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Cortes - Page Text Content


BC: Cortes | By: Keerstin Koziar

FC: Cortes | By: Keerstin Koziar

1: The Spanish Conquest | Cortes

2: When Cortes was 19 he decided to leave Spain and seek for his new fortune in the Caribbean colonies. He landed in Cuba where he gained political power and was twice elected mayor of Santiago. When rumours reached the governor, Diego Velazquez, he talked to Cortes about leading an expidition. As Cortes was about to go, Velazquez changed his mind about sending Cortes, but Cortes was determined even if it would anger the governor. He left on Febuary 1819 with 11 ships, 16 horses, and 500 men. Cortes knew that he would be in trouble by the governor, so he had to conquer and settle wherever he landed. Cortes provided to be an exeptional strategist. He knew that he and his men where hopelessly outnumbered by the Aztec, but he also knew that he had guns and they did not. | Cortes enjoyed to write. He sent many letters to the king about his exploits.

4: When Cortes landed on the coast of Veracruz on the gulf of Mexico in 1519, Spain's explorers knew they where in a new world. They found a rich, complex civilization that they had never saw before. They belived it was theirs to take for Spain, and that Spanish imperialism was right.

5: The Aztec first saw Cortes and his men on the coast of the empire in 1519. They did not know anything about the spanish. There lack of worldview led to tragic consequences for the Aztec.

6: Cortes was determined to conquer the empire for his king, his god, and for riches, no matter how many lives were lost. He also wanted to covert the other lands to christianity.

7: When Moctezuma first heard that the Spanish landed in Veracruz, the people also said that his apperence was just like Quetzalcoatl's. So most people thought he was a returning god.

8: Moctezuma was not sure Cortes was the returning god, so he sent him gifts to test him. Such as a cloak and some food.

9: Cortes knew he could not defeat the Aztec with only 500 men, so he had to use another strategie. He then found out that many city-states did not like being defeated. So he used rivalries of the Aztec to his advantage.

10: Cortes would often kill the nobility of a city to frighten the citizens so that they would join Cortes. He used weapons that the people had never seen before.

11: Cortes used firepower such as muskets and cannon's similar to the ones you see in the pictures.

12: In 1519, Cortes and Moctezuma were about to meet face to face. Cortes sent a message saying that he was coming in peace and wished to meet the emperor to extend his greetings. Cortes had now built a fearsome reputation, he entered the causeway to Tenochtitlan on November 8, 1519. Thousands of Aztec warriors protected Moctezuma, he could of ordered Cortes put to death but he did not. Cortes and his men were treated very well and given luxurious accommodations.

14: Cortes and his men were treated very well and given luxurious accommodations by Moctezuma.

15: For several days, Moctezuma showed Cortes around Tenochtitlan. Cortes was amazed at the marketplace and the palaces, and were astounded at the size.

16: Cortes knew that he could easily be put to death, so he waited for an opportunity. About one week after Cortes arrived, he took Moctezuma hostage in the palace Moctezuma had provided Cortes. In the palace, Cortes replaced all of the Aztec idols with Roman Catholic saints. Moctezuma's advisors were disgusted that Moctezuma let the spanish in, they felt that Moctezuma was weak and had let down his people. So they left him hostage with the spanish.

18: Cortes left Pedro de Alverado in charge because the governor of cuba sent men to arrest him. Alverado and his men surrounded the festival of Huitzilopochtli and massacred all the worshippers. The Aztec were outraged. Nobles and priests had been killed.

19: When Cortes returned to Tenochtitlan he found his men trapped. He ordered Moctezuma to speak to the people to let the Spanish return in peace. But the people stonned him to death. | In June 1520, the Spanish tried to escape in the night. The Aztec found them trying to escape and attacked the Spanish. Some were carrying too much gold and couldn't get away fast enough. Many Spanish died, this was called the Noche Triste.

20: The Aztec started to die from diseases brought by the Spanish, called smallpox. Smallpox came from Europeans, but they were immune to it. When it hit the Aztecs, they had no time for their bodies to build any resistance to it.

21: Cortes blocked the canals and the causeways preventing food and water from reaching the city. Once the siege ended, the spanish destroyed everything in Tenochtitlan so that no one could hide. And that was the end of the Aztec.

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  • Title: Cortes
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  • Started: almost 10 years ago
  • Updated: almost 10 years ago