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Sad Nights

Michael Wood

26 May 1994
The Conquest of Mexico 
by Hugh Thomas.
Hutchinson, 832 pp., £25, October 1993, 0 671 70518 0
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The Conquest of Mexico 
by Serge Gruzinski, translated by Eileen Corrigan.
Polity, 336 pp., £45, July 1993, 0 7456 0873 6
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... One of the strangest recurring moments in the Spanish invasion of the Americas was the reading of the Requerimiento, the Requisition, a document which both proclaimed possession of a territory and converted its natives into subjects of the Spanish Crown; all resistance, therefore, could be called rebellion. The natives were supposed to be present at the reading, although it seems they weren’t always ...

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