Teaching "Global Convergence" in 7th Grade?
In this lesson students will deconstruct the advantages that the Spanish had over the Aztec Empire. In the early 1800-1900’s (Western) Historical scholarship focused on the “Civilized” nature of the Spanish and their moral greatness which made them “superior men” and thereby able to defeat the mighty Aztec empire. But, really the Spanish had many advantages, not because they were “superior” but, rather- just lucky. Students will practice analyzing sources, finding corroborating sources and writing a historical analysis answering the question: How were the Spanish conquistadors able to defeat the mighty Aztec Empire with only 600 men?
This is a great lesson to examine how much of history and culture is shaped by luck and circumstance. It challenges the assumption of "Western Superiority" and rather uncovers the advantages European powers had.
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