Analyze the similarities and differences of the following Native American cultures on the eve of their encounter with Europeans: the Pueblo people of the Southwest; the tribes of the Mississippi Valley; and the Aztec, Mayan, and Incan empires.

In general, the French interactions with the Illinois and other indigenous peoples of the Mississippi River Valley were much more mild and less violent than the Spanish conquests of the Pueblos, Aztecs, and Incas. Where the Spanish used brutality and force to convert natives, the French cooperated and worked within native practices.

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The Aztec, Incan, and Pueblo Indigenous groups all experienced colonization and ultimate conquest by the Spanish. In 1519, Hernán Cortés began his conquest of the Aztec empire, specifically via the siege of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. With the assistance of Tlaxcalan collaborators, Cortés surrounded Tenochtitlan and eventually wore down its defenses through naval engagements and causing epidemics of smallpox.

Starting in 1532, the Spanish also began the conquest of Peru, specifically the Incan empire, under the command of Francisco Pizarro. Both Cortés and Pizarro were brutal in their treatment of the conquered peoples. Cortés, for example, is notoriously known for collecting all of the Aztec priests and having them fed to rabid dogs, while Pizarro famously murdered the wife of Emperor Manco Inca, who was serving as a puppet governor for the Spanish empire at the time.

The Spanish also conquered the Pueblo Indians by the end of the sixteenth century. Francisco Coronado had...

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