Was La Malinche a technical traitor

9 Endlose Conquista278 The publishing house of Jacob Cromberger, who was of German descent in Seville, published the second and third letter reports in 1522 and 1523, the fourth appeared in 1525 in Toledo. The publications with sensational headlines were quickly translated into various European languages. In February 1524, for example, a Latin edition appeared in Nuremberg, to which the first pictorial representation of Tenochtitlan in Europe was attached. When the publication of the reports of letters was banned in 1527 at the instigation of Pánfilo de Narváez, the fame of Cortés and his version of the conquest had already spread widely. The publication ban was lifted in the same year, but there was no new edition in Spain for around two hundred years and the first Mexican edition was not published until 1770.35 The height of power Cortés was able to see the positive developments in Europe in mid-1522 don't know anything yet. It would take more than a year for royal powers to arrive in Mexico. But that didn't stop him from acting like a viceroy. Although he usually dressed relatively simply in "black silk", he surrounded himself with a large retinue of chamberlains, servants and officials. Four indigenous nobles rode with him when he traveled, and officials with officials preceded him. As before, when the tlatoani approached, the indigenous peoples threw themselves to the ground when the captain general passed. Because of his enormous power, some contemporary observers doubted his loyalty to the emperor, although in the opinion of others there was no reason to do so.36 When the royal documents finally arrived in the autumn of 1523 and the following year, Bishop Fonseca and Governor Velázquez, his two most stubborn opponents, died, he undoubtedly felt at the height of his power. Cortés had baptized the country New Spain in order to know that it would be directly subordinate to the crown. The boundaries of the new country were not clearly outlined in his charter of governor. Because of the lack of geographical knowledge of the region, this was not even feasible. The opportunity to expand and start new cities was an integral part of the colonial program. The use of the word “new” when naming places or territories was also intended to establish itself as a model in many European languages ​​and to demonstrate solidarity with the old homeland. After consolidating their rule, the Spaniards and their allies now wanted to enlarge this "new" Spain and the wealth that was believed to be in the south in particular. In addition, after Velázquez's death there were still potential competitors such as Pedro Arias de Avila, known as Pedrarias, who had been governor of Darién in present-day Panama since 1514, and above all the ambitious Garay.37 After his failures, Garay issued another armada in 1523 a dozen ships and more than eight hundred soldiers together 1524 contained the first pictorial representation of Tenochtitlan in Europe and was reprinted countless times. The anonymous author claimed that the map was based on an indigenous template, but it is based heavily on European conventions. The map shows both civilization through the orderly cityscape and barbarism through the human sacrifices in the city center. 9 endless conquest men and this time he personally commanded the troops. At the end of July, he landed north of Pánuco on the Río Palmas and founded the city of Garayana. From there, Garay and his men made their way on the arduous overland route to Santesteban del Puerto. Despite the friendly welcome that Cortés ’governor Vallejo gave to Garay’s deputy, Gonzalo de Ocampo, who had been sent in advance, clashes developed between the Spaniards in the period that followed. At this point, on September 13, 1523, two cousins ​​of Cortés, Rodrigo de Paz and Francisco de las Casas, brought the royal powers and a decree prohibiting Garay from settling in Pánuco.38 Cortés immediately sent an embassy under the orders of Alvarado and Sandoval to Garay and invited him to Tenochtitlan, where he received him respectfully and hospitably, "as a real brother." While he was still there, Garay suddenly died of an upset stomach at the end of December 1523 under unexplained circumstances. According to Cortés, the “brother” had taken the news that the Huaxtec had used the discord among the Spaniards to an uprising “so to heart that he fell sick with grief, so much so that he died within three days life parted. ”39 This eliminated another serious competitor, while in the province of Pánuco the war against the Huaxtecs was waged particularly cruelly. There were heavy losses on both sides, but ultimately the Spaniards and their allies were able to prevail. The leaders of the Huaxtecs were burned alive.40 Both in the campaigns in Pánuco and in other ventures, the involvement of indigenous conquistadors remained of great importance. The fact that they were ready to fight alongside the Spaniards even after the fall of Tenochtitlan shows that they were not only interested in throwing off the Aztec yoke and joyfully embracing Christianity, as they later often claimed in their chronicles. Rather, they also had the conquest of land and slaves in mind. For the allied Tlaxcalteks, for example, Christianity, the spread of which Cortés and his men always proclaimed, was a religion based on conquest, like so many pre-Hispanic beliefs. They documented their participation in the wars and triumphs many decades later in the large representations of the Lienzos of Tlaxcala, Quauhquechollan and Analco. The troop contingents of the Mexica, who now took part in many military campaigns, were by no means just hostages taken to prevent an uprising in the capital; they pursued their own goals in order to create a place for themselves in the new constellation of powers.41 The cooperation was supposed to Success again when Cortés commissioned his confidante Alvarado with the conquest of Guatemala and the exploration of a sea connection between the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea and the "Southern Sea". At the same time, Cortés, who had just been promoted to governor, wanted to expand his sphere of influence as far south as possible and to gain access to the riches of the region, which he had first heard of in 1521. As early as 1522 he had sent two Spanish scouts with some indigenous companions to the Maya. Allegedly, envoys of the K’iche and the Kaqchikel came to Tenochtitlan and swore allegiance to the crown. A little later, Spanish allies in Soconusco complained about attacks by the Maya. This is said to have been decisive for Cortés' decision to send Alvarado on December 13, 1523.42 Alvarado, who had advanced deep into Oaxaca as early as 1522 and then "pacified" the region around Tututepec on the Pacific coast, gathered indigenous allies in the Neighboring regions and in Oaxaca. Together with them he moved across the isthmus of Tehuantepec along the Pacific coast towards Guatemala. This campaign can also be understood as a continuation of the pre-Hispanic expansion under Moteuczoma into the cocoa-rich Soconusco, because the Tlatoani had probably already planned an attack on the region. Pedro de Alvarado had allies under his command from many cities who - again with their own leaders - went into the field in December, the classic war season before the rainy harvest season. Although the number of indigenous allies had decreased overall due to the epidemics, thousands of Nahua, Zapotecs and Mixtecs still took part in this campaign as porters, soldiers, officers and settlers with their own specific goals.43 Before the Spaniards their diseases were already in Guatemala arrived and the great death had begun. Around three years later, the allies in the highlands encountered stiff resistance from the church. Alvarado and his troops won several battles in February 1524 and destroyed the capital of the K’iche, Q’umarkaj. By the end of 1523 they had found new supporters in the Kaqchikel, who in turn were enemies with the K’iche. In order to get rid of the invaders as quickly as possible, the Kaqchikel declared themselves pro forma ready to recognize the sovereignty of the Spanish king and to grant tributes. Because of the excessive demands for tribute, the war broke out as early as August 1524 and lasted six years. In addition, the allies had to fight and subjugate the numerous independent Mayan cities individually. It was not until 1530 that the troops achieved a temporary “pacification” of the highlands. Many Mesoamerican allies were deliberately settled in the conquered Maya areas in order to ensure a certain control through ethnic differentiation. In large parts of today's Guatemala, however, the Conquista was far from over.44 Fig. 25: Lienzo von Quauhquechollan This section from the Lienzo von Quauhquechollan shows the fraternization of the prince of this place near Cholula with the leader of the Spaniards. Together with Alvarado, warriors and porters moved to Guatemala. The high point of power 283 The neighboring region of Hibueras (also Higueras) bordering Guatemala, today's Honduras, was also a destination for expansion to the south, because Cortés had learned of the supposedly great wealth of these countries. Allegedly, instead of the usual “lead weights mixed with copper, the indigenous peoples hung pieces of gold on their nets.45 In addition, Cortés hoped to find the passage there that Columbus had been looking for. Parallel to Alvarado's train overland, Cristóbal de Olid received the order to sail with six ships along the Gulf of Mexico to Hibueras, where the two troops would then unite. Another reason to carry out this campaign was that Gil González de Ávila, the conqueror of Costa Rica and Nicaragua and a favorite of Bishop Fonseca, had made himself independent from Pedrarias and also reached Honduras in 1524. On his way south, Olid stopped in Cuba to buy horses. There, his old patron Velázquez asked him to renounce Cortés and to carry out the conquest of Honduras together with him. In doing so, Velázquez disregarded the royal instructions. When Olid reached the coast of Hibueras, he founded the port city of Triunfo de la Cruz there.46 When Cortés heard of the intrigue, in his first anger he even wanted to go to Cuba to arrest Velázquez and send him to Spain, as he did to the king reported frankly. In June 1524 he sent a fleet of five ships under the orders of his cousin Francisco de las Casas to Honduras to arrest Olid. Because of a shipwreck off the coast, Las Casas and Gil González fell into the hands of Olid, who felt so safe that the two managed to attack and seriously injure him a little later in the village of Naco. After the attack, Las Casas and González had Olid sentenced and executed. The two Spaniards were already on their way back to Mexico when the impatient Cortés set out on his own in mid-October, shortly after he had completed his fourth letter report.47 The expedition to Hibueras was to be one of the toughest, longest and most fruitless endeavors after the Conquest of Tenochtitlan. To prevent an uprising, the governor took along with Cuauhtemoc and Tetlepanquetzal the members of the entire Aztec nobility who had survived the Conquista. In Chalco, a contingent of around three thousand indigenous warriors 9 Endless Conquista284 from the high valley and from Michoacán under the command of Ixtlilxochitls joined the Spaniards around Cortés, who met with a large court and his best men, including Sandoval and Bernal Díaz, as well as some clergy made the way. Shawm, flageolet and trombone players, falconers and even a large herd of pigs were taken, as Bernal reported. Of course, Malinche was also there again, who was married to Captain Juan Jaramillo on this march, as Cortés apparently had enough of his concubine. It was a particularly splendid campaign of conquest, which was to shine the governor's fame as far as the deep south of New Spain and beyond.48 In fact, the army was lavishly received and celebrated on its way through the provinces that had already been conquered. However, the exhilaration of their leader should soon evaporate, because the further march was anything but easy. Against the advice of the indigenous people, who pointed out the lack of land routes, the governor wanted to advance across the tropical lowlands of the Peten to Honduras via Tabasco and Campeche. The troops often had to overcome countless smaller and larger rivers, primeval forests, swamps and mountain ranges in the pouring rain. The local indigenous communities had fled and left no food behind, so the army soon went hungry. The hardships were so great that the dead and the desperate were left behind. Even the music of the instrumentalists soon pissed off the soldiers. "It was worth more to eat corn than music," wrote Bernal.49 When the emaciated troop returned to more hospitable areas south of the Laguna de Términos, a momentous incident occurred. Allegedly, after receiving the baptism of Corté, an indigenous man named Mexicalcingo said that Cuauhtemoc and the other nobles had talked about an attack against the Spaniards and wanted to stir up the Maya living there. Cortés probably had the defendants Cuauhtemoc, Tetlepanquetzal and Cohuanacotzin tortured, after which they confessed. The governor then sentenced her to death and hanged her in the village of Acalan in late February 1525. According to Alva Ixtlilxochitl, the execution was murder because the allegations were all false. Those who were responsible for the unrest in the capital, of which the limits of success will be discussed later, would have spread the lies in order to divert attention from their own misdeeds. It can no longer be determined whether that was the case. However, even Bernal Díaz, who otherwise supported the version of the betrayal of the Mexica princes, found the harsh punishment exaggerated and unjustified.50 The expedition then traveled for many weeks through the area of ​​the Chontal and Itza Maya. Much more effort and loss had to be put in before the men finally reached their destination in Honduras, only to find that the whole enterprise had been in vain. In addition, the few residents of the Spanish city founded by Gil Gonzalez suffered hardship and were all sick, which is why they had nothing to offer the starved troops. Cortés deliberately ignored these facts in his report and only mentioned how he undertook further explorations in the hinterland of the region and founded the port cities of Trujillo and Natividad de Nuestra Señora at the end of 1525. On the return journey across the sea in April 1526, during a stopover in Cuba, Cortés learned that he was believed to be dead in the capital. On May 24, 1526 he arrived in Vera Cruz and on June 19, after more than a year and a half, he returned to Mexico, where his followers received him triumphantly.51 Limits to Success The march to Hibueras was not just an unknown number in human life, but also cost a lot of money, for which Cortés would later unsuccessfully ask for a refund from the crown. Even more annoying for him was the chaos in the capital that his absence had caused. The four royal administrators had arrived before his departure in 1524, after which the governor had appointed Estrada and Albornoz as governors, while Salazar and Chirinos had to go with them. Alonso de Zuazo also stayed in Mexico as mayor and chief judge. The decision was due to the fact that the officials had tried to prevent Cortés from the expedition because they feared problems with the indigenous people in central Mexico. Cortés, who was already bad at the administrators because they received around thirty-five percent more salary than he himself, although in his opinion he was “two hundred