LATS 343 Spring 2013 Conquistadors in the New World

Cross Listed as HIST343
The Spanish conquest of the Americas happened with astonishing rapidity: Christopher Columbus entered the Caribbean in 1492; Hernando Cortes completed the conquest of the Aztecs of central Mexico in 1521; Francisco Pizarro triumphantly entered the Inca capital Cuzco, in Peru, in 1533. Other conquistadors pushed north to the Carolinas and California, south to the Tierra del Fuego and the River Plate, and across the Amazon basin to the Atlantic. "We came," wrote the conquistador Bernal Dias del Castillo, "to serve God, and our King, and to get rich." Their deeds were legendary, the courage, daring, and endurance remarkable. They were also notoriously quarrelsome, greedy, and cruel. Before their onslaught the major civilizations of the New World crumbled--destroyed or changed beyond recognition. Rarely in history have so few conquered so many so quickly. The conquest of the New World has both excited and appalled the human imagination for more than five centuries. Many questions remain to be answered or are still capable of provoking controversy. Who exactly were the conquistadors? What motivated them? What meaning did they themselves assign to their actions? How could they justify their many misdeeds? How did they develop their sense of the Other? Why did resistance by indigenous peoples and regimes ultimately fail? Was the conquest somehow preordained? What mixture of human agency, culture, technology, religion, nature, and biology can best explain the results of this encounter between the conquistadors and the Amerindian worlds?
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on four short essays, class presentations, and a self-scheduled final exam
Additional Info: Not available to be taken Pass/Fail
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: History majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia,HIST Group D Electives - Latin America + Caribbean,HIST Group G Electives - Global History,LATS Countries of Origin + Transnationalism Elect
Enrollment Limit: 30
Expected Enrollment: 30
Class Number: 3527
LATS343-01(S) LEC Conquistadors in the New World Division 2: Social Studies James B. Wood
TF 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Griffin 4 3527
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