Aztecs and the Spanish Conquest, 1519–1535 OCR B GCSE History 9-1 Lesson Resources

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Component 3: World Depth study, Aztecs and the Spanish Conquest, 1519–1535

What students need to learn:

  • Moctezuma’s Empire
    • The extent and nature of Moctezuma’s Aztec empire in 1519
    • The wealth of empire: agriculture, crafts and trade
    • Centre of empire: the splendour of Tenochtitlan 
  • Controlling the Empire
    • Territorial expansion and the nature of warfare
    • Land, tribute and the role of elites
    • Aztec religion including beliefs, temples and sacrifice 
  • Encounters
    • Motives for Spanish expansion into the Caribbean and Central America 
    • Cortés: his expedition to Mexico and first encounter with the Aztecs, February 1519 to April 1519
    • Dissatisfaction among Aztec subjects and Spanish alliances 
  • Conquest, 1519–1521
    • The Spanish in Tenochtitlan and the relationship between Cortés and Moctezuma 
    • Hostilities: the capture and death of Moctezuma, and the Spanish flight from the city on 1 July 1520
    • The siege of Tenochtitlan and reasons for the Spanish victory 
  • The birth of New Spain
    • The nature and impact of Spanish rule, including the Encomienda and the reorganisation of the tribute system
    • The role and conduct of the Church
    • Transformation of landscape and people: grazing animals, ecological devastation and mestizos

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