Friday, July 12, 2013

Burn the Boats

In 1519, Hernán Cortés landed on the vast inland of Mexico along with 600 Spaniards, approximately 16 horses, and 11 boats. The Span­ish con­quis­ta­dor and his men were about to embark on a con­quest of an empire that hoarded some of the world’s great­est trea­sure.
This dar­ing under­tak­ing seemed insur­mount­able because for more than 600 years, con­querors had never suc­ceeded.  For this rea­son, Cortés did something daring when he arrived at the land of the Mayans.
Instead of charg­ing through cities and forc­ing his men into imme­di­ate bat­tle, Cortés stayed on the beach and awoke the souls of his men with embla­zoned speeches.  However, it was just three words he murmured that changed the his­tory of the New World.  As they marched inland to face their ene­mies, Cortés ordered, “Burn the boats.”

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