Hernan Cortees Greatest Accomplishments

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Born in Medellín, Spain, conquistador Hernán Cortés (c. 1485-1547) first served as a soldier in an expedition of Cuba led by Diego Velázquez in 1511. He ignored orders and traveled to Mexico with about 500 men and 11 ships in 1519, setting his sights on overthrowing ruler Montezuma II in the Aztec capital of Tenochitilán. The Aztecs eventually drove the Spanish from Tenochitilán, but Cortés returned to defeat the natives and take the city in 1521. He spent much of his later years seeking recognition for his achievements and support from the Spanish royal court.Cortés became allies with some of the native peoples he encountered, but with others he used deadly force to conquer Mexico. He fought Tlaxacan and Cholula warriors and then set his sights …show more content…

He joined an expedition to the New World, but never made it on board.

He was involved in an affair with a local girl. One night he was climbing a wall to get to her apartment, and the wall gave way. He crashed down, buried under the rubble, and was stuck in bed until after his ship had departed.
Hernan Cortez biography - the New World
Finally, in 1504, Hernan Cortes boarded a ship commanded by Alonso Quintero, departing for the west. Quintero was ambitious. More than once he tried to sneak away from his companions, so that he could secure the market for himself. He was not very successful, but perhaps his ambition rubbed off on the young Cortes.

In Hispaniola (Now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) Cortes went to the house of the Governor, who he knew from Spain. The Governor was gone, and the secretary assured him that he would be able to get a land grant. "But I came to get gold," he replied, "not to till the soil, like a peasant."

When the Governor returned, Hernan Cortez was finally convinced to take a piece of land for a time. He didn't entirely settle down, though. He was involved in the military, suppressing native uprisings. He was also often in duels over one girl or …show more content…

He had a very troubled time, even being put in jail at one point. He was very dissatisfied with his life, remaining ambitious for more wealth, more slaves, more adventure.
Hernan Cortez biography - on to Mexico!
Mexico was just newly discovered when Hernan Cortes was allowed to lead a small expedition to explore. The Governor actually changed his mind and cancelled the expedition, but Cortes went anyway on February 18th. It was 1519 - he would have been about 34 years old.

Cortez quickly took control of the situation. Landing in the Yucatán, he met Jeronimo de Aguilar, a Franciscan priest who knew Mayan. Cortes claimed the land for Spain, and began his conquest. He met his future mistress, who knew Mayan and Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs). Taking his men to Veracruz, he officially ignored the authority of the Governor and claimed to be acting under the direct authority of Emperor Charles V. In reality, he was taking charge of the situation absolutely, and ready to claim the gold and power he had been looking

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