This module will examine the Spanish encounter with the indigenous peoples of the New World in the sixteenth century. It will examine the different conditions of the various societies including the Aztecs, Incas, Mayas and Arawaks. It will explore the Spanish experience of conquering the vast Aztec and Inca empires, and the different interaction with more fragmented societies such as the Maya of the Yucatan peninsula and the nomadic peoples of New Mexico. The establishment of a Spanish colonial empire will be studied, and the module will address a wide range of themes, from the Spanish conception of the legality of empire, to the (extraordinary) problems of religious, political and cultural incomprehension that dictated the relationship between the Spanish and the indigenous peoples of their new dominions. The module will also focus on the atrocity of conquest, which has dominated Latin American historiography since the sixteenth century.