10 dez the conquest of america todorov summary
Perhaps, due to the obvious problems for the Catholic Church that this represents, this motive has taken a backseat to the supposed thirst for gold that has overshadowed the religious roots of this horrific tragedy ever since. Todorov notes that, like Las Casas, Sahagun “adheres to the Christian doctrine of the equality of man” (Todorov 239), but it seems that Sahagun goes a step further: “The replacement of Aztec society by Spanish society is therefore a two-edged sword; and after having carefully weighed the pros and cons, Sahagun decides, more forcefully than Duran, that the final result is negative” (Todorov 237). Translated by richard howard. Don't read it if you're feeling low! Duran is remarkable, in Todorov’s estimation, because of his hybrid identity as a Spaniard who moved to Mexico at a young age. By assuming the Indians’ equality, Las Casas fails to recognize their differences. We understand the conquest in terms of the leading edge of 16th century technology coming. Duran occupies a similarly ambiguous position on the axiological axis: few people would likely agree that he loves the Indians, but he is forced to believe in their equality in order to make his putatively anti-syncretistic conversion possible (Todorov 207). Those that were different, in dress, culture, or religious beliefs, were beneath them and destined to be conquered or converted. Columbus is declared a so called “hero” to the Americans for discovering America. His interventions in the text are not only rare, but clearly separated from the rest. The Conquest of America In the book The Conquest of America by Tzvetan Todorov, Todorov brings about an interesting look into the expeditions of Columbus, based on Columbus’ own writings. He creates vivid pictures that stand out in the imagination, colored by a “marvelous” descriptive style. It advances a very provocative theory about the Spanish colonials' contact with natives after the discovery of America, and the destruction of their native cultures. Gonna read it again... analyze it more... respond better... Read this for a political science class. One is always a barbarian to others and vice versa, as long as one does not recognize the language being spoken. almost like getting your shit together internally so to speak requires an external projection of violence. They must be given their original freedom back and be reinstated in their sovereignty. So good, Todorov maintains a tight focus as he makes two arguments, using the "Conquest of America" as his grounds for both a historical case, and a case for ethically reading. Todorov examines the psychological attitudes and philosophical motives of the conquistadors in order to get a new understanding of the "us and the other" psychology of humans. An important aspect of Todorov’s thesis is his well-supported claim that it was precisely the claim to European racial superiority that Christianity strongly reinforced and provided justification for the actions of the Spanish, even in its most severe manifestation. this was not a page turner but informative. Spain conquered Iberian peninsula and the Americas in the same yr. the psychology of that. Occasional brilliance. This is an absolutely remarkable book. Sahagun saw the terrible consequences of the replacement of the Aztec civilization by the Spaniards. Certainly thought provoking. The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other by. “Sí señor, yo ya soy poquito cristiano, dijo él, porque ya saber yo un poquito mentir; otro día saber yo mucho mentir y seré yo mucho cristiano”, “In Socrates' time, an orator was accustomed to ask his audience which genre or mode of expression was preferred: myth i.e., narrative-- or logical argumentation? So many atrocities were committed in the name of God, especially in the name of Jesus Christ. Whereas for some the Christian principle of the equality of men ensues the assimilation of “Indians,” because they are similar to us, Las Casas tries to figure out the perspective of it. They were fully engaged in an air of cultural and moral supremacy. Rather, the fall of Montezuma was inevitable. A great companion piece to '1461'. In fact, Todorov invokes the unimaginably horrible image of Catholic priests bashing Indian baby’s heads against rocks, allegedly to save them from damnation to hell, which their “savage” culture would have otherwise consigned them to. Based on first appearances, these people should be easily conquered and ready for conversion to the Christian Faith. Todorov claims that “the effective conquest of information leads to the ultimate collapse of the Aztec empire. . almost like getting your shit together internally so to speak requires an external projection of violence. His main conclusions focus on the differences in the way that Spaniards and Aztecs viewed and learned from. Todorov brings about an interesting look into the expeditions of Columbus, based on Columbus’ own writings. They were so successful, Todorov argues, that in the centuries following the initial encounter between Europeans and Amerindians, Europeans were able to gradually assimilate the “Other” and eliminate alterity. Now, how can you call that type of a person a hero–when all he did was make others suffer? On the praxeological level, Todorov argues that Las Casas and Cortes are essentially equal. Each of the four sections (Discovery, Conquest, Love, Knowledge) is interesting. Free delivery in the US Read more here. His Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana would occupy him for forty years. (Todorov 232). All rights reserved, The Conquest of America by Tzvetan Todorov. His focus is on the way these various figures communicate and understand different discourses: natural, human, and divine. In fact, Las Casas often appears to view the Indians as superior to the Spaniards. and most important of all for me is Todorov's idea of the tension of dealing with "OTHERS" - 1) either assimilate them into your own personality (("they are JUST LIKE me")) 2) or reject them entirely to the margins (("they are NOTHING like me")). Why buy from World of Books. The lack of citations is really not a good look for a book that looks at how perceptions of the other have been rendered in primary sources. In order to do so, he chose to report faithfully the testimonies he collected with a translation, instead of replacing them by it. the naming of the Yucatan peninsula as Spaniards, I still think about this book all the time and read it well over a yr ago now in class. Initially, one can see Columbus nearly overwhelmed by the beauty of these lands that he has encountered. It hinges on a pursuit of material goods, gold, and immaterial values, evangelical aspirations. It's a side of this history that I had never seen before, and I'm very glad that I've now explored it. Perhaps, that is one of the most dangerous luxuries of victory–the ability to show compassion for the defeated, but always, yet always too late. Todorov was a Franco-Bulgarian historian, philosopher and literary theoretician. x, 274. Tzvetan Todorov – The Conquest of America. Overall this book is excellent in giving the reader a more nuanced understanding of the history of the 16th century so-called “New World.”. In the 2nd half of the book The Conquest of America by Tzvetan Todorov, Todorov discusses Bartolome de Las Casas and Bernardino de Sahagun. Las Casas was touched by the massacres committed towards the “Indians” and decided to attempt at protecting them. Even if Las Casas identifies the Indians with the Hebrews and the Spaniards with the Devil (Todorov 165-166), we can still see that everything is relative to his own Christian identity: “Las Casas is content to maintain an egocentric position with regard to time as well as space. Todorov gives us an interpretation of Columbus’ discovery of America, and the Spaniards’ subsequent conquest, colonization, and destruction of pre-Columbian cultures in Mexico and the Caribbean. His analysis is eye opening in that he reveals an entirely different (non Western) way of looking at the invasion of the Spanish. The first two chapters describe Columbus’ initial encounters with the “Indians” of America. 1984. I only made it 25 pages in and decided it wasn't worth it. This ideology, to use Todorov’s term, demanded a distributive rather than an assimilationist approach, because of its cross-religious or cross-cultural outlook. Yet if the Indians are potential Christians, then they are fundamentally no different from the European Christians sent to convert them. A grim but incredibly insightful account of the Conquest of America. His ships carried 600 conquistadors with horses and weapons.They wanted fame and riches. the naming of the Yucatan peninsula as Spaniards misunderstanding Aztec language for their own tongue ((and the assumption that a language you cannot understand is nonsense as though it does not have its own rules & order to which you are ignorant)). It is for this reason that he is so highly positioned on the epistemic axis. Great perspectives on the intrusion of European culture. ” (Todorov 103). as aways, greed and god were the reasons for all the evil they did. A brilliant book! His intimate acquaintance with Aztec culture is permits “a rapprochement with the object observed” (Todorov 217) and it is this positioning of himself in relation to the other that places Duran just barely on the positive side of the praxeological axis. Las Casas illustrates the dangers of Sepulveda’s position and offers an alternative framework of jus ad bellum that focuses on injury and warns against including humanitarian benefits in the just cause criterion. However, as Todorov points out, “Asserting his own hybrid identity in confronting the beings his is trying to describe, he no longer succeeds in his project of comprehension, since he attributes to his characters thoughts and intentions which belong only to himself and to the other cultural hybrids of his time” (Todorov 217). The questionnaires which he used to organize the accounts are one way of controlling the information. They also determine the themes to be treated, by excluding certain others. In terms of the built-in scale for valuing civilizations, then Indian civilization’s greatness lay in its ability to absorb diversity and make it its own. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Todorov gives us an interpretation of Columbus’ discovery of America, and the Spaniards’ subsequent conquest, colonization, and destruction of pre-Columbian cultures in Mexico and the Caribbean. In The Conquest of America Todorov delves deeply into the dark consequences (intended and unintended) of the European discovery of the Americas and represents the first important study of the influence of religious belief on the interactions beginning with Columbus with the "savage" Other. How about receiving a customized one? Bartolome de Las Casas was one of the best known missionaries in Spanish America. (Todorov 171). This is certainly an aspect of the book to be commended. It would seem that his method would be a close reflection of the original view of his own history and culture. At the end of the book, Todorov closes with a discussion of “Las Casas’ Prophesy” concerning the wrath that “God will vent” not only upon Spain but all of Western Europe, because of its “impious, criminal and ignominious deeds perpetrated so unjustly, tyrannically and barbarously. The Conquest of America Summary. And how Cortez conquered the Aztecs with a relatively small band of men is an even more familiar story. And the question here what would have happened if spain hadn't entered the Americas . It's not my area (at all) and there's a lot of theory to wade through, but the payoff is huge. This was not the case. This is because, people who haven’t read Todorov’s book, are obviously unaware of who the person behind the mask really was. One of the most undeveloped ideas in the discipline of the history of religions in America is the claim that the historical appearance of America in European consciousness provides a revolutionary opportunity for develop- ments in hermeneutics and religious studies. The organization of the work is entirely European, as all is mediated through Sahagun’s eyes. This places Las Casas on the positive axiological axis. Apart from Sahagun’s presence in the Nahuatl material, the accompanying Spanish translation to the Nahuatl text includes notes, prologues and digressions, which according to Todorov, frame the entire work. Difficult reading. Overall this book is, The author gives a unique perspective on history - he is a linguist. What Cortes discovered was that the Tlaxcalans, a tribe which had been subsumed under the Aztec Empire, were still hostile enemies of the Aztecs. As a consequence, Christianity is not the only, nor the best way to God. Succinct and informative but very devastating account of the conquest. Conquest by Semiotics!From his hard-nosed book dedication “ . The natives initially have no understanding of the events that Columbus and his entourage perform when they lay claim to a new land. In particular, he focuses on the work of three writers, all Spanish, but among the first generations of Europeans native to South America. So first the positive moves: "The Conquest of America" reveals the basically, the conquest of America, starting with Columbus, and then moving onto the wrath of Cortez and the Spaniards. certain elements just like won't ever leave and I'm grateful to have been able to have a full class's help picking this one apart. This is certainly an aspect of the book to be commended. The book offers an original interpretation of the Spaniards’ conquest, colonization, and destruction of pre-Columbian cultures in … Therefore, translators played an important role in the conquest; one which some scholars argue was the key factor in the Spanish victory. “(Todorov 103). But Columbus inscribes value upon the Indians, according to hermeneutical authority, i.e. Each of the four sections (Discovery, Conquest, Love, Knowledge) is interesting. Nonetheless, Todorov sees there the embryo to any future dialogue between civilizations that we today experience. How could the word “God” be translated when what the Indians meant by their word for God and the Catholic definition of God were two totally different concepts? Both in his letters and in his diary, Christopher Columbus repeatedly expresses his primary purpose as a religious one. Columbus describes the natives in near animal or beast of burden terms, because of the nature of the culture of the natives. All Columbus cared about was gold and spreading the Christian religion, which he believed he was destined to do. Todorov notes that “Not only do the questionnaires impose a European origin on American knowledge, and sometimes keep the relevant information from passing through. It's not my area (at all) and there's a lot of theory to wade through, but the payoff is huge. scriptures and etc. His conclusion: the Europeans successfully conquer the Americas because of their superior interhuman communication; it is, "paradoxically, Europeans' capacity to understand the other" (248) that allows them to. This is a remarkable book. I still think about this book all the time and read it well over a yr ago now in class. Las Casas’ ultimate wisdom lies in arguing for the restriction of jus ad bellum in the face of those who make compelling arguments, draped in moral universals and humanitarian imperatives, for its expansion. According to Las Casas, thus there is a universal love of God, but all religious expressions of this love are culturally specific, and as such relative. Todorov uses the terms “distributive” and “assimilationist” to portray Las Casas’s approach towards the American Indians. The book offers an original interpretation of the Spaniards’ conquest, colonization, and destruction of pre-Columbian cultures in … Among his most influential works is his theory on the fantastic, the uncanny and marvellous. Baffled by the paradox of the famous story concerning Cortes and his several hundred Conquistador’s ability to defeat the entire Aztec empire, which numbered at least several million, Todorov reveals that it was primarily due to Montezuma’s belief that Cortes and his party were Gods, which led to his reluctance to raise an army in opposition. The missionaries’ concern for the correct transmission of the Cathohc faith, “correct” meaning their own interpretation, was hard to reconcile with the fact that some of the basic words of the faith were untranslatable into the Indian tongue. Todorov creates a loose typology of forms of intercultural interaction through an examination of both major and more minor figures from the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Las Casas’ political solution to the “Indians” is to maintain previous states with their Kings and governors, with catholic preaches but without the military, and if the Kings express this wish, to establish a sort of federation presided by the King of Spain. Therefore, it was Montezuma’s uncertainty, born of his own religious belief that led to the sudden collapse of the Aztec empire. That’s mainly what the average person knows about it. This book takes an interesting tack in looking at the time of America's conquering and attempted assimilation into the European milieu. By TZVETAN. (Todorov 227) In the final part of the book, Todorov investigates the impact that these events have had on the subsequent writings on the subject. writing as a system of domination. His main conclusions focus on the differences in the way that Spaniards and Aztecs viewed and learned from their encounters and interactions with "the Other" as well as their ability to adapt their strategies and interpretations based on these encounters. If eligion was a guiding principle in the lives of the conquerors, as Todorov points out, so too was it for the conquered, especially in the case of the Aztecs. (2017, Apr 27). They are characterized by an intention to avoid moral judgments and attempt to explain from other known civilizations such as Ancient Rome. There were also far too many ill conceived generalized assertions and misplaced analogies. TODOROV. Unfortunately we do not have a summary for this item at the moment. (Todorov 151-167). writing as a system of domination. 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