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Martín López

Martín López: Conquistador Citizen of Mexico

C. Harvey Gardiner
Copyright Date: 1958
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt130j7cn
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    Martín López
    Book Description:

    In this study of the life of a Spaniard who came to Mexico as a conquistador and remained as a civilian citizen of New Spain, C. Harvey Gardiner gives his readers a fresh view of the warfare between Spaniard and Indian and of the less dramatic processes of colonization which established European culture in America.

    Conquest and colonization, usually treated separately in the histories of the period, are here shown as phases in the life of a man who was not conspicuous among the conquerors, but was representative of the Spaniards of his generation who came to the new world in search of opportunity.

    Martín López attained some importance in the Mexican campaign as designer and builder of the brigantines which figured importantly in the Spanish victory at Tenochtitlan. Upon returning to civilian life, Lopez became one of the many conquistadors who found the rewards for his services under Cortes inadequate and sought redress in a long series of court battles. His career after the conquest brought him little wealth, but touched upon many aspects of the political, social, and economic life of the new country.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6285-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. CHAPTER I THE ANTECEDENTS OF ONE SPANIARD
    (pp. 1-13)

    On horse and afoot over bleak plains and rugged mountains the crusading Christians had pushed ever southward across sun-baked, wind-swept Spain. Intermittently for centuries, Christian swords and lances had been at Moorish throats. Earlier and later than the Crusades, which took northerly knights off to the Holy Land, the cry from south of the Pyrenees had been: “The pagan Moor must go.”

    Led by Ferdinand III, most capable king and highly competent warrior, the Christian reconquest of Spain reached a climax. A spiritual urge drove the fighters on. From the drab-brown, rugged heights of the Sierra Morena, king and nobles...

  6. CHAPTER II A CONQUISTADOR PUTS ASIDE HIS SWORD
    (pp. 14-36)

    Well-endued physically, Martín López was a tall, strong man of enormous energy—tall enough to make a singular contribution at one crucial moment of the conquest, strong enough to march countless kilometers and to recover from multiple wounds, four of them suffered on a single occasion. He weathered physical privation and withstood the shock of heavy financial loss. Triumphing over numerous and varied hardships as he lived eight and a half decades, López was an uncommon man, even among the peculiarly hardy breed of sixteenth-century Spaniards found on New World frontiers.

    López, too, was a man of remarkable physical courage....

  7. CHAPTER III A WORKER-WARRIOR IN VICTORY
    (pp. 37-49)

    The battered survivors of that night of catastrophe on the causeways marched and fought their way toward Tlaxcala, homeland of the still faithful Indian allies. There, for most of July, the wounded Spanish warriors demonstrated their remarkable recuperative powers—and soon enough men were available to carry out the plans their leader had in mind.¹

    Mustering his able-bodied followers, a group that counted Martin López, who had recovered from his four wounds, Cortés led them southeast on what is termed the Tepeaca campaign. That unbroken string of victories which began in midsummer and continued down to the Christmas season had...

  8. CHAPTER IV MEN AND MATTERS IN TRANSITION
    (pp. 50-70)

    The spanish victory at Tenochititlán marked the end of the one phase of military conquest and the beginning of the cultural conquest of New Spain. For the decade from the capture of Cuauhtémoc to the arrival of the secondaudiencia,New Spain was host to confused transition.

    Those were years when full-time soldiers became part-time soldiers or reverted entirely to civilian life. The all-powerful Cortés saw his authority repeatedly curtailed as one royal official after another arrived on the scene. The sharp edge of the sword was Challenged by the scribe, the notary, the relator. The masculine tone of early...

  9. CHAPTER V THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
    (pp. 71-81)

    One of the significant early developments in New Spain was the sequence of events wherein Cortés the all-powerful became well-nigh powerless. Given the free-lance nature of the Cortés expedition to New Spain and the absolutism of the Spanish crown, a clash between Cortés and his king was inevitable. Add the phenomenal success of the conquistador captain general and the bitter enmity he had engendered in certain circles, and the certainty of a day of reckoning for him is plain.

    The rift between Cortés and Governor Velazquez of Cuba had rapidly deepened. Cortés’ initial flaunting of Velazquez’ authority had irritated the...

  10. CHAPTER VI SERVANT OF THE FIRST PRESIDENT
    (pp. 82-100)

    The dawning of 1529 in New Spain saw the emergence of Nuño de Guzmán. The crown had decided to introduce an audiencia into that land. The four judges(oidores)who composed it were directed by President Nuño de Guzmán, who had been in conflict with Cortés ever since his appearance in 1527 on the coast of New Spain as governor of Pánuco. Late December, 1528, with Cortés in the mother country, the president and oidores were in Mexico City, ready to start New Spain off on a different administrative foot.

    As Nuño de Guzmán entered upon his duties January 1,...

  11. CHAPTER VII FROM AUDIENCIA TO AUDIENCIA
    (pp. 101-122)

    Then in his early forties, Martín López was forced into Nuño de Guzmán’s military ranks in late 1529.¹ The compulsion to which López yielded seems to have been born of complex circumstances. The deteriorating position of Guzmán, plus competing demands upon the limited Spanish manpower then in Mexico City, possibly forced the president of the audiencia to draft some men for his campaign. Having cast his lot earlier with the audiencia, López was compelled to continue in Guzmán’s camp or face the prospect of being stripped of his property, a potent measure repeatedly employed in that period. López, recently identified...

  12. CHAPTER VIII SUBJECT OF THE FIRST VICEROY
    (pp. 123-141)

    Wealthy and highly respected as well as completely removed from the factional strife of New Spain, Mendoza, with his experience, his sense of justice, his humanity, his detachment, and his loyalty to the king, was an ideal choice for this first New World viceregal appointment. Of average height, his long head dominated by keen eyes and firm mouth, the bearded Mendoza had a commanding presence. Member of one of the ancient and influential families of Spain, he had repeatedly distinguished himself in service to crown and country. To give him official welcome, four councilmen of Mexico City, at least two...

  13. CHAPTER IX LATE IN LIFE AND PAST MIDCENTURY
    (pp. 142-153)

    The second viceroy of New Spain, Luis de Velasco, was another appointee of noble origins, long military service, distinguished administrative experience, and fine personal qualities. Met by Mendoza at Cholula, he was escorted by him into Mexico City late in 1550. His conscientious predecessor, before withdrawing to the Pacific coast to take ship for his own new post in Peru, briefed him on the problems he faced in New Spain.

    The year 1550 found New Spain in the midst of many things. A successor to the first archbishop, now several years in his grave, was about to assume his responsibilities....

  14. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  15. CHAPTER X PATTERNS FOR ENDLESS TOMORROWS
    (pp. 154-169)

    With promise of more in the years ahead, Viceroy Velasco and Archbishop Montúfar, by 1560, had successfully completed a decade in New Spain. For the conquistador element, however, it was a different matter. Although still numerous and strong, it had passed its peak in the affairs of New Spain.

    In Puebla, Alonso Galeote and Pedro de Villanueva held on, but fellow veterans and citizens Martín de Calahorra and Francisco de Oliveros had both died during the past decade. The former’s encomienda in Tlaxcala, with its appraised income of 800 pesos annually, had passed to a son. In like fashion a...

  16. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  17. CHAPTER XI A MAN IN A MEMORABLE MOMENT
    (pp. 170-178)

    Out of the long career of Martin López emerges a view of the role of the conquistador citizen in New Spain. The average conquistador made a twofold contribution to history. In his short, dramatic, well-known first phase, that which too commonly is considered his total role, he was a warrior-destroyer, the wrecker of native cultures. In his second, longer, and more complex phase of activity, he was a citizen-creator, the founder of a new way of life in the Americas.

    Just as the late fifteenth-century Spain of which he was heir had been a complex of social, economic, political, and...

  18. CRITICAL ESSAY ON AUTHORITIES
    (pp. 179-184)
  19. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 185-186)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 187-193)