Tangaxuan II

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Tzimtzincha-Tangaxuan II (died February 14, 1530) was the last cazonci (monarch) of the Tarascan state, the kingdom of the Purépecha from 1520–1530. He was baptized Francisco when his realm made a peace treaty with Hernán Cortés. He was executed by burning by Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán on February 14, 1530. [1] [2] [3]

After hearing about the fall of the Aztec Empire, Tangáxuan II sent emissaries to the Spanish victors. A few Spaniards went with them to Tzintzuntzan where they were presented to the ruler and gifts were exchanged. They returned with samples of gold and Cortés' interest in the Tarascan state was awakened. In 1522 a Spanish force under the leadership of Cristóbal de Olid was sent into Tarascan territory and arrived at Tzintzuntzan within days. The Tarascan army numbered many thousands, perhaps as many as 100,000, but at the crucial moment they chose not to fight. [4] Tangáxuan submitted to the Spanish administration, but for his cooperation was allowed a large degree of autonomy. This resulted in a strange arrangement where both Cortés and Tangáxuan considered themselves rulers of Michoacán for the following years: the population of the area paid tribute to them both.

Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán, then president of the first Audiencia decided, to march on northwestern Mexico with a force of 5,000–8,000 men in search for new populations to subdue, and when he arrived in Michoacán and found out that Tangáxuan was still de facto ruler of his empire he allied himself with a Tarascan noble Don Pedro Panza, known as Cuinierángari, against the Cazonci. The Cazonci was tried for plotting a rebellion, withholding tribute, sodomy and heresy, and he was tortured and executed. [5] His ashes were thrown into the Lerma river. A period of violence and turbulence began. During the next decades, Tarascan puppet rulers were installed by the Spanish government.


  1. James Krippner-Martínez (1 November 2010). Rereading the Conquest: Power, Politics, and the History of Early Colonial Michoacán, Mexico, 1521-1565. Penn State Press. p. 55. ISBN   0-271-03940-X.
  2. Bernardino Verástique (1 January 2010). Michoacán and Eden: Vasco de Quiroga and the Evangelization of Western Mexico. University of Texas Press. p. 124. ISBN   978-0-292-77380-6.
  3. David Marley (2008). Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the Western Hemisphere, 1492 to the Present. ABC-CLIO. p. 43. ISBN   978-1-59884-100-8.
  4. Gorenstein (1993, xiv).
  5. Gorenstein (1993, xv). According to some other sources Tangaxuan II was dragged behind a horse and then burned.

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Gorenstein, Shirley (1993). "Introduction". In Helen Perlstein Pollard (ed.). Taríacuri’s Legacy: The Prehispanic Tarascan State. The Civilization of the American Indian series, vol. 209. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. xiii–xx. ISBN   0-8061-2497-0. OCLC   26801144.
Pollard, Helen Perlstein (1993). Taríacuri’s Legacy: The Prehispanic Tarascan State . The Civilization of the American Indian series, vol. 209. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN   0-8061-2497-0. OCLC   26801144.