Hernan Cortes was a hero that conquered the Aztec Empire. Hernan Cortes’ was an educated man. Military ran in his blood, his father was an officer in the Spanish army. He attended the University of Salamanca when he was only 14 years old. When Hernan Cortes was only 19 he joined Diego Velazquez and Nicola de Overdo on their voyages to the New World.
Most books have either portrayed Hernán Cortés as either a brave conquistador hero who helped transform Mexico for Spanish use, or as a cruel racist who helped instill a genocide upon millions of Mexican natives. The truth, however, can be a lot less black or white. In the book Victors and Vanquished: Spanish and Nahua Views of the Conquest of Mexico, we see that the moral nature of Cortés is more grey than most think. Cortés, in his conquest of Mexico, has performed good and bad deeds towards his own men and towards the Nahua people.
They both killed in the name of religion, and both growing empires willing to do anything to gain more power. Cortés was sent on expedition to establish trading deals with the Natives in and around the Yucatan peninsula, under order of Diego Velázquez, who was the Governor of Cuba. Velázquez soon regretted his decision and to stop Cortés from ever leaving
Cortes, as well as many other explorers during this time, was inspired by the Three G’s: God, gold, and glory. He planned to conquer the new lands for Spain, to convert the natives to Catholicism, and to obtain the riches of the land, mostly gold. Conquistador is basically a record of the last days of the Aztec civilization, as the two groups, the Aztecs and the Spaniards, clash, and the Spaniards ultimately come out on top.
Cortés sent a letter explaining the Aztecs civilization, their merchants, way of life, and gave King Charles V updates on their attack. “In regard to the domestic appointments of Moctezuma, and the wonderful grandeur and state that he maintains, there is so much to be told, that I assure your Highness I know not where to begin my relation.” (Cortes Letter) Upon their arrival Montezuma (The Aztec leader) greeted them with gifts and gold, but unfortunately Cortés took this as a strategy to weaken the empire and took him hostage. The Spanish were outnumbered but did receive reinforcements over time.
As a child, Juan started accompanying his father in the raids against the Indians. Juan also led many campaigns at his own cost. When Juan was just twenty years old, he started defending and expanding Spanish settlements in the northern part of Mexico by conquering the Indian communities. Although Juan was born in New Spain, he never set his foot on the European land. Juan was a true Spaniard who devoted his life to the church, the king and the expansion of his empire.
Diego was said to be a well known jokester, “plump master of Cuba who was said to be first-in-line to conquer Mexico,” as said in the book along with being money hungry, he went on two consecutive expeditions in two years leaving no supplies or money to go to another to follow a lead on the famous dream of El Dorado. Desperately, Velazquez convinced a wealthy man by the name of, Hernan Cortes, to fund and lead the expedition with responsibilities of bringing a substantial amount of treasures to him to give to the King of Spain in return of fame and fortune. Hernan Cortes was a very “vivacious, likable, and literate; he could even pepper his speech with Latin.” However, Cortes ambitious behaviour got the best of him when he departed from Velazquez before he could arrive on the boat before departing onto their journey, for Cortes wanted to take all the credit and treasures for himself and took the boat and crew, leaving with no contact for over two months. Velazquez wants to give Cortes the benefit of the doubt decided to wait to hear word from him, however, gave up when there were rumours of Cortes and his men meeting some Native Americans whom gave them large amounts of wealthy possessions and gave them shelter and became allies; soon Cortes sent samples of the treasures to the King to receive more funds and crew members to help the mining of the silver and gold that was plentiful in those
In the wake of his death a new leader was chosen by the people, Cuitlahuac, whose primary goal was to overthrow the Spanish power. Cortez no longer had control of Tenochtitlan or its inhabitants. The reality became pertinent to Cortez, although having the support of the Tlaxcala’s, the pure numeric superiority of the Aztecs was threatening and that fleeing or death seemed the only plausible end results. With this coming to a head on June 30th, 1520 “La Noche Triste” the night of sadness. Upon Cortez and his army inclusive of Tlaxcala allies trying to leave the city of Tenochtitlan, came upon vicious fighting and opposition from the Aztecs, resulting in the death of 450 Spaniards and thousands of Tlaxcala’s upon trying to flee Tenochtitlan.
Montezuma would restructure and appoint newly held positions never before seen during this point in the Aztec governing body, as well as rid timeworn and previous positions. However, throughout fierce battle campaigns, Aztec rule began to expand at a rapid rate and thus began to dwindle shortly before the arrival of the Spanish. This was due in part to neighboring societies being overran and conquered, divided and managed into numerous subsets, ruled by shadow rulers and forced to worship the Aztec deity, Huitzilopochtli, god of sun and war. Many subsets began to rebel, such as the Thaxcalan, aiding in the future alliance and Spanish conquer of the overall Mesoamerican and specifically Aztec civilization (Youtube.com). Most contribute the fall of the Aztec empire to Spanish conquer.
Afterwards, he made the decision to enter the Spanish Navy. Though the years in which he served in the navy are unrecorded, it is probable that he stayed in service for a considerable amount of time before he left the country to join an expedition to Central America. In the year 1514,
The Conquistador of the New World Cabeza de vaca had a purpose for taking sail in 1527. Cabeza de vaca wanted to establish settlements along the gulf coast. Cabeza de vaca's ship went off course so they had to build rafts and leave the ship after they left the ships a strong wind blew them out into the open sea. Some people say he landed in modern day galveston. Which he was healed captive as a slave for a tribe called charrucos, he was healed as a healer.
Portilla mentions that as soon as the conquistadors backed off a new battle began. Smallpox created an epidemic to the size of the Aztec population. Once the population is depleated, the author describes how the Spaniards came in for the fatal