Talk:Spanish conquest of Guatemala

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"Epidemics accidentally introduced by the Spanish "?[edit]

Uhh, wasn't the practice at that time by conquering Europeans to introduce these sorts of diseases deliberately? As for example the British giving the North American Indians blankets infected with smallpox: Smallpox_blankets . Old_Wombat (talk) 10:43, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

In the case of Mexico and Central America, this was accidental. The introduction of smallpox, IIRC, came from a single infected slave brought over from Africa. Certainly in the Conquest of the Aztecs, Maya and Inca the diseases ran ahead of actual physical contact with Europeans and were not planned - this unwittingly facilitated invasion since in some cases the ruler and all potential heirs were killed by disease, resulting in disputed succession and civil war. The Spanish in Mesoamerica were, on the whole, taking over advanced cultures with cities etc. and imposing a level of bureaucracy upon native structures, and using indigenous infrastructure against them, which was rather different from the situation in the north. I think there may have been some cases of disease being used during lengthy sieges of Maya cities and as I expand the article I will cover this where I find it. Regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 11:19, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
I've gone through many sources and I was mistaken - there is no mention anywhere of diseases being used deliberately. Simon Burchell (talk) 20:08, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Spanish conquest of Guatemala/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Dana boomer (talk · contribs) 16:53, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi! I'll be reviewing this article for GA status and should have the full review up within a day. Dana boomer (talk) 16:53, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    • I've made a few edits to punctuation, word choice, etc. Please feel free to revert if you don't like them.
    • I've run through those - they all look fine. Thanks for the copyedit, Simon Burchell (talk) 10:57, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • The two navboxes (for the Spanish conquest and the Maya civilization) appear to be in kind of odd spots, based on there relation (or lack thereof) to surrounding text. Was there a specific reason to put them where they are?
    • Since the article deals with the Conquest, I put the Spanish Conquest box first. But it's no big deal and I've swapped them around - it's a little tricky finding a suitable place for the Conquest box because it is fairly long and unwieldy. See what you think of where I've dropped it (in The northern lowlands). Simon Burchell (talk) 21:02, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • I guess my main issue was that the placement looked rather random. Neither is near the top of the article nor are they in sections that appear to have any more relevance than the article as a whole. If they were placed where they are mainly because that was where there was room for them, I guess that's fine, as at the moment I can't really think of a better way of laying them out.
    • Is it "conquest of the Maya" or "Conquest of the Maya"? (I think it's the former...) Both are present in the second paragraph of the lead; check for other instances. Same with some others, we have "Conquest of Mexico", "conquest of the Aztecs", "conquest of Guatemala", "Conquest of Guatemala". I think these should all be lowercase "c", but am open to being persuaded otherwise. They should all be consistent, though.
    • I was pretty undecided myself (as can be seen from the article)! I've changed the lot to lowercase. Simon Burchell (talk) 21:07, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Pre-Columbian or precolumbian?
    • Pre-Columbian - changed the one instance of precolumbian. Simon Burchell (talk) 21:10, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Guatemala prior to the Conquest, "centred upon their capital Nojpetén upon Lake Petén Itzá." Reword to avoid two "upon"'s so close to each other?
    • Changed to "on the shores of lake..." Simon Burchell (talk) 21:17, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Spanish weapons and tactics, "newly founded Colonial towns". "...colonial towns" surely?
    • Subjugation of the K'iche', "and set camp in the marketplace". I don't think I've ever heard the term "set camp" - it's usually "made camp". Is the former a typical phrasing in this subject?
    • No, you're right. I was probably thinking in Spanish at the time, which always messes up my English phrasing! I'll reword it. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:17, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Kaqchikel alliance - The majority of the first half of this paragraph is a duplicate of information just given in the previous paragraph, and can probably be trimmed. Since the reader just read it, there is no need to re-summarize. Also, since the article is rather large (over 7,000 words), trimming duplicate material should be a priority.
    • Not too long, I think (one of my FAs comes in at 10,600 words!). But the repeated information isn't necessary and I've cut it. Simon Burchell (talk) 21:27, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Definitely not too long, especially for an article that covers so much information. Just long, and so, as I said, duplicate information should be avoided wherever possible! Dana boomer (talk) 15:33, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Kaqchikel rebellion - I'm a little confused about what happens during the events described in this section. How did the Kaqchikel go from abandoning the city to being in the city when it burned and being "dispersed" by the Spanish? Why did the kings return from the wild? Why were they still in the wild - I thought they had been dispersed?
    • The kings abandoned the capital in 1524 (described early in the section). The dispersal occurred later, after the final surrender - the sentence was in the wrong place and I've moved it. I also added a little about the reasons for returning to surrender. Simon Burchell (talk) 21:53, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Presumably a few inhabitants stayed on at the (mostly) abandoned city. The sources aren't clear on this point, I suppose that none of the primary sources describes this in detail - certainly none that I have access to.
    • It makes a lot more sense with the dispersal sentence moved! The additional details on the surrender help, as well. Dana boomer (talk) 15:50, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Kaqchikel rebellion - Also, lots of little paragraphs at the end of this section - it reads rather choppy and could probably be smoothed out by restructuring/combining some of the paragraphs.
    • Siege of Zaculeu, "after the rebellion of the Kaqchikel against their K'iche' allies". I thought the Kaqchikel rebelled against their Spanish allies?
    • Before the Conquest, the K'iche' and Kaqchikel had been close allies, until the growing power of the Kaqchikel within the alliance provoked hostility from the K'iche' aristocracy, resulting in the breaking of the alliance. This is covered fully in the K'iche' Kingdom of Q'umarkaj, Q'umarkaj and Iximche articles, I'll clarify here (although it is also mentioned in the "Guatemala prior to the conquest" section). Simon Burchell (talk) 09:33, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Ah, I see. I'm still not completely happy with the wording of this sentence (it's a bit awkward), but at the moment I can't think of a way to word it better. Dana boomer (talk) 15:33, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Siege of Zaculeu - If the Mam king was well received by the K'iche' of Q'umarkaj, why did the K'iche' later help the Spanish attack them?
    • Once conquered, indigenous groups often provided warriors as part of their tribute/service to the Spanish. I've added a brief mention of this to the intro of the "Conquest of the highlands" section - I wasn't quite sure where to put it (note that in the last paragraph of the Cuchumatanes section, there is mention of the Spanish using Chuj and Q'anjob'al warriors, even though the Chuj resisted conquest stubbornly. Simon Burchell (talk) 17:56, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Conquest of the Poqomam, "and were hunted down by the victorious conquistadors". This is rather vitriolic language ("hunted down") - is it really backed up by the sources?
    • That's what the sources say. The battle turned into a rout and chaotic retreat, with the Spanish hunting down the fleeing Poqomam. I don't personally think this is vitriolic language - we're talking about a fierce battle and the collapse of the native defence. Simon Burchell (talk) 18:02, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Fair enough. It just seems like the "hunted" language makes it seem like the Spanish saw them as animals to be, well, hunted. Dana boomer (talk) 15:40, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Unfortunately, I don't think that would be too far from the truth. I've read accounts of the Spanish butchering captives (literally, like livestock) in order to feed their war dogs. Appalling. Simon Burchell (talk) 16:47, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Wow. OK, then, knowing that, I have no problem with the language. Dana boomer (talk) 00:35, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Campaigns in the Cuchumatanes, "Captain Melchor Rodríguez Mazariegos" - it's not necessary to give his full name three times. After the first time, just give his name as Captain and then his last name, so "Captain Smith". (I'm just not sure how much of his name is considered his last name!) Same with Fray Diego de Rivas and governor Enrique Enriquez de Guzmán.
    • The northern lowlands, "The Contact Period in Guatemala's" Does the "Contact Period" mean the period of warfare? Also, lower case probably...
    • The Contact Period refers to the time between first contact with the Spanish and the Conquest, not necessarily a period of warfare, since it could also be an extended period of missionary work among still independent kingdoms. It is viewed as an archaeological period (or perhaps, a span overlapping the Late/Terminal Postclassic Period and the Colonial Period) in its own right, much like Preclassic Period, Classic Period, Postclassic Period, so should be capitalised. Simon Burchell (talk) 10:41, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Ah, I see. It would be awesome if we had an article on this term, but I can't find one... Dana boomer (talk) 15:40, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Conquest of Petén section is rather choppy - lots of little paragraphs.
    • Conquest of Peten, "that the K'atun 8 Ajaw" - what does this mean?
    • I think the article would benefit from a wrap-up section that summarizes the effects of the Spanish conquest on the indigenous population of Guatemala. From my experience they are still seen as lower-class citizens and occupy lower economic levels than Spanish or mixed-race peoples in Guatemala, and obviously the still relatively recent (and bloody) civil war was very rough on the indigenous populations. Nothing long, but something that wraps up the long-term effects a bit better than the article does now.
    • I think that this section would be best placed at the end of the article, in order to wrap up the article. Currently, it has a rather abrupt ending. Is there a specific reason you placed it where you did?
    • I did think about placing it at the end, and am not particularly opposed to moving it there. It seemed to me that the more general info was at the beginning, followed by a detailed geographical breakdown of the conquest, so it seemed rather isolated at the end. I'll move it if you think that'll be better... Simon Burchell (talk) 16:50, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
    • OK, moved it. Simon Burchell (talk) 17:20, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    • Sourcing overall looks very nice. A couple of minor comments (these are more nitpicks with no bearing on the GA criteria): some of the page numbers have a space between p. and the number, some don't, and some of the roman numeral page numbers are given in capital letters and others are given in lower case.
    • Those roman numeral page numbers were given in capitals in the source, but it's no big deal and I've changed them all to lowercase. I've removed the spaces that crept in between p. and the number. Simon Burchell (talk) 20:22, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Even better! As I said, these comments weren't based on the GA criteria, just things that I noticed as I was working through the references.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    • It looks like the sourcing is referring to the fact that it was imported to Commons from the English wikipedia. I suspect Maunus put the map together himself. He's still very active on Wikipedia, so I'll drop him a message. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:10, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • I made it based on several maps from Carmack's Quichean Civilization.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:16, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Thanks - I've dropped that into the image description. Simon Burchell (talk) 20:52, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
    • It would probably be best to have a source proving that File:Cortes.jpg is contemporary, although this is not a huge deal.
    • I spent some time trying to identify the precise painting, there seem to be 2 or 3 similar portraits, I couldn't pin it down and gave up in frustration. Simon Burchell (talk) 20:15, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Since it was hard to pin down that image, I've switched it for a similar one sourcing the painting to the Museo de las Americas in Madrid. Simon Burchell (talk) 20:47, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
  7. Overall:

Just dropping initial comments here, more thorough prose review shortly... Dana boomer (talk) 19:04, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

I've now completed my review, with my comments above. I visited Guatemala several years ago and found it a beautiful country, so I enjoyed reading about its early history (although I didn't enjoy the inevitable outcome...). Please let me know if you have any questions, Dana boomer (talk) 01:33, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the review - I'll hopefully get through this over the next day or two. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 09:08, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Simon, thank you very much for your quick responses and work on this article. Unfortunately, just after I finished the above review, I hit an extremely busy stretch at work, and have not had a chance to look in on your edits. I will try to find time to do so in the next 24 hours, but wanted to drop a note by so that you weren't wondering if I'd dropped off the face of the earth! Thanks again, Dana boomer (talk) 00:43, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
No problem, thanks for letting me know. All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 08:12, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
A couple of things that I'd like to finish sorting out above, but overall things look great. I think this would be a great FA candidate, if you're interested in taking it there, although my prose skills are not always the best so there may have been things that I missed! Once we get the final things ironed out, I will have no problem passing this. Dana boomer (talk) 15:50, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I am aiming to take this to FA, although I don't think it's quite there yet. This review certainly helped ironing out some of the problems prior to it being thoroughly picked to pieces at FAC! Simon Burchell (talk) 16:58, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Everything looks good, so I'm passing the article to GA status. Very nice work, and thanks again for the prompt and thoughtful responses. Dana boomer (talk) 00:35, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Effects on power dynamics between indigenous groups[edit]

I've heard that the Q'eqchi' were a much less important group, preconquest, than they are today; that the relative peace in their home territory, brought by Las Casas and the Dominicans, allowed them to expand their territories north and west to cover areas which had previously belonged to the more-severely-decimated Itza', Mopan, etc. This article doesn't touch those issues, but it seems logical to me. Homunq (talk) 13:17, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

I think that would be beyond the scope of this article and would be more properly covered in Q'eqchi' people. Although it may be a result of the conquest, it does not form a part of the conquest itself. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 13:40, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I think the effects on indigenous groups and their relative dynamics is relevant and ithin scope - as long as it isn't specifically about the Q'eqchi or any oter single group but about how the Conquest process affected indigenous politics in general.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:43, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, if either of you can point me in the direction of a good reference, a few sentences about Q'eqchi' expansion would probably fit quite nicely into the Land of War: Verapaz section. Likewise for changes in indigenous politics; a sentence or two would not be amiss in Legacy of the Spanish conquest. Thanks, Simon Burchell (talk) 16:46, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

You are completely right - that any such inclusion ould require sources. I personally don't know of any!·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 04:11, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

On to El Slavador?[edit]

At the moment, the article doesn't appear to mention at what point Alvarado left Guatemala and went on to El Salvador. I know the conquest of El Salvador itself is outside the scope of this page, but a mention Alvarado and a large army going there seems relevant to the conquest of Guatemala.

PS. I'm new to editing, but I think my first goal for starting a new page will be the Spanish Conquest of El Salvador.TCSaint (talk) 02:29, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

I thought I'd covered this but obviously didn't. I've added to the Pipil and Xinca section, detailing a couple more battles up to the point when Alvarado crossed the Río Paz. All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 08:16, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Looks great.TCSaint (talk) 15:16, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Small capitals[edit]

If I found a couple words in SMALL CAPITALS, then I would change them according to WP:ALLCAPS. But here, where every line of a long References section starts with small capitals in a featured article, I wonder if everyone else knows something I don't. Art LaPella (talk) 00:27, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Technology: Horses[edit]

Are horses technology, and how so? Hyacinth (talk) 00:32, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Horses are not technology but the human use of them for riding or carrying burdens is.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:42, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you missed or didn't read the second part of my question.
It appears that the technology article is incomplete, in that it gives no indication that the use of an animal by another could be technology. Hyacinth (talk) 01:39, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't know why you would expect that article to be "complete" or why you would expect completeness to require such a description. The article defines technology as "is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures." Which obviously includes the usage and knowledge of and techniques for using horses as a means for the purpose/goal/function of transportation.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:46, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Did I say I expected the article to be complete?
Would you be saying we should remove everything from the "technology" article except that introduction, as anything else is obvious? Or would you be saying the article should be incomplete?
If it is so obvious, are horses a tool, a machine, a technique, a craft, a system, or a method of organization?
According to your definition the military technology is definitely incomplete. Hyacinth (talk) 02:16, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
It is not "my" definition but the definition of technology given by the article you called incomplete. Do you have a proposal for improving this article or are you just interested in discussing semantics?·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:46, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

The article actually uses the phrase "key elements of Old World technology such as...horses" (my italics); the horse may not be technology in itself but its combination with wheeled vehicles, use for transport etc. does represent technology, and the horse is an element of that technology. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:36, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Castilian vs. Spanish[edit]

All Spanish people mentioned in the article are Castilian, as Castile was the kingdom which conquered the Americas and send the initial settlers. Shouldn't the word "Spanish" be substituted by "Castilian" everywhere in the article except where appropriate to use "Spanish"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:12, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Not all the people were Castillian, they came from various regions. For example, Martín de Ursúa was Basque. It is a great leap to call everyone Castillian, without having that based on solid sources. Lists of conquistadors of Guatemala include people from Galicia etc. The Spanish Conquest is the commonly accepted term, not the Castillian Conquest. Regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 16:37, 7 June 2014 (UTC)