Did Pedro de Alvarado conquer the Mayans?

1 Answer

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The Maya civilization was, unlike the Aztecs, made up of a number of different polities that were subjugated in a piecemeal fashion by Spanish conquistadores. Pedro de Alvarado, sent with a detachment of troops under Cortes, conquered many of the Mayan-speaking polities in the area now known as Guatemala. These included the Quiche people and, eventually, the polity known as Cuzcatlan. The conquest of the Maya on the Yucatan peninsula was mostly accomplished by Francisco de Montejo and his son by the same name in a series of campaigns spanning two decades from the 1520s to the 1540s. The last Maya polity, in fact, did not surrender until late in the seventeenth century. So Alvarado was an instrumental figure in the gradual conquest of the Maya peoples, but neither he nor any other leader was singlehandedly responsible.