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By John Lynch (auth.)

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By John Lynch (auth.)

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Extra resources for Latin America between Colony and Nation: Selected Essays

Sample text

There was excellent saltpetre in Peru, especially in Cuzco, and good quality gunpowder could be manufactured locally. 87 These were first used in the battle of Salinas (1538), by which time the Pizarros had established a clear firearms lead. 88 Diego de Almagro was executed following the battle of Salinas, but `the men from Chile', as they were called, were determined to fight on for their share of empire. They quickly learnt the lesson of the new warfare. They undertook an arms manufacturing programme of their own, while losing no opportunity of capturing arms from their enemies.

Conquest of Mexico CorteÂs landed in Mexico with about 600 men and 16 horses; among his foot soldiers he had some 50 crossbows and 30 arquebuses. He subsequently received reinforcements and further supplies, but his force was never large. In their first engagement near the coast the Spaniards were almost overwhelmed by the weight of Indian numbers, especially Arms and Men in the Spanish Conquest of America 27 by the heavy firepower of the longbows, and they had to try and get under the range of the enemy fire.

When the fighting was over many of them established workshops and businesses, ordering quantities of tools, iron, steel and Arms and Men in the Spanish Conquest of America 41 lead from Spain, and expanding from that point. In copper America was self-sufficient. After the conquest CorteÂs sent to Spain for `arms, iron, guns, powder, tools, forges for fabricating implements'. Whatever value he placed upon artillery, he feared to be without it, and the uncertainty of supplies encouraged him to begin local manufacture.

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