"place of maize tortillas") was a pre-Columbian city state
of central Mexico
Tlaxcala was a confederation of four altepetl
— which each took turns providing a ruler for Tlaxcala as a whole.
Tlaxcala was never conquered by the Aztec
empire, but was engaged in a state of perpetual war, or so-called flower wars
. During the Spanish conquest of Mexico
, Tlaxcala allied with the Spaniards against the Aztecs, supplying a large contingent for – and at times the majority of – the Spanish-led army that eventually destroyed the Aztec empire.
As a result of their alliance with the Spaniards, Tlaxcala had a somewhat privileged status within Spanish colonial Mexico.
Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo
describes the first battle between the Spanish force and the Tlaxcalteca as surprisingly difficult. He writes that they probably would not have survived, had not Xicotencatl the Elder
, ruler of Tizatlan, persuaded the Tlaxcallan warleader his son, Xicotencatl the Younger
, that it would be better to ally with the newcomers than to kill them. Xicohtencatl the Younger was later hanged by Cortes
for desertion in April 1521 during the siege of Tenochtitlan
Due to protracted warfare between the Aztecs and the Tlaxcala, the Tlaxcala were eager to exact revenge, and soon became loyal allies of the Spanish. Even after the Spanish were chased out of......