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Cortes/Leon-Jacobo P.

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S: Hernan Cortes and Ponce de Leon

BC: This book was presented to you by Jacob Posada from E.C.A. Venezuela.

FC: Hernando Cortes and Ponce de Leon: Conquistadors By Jacob Posada

1: Introduction After the Americas were discovered by Christopher Columbus in the late 1400s, many European explorers got interested in the adventure of going to the New World searching for riches and fame. Hernando Cortes and Ponce de Leon were two of those such explorers who, driven by dreams of wealth and power, crossed the Atlantic ocean and in the name of the Spanish crown took land, gold, and many lives in order to enrich themselves as well as the King and Queen of Spain. This essay will show you how, when and why these two explorers came to the Americas and how they gained wealth and power, and how what they did affected American civilizations.

2: Hernando Cortes and Ponce de Leon were both well educated men of very strong character, who were born into noble families. Cortes was born in 1485, in Medellin, Extremadura, Spain. His parents, Martin Cortes de Monroy and Catalina Pizarro Altamirano, belonged to Spain’s social elite circle. He studied law at the University of Salamanca, one of Spain's top universities of the time.

5: Ponce de Leon was born in Santervas, Spain, in 1460. As Hernando Cortes, Juan Ponce de Leon came from a noble Spanish family and he was actually related to the King and Queen of Spain. He spoke several languages, and studied religion, mathematics and astronomy. Unlike Hernando Cortes, whose family was well off, Ponce de Leon was poor, and he actually sought fortune working as a soldier against the Muslims in Southern Spain.

6: After Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, and the word got around about this incredible new land, both Hernando Cortes and Ponce de Leon became interested in the New World and its riches as well as in getting personal wealth and power.

7: Cortes first traveled to the Americas in 1504, and spent seven years at the island of Santo Domingo, which today is known as the Dominican Republic. In 1511, Hernando Cortes participated in the Spanish occupation of Cuba, became mayor of Santiago de Cuba and lived there for seven years until 1518.

8: Ponce de Leon first came to the Americas in 1493, as a crew member of Christopher Columbus' second expedition. Like Hernando Cortes, Ponce de Leon first went to Santo Domingo and stayed there for several years, and at one point became governor of the province of Higuey.

9: In very similar ways, and only natural in these young and restless explorers, both Hernando Cortes and Ponce de Leon soon grew interested in exploring other places in the New World. Hernando Cortes asked permission to go to neighboring Mexico, which had been previously discovered by Spanish explorer De Cordoba in 1518. Ponce de Leon, on the other hand, after having heard of the great riches of the nearby island of Borinquen, participated in the conquest of what is known today as Puerto Rico.

10: Hernando Cortes was very successful in conquering Mexico, and obtaining amazing amounts of land, gold, silver, and other riches for himself and for the King and Queen of Spain. He arrived in Mexico in 1519, and as soon as he got there he learned about the Aztecs and their great wealth, so he became determined to conquer the Aztecs.

11: Cortes receiving gold and other jewels from the Aztec ruler Moctezuma.

12: On his way to the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan, Cortes met and became friends with the Tlaxcalan natives, who disliked the Aztecs and were happy to help Cortes against them. He met and married a native woman who quickly learned Spanish and was key to the conquest of the Aztecs, Malinche. Cortes fathered with her, Martin, the first mestizo born in Mexico.

13: Cortes reached Tenochtitlan in 1519, and soon after met Moctezuma, the emperor of the Aztec empire, who thought Cortes and his men were gods. Cortes was amazed by the great wealth Moctezuma showed. Cortes, then, had Moctezuma captured and brutally tortured him and in less than two years, and after a number of some very bloody and fierce battles, Hernando Cortes conquered the Aztecs in 1521.

14: This illustration shows Spanish forces fighting against Aztecs in Tenochtitlan.

15: Cortes then went ahead and had the great capital city of Tenochtitlan destroyed and over its ruins built Mexico City. In conquering Mexico, Hernando Cortes not only used brutal force against the natives and destroyed Tenochtitlan, but he also destroyed the whole Aztec culture and a great empire. As a reward for all his accomplishments and all the gold and silver he had collected for Spain, he was made governor and captain general of the New Spain in 1523.

16: Ponce de Leon did not experience such great conquering achievements and riches as Hernando Cortes but, nonetheless, he was successful in his goal of exploring the New World and gaining wealth and popularity. Ponce de Leon came to the Americas with Christopher Columbus in 1493, and stayed in Santo Domingo when Columbus went back to Spain.

17: He spent most of the early 1500,s in this island where he did a very good job in getting things organized like establishing farms, distributing land, constructing buildings, and getting the economy of the island going.

18: He got married and had four children. At one point, he became governor of the province of Higuey. He, then, heard about the nearby island of Boriquen (now Puerto Rico) and its great riches and he participated in what is recorded the "brutal" conquest of the island and its people.

19: As a reward for his accomplishments, Ponce de Leon was appointed governor of the island but he was later, in 1512, removed for his terrible treatment of the natives whom he abused and forced into slavery.

20: Ponce de Leon (above) is being welcomed as governor of the island of Boriquen.

21: Ponce de Leon is remembered for some other important things. He was the first explorer from Europe that ever "set foot" in what is now Florida, which he originally called Pascua de Florida for its many beautiful flowers. He established the first settlement of European people in Puerto Rico, which still exists today! He also discovered the current known as the Gulf Stream and discovered the Bahama Channel which became the route for the treasure ships, loaded with hundreds of tons of gold and silver taken from the Americas, back to Spain.

22: After Mexico, in 1524, Hernando Cortes went to Honduras, in Central America, with a small group of explorers and stayed there for about two years. In 1528, Cortes was stripped out of his governor's job and sent back to Spain because he apparently was "getting out of control" in the Americas.

23: He later, in 1530, went back to Mexico but with a "lot less power than before" and explored North West Mexico and the country's Pacific coast. In 1539, he went back to Spain and died in poverty in 1547, near Seville.

24: Ponce de Leon is famous for his dogged search for the "fountain of youth", a spring of water that was supposed to give people eternal life and health, which he never found, and the elusive island of Bimini, where there were supposed to be great riches and which he never found either.

25: The same as Cortes, Ponce de Leon was a man of his word. He had a very strong character which paved the way for the domination of the New World. If he had not had this tough character, other explorers would have had fear and would not have had the courage to confront the natives the way he did.

26: This map shows the passages that Cortes took throughout his journey to Tenochtitlan, Trujillo in Honduras and Baja California.

27: This map shows the routes that Ponce de Leon traveled. He went as high North as St. Augustine in Florida and as far West as Cuba.

28: Ponce de Leon's last expedition looking for the island of Bimini was in 1521. When he and his men landed on the Western coast of Florida, they were attacked by furious natives using poisoned arrows. Many men were wounded, including Ponce de Leon and they were forced to retreat to the island of Cuba. Shortly afterwards, Ponce de Leon died in Havana, Cuba in July 1521, victim of the wounds caused by the arrows and was buried in Puerto Rico.

29: CONCLUSION Hernando Cortés and Ponce de Leon were two brave Spanish explorers who driven by dreams of riches, power and fame came to the New World and, in the name of the Spanish crown, conquered and claimed land and incredible amounts of jewels, gold and silver for Spain. They both got what they wanted in terms of material things and popularity, at the expense of both the native Americans and their culture, whom they mistreated and abused and which they destroyed. Hernando Cortes is better known than Ponce de Leon because he conquered Mexico, defeated the Aztecs and their leader Moctezuma, destroyed their capital city of Tenochtitlan, and on top of its ruins he had Mexico City built..

30: Ponce de Leon conquered Puerto Rico and was its governor for many years. He is well known because he "discovered" Florida and also the Gulf Stream, which was very useful for Spanish Explorers. Perhaps, he is better known for his unsuccessful search for the "fountain of eternal youth" that was supposed to be in the Garden of Eden.

31: In short, both Hernando Cortes and Ponce de Leon were considered heroes for Spain because of all the land and riches they got for the Spanish Crown. Nevertheless, for many Americans, these explorers will always be remembered as opportunists driven by dreams of personal wealth, fame and power, who mistreated the locals, destroyed their culture and abused their human rights.

32: Slavery The Triangle Trade began in the 15th century and ended in the 19th century. It was the action that most affected African culture and its people because the Europeans and the "new" Americans traded and abused African peoples' human rights. The poor Africans that were trapped and sold were made slaves, and they were sent on a terrible trip across the Atlantic ocean to the Americas where they would have to work until death. Ponce de Leon treated the natives very badly and he forced them into slavery, making them work in the gold mines and to fight against other natives who were trying to throw off the Spanish from the islands.

33: They were often given the hardest and most disturbing jobs. | The slaves were treated badly and were forced to do hard labor.

34: The jobs of the slaves included from housekeeping, taking care of children, cooking, personal slaves and window cleaning to the hardest jobs like horse cleaning, chimney cleaning, field working wood chopping and bathroom maintenance. Indentured servants were almost slaves but they were given good food, a place to live and their masters paid for the trips back home when their period of work was over, but this didn't mean that they were given easier jobs.

35: Quiz! 1) Was Hernando Cortes as educated as Ponce de Leon? 2) What did Ponce de Leon do to the natives that made him a bad person? 3) Who did Hernando Cortes conquer? | 4) What city was built over the ruins of Tenochtitlan? 5) Why did Ponce de Leon and Hernando Cortes decide to come the the "New World"?

36: Bibliography for Text Video: explorers of the world: Cortés and Pizarro, Schelsing Media, ©2000 Book: world explorers: Latin America, Prentice Hall, ©1998 Book: Abnett, Dan. Hernan Cortes. New York: Power Kids Press, 2007. Website: "Hernando Cortes." Elizabethan Era. Elizabethan Era Copyrights, n.d. Web. 19 April 2010. . Website:

37: Bibliography for Pictures


39: - Thank you for reading this Mixbook, I hope you learned a lot and you appreciated the great works of these explorers.

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  • By: Jacobo P.
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  • Title: Cortes/Leon-Jacobo P.
  • This mixbook will teach you about european explorers that discovered the americas and conquered nations.
  • Tags: cortes, explorers, jacobo posada, ponce de leon, spanish explorers
  • Published: over 6 years ago

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