How Cortés Conquered the Aztecs

A relatively small band of Spanish conquistadores conquered the mighty Aztec empire.

Or so the legend goes.

The truth is, as documented in numerous sources including Wikipedia,

Cortés made alliances with tributaries city-states (altepetl) of the Aztec Empire as well as their political rivals, particularly the Tlaxcalteca and Texcocans, a former partner in the Aztec Triple Alliance. Other city-states also joined, including Cempoala and Huexotzinco and polities bordering Lake Texcoco, the inland lake system of the Valley of Mexico.

This begs the question: How was Cortés able to form these alliances? The simple answer is that the Aztecs were ruthless, unbending, cruel despots. They controlled their empire with an iron fist, demanding oppressive taxes, including but not limited to human sacrifice, of the peoples they held under their dominion.

Cortés was able to discover this fact and use it to his advantage. He did not conquer the Aztec Empire with a small band of conquistadores; he built a massive army of oppressed, resentful, scared, envious tribes of non-Aztec tribes.

Fast forward to 21st century United States.

As the only super-power on the face of the planet, the government of the United States of America has used and abused virtually every other country in existence, whether friend or foe (a very fluid term). John Kennedy said it’s dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, but it is more dangerous to be her friend. The United States controls the world reserve currency. The United States has the largest, most technologically advanced military in the history of the world. The United States is the most hubristic empire that has ever existed. That hubris will be its downfall. Just as the Aztec Empire thought it was invincible, the United States government believes it can do anything it wants, declare war wherever it wants, use and abuse allies and enemies alike and never have to bear the consequences.

Just as an empire on the opposite side of the planet arrived on the shores of the Aztec empire and easily built alliances to take down the 800-pound gorilla that until that time controlled South America, an empire on the other side of the planet will sweet-talk the oppressed, abused, and misused tribes (nations) to form an unstoppable alliance against the United States of America.

When that happens the little hiccup of the 2008 recession will be like a calm float downstream compared with a Class 5-rapids through the Snake River without a raft that we’ll endure (or not) as our economic, political, and social fabric is torn to shreds. The people of the United States will not know what hit them and few will be able to deal with the consequences.

The U.S. empire will fall. The world reserve currency that has maintained it these past many decades will be a thing of the past. The economic firestorm that will engulf the United States will destroy our already-fragile social structure.

Our social structure is now one of strife and conflict and grows worse by the day. Rich against poor, black against white, natives against immigrants, liberals against conservatives, feminists against traditionalists… And now we have to put up with “intersectionality,” every micro-group against every other.

This conflict among groups is what defines the culture of the United States. When an economic melt-down is added to this, we in the US will be subjected to turmoil not seen since the War of Northern Aggression.

We will not survive. The rest of the world will see that as a positive development.

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