Hernan Cortes: The Spanish Conquest Of Mexico

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“I love to travel, but hate to arrive.. . .” - Hernán Cortes. Hernán Cortes was a famous Spanish Conquistador who helped cause the fall of the Aztec Empire. He helped colonize mainland in Mexico. He helped expand Spain’s land in the 16th century. This was a large achievement in a time when there were many expeditions.

Hernán was born in Medellin, Spain in a family with little nobility. Hernan was always interested by the numerous expeditions to the New World. When he went to Cuba he became an alcalde, or mayor, of a town on an island. He was chosen in 1519 to become a captain on the third expedition to mainland Mexico. His disagreements with Diego Velasquez caused Hernán to ignore him when he recalled the expedition.

When Hernán arrived his strategy was to turn indigenous
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Hernans men took over Veracruz in July 1519. He asked the Aztecs tributaties to arrange a meeting with Moctezuma ll. Moctezuma ll was the ruler of the Aztecs empire. Moctezuma first turned down Hernán’s request, but Hernán was ready to use force. Hernán created alliances with the Totonacs and the nahaus to join the march to Moctezuma. This was done to bring fear to the Aztecs. He also massacred thousands and burned part of Tenochtitlan.

Scared of further attack, Moctezuma gave golds to the Spanish. After learning that many Spaniards were killed by Aztecs on the coast, Hernán took Moctezuma hostage. Moctezuma was murdered on July 1, 1520. Some say that Moctezuma was stoned to death by his own people, while others believe the Spanish killed him. While this is only a description of one of his major accomplishments, Hernán had some less important expeditions. When Hernán returned to Seville he got dysentery and died a few months later. Hernán was an important explorer who helped increase Spain’s power. His accomplishments determined the future of what is now modern

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