac humiliated Quetzalcoatl, who fled Tollan and set himself on fire to become the morning star (Venus). Huemac was also forced to flee and died in Chapoltepec. Though several versions varied, these legends probably commemorated the fall of Tollan in about 1168. In most accounts Huemac fled to Cincalco, where he committed suicide. The Aztecs used the word toltec to refer to a skilled artisan, and Aztec pottery was found in the ceremonial centers destroyed at Tollan; but who actually destroyed Tollan is unknown.
      After the fall of Tollan the Toltec decline was gradual. For two centuries the basin of Mexico was ruled by various Mexica groups and Chichimecs (Dog People) who invaded the Toltecs from the northwest after their defenses were removed. Chichimec leader Xolotl settled at Tenayuca about 1201 and then made Texcoco a capital. Xolotl’s son Nopaltzin killed Topiltzin’s grandson Nauhyotl, the ruler of Culhuacan, possibly in 1248. Tochintecuhtli and Huetzin seem to have established a kingdom, and the latter was succeeded by Nonoalcatl in 1272.
      To the northwest (in New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona) the Mogollon and Hohokam cultures were influenced by the Anasazi from the north. In the 12th century the Anasazi suffered a half century of droughts, and by the 13th century they had abandoned Chaco Canyon. They moved into the Moteuczoma Valley, which had 30,000 inhabitants while about three thousand lived in the cliffs of the Mesa Verde mountains. About 1400 CE the Hohokam, who had been influenced by Mexican culture through trade, migrated out of the area probably to the south. The Anasazi developed into the Pueblo culture and lived in large communal houses, moving south as the more war-like Navaho and Apaches raided their towns from the north. Then the Pueblos moved east to the Rio Grande Valley. The Navahos took over what had been Anasazi territory, and the Apaches replaced the Mogollons and Hohokams. The Hopi and Zuni had large communities and used rock shelters to defend themselves against the more aggressive Apaches. They also used irrigation canals and hillside terracing for their farming; another withdrawal occurred after the middle of the 15th century. Hopi means peaceful, and they lived communally, emphasizing spiritual principles and the social group rather than individual prominence. Councils of priests made decisions, and warriors acted as police and only for defense.

Aztecs to 1519

      Little is known about the specific ethics of most of the natives in the Americas before the Europeans came, because only the Mayans left writing. Significant exceptions are the Aztecs and Incas because they developed powerful empires and were conquered by the Spaniards. Most of the tribes lived simply and cooperatively, probably with fewer ethical violations. All of the Americas had about a hundred million people, but less than ten million lived north of Mexico.
      In the 13th century Tariacuri planned a Tarascan empire in Tzintzuntzan, where a king would rule guided by the deity Curcaueri; worship of any other patron deity was a capital crime. The gods were given credit for victories in war but did not justify them; wars were not fought for sacrifices, although captives were sacrificed. Tarascans tried to capture the salt deposits at Ixtapan from the Aztecs. The Aztecs went to war for economic purposes. They appointed local administrators, but the Tarascan dynasty did not share power. Aztec legends begin with the Mexica migrating for two centuries after being originally from Aztlan. Their warlike hummingbird god (Huitzilopochtli) symbolized the spirits of fallen warriors. By the end of the 13th century they had settled in Chapoltepec.
      The Mexicas were driven from Chapoltepec about 1315 by Copil, the son of Huitzilopochtli’s sister, whom they had previously abandoned. They soon returned, but four years later they were attacked by a coalition that probably included the Tepanecs. The Mexica ruler Huitzilihuitl was sacrificed in Culhuacan, and they settled just west of there at Tizaapan. The Mexica traded with the Culhuacans and treated them like brothers, intermarrying and becoming Culhua Mexica. Aiding Culhuacan in a war against Xochimilco, they were ordered to take no prisoners and cut their ears off.
      After being vassals to the Tepanecs of Azcapotzalco, the Mexica went south. According to legend they settled in a swampy area where an eagle sat on a cactus with a serpent in its beak, though Mexica had lived there for centuries. Tenochtitlan, an island in a lake, was founded in 1325 and Tlatelolco in 1358; the two cities became rivals. While being ruled by their first king, Acamapichtli (r. 1372-91), the Mexica served as mercenaries for Tepanec king Tezozomoc (r. 1371-1426), helping them to conquer Tenayuca and Culhuacan. The Tepanec empire collected tribute from the Mexica as well as from others. The closest relatives of the late king selected the next Mexica king—Acamapichtli’s son Huitzilihuitl (r. 1391-1414), who was allowed to marry Tezozomoc’s granddaughter. The Mexica helped the Tepanecs conquer Tlaxcala in 1395 and were given some of the acquired lands. Three years later they invaded Cuauhtinchan, and in 1411 the Mexica grabbed Chalco but had to give it up to a coalition that included the Tepanecs. Huitzilihuitl died about 1414 and was succeeded by his son Chimalpopoca.
      Meanwhile Ixtlilxochitl had become king of Texcoco in 1409; after refusing to have Texcoco make cotton into mantles for the Tepanecs, he claimed to be emperor of the Chichimecs. Ixtlilxochitl further aggravated the Tepanecs by rejecting Tezozomoc’s daughter and marrying the sister of Chimalpopoca. Tezozomoc attacked Texcoco in 1415 but was repulsed and was later besieged at Azcapotzalco for several months. The skillful Tezozomoc managed to gain Chalco and Otumba as allies, and together they attacked Texcoco and killed Ixtlilxochitl in 1418. Control of Texcoco was given to the Mexica, but most of the tribute went to the Tepanecs. Ixtlilxochitl’s 16-year-old son Nezahualcoyotl with his friend Coyohua managed to survive and lived in Tenochtitlan for a while; the prince was allowed to return to Texcoco in 1424. Tezozomoc tried to get Coyohua to kill his master, but he refused.
      When water at Tenochtitlan was becoming polluted, an aqueduct was built from Chapoltepec. Conflict over the building materials was said to have caused the death of Tezozomoc in 1426. He was given an elaborate funeral and had chosen as his successor his son Tayauh who was supported by the Mexica. Chimalpopoca’s advice to Tayauh to kill his brother Maxtla was overheard. Maxtla then used the same trick to kill Tayauh, and he had Chimalpopoca captured and killed in Tenochtitlan; his killers also tracked down and murdered Tlacateotl, ruler of Tlatelolco. This story may have been Aztec propaganda to cover up the more probable version that Itzcoatl arranged for Tepanecs from Tacuba to kill Chimalpopoca. Nezahualcoyotl came to Tezozomoc’s funeral but was protected by the occasion from Maxtla, who appointed a bastard brother of Nezahualcoyotl to rule Texcoco; but this young man’s treacherous plot against Nezahualcoyotl failed.
      Itzcoatl was the brother of Huitzilihuitl and became Mexica king in 1427. He was greatly aided by his nephews Moteuczoma Ilhuicamina (Montezuma I) and Tlacaelel. As a diplomat Tlacaelel courageously went to Azcapotzalco. Maxtla claimed his Tepanec people were hostile to the Mexica, and war was ritually declared in 1428. Tlacaelel managed to escape the Tepanecs and returned to Tenochtitlan. There the nobles and warriors were ready to fight, but the common people wanted peace. According to Aztec history the lords promised to sacrifice themselves if they lost, and the people agreed to serve them and pay tribute if they won.
      Persecuted by the Tepanecs, Nezahualcoyotl joined Itzcoatl in an alliance against them. Maxtla had also alienated Cuauhtitlan by his cruel treatment and transferred the slave-dealing center from there to Azcapotzalco. Moteuczoma Ilhuicamina went to Chalco to gain their help; but having been at war with the Mexica for so long, they imprisoned him. He escaped and went on to Huexotzingo, where Cuauhtitlan accounts of Maxtla’s excesses so enraged them that they murdered the Tepanec envoys. Huexotzingo and Tlaxcala helped Nezahualcoyotl regain much of his realm at Texcoco, and together they attacked Azcapotzalco, forcing Maxtla to give up his siege of Tenochtitlan which enabled Moteuczoma to take Tacuba. The allies besieged Azcapotzalco for 114 days until the Tepanec general Mazatl was wounded, and his army fled. The unpopular tyrant Maxtla was captured and sacrificed by Nezahualcoyotl. Most of the land went to the nobles and the warriors rather than the people of the clans who all together only got as much as Tlacaelel and Moteuczoma.
      The lands of the Mexica nobles were farmed by serfs. The state had some lands to supply the government. Some communal lands were farmed by freemen who had to pay tribute. The Mexica king had about four close relatives of important influence but also a larger council of a dozen or so nobles. Warriors were rewarded for their services. Priests were influential nobles who educated other nobles; others were only given military training. Judges and officials were supposed by the historian Sahagun to be impartial, but merchants had privileges and their own law courts. The common people were not allowed to wear fine cotton clothes, jewelry, feathers, or partake of certain foods and drinks such as cocoa; no one was supposed to drink alcohol much until they were past fifty. People could become enslaved for crimes or be sold into it for debt; apparently most war captives were sacrificed. Slavery was not hereditary, though the poor or starving might sell their children.
      Ancient words of advice by Mexica nobles to their children indicate they were motivated by a strong sense of honor and disdained to engage in common trade. They were urged to be clean and pure, and women could avoid poverty by spinning and weaving. Chastity and fidelity to one mate were encouraged, though two or three young men might share a paramour before they were married. Kings and nobles often had more than one wife. Everyone was admonished not to be vain, proud, or praise themselves, which provokes the anger of the Near and Close Lord. Rather one should bow one’s head and be truly meek and humble because the Lord knows one’s heart and sees within us what we merit. The ideal was to be pure of vice and filth, and it was considered a blessing to die in war.
      All the nobles were educated to be priests in the calmecac (school). The rich could get their sons in with gifts, and it was said those with poor gifts were not excluded. The youths slept in the calmecac, and discipline was strict. Serious offenses like being with a woman or drinking could be punished by death, and minor sins, like not awaking to pray at midnight, were purged with bloodletting. During fasts they got only water and plain corn-cakes once a day either at noon or midnight. Verbal discourse was valued, and songs were studied from books. According to writings inscribed during the Spanish period, priests were expected to be chaste, truthful, moderate, and devout. They also claimed that the chief priest called Quetzalcoatl was not selected by lineage but for being the best person with the purest and most compassionate heart. Aztec artists were inspired by the Toltecs, whom they admired. A good feather artist, for example, should be skillful, a master of oneself, and it was his duty to humanize the desires of the people; but a bad artist ignores how things look, is greedy, and scorns other people. A good painter is wise; God is in his heart, and he puts divinity into things and converses with his own heart.
      Tlacaelel served three Mexica kings as cihuacoatl (snake woman); he was an able administrator but may have overseen the book burning under Itzcoatl intended to erase their humiliating Tepanec history. Nezahuacoyotl codified the laws of Texcoco and was known for his wisdom and justice, but he participated in the massacre of Azcapotzalco and the taking of other cities. He went among the poor incognito to learn from them, and in his realm he only allowed war prisoners to be sacrificed. He supervised the construction of dams and canals that greatly enhanced agriculture. The causeway and aqueduct from Chapoltepec to Mexica were begun under Itzcoatl and were completed in 1466. Nezahuacoyotl gave prizes in the arts, crafts, music, and poetry. He wrote poetry about human mortality in this world and immortality in the next; yet he believed songs would last. He felt alone and empty of wisdom but praised the Giver of Life who distributes truth and brings joy.
      Itzcoatl initiated the Mexica (Aztec) empire by conquering Coyoacan, Xochimilco, Cuitlahuac, and the remaining towns in the valley of Mexico. After conquering Cuernavaca, Itzcoatl died in 1440, and Moteuczoma Ilhuicamina was elected king. Moteuczoma was a successful general and also a high priest; he expanded the Mexica empire to the Gulf coast and organized botanical and zoological gardens. He had campaigned against Chalca to gain victims for his coronation. When they captured and killed two sons of Nezahualcoyotl and prepared for war, the Mexica mobilized every man and boy in 1444 and gained the Tepanecs and Acolhuas as allies. The final battle was fought on the feast day of the Chalca god Camaxtli so that they would have captives to sacrifice. The victorious Mexica took five hundred prisoners and sacrificed them. The long war with the Chalca was suspended when the Mexica suffered a great famine, though the Mexica found cause to make the Cohuixcas tributaries in 1448. The need for sacrificial victims stimulated the Mexica, Tepanecs, and Acolhuas in the valley to take on the Cholultecs, Tlascaltecs, and Huexotxincas in ritual combats to gain captives. A young man was not really recognized as a warrior until he had captured a soldier by himself, and it took four captures before he was considered a veteran.
      A plague of locusts had devoured crops in 1446, and floods caused devastation three years later. Nezahualcoyotl oversaw the building of a dike to protect Tenochtitlan. The bad harvest in 1450 was followed by two years in which frosts destroyed the corn (maize) and a year of drought so bad that in 1454 there was no seed to sow. Famine became extreme as people sold themselves and their children into slavery to people along the coast. Mexica rulers prohibited the selling of a child for less than 400 ears of corn. With a new 52-year cycle rains came in 1455; but the Mexica imperial system had broken down, and in superstitious desperation they increased the number of human sacrifices; Moteuczoma and his brother Tlacaelel even planned so-called “wars of flowers” with the Tlaxcala and Huexotzingo for the purpose of getting more victims. Moteuczoma Ilhuicamina led the campaign against the peoples on the Gulf coast, and tribute was exacted from them. He demanded that the people of Cotaxtla supply them with mantles twice as long as before. After many were killed, the common people denounced their leaders and turned them over to the Mexica who replaced the chiefs and doubled their tribute. Prisoners were not sacrificed but were given to the nobles with Tlacaelel receiving a large number.
      Next the Mexica army turned north and invaded the Huastecs, killing and taking captives. Back at Tenochtitlan they were sacrificed at the festival of their own god Xipe Totec after fighting in an arena against better-armed opponents. The captor of the prisoner supervised the ritual. A long war with Chalco finally resulted in their subjugation when three despairing Chalco princes came over to the side of the Mexica in 1465, making it a part of the Aztec empire. The next year Moteuczoma led an attack against Tepeaca and three other towns which agreed to pay tribute and accept Mexica’s god. Moteuczoma Ilhuicamina died in 1468 and left no legitimate sons; his brother Tlacaelel declined to succeed him, and Nezahualcoyotl recommended the 19-year-old prince Axayacatl. He led the campaign to subdue the Cotaxtla rebellion in 1470.
      Nezahualcoyotl died in 1472. Although he had 60 sons and 57 daughters from forty wives, he was succeeded by his oldest legitimate son, 8-year-old Nezahualpilli. Three sons challenged him, but Axayacatl and the Tacuba saved Nezahualpilli by bringing him to Tenochtitlan where he was crowned king of Texcoco. In 1473 some maidens of Tlatelolco complained that they had been ravished by youths from Tenochtitlan. The Tlatelolcan ruler Moquihuix had married Axayacatl’s sister but had rejected her for more attractive concubines. She warned her brother who was able to gather more allies including Texcoco, and they defeated and killed Moquihuix. The Tlatelolcans submitted that they were only merchants and offered tribute; but they were put under a military governor from their neighboring city of Tenochtitlan. Axayacatl used his military power to exact unfair trade agreements, such as from the cities of Xoconoxco (Soconusco) in the east. In 1474 a dispute between Toluca and Tenancingo resulted in the latter asking for help from Axayacatl who took advantage of the conflict to gain tribute from both. Axayacatl was wounded in the thigh, but many captives were gained for the sacrifices to celebrate the inauguration of the Stone of the Sun which weighed 24 tons and became famous as the Aztec Calendar Stone.
      In 1478 the Mexica once again subdued the rebellious Huastecs of Tuxpan; but that year they found tougher resistance from the Tarascans in the north. About 24,000 Mexica took on 40,000 Tarascans; but after two days of fighting they fled, having lost 20,000 men. Nonetheless Matlaltzinco was brought into the Mexica empire. Axayacatl died in 1481 and was succeeded by his older brother Tizoc. Nezahualpilli advised him to take care of widows, orphans, and the elderly as well as his warriors. Tizoc followed the Mexica custom of launching a war to gain sacrificial victims for his coronation by invading Metztitlan in the north; but his campaign was a dismal failure as they lost three hundred men and brought home only forty captives. Tizoc also tried to suppress a rebellion in Toluca, and his battles were commemorated on an extant stone; but he was unpopular and was probably poisoned in 1486 so that his younger brother Ahuitzotl could replace him.
      Ahuitzotl was an aggressive king and began his reign in 1486 by attacking the cities of Xiquipilco, Chiapas, and Xilotepec, providing many victims for his lavish coronation that cost a year’s tribute and to which he invited even his enemies. Ahuitzotl insisted that allies join him in quelling the unrest in the coastal province of Huastec. The pyramids of the Great Temple in Tenochtitlan were inaugurated in 1487 with four days of sacrifices that were reported by several sources to claim an astonishing 80,400 lives. These sacrifices were justified by the belief that such rituals were necessary to keep the sun on its course. The captive warriors were mollified by being honored as gods prior to their hearts being cut out. Next the Mexica king ruthlessly devastated the rebellious cities of Teloloapan and Oztoma, killing all the adults and distributing 40,000 children around the empire.
      Ahuitzotl wanted to colonize some areas with 400 people taken from each of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tacuba, but Nezahualpilli persuaded him to reduce the numbers to half and let people volunteer. Ahuitzotl sent his daughters to be wives of Nezahualpilli who later caught his queen with three lovers and had the four executed. Nezahualpilli was severe in his justice, having also executed two rebellious sons. A judge was condemned to death for hearing a case in his home as was another for favoring a noble over a poor man. His reforms included nullifying a law that made children slaves if their parents were, thus resisting the trend toward more slavery in the late empire.
      Ahuitzotl’s empire enabled the Mexica to gain cotton from the northern coastal region and gold and cochineal from the Oaxaca Zapotecs who revolted against the unfair trade in 1496. Ahuitzotl tried to prevent his victorious warriors from plundering, and they resented his limited sharing of booty. When the rulers of Tehuantepec offered to pay much tribute to prevent a slaughter, Ahuitzotl pleased many by distributing it to his men. When the people of Tehuantepec tried to trade with Xoconoxco, the latter called them cowards for being lackeys of Mexica. Tehuantepec appealed to Ahuitzotl. His armies defeated Xoconoxco; but once again the warriors complained when they were not allowed to pillage. When the city of Tenochtitlan needed fresh water, Ahuitzotl forced the ruler of Coyoacan to make his springs available. Warned that this would cause flooding, Ahuitzotl went ahead anyway; the springs and heavy rains flooded the lagoon, causing much damage before Nezahualpilli could repair the dikes and remove the new dams with help from divers.
      When Ahuitzotl died in 1502, the nobles had several outstanding candidates to choose from for their next king. Nezahualpilli warned that the empire was overextended and that they needed an experienced statesman. They elected Moteuczoma Xocoyotl (Montezuma II), the 34-year-old son of Axayacatl. Moteuczoma was known for his aristocratic attitudes and may even have promised to favor the nobility, for he began his reign by dismissing all the commoners who had worked in the government under Ahuitzotl. The former king had chosen many commoners for their abilities, but Moteuczoma refused even to hire his own half-brothers. Children of slave mothers were definitely rejected, and the only other necessary requirement besides nobility seems to have been their height. Moteuczoma had been found cleaning the temple when he was elected. He was an ascetic disciplinarian who favored strict punishments. He even sent people to bribe judges and punished those who succumbed to the temptation. Once he was surrounded by the nobility, the new king ordered that all those who had served Ahuitzotl were to be executed.
      Moteuczoma Xocoyotl began his military campaigns by attacking Nopallan on the Oaxaca coast. He warned cities that any rebellion would be crushed. At the usual sacrifices during his coronation the guests ate psychedelic mushrooms. After suppressing a rebellion in distant Xoconoxco, where he ordered all those over fifty killed, Moteuczoma made it his policy to consolidate his empire by conquering the independent cities nearest his capital. He bullied the commercial city of Tlatelolco into providing more support for his military expeditions. In 1503 he captured Achiotla in Oaxaca. The next year a war broke out between Tlaxcala and Huexotzingo, usually allies. After the former burned the latter’s crops, Moteuczoma intervened and occupied Huexotzingo but was defeated by the Tlaxcalans. After his army massacred the people of Yanhuitlan, the citizens of Zozollan fled to the mountains. In 1506 the city of Teuctepec sent out an army that was defeated, though the fortress could not be taken. Moteuczoma ordered the many prisoners sacrificed. Threatened with the death of half their population in 1511, the Mixtec city of Tlaxiaco submitted and only had some prisoners sacrificed as gladiators.
      Mexica fought Tlaxcala and its ally Huexotzingo for several years. During this war Moteuczoma Xocoyotl sent the Acolhua army of Nezahualpilli and let them be ambushed as he watched. In 1512 a new stone was dedicated, and 12,000 Mixtecs were sacrificed. Nezahualpilli died in 1515, and Moteuczoma chose his own nephew Cacama as the new king of Texcoco. That year Moteuczoma once again sent his army to occupy Huexotzingo in its battle against Tlaxcala; but most were killed or taken prisoner. Nonetheless Moteuczoma made many other conquests. The Chichimec prince Ixtilxochitl organized a revolt and took his partisans to independent Meztitlan while his brother Cacama was being crowned. In 1517 Ixtilxochitl marched south with a hundred thousand men and gained support from several cities. Moteuczoma sent his general Xochitl, but he was defeated, captured, and burned alive. Ixtilxochitl sent a message to Cacama, and they agreed to divide their kingdom. The Huexotzingo chief captured the Tlascaltec warrior Tlalhuicol and sent him to Moteuczoma who offered him freedom and employed him as a general against the Tarascos. Tlalhuicol returned with spoils but volunteered to be a gladiator, killing eight Anahuac warriors before he was sacrificed.
      The people of Huexotzingo finally made peace with Tlaxcala and returned to their homes in 1518. Moteuczoma Xocoyotl had been receiving premonitions and disastrous omens as well as rumors of invading foreigners. Frustrated that they were saying his empire would fall, he had astrologers, magicians, and sorcerers killed. He was sacrificing more victims to inaugurate the refurbishing with gold of a temple to their war-god Huitzilopochtli when he received definite news of strangers led by Juan de Grijalva. An embassy was sent with generous gifts, but the Spaniards had departed. The next year the ships of Cortes arrived. By then Tenochtitlan had more than 120,000 people and the valley of Mexico more than a million.

Cortes in Mexico 1519-28

      Hernan Cortes was born in Medellin in 1485 and went to Española in 1506 to mine gold, but Governor Ovando made him a notary. During the conquest of Cuba led by Diego Velazquez, Cortes was responsible for making sure the King got one-fifth of the profits from gold and slaves. In 1514 Cortes led a group that wanted more natives for the settlers. He became secretary for Governor Velazquez but was arrested for refusing to wed Catalina; after an escape and recapture, he married her. Cortes was appointed alcalde (mayor) of Santiago.
      In 1517 Cuba’s Governor Velazquez sent Hernandez de Cordoba with three ships west to explore Yucatán. The Mayans at Cape Catoche invited the Spaniards to land, and they read the Requirement. Cordoba took two prisoners they named Melchor and Julian to be interpreters. On the western side of Yucatán they were attacked at night by Maya chief Mochcouoh, and 20 Spaniards were killed. Cordoba had 33 wounds and returned to Cuba. The next year Velazquez appointed his nephew Juan de Grijalva to head an expedition that revisited the island of Cozumel. At Champoton near the scene of the previous conquistador defeat, Grijalva demonstrated their cannons but had one man killed. He went further up the coast to the Tabasco region that was part of the Mexica empire. The Totonacs had been defeated by the Texcocans and by Moteuczoma Ilhuicamina, and they had been paying tribute since Ahuitzotl. They gave the Castilians gold, but Grijalva said he wanted more. He learned of their laws, human sacrifices, and probably about the Mexica empire. Pedro de Alvarado and others wanted more adventure, but Grijalva returned to Cuba, leaving behind only one man by mistake.
      Before Grijalva returned, Velazquez asked Cortes to lead a trading expedition; blasphemy, gambling, and sleeping with native women were to be forbidden. Cortes used his money and borrowed even more. Velazquez provided nearly half the expenses and tried to replace Cortes with Luis de Medina; but the Governor’s messenger was stabbed, and the papers were taken to Cortes. Next Cortes had his men seize all the meat in a Santiago slaughterhouse, and he sent Diego de Ordaz to take over a brigantine carrying supplies to Darien. Cortes left Havana with eleven ships and about 530 Europeans including a few women servants. They also had sixteen horses, thirty crossbowmen, twelve arquebuses, fourteen cannons, cotton armor woven by Cuban native women, and steel armor for the knights.
      Cortes at Cozumel ordered Alvarado’s men to return what they had stolen. The Mayans were friendly and told them that two captured Christians had been brought there. Later Cortes found Geronimo de Aguilar who had been lost with Valdivia after leaving Darien. The bodies of others had been eaten, but Aguilar had learned Chontal Maya and could serve as an interpreter. The Mayans urged Cortes to leave, but he refused. In a battle at Potonchan twenty conquistadors were wounded. The next day Cortes told them that he would treat them as brothers if they laid down their arms. At Centla the Spaniards used horses and killed at least 220 Mayans before a truce was made. Cortes gained an interpreter in the young woman they called “Marina” who knew both Chontal Maya and Nahuatl. During Easter week of 1519 Cortes visited the Totonacs, exchanging gifts. The slave Cuitlalpitoc arrived with food and jewels from the Mexica, and on Easter Sunday the Mexica governor of Cuetlaxtlan, Teudile, ordered his men to build hundreds of huts for the visitors. The ambassador from Moteuczoma Xocoyotl Xocoyotl brought more treasures and witnessed the Castilian display of cannons and horses. Cortes indicated his men were desperate for gold.
      When the latest messengers arrived with news of the strange teules (lords or spirits), Moteuczoma Xocoyotl had two captives sacrificed. He must have thought about Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl because this was 1-Reed, the year in the 52-year cycle in which Quetzalcoatl had arrived and departed to the east; he had also opposed human sacrifices. Moteuczoma sent Cortes golden treasures and jewels related to Quetzalcoatl, and  envoys even dressed Cortes and Alvarado like that god. Cortes said he wanted to visit Moteuczoma, but the Mexica refused and advised him to leave. They stopped supplying food, and the Castilians had to survive on shellfish. Cortes sent Alvarado with a hundred soldiers to take only food, but he was rough on the natives and seized two women himself. Cortes cleverly sent leaders supporting Velazquez away on expeditions and got himself “elected” justicia mayor and captain-general of the territory eventually named New Spain. Francisco de Montejo recommended a site at Quiahuiztlan, and they called the new city Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz.
      The Totonacs told Cortes that the people of Tlaxcala and Huexotzinco were enemies of the Mexica. When Mexican tribute collectors arrived, the wily Cortes persuaded the Quiahuiztlan chief to arrest them. Then Cortes secretly freed two of them, telling them he wanted to be a friend of Moteuczoma. A helmet that Cortes had given Teudile was returned to him filled with gold dust as he had requested. The Totonacs agreed to rebel against Mexica because the Castilians would fight for them. Cortes had the Cempoallan idols destroyed. He sent Montejo and Portocarrero back to Spain to gain the approval of King Carlos (Charles) V. A conspiracy to take a ship and intercept them was discovered, and after a trial Cortes had two leaders hanged. To keep others from leaving he ordered nine of their twelve ships beached, stripped, and the wood used for building. In August 1519 about 300 conquistadors accompanied by 800 serving Campoallans began their march toward the Mexica capital with artillery mounted on the first wheeled vehicles used in North America. Cortes gave inspiring speeches, and his slogan was “Conquer or die.” He arrested and drafted men who had landed from a ship under Alvarez de Pineda from Florida. Zautla chief Olintecle had 30 wives and was a tributary to the Mexica; he gave the Spaniards girls.
      Cortes sent envoys to the Tlaxcalans who had their Otomis attack them, killing two horses; but the Tlaxcalans offered to pay for them. The Tlaxcalans regularly sacrificed hundreds of prisoners to their god Camaxtli. Their general Xicotencatl persuaded his father of the same name and Maxixcatzin to attack the foreigners; but the Castilians defeated them, cruelly mutilated prisoners, and threw priests down from the temples. Cortes later reported that 149,000 men attacked him. Sixty of his men were wounded, and in revenge they burned towns and killed many. Moteuczoma sent more gifts and promised to be a vassal of the Spanish king, asking Cortes not to come. Cortes told his men that if they turned back, their Totonac allies would turn against them. The Tlaxcalan council agreed to make peace with the Spaniards who then entered their city. Cortes accepted three hundred slave girls for his men, and aristocratic daughters were given to his captains; but the Tlaxcalans would not give up their gods. Cortes sent two men ahead to Moteuczoma. At Cholula the Castilians saw the largest pyramid in the world. The Cholulans believed Quetzalcoatl protected them; but when they planned an ambush, Cortes ordered more than a hundred of their leaders killed. This atrocity shattered the rumor that Cortes was Quetzalcoatl returning.
      About a thousand Tlaxcalan allies now replaced the Totonacs who went home. Moteuczoma Xocoyotl sent a man to impersonate him, but the Tlaxcalans told Cortes that he was an impostor. As the Castilians neared Tenochtitlan by reaching Chalco, Moteuczoma wept in public and begged the gods to have pity on his people, drawing his own blood to appease the gods. He sent four Mexican chiefs to Cortes who was allowed to march on the causeways into the island capital in the lake. The Aztec emperor Moteuczoma greeted Cortes with courtesy, and according to several reports he offered to serve the king of Spain. He let his guests stay in the palace of his father Axayacatl. Cortes visited the market of the thriving commercial center of Tlatelolco. When Moteuczoma personally showed him the most sacred shrines of their religion where human sacrifices occurred daily, Cortes gave the Emperor a lecture on the Christian religion. He got permission to build a chapel in their quarters. When his men discovered a secret passage that led to a room full of treasures, Moteuczoma let them keep the gold and gems but got the feathers back.
      The Castilians tried to find more gold, and golden ornaments were melted into bars. Cortes had two younger brothers of Texcoco king Cacama hanged because he believed they were conspiring. Cacama was also arrested and held with Moteuczoma and the lords of Toluca, Itzapalapa, and Tacuba. These captives all agreed to be vassals of Spain, and Moteuczoma did so weeping. Cortes destroyed idols and let the priests remove others. Effigies of the Virgin Mary and St. Christopher were put in the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. Moteuczoma warned the Christians to leave before they were attacked. Cortes had his men build ships to get across the lake.
      Meanwhile Montejo and Portocarrero stopped at Cuba, and word got out. Governor Velazquez failed to stop them but sent Gonzolo de Guzman to Spain to accuse Cortes. Velazquez also chose Panfilo de Narvae to lead an expedition to discipline Cortes. In Seville the treasures brought by Montejo and Portocarrero were confiscated by the House of Trade; but a lawyer hired by Martín Cortés, Hernan’s father, got them back so that they could buy supplies to be sent to Mexico. Judge Vazquez de Ayllon was sent from Santo Domingo in separate ships to prevent conflict between Narvaez and Cortes. Narvaez left Cuba in March 1520 with 900 men on 18 ships and founded a town called San Salvador on the site that is now Veracruz. He proclaimed that Cortes and his men were bad. Narvaez abducted Ayllon and sent him to Cuba; but the judge persuaded his captors to take him to Santo Domingo lest they be hanged. Moteuczoma’s spies brought him messages from Narvaez, and the Mexica emperor told Cortes, urging him to leave. On the coast when men from Narvaez tried to read decrees, Gonzolo de Sandoval declared that Cortes was justicia mayor of New Spain and had them arrested and sent to Cortes at Tenochtitlan. Cortes treated them well, gained information, and sent them back to Narvaez with a load of gold.
      Cortes gathered 340 men at Cholula and left Alvarado with 120 in the capital. Messengers went to the camp of Narvaez and used gold to win over many to Cortes.  Sandoval with sixty men attacked Narvaez when he was sleeping in a thatched hut on top of a pyramid. Narvaez lost an eye in the fighting and surrendered after the hut was set on fire. In this first major battle between Europeans in the new world seventeen were killed. Cortes had Narvaez and Salvatierra put in irons and pardoned the prisoners, conscripting them and those in the new town. Resentment from his own men caused Cortes to send about forty, including a dozen of Narvaez’s captains, on foot; they were captured or killed by Tepeacans at Quechula.
      At Tenochtitlan the Mexicas stopped providing food for Alvarado and his men. Alvarado had relatives of Moteuczoma tortured and believed that an uprising was imminent. He permitted the festival of Tezcatlipoca, but during the frenzy he struck first, slaughtering the noble dancers and spectators in the sacred precinct. Those guarding Moteuczoma murdered many of the imprisoned lords. The Mexicas tried to burn the palace and did burn the four ships. Alvarado held a knife to Moteuczoma and made him tell his people to stop fighting. Several thousand Mexicas had been killed; only a half dozen Castilians had died, but now they were besieged in the palace.
      Cortes gathered his forces at Tlaxcala, and from Tacuba marched back into the capital on 24 June 1520. He refused to speak directly to Moteuczoma Xocoyotl since he had conspired with Narvaez. Cortes allowed his brother Cuitlahuac to leave so they might get food; but he organized resistance. When Diego de Ordaz led 300 men out of the palace, they were pelted with stones, killing a few and wounding 80, including Ordaz and Cortes. Spanish cannons killed scores of Mexicas. Moteuczoma was persuaded to speak again; but the Mexica captains replied that they had elected Cuitlahuac their new lord. Moteuczoma Xocoyotl was hit by stones and died the next morning. That night Cortes fought on the temple of Yopico, and about 20 Castilians were killed. He ordered the captive Mexica lords executed. At midnight about 800 Spaniards tried to sneak out of the Aztec capital; but after crossing four bridges, the Mexicas were alerted. Most of the gold packed on horses was lost. The Spaniards had to swim across the lake, and many with gold bars inside their armor drowned. At least 400 conquistadors died. Some of the Narvaez men may not have known of the escape and were probably captured and sacrificed.
      The wounded Castilians limped back toward Tlaxcala, fighting off guerrilla harassment. Cuitlahuac led a major attack at Otumba but was defeated. Cortes announced that anyone with gold must turn it over to him or Alvarado, causing resentment. Maxixcatzin won a heated argument with the younger Xicotencatl, and Tlaxcala maintained their alliance with the Spaniards; but they demanded Cholula, a fortress in Tenochtitlan, a share of the booty, and no future tribute to anyone. Cortes agreed so that his men could recuperate at Tlaxcala. Resentful soldiers wanted to return to Cuba, but Cortes persuaded them to stay for the sake of honor. He proclaimed that because 870 Castilians and sixty horses had been killed, they would enslave the rebelling Mexicas. They fought the Tepeacans on August 1, killing more than 2,000 and enslaving at least 4,000 women and children.
      Narvaez, or perhaps Alonso de Parada, had brought smallpox to Cozumel, and it quickly spread through the Mayans of Yucatán. An African porter of Narvaez brought the deadly disease to Cempoallan. Unlike the Europeans, the natives had no immunity against smallpox, and many succumbed; in some areas half the people died. By October 1520 smallpox had reached Tenochtitlan, and  Maxixcatzin and Cuitlahuac died. Cuauhtemoc, son of Ahuitzotl, became Mexica emperor; but as leaders died of smallpox, Cortes often selected the new rulers among his allies. In December he proclaimed in his Tlaxcala military and civil ordinances that the primary motivation for his conquest was for the spiritual salvation of the natives.
      Several ships arrived from Cuba, Española, Jamaica, and Spain with supplies, and Cortes managed to incorporate the men into his growing army. Ixtlilxochitl, brother of two Texcoco kings, agreed to fight for the Castilians and proposed their alliance; but when King Coanacochtzin fled, Cortes ordered Texcoco sacked, again killing the men and enslaving the women and children. Coanacochtzin changed his mind. After the Castilians invaded Itzapalapa, the lords of Chalco and Tlamanalco offered to surrender. Fighting in Tacuba lasted six days. Villafaña was hanged for plotting to overthrow Cortes; but the innocent Francisco Verdugo was not blamed for being the intended replacement. In March 1521 Cortes sent Alonso de Mendoza and Diego de Ordaz with a ship of treasures and the first load of corn (maize) from Mexico to Española. Sandoval pacified most of the towns around the lake, and the Castilians attacked Xochimilco on the lake. Tenochtitlan was already suffering from a lack of tribute. Cuauhtemoc complained that their traditional enemies—Tlaxcala, Cholula, and Huexotzinco—had been joined by Texcoco, Chalco, Xochimilco, and Tacuba; but he was determined to fight to a desperate end, ordering even widows to use swords.
      Twelve brigantines had been built for use on the lake. Cortes had about 900 soldiers and thousands of native allies providing supportive labor and warriors. The spring that supplied Tenochtitlan with an aqueduct was blocked, leaving the city brackish water which polluted the lake. The battle for Tenochtitlan began on the first day of June in 1521. The Castilian army was divided into three parts and approached the capital on the causeways aided by the ships and allied canoes. Cortes said he did not want to destroy the city, but to prevent rock throwing from rooftops they demolished the buildings. When two sons of Moteuczoma asked to negotiate, Cuauhtemoc had them executed. The Mexica king appealed to the commercial city of Tlatelolco; their leaders agreed to fight if their city was given control. On the last day of June the Castilians attacked Tlatelolco, but about 20 were killed; 53 were captured and sacrificed on the pyramid in view of Cortes and his officers. In this war few Castilians were killed because the Mexicas usually sought to capture their enemies. This defeat caused most of the native allies to depart.
      Chiefs in Cuernavaca asked Cortes for aid in fighting their enemies, and the general sent Andrés de Tapia to help them defeat the Malinalco. Sandoval’s troops helped the Otomi defeat the Matalcingo. Cuauhtemoc did not try to follow up his victory, and a small force of Tlaxcalans raided the city. Thus the Spaniards regained allies as those in the capital suffered starvation and disease from drinking lake water. On July 27 Alvarado’s men captured the great marketplace of Tlatelolco. On August 12 the Spaniards and their allies broke through, killing and capturing a reported 40,000. The next day Cuauhtemoc tried to escape in a canoe, but he was caught and brought before Cortes who asked about gold and promised he could govern as his vassal.
      Cortes established himself in a palace at Coyoacan and appointed his friends and officers to govern various territories in the former Mexica empire. Its tribute rolls indicated how much could be exacted from 370 towns. Local chiefs were required to provide specified amounts of gold, corn, turkeys, and other goods. Fields in the valley of Mexico had not been sown for at least a year. Repression and torture accompanied the search for gold; but most of the Mexicas cooperated in rebuilding Tenochtitlan, singing as they worked and quickly adapting to European technology. Spaniards resented the small amount of gold they received and suspected that Cortes was hoarding millions. Cortes sent them to found new communities. Sandoval went to subdue Coatzacoalcos, Luis Marin to Oaxaca and Chiapas, Cristobal de Olid to Michoacan, and Alvarado to Guatemala. Cortes himself went to Panuco. Cristobal de Tapia arrived from Española with papers from Bishop Fonseca appointing him governor of New Spain. Cortes refused to see him and fired Olid for accepting Tapia. Other officers met with Tapia and said he was not qualified to govern, and Sandoval made sure he left.
      In Santo Domingo the audiencia gave Cortes permission to conquer all of New Spain, brand slaves, and allot natives to conquistadors in encomiendas. Alonso de Avila helped Cortes gain these concessions and became alcalde mayor of Mexico by April 1522 when he presided over an inquiry. That month the first encomenderos were chosen. Each town was to be protected by a conquistador who was responsible for making the natives Christians and vassals of the Spanish king. In Europe the Emperor Carlos V confirmed Cortes as governor of New Spain in October 1522; but the new treasurer, factor, accountant, and inspector were to have salaries much larger than his. Cortes was joined by his wife Catalina who resented his native concubines and died in suspicious circumstances. Some believed Cortes strangled her; the charges were dropped, and her family won a civil suit.
      Cortes at Panuco ran into an expedition led by Jamaica’s governor Francisco de Garay who had to yield in September 1523 when the royal decree finally arrived. Cortes promulgated the ordinances of New Spain in March 1524. Encomenderos were required to have weapons suitable to the number of Indians under their control, but they also had to make sure thousands of plants were cultivated. Hours of labor were limited from sunrise to one hour before sunset, and attending church on Sundays and holidays was compulsory. Women and boys under twelve could not be made to work on plantations. Labor squads could only be worked for twenty days, and thirty days must pass before they were summoned again. Encomienda Indians could not be used in mines where slaves worked. Every settler was urged to bring his wife from Spain or get married within eighteen months. Municipal officers were appointed by Cortes and met in town councils at least once a week. Monopolies on imported cargoes were prevented by not allowing anyone to buy more than was needed for domestic use in the first ten days. The India council had tried to forbid encomiendas in 1523, but the outcry was so loud that this was repealed three years later. Yet no encomendero was to be allowed more than 300 Indians.
      Cortes was religious and knelt when twelve Franciscans arrived in the summer of 1524 after walking barefoot 270 miles from Veracruz. One friar took the word for “poor,” Motolinia, as his name. They instructed children and began to learn their language. Thousands were baptized, and Cortes helped organize the first council of friars and jurists in 1526. The zealous Franciscans also destroyed 500 temples and 20,000 images in seven years while building more than a hundred churches in Mexico City. Miracles were attributed to the faith of saintly Valencia who died in 1534.
      French pirates had stolen previous treasures that Cortes had sent to his king, and in 1524 he sent more gold and a silver cannon to Carlos V with gold and silver for his father to buy supplies for the colony. Diego de Soto successfully delivered these gifts to Spain in May 1525, but the money for Martín Cortés was confiscated as stolen from the king who feared the growing power of Cortes. Sending men to punish Olid for trying to take over Honduras for Cuba’s governor Velazquez, Cortes went to explore Honduras himself, entrusting his property to mayordomo Rodrigo de Paz, who became alguacil mayor. The general took along Mexica lords, including Cuauhtemoc, as hostages to prevent rebellions but ended up having them hanged for conspiracy.
      While Cortes was away, the four officers appointed  by Charles V governed New Spain. Treasurer Alfonso de Estrada was put in charge of Mexico and was resented by factor Gonzalo de Salazar, inspector Pedro Almindez Chirinos, and accountant Rodrigo de Albornoz who fell ill. Salazar and Chirinos tried to win over justicia mayor Zuazo; but he was incorruptible, and they had him imprisoned with help from Paz. Claiming Cortes was dead, Salazar and Chirinos got Estrada and Albornoz to go along with arresting Paz and torturing his feet to find out where the money of Cortes was hidden. Paz was hanged about the same time Cortes had Cuauhtemoc hanged. Salazar sent out agents to extort treasures. When refugees were forced to leave a church, Father Valencia protested the desecration of a sanctuary by excommunicating the city until the prisoners were restored. In January 1526 a messenger from Cortes secretly arrived, stimulating Estrada and Albornoz to put Salazar and Chirinos in cages. After this misgovernment, Cortes was welcomed back with joy.
      Licentiate Luis Ponce de Leon arrived to conduct a residencia of Cortes. He fell ill; but before he died, he appointed Marcos de Aguilar as alcalde mayor. The aged Aguilar also became sick and appointed Estrada governor. Cortes, suspected of poisoning them, refrained from taking over the government. Estrada sent Diego de Figueroa to the south; but he raided graveyards and extorted contributions, meeting his end when the ship carrying these treasures sank. In August 1527 a royal decree arrived confirming Estrada as governor. Albornoz persuaded him to release Salazar and Chirinos. When Cortes complained angrily after one of his adherents hand was cut off, Estrada ordered him exiled. Cortes sailed for Spain in 1528 to appeal to Emperor Charles V.

Mexico 1528-80

      The aristocratic lawyer Nuño de Guzman was appointed governor of Panuco and began confiscating property on legal technicalities. He seized natives and sold them as slaves, allowing settlers to do the same; about 10,000 were transported in more than twenty ships. Next Guzman was appointed president of an audiencia that began at Mexico City in January 1529. There he continued his plundering and punished rebels with torture and slavery. He arrested 250 soldiers of Cortes, and their property was awarded to the wife of Narvaez. Many punishments were avoided with substantial bribes of the audiencia. The residencia of Cortes began in February. Agents of Cortes fled into a church and were attacked, causing the judges to be excommunicated. Spain confirmed Cortes as captain-general but not as governor, though he was awarded 22 towns and 23,000 vassals.
      In 1530 a royal cedula forbade the taking of slaves, even in war. Next the children of slaves were liberated, and eventually only Africans were held as slaves in America. In 1532 Vasco de Quiroga founded a hospital in Mexico City that combined charity, health, welfare, education, and religious purposes. King Carlos V appointed Antonio de Mendoza viceroy of Mexico in 1530, but he did not arrive there until 1535. African slaves planned a revolt and elected a king; but the plot leaked out, and 24 conspirators were hanged. To prevent this danger Viceroy Mendoza asked the King to prohibit the slave trade.
      On 9 December 1531 the native Juan Diego believed he was told by the Virgin to instruct Bishop Juan de Zumarraga to build a church in Guadalupe. After she appeared to him five times, Diego revealed an image of the Virgin to the bishop that convinced him. Shrines were built in her honor, and the cult spread across Mexico. Seven Augustinians came to Mexico in 1533, and twelve Dominicans arrived three years later. Dominican missionaries led by Diego Carranza peacefully won over the cannibalistic Chontales in Tabasco that had resisted armed conquest. Churches were built, and indigenous beliefs were suppressed. Millions were converted and baptized, more than 500,000 in the year 1537.
      After he returned from Spain and was defended, Guzman decided to lead an expedition to Jalisco with the best-equipped army in America. He and Chirinos cruelly conquered the natives as far as Sonora. After the King revoked Guzman’s license to take slaves, many settlers left. In 1533 his authority was limited to Jalisco, and a new audiencia investigated him. The new bishop of Mexico, Juan de Zumarraga, exposed the misrule of Guzman’s audiencia in a letter. Zumarraga ordered raids on the old religion, and its artifacts were burned in the marketplace. King Carlos appointed licentiate Diego Perez de la Torre governor of New Galicia in 1536 and to take over the residencia of Guzman who was imprisoned. Torre with help from friars treated the natives well, and many returned to their homes. Atrocities still occurred in areas beyond his control, and cacique Guajicar led a revolt in the north. In neighboring Michoacan the Bishop Vasco de Quiroga restricted the encomenderos, enabling the natives to make progress. When Torre died, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado became provisional governor in 1539. Stimulated by stories of seven rich cities, he invaded the north and organized an expedition that explored as far as Kansas. Frustrated fortune hunters disregarded his authority, and he returned to Mexico with only a remnant in 1542. From September of that year Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo explored the California coast until he died on 3 January 1543, succeeded by Bartolomé Ferrelo for three more months.
      Cortes organized a muster of troops who failed so badly that the natives began killing isolated Spaniards. Then this emergency enabled him to raise a strong force to quell the rebellion in 1531. Cortes sent Francisco de Montejo to subjugate the Yucatán peninsula as early as 1527. This bloody war dragged on, and in 1535 no Spaniard was left in Yucatán. Finally in 1541 the natives were defeated and were never able to unite their forces again, though sporadic resistance lasted a few more years. More Spaniards died fighting in Yucatán than in the conquest of both the Aztec and Inca empires. The city of Merida was founded in 1542. Bartolomé de Las Casas urged the Spaniards in Yucatán to liberate their slaves in 1545. The Audiencia of Mexico charged Montejo in 1548 with stealing funds and refusing to free slaves as ordered. He had to agree to let missionaries accompany all his future expeditions. Cortes left Mexico in 1540, struggled with legal battles, and died in Spain in 1547.
      Pedro de Alvarado tried to help New Galicia lieutenant-governor Cristobal de Oñate fight natives in the Mixton War; but while retreating he died after his horse fell on him in 1541. Viceroy Mendoza with a force of 450 Spaniards and 30,000 Tlascalan and Mexica allies joined with Oñate to march on Nochistlan. Mendoza ordered the prisoners enslaved, but the local encomendero Ibarra allowed many to escape to protect his income. Nevertheless the total number of slaves taken from the Mixton War (1540-42) was estimated at 5,000. The New Laws of 1542 prohibited viceroys and governors from such enterprises. In 1545 Mexico was devastated by a new plague called matlazahuatl which killed an estimated 800,000 natives. In 1546 Juan de Tolosa arrived with four Franciscan friars, and by treating the natives kindly they learned of the rich silver lodes that brought colonists to Zacatecas. A new audiencia was named Guadalajara in 1548. The Zapotecs rebelled against Spanish rule in 1550, and two years later the Chichimecs of Zacatecas were led by Maxorro who was eventually captured.
      Luis de Velasco replaced Mendoza as viceroy in 1550. King Carlos urged him to develop public education and found a university in Mexico City in 1551. That year the Crown decreed that 150,000 male slaves and all enslaved women and boys under 14 years of age should be freed. Even the viceroy and audiencias were not allowed to keep servants without paying them fair wages. In 1552 a royal decree allowed encomiendas to be left to the eldest legitimate son, and soon this was extended to future generations, making them perpetual. Yet royal visitador Diego Ramirez reformed the encomienda system by lowering tributes and prosecuting encomenderos for misconduct. Gambling had been prohibited in 1529, but in 1552 a royal monopoly on playing cards began bringing in revenue for the government. In 1557 caciques were ordered not to rob the wages of workers they employed, and the next year the Crown prohibited them from inflicting capital punishment or mutilation. In 1563 Durango was founded in northern Mexico. Governor Diego de Ibarra organized Nombre de Dios, and the next year they built a fort at San Juan. The Franciscans established ten convents by 1590. Four hundred convent towns had churches built mostly by native labor, and the secular parishes and pueblos had as many chapels. Archbishop Alonso de Montufar wrote in a letter in 1556 that gangs of 500, 600, or 1,000 Indians were brought in to work, and they became servants of the friars, nuns, and priests without paying them any wages.
      When Velasco died in 1564, the city council of Mexico sent a message they did not want another viceroy. Martín Cortés, the son of the conquistador and the native Marina, was known as the Marques del Valle. Word that the India council did not assent to making encomiendas perpetual stimulated a conspiracy to make New Spain independent under the Marques. Martin and Luis Cortes were arrested, and the main plotters, brothers Alonso and Gil Gonzales de Avila, were beheaded for treason in 1566. Gaston de Peralta, Marques de Falces, arrived as the new viceroy and sent Martin and Luis Cortes to Spain, releasing others. When royal commissioners Alonso Muñoz and Luis Carrillo arrived, they deposed the new viceroy. To avoid torture, Cristobal de Oñate confessed and testified against many innocent people who were put in newly built dungeons. In 1568 Oñate and two others were hanged, and others were exiled. The elderly Muñoz and Carrillo continued to jail innocent people until petitions sent to Spain resulted in their removal. Martín Cortés regained his property in 1574, but Tehauntepec was taken by the Crown to use as a port and navy yard. Francisco de Ibarra brutally conquered the northwest between 1562 and 1575 and called it Nueva Vizcaya.
      English corsair John Hawkins with nine armed ships seized the island of Sacrificios in 1568. The audiencia agreed to give him provisions if his men did not enter Veracruz. The new viceroy, Martin Enriquez de Almansa (1568-80), exchanged hostages, but Hawkins had to avoid treachery; his men were mistreated, and some were even burned to death. Francis Drake attacked Spaniards in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, sacking Huatulco in Oaxaca in 1578 and exploring the California coast the next year. In 1574 the Inquisition led by Pedro de Moya began prosecuting heretics. From 1576 to 1580 a worse matlazahuatl epidemic carried off two million natives in Mexico but infected few Spaniards.

Cabeza, Coronado, Soto & Menendez

      In April 1528 Panfilo de Narvaez began exploring Florida with 400 men and eighty horses. He cut off the nose of Timucuan chief Ocita and threw his mother to war-hounds that killed her. While pursuing rumors of gold he lost 150 men to disease and attacks by Timucuan warriors. The ships went along the coast for a year, but they never met up with the expedition of Narvaez and departed. The remaining 242 Spaniards built five boats but suffered storms in the Gulf of Mexico and attacks by natives. In November 1528 eighty unarmed and naked survivors landed on the Texas shore and were killed or enslaved by natives; only fifteen in two or three groups survived the first winter on or near Galveston Island. Treasurer Alvarez Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and three other Spaniards escaped from slavery in 1534 and wandered for two years before reaching a Spanish settlement in Mexico. Cabeza de Vaca and the African Estevanico were accepted as medicine men, and Cabeza later published an account of his adventures. He wrote that they were punished until they cooperated in being healers. They prayed and laid their hands on the ill; for this they were well received and attended by many as they traveled from tribe to tribe. Cabeza did not find any idolatry among the Indians. They traveled west near the Rio Grande River among the Coahuiltecans and as far as the Gulf of California. Then they went south toward Mexico City. As they got near Spanish invaders, the natives asked them for protection and did not believe that they were related to the cruel Spaniards. When they met raiders under Diego de Alcaraz, Cabeza made him promise to release the natives; but after they left, Alcaraz went on oppressing them.
      After they returned to Mexico, Estevanico went with Fray Marcos de Niza in 1539 to look for the seven cities of Cibao among the Zunis. Because he was black or had the rattle of their enemy, the Zunis felt Estevanico could not be a prophet and killed him. Niza’s account of a Zuni city with jewels and silversmiths stimulated Francisco Vazquez de Coronado to lead an expedition to search for riches. They demanded food from the Zunis and attacked them if they refused. When he did not find treasures, Coronado called Niza a liar and divided his expedition into three parts. Pedro de Tovar got corn but no gems from the Hopis. The soldiers led by Garcia Lopez de Cardenas discovered the Grand Canyon, and Hernando de Alvarado got food and supplies but no gold from the Pueblos. After a dispute with a Pawnee guide called the Turk, Alvarado captured two chiefs and sent them to Coronado who held them as prisoners. During the winter Coronado took warm clothing from the Pueblos for his soldiers and provoked a revolt called the Tiguex War that lasted three months. Tiwas fled to the mountains, and others were besieged at Moho for fifty days, resulting in two hundred deaths. In the spring the Turk guided Coronado north looking for treasure, but they found only the semi-nomadic Wichitas on the plains of Kansas. The soldiers strangled the Turk, and in 1541 Coronado was kicked in the head by his horse and was carried back to Mexico. All but a hundred men deserted him on the march. After Alcaraz ransomed some chieftains in 1541, the Indians attacked the Spaniards, driving them out of San Geronimo and killing Alcaraz and others in 1542.

      Hernando de Soto financed his own expedition in May 1539 with about 600 soldiers, one hundred servants, nine ships, and many horses, mules, pigs, and war dogs. Cabeza de Vaca declined to go with Soto, but two of his cousins went against his advice. They landed at Tampa Bay and were joined by Juan Ortiz who had been with Narvaez and could translate. Ortiz had been the prisoner of Ocita who tortured him because Narvaez had cut off his nose and killed his mother. Ortiz was helped by a Timucuan princess and escaped to the home of the rival chief Mucozo. Ortiz told Soto that the cacique Urriparacoxi was wealthy because both Ocita and Mucozo paid him tribute. Soto brought chains and collars to enslave the natives. He used a mirror to convince chiefs he was a son of the sun and could tell what they were thinking. Chief Acuera, having suffered before, sent out warriors to behead Spaniards. Fourteen heads were sent to him in three weeks, and Soto left the area. Uriutina had two brothers willing to capitulate, but he resisted. When his promises of spiritual protection failed, after fighting awhile his warriors fled. Uriutina was the last to be captured. The prisoners pretended to submit until Uriutina got an opportunity to punch Soto in the face, causing bleeding from his eyes, nose, and mouth. After Uriutina was killed, Soto ordered Indian collaborators to shoot arrows into the two hundred prisoners. Soto gradually recovered by wearing a face plaster for weeks. The Spaniards moved west, seized food, and fought off Apalachee attacks.
      In the spring of 1540 Soto’s expedition moved north, looting and burning towns. At Cofitachequi by the Wateree River (in South Carolina) a queen ruled the town and gave Soto a string of pearls to avoid violence. After a feast the Spaniards plundered graves looking for pearls. Soto gave his soldiers pearls to make rosaries. He took the queen with him, but she escaped. Soto reported that the people in the Coosa area by the Coosawattee River had more wealth. In October they went down the Alabama River. King Tascalusa of the Atahachi seemed to cooperate but ordered a surprise attack with several thousand warriors. Five Spaniards were quickly struck down; but Soto and his guards mounted horses and battled their way out. Some of the army’s porters joined the opposition. Then four squadrons of Spaniards assaulted and burned the town of Mabila, killing thousands. Soto and many Spaniards were wounded, and they wintered in Chickasaw territory.
      In 1541 Soto and his men crossed the Mississippi River. The paramount chief Quigualtam of the Natchez refused to obey Soto’s summons, but the conquistador died of illness on 21 May 1542. Luis de Moscoso de Alvarado led the expedition; but many died of disease because they disdained to use an herb recommended by natives. The survivors were pursued by various tribes, built ships, and fled down the Mississippi, reaching Mexico with 311 men in September 1543. In 1549 friar Luis Cancer de Barbastro led a missionary expedition to Florida; but they landed where Spaniards had previously abused the natives, and they were all massacred.
      The native peoples were devastated by Soto’s expedition and the disease that spread from a sick Spanish slave who had been left behind. When Tristan de Luna led 500 soldiers and a thousand colonists in 1559 he found the capital city of Coosa had been reduced from five hundred houses to fifty. Mound temples were in ruins, and cornfields had been abandoned. Juan Pardo explored the Carolinas 1566-68 and found that most towns only had a few refugees left. Surviving Apalachees, Timucuans, and Calusas eventually joined the Creeks (Muskogees), who along with the Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws lived in farming communities, instead of in towns. Some of the Creeks moved south and became the Seminoles.

      The French admiral Gaspar de Coligny wanted to make the new world a haven for persecuted Protestants and urged Jean Ribaut to lead an expedition of Huguenots to found Port Royal (South Carolina) in 1562. Like most Europeans, they took advantage of native hospitality and failed to provide for themselves. Hunger led to mutiny, abandoning the colony, and a desperate return voyage in which one was eaten by the others. The next year Ribaut sent René de Laudonniere with skilled artisans but still no farmers. They built Fort Caroline, but this time mutiny led to buccaneering. The pirates captured a Spanish vessel but were arrested and taken to Havana. Laudonniere had four other mutineers shot. The French helped the chief Outina fight his enemies but still lacked food. Slave-trader John Hawkins generously traded them a ship for their cannons and other useless items. Then Ribaut arrived with seven ships.
      News of French intruders in America motivated Felipe  (Philip) II to send Pedro Menendez de Avilés. He financed his own expedition with a thousand men and five hundred slaves, and his Spanish fleet showed up one week after Ribaut in 1565. Menendez told the French that he came to kill all the Lutherans. He went to St. Augustine, where the Africans built a fort. They marched north on land and made a surprise attack on Fort Caroline. Laudonniere escaped, but Menendez ordered 142 people killed for being Protestants. Meanwhile the ships of Ribaut were wrecked; 200 of his men surrendered and then were slaughtered by Menendez. Ribaut and most of his 350 remaining men were also murdered by the fanatical Spaniard, and the rest were sent to the galleys by King Felipe II. Dominique de Gourgues had previously been a captive in a Spanish galley, and he enlisted 200 men to gain revenge in 1567. Natives led by Satouriona, who had turned hostile to the Spaniards, helped the French massacre the garrison of 400, a few being hanged for being traitors, robbers, and murderers, not for being Spanish, just as Menendez had executed men for being Lutherans, not for being French. Menendez was in Spain, and he came back to rebuild the fort. Jesuits arrived in 1570, but the next year abused Indians murdered Spaniards, causing even the Jesuits to leave Florida.

Mexico 1580-1700

      Pedro de Moya became archbishop and viceroy in 1584. He strictly enforced laws, hanged many, and sent 3,300,000 silver ducats and 1,100 gold marks to the royal treasury before he was replaced the following year by the Marques de Villamanrique. In 1583 a judge of the audiencia, Diego Garcia de Palacio, wrote in a treatise that soldiers usually leave the moral responsibility of the war to the prince; but if the war is so unjust that even the soldiers see it, they may obey God instead of the prince. Pirates led by Thomas Cavendish plundered the coasts of South America in 1587 and captured valuable cargo from the Philippines headed for Acapulco. The Italian engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli was hired to design forts for Cartagena, Puerto Bello, Veracruz, Havana, and San Juan in Puerto Rico; these were expensive but reduced piracy. By 1595 ten inquisitions had been held, and thousands of spectators attended in an amphitheater. The Inquisition punished thousands for “relapsing into Judaism,” bigamy, sorcery, and blasphemy, including Portuguese for political reasons; several victims were burned. In 1596 Luis de Carvajal, his mother, and two sisters were executed for practicing Judaism; he was resented by priests for trying to secularize education.
      The mestizo son of a Chichimec mother, Captain Miguel Caldera, functioned as a diplomat between the Spaniards and the Chichimecs starting in 1587 and mediated peace treaties, which under Viceroy Luis de Velasco II greatly reduced the Indian wars. Caldera’s approach offered protection of pacified natives, provisions to sustain them, and education in agriculture as well as religion. In 1591 his plan of moving Tlaxcalan families into Chichimec country was implemented to stabilize the peace.
      King Felipe II needed money for his European wars and forced Mexico to give him loans; this doubled the tribute natives had to pay. Yet his income from the new world had reached its height in the 1590s at 2,500,000 ducats annually. By the end of the 16th century wars, pestilence, and pushing people off their land had reduced the native population of Mexico from about 25 million in 1519 to about one million. Increasing numbers of African slaves were imported; many Africans married native women, producing mestizos called zambos which some considered unruly. In 1600 the estimated number of these Afromestizos was 140,000. That year Martin Gonzalez de Cellorigo wrote that the Spanish empire had created illusions of prosperity but actually had caused many to abandon productive pursuits in order to seek treasure in the Indies.
      Spain’s trade with Mexico flourished, and in the first decade of the 17th century the tax on merchandise yielded the government 2,671,190 pesos. By then nearly a 100,000 Spaniards and their descendants were living in New Spain (Mexico). The Franciscans had 712 monasteries, the Augustinians 90, and the Dominicans 69. Children born out of wedlock were very common in 17th century Mexico—about one third of descendants of Spaniards and two-thirds of others. The double standard was prevalent as women were expected to be virgins when wed; but the men were not. In the 16th century Spaniards had been encouraged to marry native cacicas, but in the next two centuries having native or mestiza concubines became more and more common. Women who entered convents had to take an additional vow of enclosure, and unlike monks, they were not allowed to leave the convents. Nearly five dozen convents were founded in Mexico between 1550 and 1811. Bernardo de Balbuena described Mexico City in his poem Grandeza mexicana in 1604.
      In 1602 a cedula advised the public hiring of natives instead of repartimientos, but speculators connived with judges to get many workers and charge others higher rates, causing the system to be abandoned. From 1603 through 1605 about 225,000 natives were resettled in civil congregations. To prevent revolts a 1609 decree ordered that provisions and clothing be sold to natives at reasonable prices. Not more than one-seventh of a village could be away at work, and fair wages must be paid. That year African slaves revolted at Veracruz, and in 1610 Indians rebelled at Durango. Luis de Velasco governed New Spain a second time from 1607 to 1611. Archbishop Garcia Guerra governed New Spain for only eight months before he died. In the interim the audiencia hanged 33 Africans on doubtful evidence after their driving pigs to slaughter caused panic. The Marques de Guadalcazar arrived as viceroy in October 1612, and in 1620 he was promoted to be viceroy of Peru. A Jesuit preacher criticized the corruption of government and was arrested.
      The Marques de Gelves became viceroy in 1621 and quickly implemented numerous reforms. The King’s slaves were only for royal service and could no longer be used by officials or private individuals. On his journey to the capital Gelves made sure that all services were paid for at the highest rate, and he would not accept any gifts. He cut back and reformed the bloated administration of Guadalcazar. Gelves promptly took care of delayed business. He ordered that no distinction between the rich and poor should affect justice, and he would not allow a magistrate to sit on a case in which he had an interest. Officials guilty of stealing were punished. License to carry arms was limited to those of good character, and he suppressed drunkenness, gambling, and other vices. He made free Africans and mulattoes register and pay taxes. He stopped the practice of selling votes, and he made those who embezzled funds pay back the government. He ended the contraband trade between Acapulco and Peru, and he put honest men in charge of the supplies sent to the Philippines. Under his management a million pesos were sent to the King in 1622 and a million and a half the next year.
      These policies brought Gelves into conflict with many people. The senior oidor (judge) Pedro de Gaviria refused to follow his orders and was put under house arrest. Other judges and officials were kept at the city hall or were dismissed. Archbishop Juan Perez de la Serna was popular for his charity to the poor, and he resented the reforms of the ecclesiastical court. By the end of 1623 Gelves was opposed by the Archbishop, friars, the audiencia (judges), and the cabildo (council). When the corrupt Metepec mayor Varaez while on bail took sanctuary to avoid imprisonment, Archbishop Serna excommunicated his accuser, judges, guards, and even their lawyer. When Viceroy Gelves arrested his notary for contempt, Serna excommunicated Gelves who in turn fined the Archbishop. A papal delegate sided with Gelves, and Serna was banished. When the Viceroy’s officer Terrones was ashamed to take the Archbishop by force, Serna put an interdict on the capital. Public opinion supported Archbishop Serna; Varaez was released while the Viceroy’s officers opened fire on assailants to protect the prisons. As Gelves fled to the San Francisco convent in a disguise, rioting erupted. Gaviria had proclaimed himself captain-general, and he turned the citizens to restoring order. The next morning Serna lifted the interdict, and Gelves was found and put under guard. The Viceroy’s documents were sent with a treasure fleet that was wrecked, losing two million pesos in precious metals. Serna left Mexico for Spain in the spring. In the next eight months the end of the reforms caused so much corruption and disorder that Gelves became popular. The court appointed Galicia governor Cerralvo viceroy, and in October he removed the excommunication from Gelves who was cleared in his residencia trial of fifteen months.
      Francisco Manso y Zuñiga became archbishop in 1628, but he too came into conflict with the Viceroy and was recalled in 1635. Spain appealed for money from Mexico to support its wars, but in 1628 the Dutch admiral Piet Heyn captured a fleet carrying twelve million pesos worth of bullion. The next year Mexico City was inundated with rain, and the flooding lasted four years. A tax on imported wine was imposed to relieve the funds of the city which spent nearly three million pesos in 1637 on drainage works.
      To the west in New Galicia (Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, and Zacatecas), Governor Diego Nuñez de Morquecho (1629-32) enforced the royal decrees against slavery by limiting a  native’s credit to five pesos so that they would not suffer perpetual peonage. To the east in New Leon, Governor Martin de Zavala treated the natives harshly and provoked a rebellion that lasted eight years until 1637, when some natives fled to Tamaulipas.
      In 1633 the Crown abolished the labor exploitation of repartimiento except in the mining industry. Viceroy Cerralvo had governed well and retired in 1635. The Marques de Cadereita was the next viceroy, and he was succeeded by the Duke of Escalona in 1640. He came into conflict with the visitador Juan de Palafox who arrived on the same fleet to be bishop of Puebla. His investigations showed that much money was taken from the treasury for a fleet that was hardly seaworthy and too small with the result that a storm destroyed the fleet, losing eight million pesos. When Spain went to war with Portugal in 1640, Escalona and other Portuguese were suspected and were ordered to give up their fire-arms. The decree making Palafox viceroy arrived in May 1642, but in his residencia Escalona was not convicted of disloyalty. Palafox drew no salary and was replaced in October. The Bacalar Indians rebelled in Yucatán between 1636 and 1644. By 1650 about 120,000 Africans were in New Spain, and their numbers would double by the end of the colonial period.
      The Count of Baños became viceroy in 1660, and by acting selfishly and arrogantly he quickly became unpopular. He tried to destroy all the letters from Spain that indicated he was replaced by Archbishop Diego Osorio; but eventually a letter from a ship that ran ashore got through to Osorio, and Baños was removed. Those he had exiled returned, and other abuses were reformed. Antonio Sebastián de Toledo, the Marques de Mancera, arrived as the new viceroy in 1664. Much progress was made on the Mexico cathedral, the largest in the world, and it was dedicated in 1667. In 1672 English buccaneers raided villages around the Goazacoalco River. The next year a famine was alleviated by the Viceroy and the city council. Fray Payo Enriquez de Rivera became viceroy in 1674, and he extended the work of the Bethlehemites from Guatemala to Mexico. He was also a poet and was a friend of Juana Inés. Gold coins were minted in Mexico in 1679. A four-volume compilation (Recopilacion de leyes de los reynos de las Indias) with about 6,500 laws was published in 1681 and became the standard reference work.
      The Marques de Laguna became viceroy in 1680 and prepared defenses for the attacks by buccaneers. Nicholas Van Horn and Laurent (Lorencillo) attacked Veracruz in May 1683 with 800 men. They imprisoned 6,000 people in churches without food or water for three days while they abused the women and plundered the city. The governor paid a ransom of 70,000 pesos. About 1,500 prisoners were taken to an island for ten days until a ransom of 150,000 pesos was paid. More than three hundred people were killed in the raid that cost several million pesos in damages. The buccaneers selected the most attractive women and left with them and 1,300 Africans and mulattoes. The booty was divided into 1,200 shares with each getting 800 pesos. Van Horn took eighty shares but quarreled with Laurent over his portion. In a duel Van Horn’s wrist was wounded, and fifteen days later he died of an infection. A year later Tampico was raided by pirates. In July 1684 Laurent besieged and captured Campeche and marched to Merida, but the rovers were driven back. Soon after the Count of Galve became viceroy in 1688 news arrived that corsairs had attacked Acaponeta in New Galicia. War with France in 1689 led to imprisoning French subjects in Mexico City. A squadron of six ships with 2,600 men sailed from Veracruz and attacked northern Santo Domingo, killing 500 French.
      In 1692 the price of grain and corn multiplied several times, but daily distribution from the public granary kept people in the city from starving. On the evening of June 7 the supply ran out, and native women complained. The next day some women tried to take some corn, and their leaders were whipped and beaten. About 200 women went to the palace of the Archbishop and then to the viceregal palace and back, and an injured woman died. Now men joined the protest, and the crowd swelled to 10,000. After the Archbishop fled, the palace was set on fire. The rioting turned to looting, and the Viceroy’s soldiers started to fire on the crowd; but the religious persuaded them not to kill innocent people. Many government buildings were destroyed, and a hundred natives and three Spaniards were killed. Because many natives were intoxicated, the use or sale of pulque was prohibited. The viceregal palace was rebuilt in grand style and took a century to complete. The Count of Moteuczoma was married to a descendant of the Aztec emperor, and he became viceroy in 1696. He tried to improve social conditions, especially for the Indians, and he had the fortifications of the city and the coast strengthened.

Northern Mexico 1580-1700

      In 1581 Francisco Sanchez Chamuscado led an expedition to look for gold in New Mexico; but two years later the force led by Antonio de Espejo learned that the missionaries left behind had been killed. In 1590-91 Castaño de Sosa went up the Pecos River with 170 people to start a colony, but he was not authorized by the Crown and was taken back to Mexico in chains. The Portuguese Francisco Leiva Bonilla also led a private venture about 1595. The governor sent a party that discouraged some, and later Juan de Humaña killed Bonilla in a quarrel. Jesuits were sent to northern Mexico in the 1590s, founding a college in 1593 and baptizing 4,000 natives by 1597.
      Juan de Oñate was given a contract by the Viceroy in 1595; but he was delayed by a new viceroy and did not establish an outpost at Taos until 1598. Like Coronado, he ordered the natives to evacuate a town for his men. Seven chieftains representing 34 pueblos submitted to his authority in July at Santo Domingo. The Acoma warrior Zutacapan organized resistance, but the elder Chumpo persuaded the Sky City of cliff dwellers to welcome the strangers peacefully. They provided corn, turkey, and water, and Oñate moved on. However, a month later Juan Zaldivar complained it was taking too long to grind the corn. When a Spaniard took a turkey, a fight broke out, killing Juan Zaldivar and all but four of his men. Oñate sent seventy soldiers under his brother Vicente Zaldivar to punish the Acomas, and they killed 800 and captured 80 men with 500 women and children. They were all sentenced to 20 years of indentured servitude, and the men each had a foot cut off. In 1601 Oñate led 80 soldiers northeast and on the Matanza plain killed a thousand Escanjaques. Oñate was named adelantado (governor) the next year. In 1605 he explored to the west as far as the mouth of the Colorado River. Oñate was replaced for mismanagement in 1608.
      In 1601 the Acaxées gathered five thousand men from the mountains of Topia and San Andreas and attacked villages and mining camps. When Governor Urdiñola sent sixty troops, the Acaxées withdrew to the mountains and used guerrilla tactics. Urdiñola wisely treated the women captives well, and Padre Hernando Santaren persuaded the Acaxées to rebuild the forty burned churches. Thousands were baptized, and nine missionaries by 1608 were working in the region. Their southern neighbors, the Xiximes, revolted in 1610, but their two strongholds were reduced by 200 Spaniards and 1,100 Indians; ten of the eleven rebel leaders were hanged. The next year 7,000 Xiximes were settled into villages under padres Santaren and Alonso Gomez.
      The missionary Juan Fonte attended a meeting of 800 Tarahumaras in 1607, and he worked to build up communities until he was killed during the Tepehuan rebellion of 1616. The Spaniards exploiting the silver mines around Durango caused numerous conflicts. Many Tepehuans followed Quautlatas, who advocated rejecting the missionaries’ gods and driving them from the territory. Three expeditions of Spanish soldiers from Durango were required before the rebellion was suppressed in 1618  when Quautlatas and their military leader Cogoxito were killed. The Tepehuans had killed ten friars and about 200 Spaniards; but a thousand warriors, women and children were captured, and their fields were ravaged. Within five years seven Jesuits had returned and repaired the image of the Virgin Mary. Gradually the Tepehuans left the mountains to return to pueblo life. A silver strike at Parral in 1631 brought new problems as Spanish law allowed mine owners to use force in recruiting non-Christian Indians; often they did not pay wages for the first two months.

      Also in northern Mexico in 1599 Captain Diego de Hurdaide began subjugating the Sinaloas, Tehuecos, Zuaques, and Ahomes along the Fuerte River, and he governed Sinaloa until 1626. Five Jesuit missionaries founded eight missions in 1600, and most of the 850 baptisms in 1602 were in the new Guazave district. The Mayos and Yaquis spoke Cahitan and were larger and more organized tribes. In 1601 the Mayos requested missionaries, and the Yaquis negotiated with Hurdaide through the Mayo leaders Osameai and Bothisuame. The Jesuits baptized thousands, and by 1604 Padre Velasco had compiled the grammar and vocabulary of local languages. That year Hurdaide defeated revolting Bacoburitos.
      In 1610 the Yaquis made peace with the Spaniards but refused to surrender the apostate Ocoroni chief Lautaro who had taken refuge with them. When some Christian Indians sent to retrieve him were killed, Hurdaide went with 40 soldiers and 2,000 allies and battled 8,000 warriors. In a second encounter the allies fled. The friendly Mayos helped negotiate a peace treaty in April 1610, and the Yaquis requested missionaries. Three years later missionaries moved into Sonora. In 1614 Pedro Mendez went with Hurdaide to Camoa. The Mayos built churches in seven towns as 16,000 were baptized, and by 1619 nearly 30,000 Yaquis had been baptized. Jesuit records recorded 30,000 baptisms in 1620, and the next year 86,340 Christian Indians were living in 55 villages. Captain Pedro de Perea governed from 1626 to 1640, and in 1632 his raid into the mountains killed 800 rebels. The Jesuits counted more than 300,000 baptisms and had 35 missions in Sinaloa and Sonora by 1645, the year Padre Ribas published his historical account in Triumphs of the Faith. This region was relatively peaceful for the next century.

      In the Tarahumara lowlands by the 1640s the Jesuits had established four missions.  Some apostate Indians turned anti-Spanish, and two of their rebel leaders were executed in 1648. Two years later a missionary and the soldier protecting him were crucified. In 1652 a new missionary was killed, and the new chapel was destroyed. Jesuit expansion revived in the 1670s, but new mining activity in 1685 led to the rebellion of 1690 that was aggravated by epidemics of measles in 1693 and smallpox in 1695. The next year Captain Retana arrested sixty or more Indians he suspected of preparing for war and had them killed, putting the heads of thirty on sticks. This provoked a major revolt in Upper Tarahumara that lasted two years. The conquest wars in Tarahumara ended in 1698.

      Jesuits began arriving in Guale on the east coast north of Florida in 1566, but they had little influence on the natives. A few Franciscans came in 1573, but they did not operate much in Guale until 1596. They held services and baptized Indians. In September 1597 the friar Pedro Corpa was murdered in his church at Tolomato for objecting to the pagan Juanillo being the chief of Guale. The Indians revolted and killed four more missionaries, though some were protected by friendly Indians. Governor Gonzalo Mendez Canzo from St. Augustine used 150 soldiers to suppress the uprising. Juanillo was eventually killed fighting other Indians in the interior. Bishop Fray de las Cabezas Altamirano of Santiago visited St. Augustine during Easter week in 1606 and confirmed more than a thousand Indians.

      In New Mexico the capital was moved from San Gabriel to Santa Fe in 1609. The natives the Spaniards called Pueblos had a feminist society in which women’s advice was valued; they grew corn (maize), beans, and squash. By 1630 fifty Franciscans were working in 25 missions and had baptized 60,000. Missionaries quarreled with Governor Luis Rosas from 1637 to 1641, and the people of Taos killed their missionary and destroyed their church. In the 1650s Governor Lopez used large forces of Indians to collect supplies of salt, piñon nuts, and hides, and this prevented them from working in agriculture. Civil authorities criticized the missionaries for whipping Indians as punishment for not attending Mass.
      Popé from San Juan was a leader in the revival of the native religion in the 1670s. He was not allowed to conduct his rituals, and he had secret meetings about how the gods were saying the Spaniards must leave their land. Governor Juan Francisco de Treviño had him imprisoned and whipped in 1675. The Spanish government used force to try to stop the renewal of the traditional religion, and 47 leaders, including Popé, were tried in Santa Fe for witchcraft and sorcery; three were hanged, and the rest were whipped and imprisoned. A delegation of seventy Christian Tewas from the Rio Grande pueblos went to Santa Fe and threatened a revolt if the prisoners were not released. With only about 2,800 Spaniards among 16,000 Indians, they freed them.
      Popé planned an uprising and had his son-in-law Nicolas Bua stoned for suspected treachery. In August 1680 while uprisings were occurring in Taos, Santa Clara, Picuris, Santa Cruz, and other pueblos, Popé led Tanos and united Pueblos in an attack on Santa Fe. The Spaniards had only fifty troops in the capital and tried to negotiate. During a siege of nine days the town around the fort was burned, and the inhabitants of Santa Fe fled. After a desperate sortie by the Spaniards, the Indians fled to the hills, leaving behind three hundred dead. Tewas and Tiwas from Taos joined the revolt, and within a few days they killed 21 out of 33 missionaries and 375 colonists. In 1681 Governor Antonio Otermin burned Tiwa villages and took 519 prisoners. Most of the Spaniards fled to El Paso which was founded as a presidio to protect New Mexico. Three new pueblos were also founded in the south at Senecu, Socorro, and Isleta. Popé restored the ancestral religion and banned the Spanish language and Christian names, but he despotically had dissidents put to death and claimed beautiful women for himself and his officers. After a drought he was deposed, but Popé was elected again in 1688 shortly before his death. The Apaches and Yutas used the opportunity to increase their raiding, and after this they spread the use of horses throughout their region. Jironza de Cruzat attacked the Queres at Cia and killed 600 apostates.
      The region was not reconquered by the Spaniards until 1692. Diego de Vargas was able to get the rebel pueblos to submit by peaceful means except for battles with Apaches while the friars baptized 2,214 children. In December 1693 Tanos at Santa Fe resisted being transferred and were reinforced by Tewas. After nine were killed, seventy warriors surrendered; but Vargas had them shot and distributed the 400 women and children as enslaved “hostages.” After the Jemez rebellion killed six missionaries and 21 other Spaniards in 1696, Vargas finally squelched the resistance of the Rio Grande Pueblos. In 1697 he was replaced by Pedro Rodriguez Cubero. Many settlers were upset because their Indian slaves had been restored to the pueblos to win their good will. Vargas was convicted of embezzlement and for shooting the Tanos captives at Santa Fe. His property was confiscated, and he was imprisoned for nearly three years. An investigation exonerated Vargas, and he was later re-appointed governor. Many apostate Pueblos took refuge in Moqui (Hopi) country.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

      Juana Inés de Asbaje was born near Mexico City in 1648, the illegitimate daughter of a Spanish captain and a Creole woman. With help from her older sister she began to read at the age of three and became an intellectual prodigy. About the age of seven her mother would not let her attend the university disguised as a boy; but punishment did not stop her from reading books from her grandfather’s library. She studied various subjects and began writing poetry at the age of eight. In 1859 she learned Latin with Martín de Olivas. She lived with her aunt’s family in Mexico City and began writing one-act plays (loas). Juana became a maid-in-waiting at Viceroy Mancera’s court in 1664. She took the name Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, but in 1668 she found that a Carmelite convent was too strict for her and left in November after three months.
      To show off her knowledge of science as well as the humanities, the Viceroy arranged for Sor Juana to be questioned by forty university professors. She gained respect but was completely disinclined to matrimony, and in February 1669 she entered the convent of San Jeronimo. She became a Hieronimite nun and spent the rest of her life there. She wanted to live alone free of obligations so that she could pursue her studies and writing. She acquired many books and some scientific instruments. She wrote on spiritual topics and in 1776 began anonymously publishing Villancicos (carols) for Mexico City’s Metropolitan Church. In 1680 Tomás Antonio de la Cerda, Marquess de la Laguna, became viceroy, and he and his wife María Luis befriended Sor Juana. Their vice-regal court protected her intellectual salons, but in 1682 the new archbishop of Mexico City, Aguiar y Seijas, began criticizing her.
      Juana Inés wrote the comedy of manners, The Trials of a Noble House, based on a play by Calderon, and it was performed in 1683. She lost her protection at court when the Marques de Laguna and his wife went back to Spain in 1688; but he published an anthology of her poetry the next year. Sor Juana wrote the play Love, the Greater Labyrinth about Theseus and the Minotaur, and it was performed in 1689. She wrote the sacramental dramas The Martyr of the Sacrament: Saint Hermenegild, The Scepter of Joseph about the son of Jacob, and The Divine Narcissus. Hermenegild, the son of Spain’s Visigothic King Leovigild, became a Catholic and was killed in 585. The loa preceding El Divino Narciso portrays a Spanish couple in America confronting an Indian pair who believe in the god of seeds, song, and dance. They conclude that the great god of the seeds is also the Lord of all humanity. Her longest work, Allegorical Neptune, was published in 1690 as a mirror for princes that emphasized wisdom as the most important virtue for a monarch. She mixed Greco-Roman myths with Egyptian religion by making Isis the influential mother of Neptune. In her Letter of Monterrey she wrote,

Women feel that men surpass them,
and that I seem to place myself on a level with men;
some wish that I did not know so much; others say
that I ought to know more to merit such applause.1

She also wrote, “Only God’s grace and assistance can make a saint.”2
      When Sor Juana’s close friend, the  Countess of Paredes, went back to Spain, she arranged the publishing of the first anthology of Sor Juana’s writings in 1689. A second volume would be printed in 1692, and a third after her death in 1695. Those books referred to her as the “Tenth Muse” and the “Mexican Phoenix.”
      In December 1690 the Puebla Bishop Manuel de Fernández de Santa Cruz asked Sor Juana to write a commentary on a famous sermon given by the Portuguese Jesuit Antonio de Vieira on Maundy Thursday in 1650 at Lisbon. Santa Cruz without her knowledge published it as a Carta atenagorica (Letter Worthy of Athena), and he included his own critical letter under the pseudonym Sor Filotea urging her to give up secular learning to perfect herself in the religious life. On 1 March 1691 she published her Response to Sor Filotea which brought upon her persecution from Archbishop Francisco Aguiar y Seijas. In this work she described her intellectual quests and advocated for the education of women. She argued that she felt compelled to write and study by divine influence, that theology should be approached based on secular learning, that history confirmed that women could study and write, and that the minds of women and men have a common divine origin. She learned from experience and wrote,

I tried to elevate these studies to the service of God,
because the final goal to which I aspired
was to study theology, and it seemed
a disgraceful incompetence, in as far as I was a Catholic,
not to know everything which can be attained
by natural means of the divine mysteries.3

      In a society under the threat of the Inquisition Sor Juana found that a head with knowledge could expect no other crown but one of thorns. When forbidden to read books, she studied the things God had created. In her 1691 poem “First Dream” she suggested that the inner life is more real than the outer world; through dreams she could escape from the world. In 1693 she gave up her intellectual pursuits and sold her library of four thousand books and her scientific and musical instruments to devote herself to the religious life of helping the poor. On 5 March 1694 she signed a confession of faith in her own blood and renounced profane studies. She took care of her sisters during an epidemic and died of the illness on 17 April 1695.

Mexico 1700-1768

      When the War of the Spanish Succession began in 1701, Viceroy Montañez was ordered to increase the garrison at Veracruz to 6,000 men, and he induced men to volunteer by arresting idlers. The next year a shipment worth 17 million pesos was sunk and lost after it reached Cadiz. The Duke of Albuquerque was viceroy 1702-11 and was considered fair and energetic. He cleverly called in a wealthy man and made him pay his debt to a complaining widow. However, the law courts were so corrupt that the rich laughed at charges while the poor were rigorously treated. Alcaldes mayores took bribes and committed perjury. To stop the brigands the Viceroy turned to the court of the Sacred Brotherhood. In 1710 the people of Querétaro got Miguel Velazquez appointed alcalde of the Santa Hermandad, and his enforcement measures were upheld by Mexico’s criminal court in 1719 and by royal cedula in 1722. He died in 1732 and was succeeded by his son Jose Velezquez who suppressed brigands until his death in 1756.
      Viceroy Linares (1711-16) tried to improve justice and administration, but an earthquake on 16 August 1711 lasted a half hour and devastated Mexico City. Early frosts in 1713 led to famine and pestilence. After Indians in New Leon killed a thousand Spaniards in six years, Linares appointed Francisco Barbadillo governor in 1715, and he founded settlements for 5,000 Indian families from Tamaulipas. Also that year Gabriel Guerrero de Ardila used 800 cavalry to force a treaty on the natives in Sierra Gorda territory. Settlers often provoked the Indians to revolt so that they could make them slaves. Linares extended charity to relieve the poor, and he left generous gifts in his will to worthy causes. However, his successor, the Marques de Valero, was criticized for paying himself a salary of 27,000 pesos a year. A famine hit Texas, and provisions were sent to the governor of Coahuila. Elsewhere mines, crops, and trade prospered. In 1717 an expedition from Veracruz went to Campeche and attacked buccaneers on the island they named Carmen. Barbadillo was recalled from New Leon in 1719, and the incompetent policies of Pedro de Zaravia Cortes caused disorders and revolts. The French attacked Pensacola, Florida in 1719, but they withdrew from Texas in 1721. Viceroy Valero (1716-22) patronized native women, and the first convent for cacicas was founded in 1724.
      Archbishop Jose Lanciego (1713-28) was known for his charity and friendship for the Indians. In the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht the English were given a monopoly on importing African slaves. King Felipe V and Queen Anne were each to receive one quarter of the profits. The English also engaged in much contraband trade. By the time this was annulled in 1750 the English slavers and smugglers had made an estimated 224 million pesos compared to 62 million for the Spanish galleons.
      In Nayarit on the west coast of New Galicia a few people kept to the Aztec traditions. In 1701 when Governor Gutierre persuaded Captain Francesco Bracamonte to try to subjugate them, the Nayarits blocked his advances. They allowed no European to enter their territory, and the peaceful effort led by the Franciscan Margil de Jesus failed in 1711. Five years later General Gregorio Matias de Mendiola with thirty Spaniards and a hundred Indians forced the Nayarits to submit to Felipe V, but they refused to give up their religion. In 1721 the chief (tonati) and two dozen Nayarits traveled with Captain Torres to Mexico City, and they made a treaty admitting Jesuit instructors while protecting their rights. When they returned, an inconclusive battle took place. The tonati became a fugitive among his people, was captured the next year, and was baptized in 1725. The Nayarits accepted the teachings of the missionaries, and after 1767 the seven Jesuits were eventually replaced by twelve Franciscans. The government monopoly on mercury was enforced in 1730 by prohibiting its mining in New Galicia. Mercury could only be bought in large quantities, and the purchaser also became responsible for the expected tax on the silver produced with it; these policies helped tax collection but drove all but the wealthy out of silver production. New Galicia produced much wealth for Mexico.
      Viceroy Casafuerte (1722-34) abolished the practice of selling offices, and he had an aqueduct built to supply water to the city of Querétaro. In 1735 a mulatto spread a rumor in the Cordoba region of Veracruz that slaves had been freed by the King and were illegally kept in bondage. The militias were called out, and a force of 600 Spaniards crushed the insurgents; leaders were executed, and others were tortured. The island of San Juan de Ulua off Veracruz had a fortress from the time it was visited by Thomas Gage in 1625, and in 1746 a wall around the city was completed and mounted with 120 guns. The only periodical that was allowed to publish political news was the Gaceta de Mexico, which had been founded in 1722. In 1734 Jose de Escandon pacified the Sierra Gorda by taking 400 prisoners and punishing the rebel leaders; but instead of enslaving the natives he treated them well with beneficial results.

      Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino worked with the Upper Pimas from 1686 until his death in 1711. He founded the Dolores mission in 1687 and gave more instruction before baptism but still had baptized 800 by 1689. He tried to persuade Spaniards that the Pimas were friendly by giving them personal tours, and he crossed Gila to visit the Colorado Yumas. In 1695 Pimas of Tubutama killed an Opata overseer and two others. General Jironza led Spanish soldiers and a few Seris into Pima territory. Kino arranged a meeting with immunity. When a man was pointed out as guilty of killing the overseer, a Spanish officer beheaded him. The Pimas were upset, and Spanish and Seri soldiers quickly killed fifty Pimas including their peaceful chief of El Tupo. This led to war until the Tubutamans responsible for planning the killing of the Opatas were turned over to the Spaniards. Kino baptized 40,000 people and distributed cattle to the Santa Cruz settlements. The Pimas often served as allies in the Spaniards’ battles against the Apaches. In 1722 citizens of San Juan Bautista asked that the Jesuits be removed so that mission lands and cattle could be given to the Indians.
      A silver rush in Tarahumara met with little resistance in 1709. That year the city of Chihuahua was founded. Spaniards were allowed to force up to four percent of the Christian Indians to work as servants, but this was usually exceeded. As mining developed in Alamos and Sonora, Spanish settlers arrived in the 1730s. In 1740 Juan Calixto raised an army of 6,000 warriors who shouted in favor of the King and the blessed Mary but fought against bad government. They killed a local governor and took over the towns in the region. Baltazar led the Yaquis with support from the Lower Pimas and Mayos. Augustin de Vildosola defended Tecoripa and claimed the Spaniards killed 5,000 Indians in two battles. More than a thousand Spaniards were also killed during this revolt. Juan Ignacio Muni, a Yaqui, resented the whipping of a relative by missionaries, but he negotiated with Governor Manuel Huidobro (1734-41) and was appointed captain-general of the Yaqui and Mayo territory. Huidobro was replaced by Vildosola who executed Muni and three others for allegedly plotting to drive out the Spaniards. Six years later Vildosola was removed for financial improprieties.

      In northern Mexico in 1700 Governor Cubero would not agree to a peace treaty with the Moquis (Hopis) because they insisted on maintaining their own religion. The next year Cubero invaded the Moquis and killed some but released the captives. The town of Zuñi was left alone. Zunis had refused to revolt against the missionaries in 1702, and four years later Moquis (Hopis) attacked Christian Zunis.
      The Sumas revolted in 1712, but they were subjugated by Captain Antonio Valverde and settled near El Paso. The next year Captain Serna used 400 soldiers and allies to defeat the Apache Navajos. The Navahos were the northernmost Apaches. As they developed a more settled life, the Navahos became an independent nation. Governor Felix Martinez with 68 soldiers marched against the Moquis (Hopis) in 1716. Viceroy Valero summoned Governor Martinez, and Valverde eventually became governor for four years. In 1719 he attacked the Utes and Comanches.
      Not many Spaniards had ventured into California since Sebastian Vizcaino had explored the coast and discovered Monterey Bay in December 1602. In February 1697 Viceroy Moteuczoma granted padre Juan Maria Salvatierra a license to convert Californians at his own expense if he claimed the land in the name of the Spanish king. Salvatierra founded the first mission in Baja California at Loreto in October. Gradually more missions were added. In 1734 the Manila galleon put in for the first time at San Bernabé near the cape to treat sailors with scurvy. That year the mulatto chief Chicori and the zambo (Indian mulatto) Boton complained about the law against polygamy and instigated a rebellion that caused the padres to take refuge at Loreto. When a boat from the Manila galleon San Cristobal went ashore at San Bernabé in 1735, all thirteen men were massacred. Governor Huidrobo was ordered to invade Baja California; but he did not listen to the padres, and the rebels avoided his forces. Eventually the Jesuits devised a way of drawing them into battle, and the Indians were routed. More soldiers were sent to the area, and one was assigned to guard each padre. The southern tribes continued to rebel in the 1740s. The men complained they needed wives; but the Yaqui women the Jesuits brought over rejected the southerners. Franciscans continued their efforts to convert Moquis (Hopis), but Carlos Delgado’s claim that he baptized 5,000 by 1744 turned out to be Navahos.

      When war threatened along the gulf coast in 1746, the popular José de Escandon was able to raise 750 expeditionary forces and settle 2,500 families of Spaniards and converted Indians in the last part of the coast to be pacified. His judgment and skill attracted natives to the missions. Viceroy Juan Francisco de Güemes of Revillagigedo (1746-55) extended protection to Escandon. Commerce made him rich, but he also increased the prosperity of Mexico and the royal revenue. In contrast, his successor Agustín de Ahumada y Villalón, the Marques de la Amarillas, (1755-60) was poor because of his honesty and generosity. In 1756 he stopped the priests in Puebla from manufacturing the alcoholic aguardiente, running gambling houses, and selling clerical offices. He helped Governor Miguel Sesma pacify Indians in Coahuila. He sent aid to the Philippines and to those in Florida fighting the British.
      On 12 November 1761 the shaman Jacinto Uc de los Santos proclaimed himself in the village of Cisteil in Yucatán the savior to help the Mayans overcome the Spaniards. One week later he was crowned King Canek Moctezuma and was worshipped as a human god. When a Spanish merchant insulted him, he had his followers kill him. He set up a government over Yucatán and called for the death of Spaniards with reprieves for women who married Mayans. When twenty Spanish soldiers came to Cisteil, six soldiers and eight Mayans were killed in the skirmish. The next Spanish expedition with 500 soldiers attacked 1,500 Mayans on November 26 and burned the village, causing the death of about 500 Mayans including eight leaders. Canek escaped to Huntulchac with 300 men, but Canek and 125 men were captured at Sibac. On December 14 Canek and seven others were hanged, and 200 others were punished with 200 lashes and cutting off an ear.
      Joaquin de Montserrat, the Marques de Cruillas was Viceroy of New Spain 1760-66. In 1761 a smallpox epidemic killed 80,000 people in Puebla and 14,000 in Mexico City. The government spent its funds taking care of the sick. Spain declared war on the British in 1762, and Viceroy Montserrat reorganized the colonial army, fortified Vera Cruz, and raised more troops accepting mestizos, Africans, and mulattoes but not Indians. In the treaty signed on 10 February 1763 Spain received Louisiana and regained Havana and Manila, gave Florida to England, and recognized Belize as English.
      Viceroy Carlos Francisco de Croix (1766-71) supported the visitador José de Galvez who reformed the financial administration of Mexico 1765-71 to increase revenue. He reorganized the customs houses, taxed the popular alcoholic pulque, added supervision to the royal playing-card monopoly, put the gunpowder monopoly under salaried officials, and made the new tobacco monopoly more efficient and lucrative. Tax revenue nearly doubled from 1760 to 1780. He reformed the corrupt repartimiento system by which an alcalde (mayor) made a pact with a rich merchant and loaned livestock, seeds, tools, and other things with interest while also keeping much of the Indians’ tribute. Galvez cut the price of mercury from Spain in half in order to expand silver production, granted tax exemptions to those who improved mining facilities, exempted sales tax on supplies and raw materials, and reduced their price on gunpowder by 25%. Between 1761 and 1800 Mexico sent more than 90 million pesos to the royal coffers in Spain.

      In 1744 padres Carlos Delgado and Irigoyen visited the Navahos, and the next year they went to Moqui towns and counted more than ten thousand, bringing back 441 converts. Their report persuaded King Felipe V to tell Viceroy Pedro Cebrian to support the Franciscans. In 1746 the Viceroy authorized four missions in Navaho country, but by 1750 this attempted conversion was considered a failure. Meanwhile in 1747 Governor Joaquin Codallos with a force of 500 that included Ute allies attacked raiding Comanches and killed 107, capturing 206. The next year 600 Comanches, who had not participated in the war but had purchased rifles from French traders, were received at Taos. In 1751 Governor Tomas Velez Cachupin marched against Comanches and killed 101. Another revolt in the Upper Pimas was led by the ambitious Luis Oacpicagigua in 1751. In 1755 missionaries went to convert Moquis, but they were countered by arguments against being enslaved to the alcaldes. Governor Manuel Portillo Urrisola led an attack that killed 400 Comanches at Taos in 1761.


1. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Religion, Art and Feminism by Pamela Kirk, p. 35.
2. Ibid., p. 36.
3. Ibid., p. 130.

Copyright © 2006, 2012, 2021 by Sanderson Beck

This chapter has been published in the book Latin America & Canada to 1850. For ordering information please click here.

Latin America & Canada 1850-1935

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