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"Hernan Cortes and Monteczuma at Mexican Temple" - Scene from the frieze decorating the United States Capitol. Painted sometime between 1878 and 1880 by Constantino Brumidi.

EXCERPT AND LINK FROM VIRTUALOLOGY.COM: "CORTES, Hernan, or Hernando, soldier, born in Medellin, Province of Estremadura, Spain, in 1485 died near Seville, 2 Dec., 1547. His parents, Martin Cortes and Catalina Pizarro Altamirano, were both of good family, but in reduced circumstances. He was a sickly child, and at the age of fourteen was sent to the University of Salamanca, but returned home two years later without leave. He then determined upon a life of adventure, and arranged to accompany Nicolas de Ovando, likewise a native of Estremadura, who was about to sail for Santo Domingo to supersede Bobadilla in his command. An accident that happened to him in a love adventure detained him at home, and the expedition sailed without him." -


EXCERPT AND LINK FROM HISPANOS FAMOSOS at http://thinkquest.org: " Hernán Cortés was a Spanish explorer who is famous mainly for his march across Mexico and his conquering of the Aztec Empire in Mexico.

Cortés was born in the Spanish city of Medellín in 1485. When he was a young man, he studied law, but he soon gave that up to seek his fortune in the New World that was just being discovered by Columbus and others." -


New World Image engraving

plates from the 1500's



New World Image engraving plates from the 1500's

Here's a great pictorial resource at http://floridahistory.com with numerous engraving plates depicting The World in the 1500's with Hernan Cortes and the Aztecs during various historical happenings. -


When Hernan Cortes is first seen by the Aztecs they immediately bow down in reverence thinking he is their god Quetzalcoatl.

Original large Native American Conquest Map.

EXCERPT AND LINK FROM HISPANOS FAMOSOS at http://coloquio.com: " Hernán Cortés(1485-1547), Conqueror, Spain - Conqueror of Mexico, born at Medellin in Spain c. 1485; died at Castilleja de la Cuesta near Seville, 2 December, 1547.


He was married first to Catalina Xuares, from which marriage there was no issue, and, after her death, to Doña Juana de Zuñiga, niece of the Duke of Bejar. From this union there sprang four children, one son (Martín) and three daughters. His parents were Martín Cortés de Monroy and Catalina Pizarro Altamirano, both of honourable extraction, belonging to the middle class of nobility, but not wealthy." -


EXCERPT AND LINK at http://pbs.org: " HERNAN ARRIVES IN MEXICO It is spring, 1519. A Spanish expedition consisting of 11 ships is setting sail westward in hopes of expanding the Empire. News had reached Velasquez, the governor of Cuba, that some of his men had found land past the oceanic horizon where the sun sets.

Velasquez appointed Hernan Cortés as Captain-General of the Armada and sent him off to follow the rumor.  Cortes may not have been the most qualified to lead the expedition. Though he was experienced and renowned for his courage, another reason for his appointment was his promise to help finance the expedition. Cortes emptied his personal wealth and poured it into the trip. He mortgaged his lands. He called on friends to both help prepare for the trip and to join his small army." - CLICK LINK FOR SOURCE

EXCERPT AND LINK at http://pbs.org: " He moved to Cuba in 1509 and in 1511 he agreed to help Diego Velazquez in the Spanish conquest of Cuba. In battles there, he proved to be a capable, brave soldier. In return, Governor Velazquez rewarded Cortes for his service by giving him an even larger grant of land and more Indian slaves.


When news arrived about the Mayan Civilization on the Yucatan peninsula and the fact that explorers had found treasures of silver and gold there, the atmosphere in Cuba became more and more like a "Gold Rush." Governor Velazquez decided to send an expedition to Yucatan. On October 23, 1518 he chose Cortes as its commanding officer." -



EXCERPT AND LINK at http://libweb.hawaii.edu: " BIBLIOTECA DEL NIÑO MEXICANO, por Heriberto Frias, Mexico, Maucci. In 1900 Maucci Brothers, a Spanish publisher, commissioned Posada to illustrate a series of pamphlets for children on the history of Mexico. Each pamphlet measuring 4 3/4 x 3 1/4 in. is approximately 16 pages. The cover illustrations are probably the only mechanically produced chromolithographs that Posada ever did. - CLICK LINK FOR SOURCE



Hernan Cortés

The Conquistador of the Aztec Empire


Link and informational SITE about Hernan Cortes the Conquistador of an empire and the New World that was brought about after his reign over "Los Aztecas de Mejico" - The Aztecs of Mexico. Contact this SITE at HERNAN at CORTES dot COM.

José Guadalupe Posada:


The Jean Charlot Collection,

University of Hawaii Library


EXCERPT AND LINK FROM ENCHANTED LEARNING: “Cortes sailed with 11 ships from Cuba to the Yucatan Peninsula to look for gold, silver, and other treasures. Hearing rumors of great riches, Cortés traveled inland and "discovered" Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire. He then brutally killed the Aztec emperor Montezuma and conquered his Aztec Empire of Mexico, claiming all of Mexico for Spain in 1521. Treasures from the Aztecs were brought to Spain, and Cortés was a hero in his homeland. Cortés was appointed governor of the colony of New Spain, but eventually fell out of favor with the royals. He then returned to Spain where he died a few years later.” -  CLICK LINK FOR SOURCE


EXCERPT FROM MEXICO WEB FACTS: Place of encounter of Montezuma Xocoyotzin and the Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes on the 8 day of November 1519.  When Cortés returned to the palace, however, he found that Alvarado and his men had massacred the Aztec nobility and the survivors had elected a new emperor, Cuitláhuac. Cuitláhuac ordered his soldiers to besiege the palace housing the Spaniards and Monteczuma. Cortés ordered Monteczuma to speak to his people from a palace balcony and persuade them to let the Spanish return to the coast in peace. Monteczuma was jeered and stones were thrown at him injuring him badly, and Monteczuma died a few days later.  - 




Impressive power point presentation by Matt Elton and uploaded HERE at Scibd.com.


EXCERPT AND LINK: “A PowerPoint Presentation by Matt Elton  - The Spanish Conquer The Aztecs Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire.  For many centuries the people of the Aztec civilization of present day Mexico dwelled in peace. Then the Spanish came. The conquest of the Aztecs began as soon as the Spanish first arrived. Just three years afterwards, the Aztec empire was destroyed. On April 21st, 1519, a group of eleven Spanish galleons led by explorer Hernán Cortes reached the island of San Juan de Ulúa. The ships contained five hundred and fifty Spanish soldiers, and sixteen horses.”

Publish at Scribd or explore others: History Cortez Aztec

A Powerpoint Presentation by Matt Elton T he Spanish Conquer T he Az tecs Spa ni sh Con qu est o f th e Azt ec Em pi r e For many centuries the people of the Aztec civilization of present day Mexico dwelled in peace. Then the Spanish came. The conquest of the Aztecs began as soon as the Spanish first arrived. Just three years afterwards, the Aztec empire was destroyed. On April 21st, 1519, a group of eleven Spanish galleons led by explorer Hernán Cortes reached the island of San Juan de Ulúa. The ships contained five hundred and fifty Spanish soldiers, and sixteen horses. Cortes was determined to crush the Aztec empire and make the land part of Spain. As his soldiers unloaded from the ships, the conquest of the Aztecs began. Sp anish Co nquest o f the Azt ec Emp ire § After Columbus’s discovery of the Americas in the late 1400s, explorers from many different European nations journeyed to the New World to claim land for their country. The Americas were filled with natural resources that were valuable to Europe, especially gold, and the Europeans would not let the primitive civilizations dwelling in the Americas stop them from taking over the land. As Cortes and his Spanish soldiers arrived at the beach of San Juan de Ulúa, they were greeted by friendly Totonac natives. The Totonacs were amazed by the Spanish, for they had never seen such amazing things as horses or giant ships (which they called “floating towers”) before. Monteczuma II, the ruler of the Aztec Empire at the time, soon learned of Cortes’s arrival from the Totonacs. Sp anish Co nquest o f the Azt ec Emp ire § Cortes and his army then sailed to the island of Cozumel, off the Yucatan Peninsula of present day Mexico. It was there that Cortes found another Spanish explorer named Gerónimo de Aguilar. Aquilar journeyed to the Aztec region eight years earlier, however, his ship crashed and he became stranded. Fortunately for Cortes, Aquilar had learned the Aztec language in the eight years he spent with the Aztecs. Aquilar agreed to travel with Cortes and act as a translator between Spanish and Aztec. Sp anish Co nquest o f the Azt ec Emp ire § Meanwhile in Tenochitlán, the capital of the Aztec Empire, Monteczuma II was worried about what Cortes and his band of explorers might do. Word had spread that Cortes had left the islands of the Caribbean and landed on the mainland. Monteczuma II sent Cortes a message, encouraging peace but warning Cortes not to come near the Tenochitlán. Cortes sought to destroy the Aztecs; however, he knew that he could not go against the Aztec army (which had thousands of soldiers) with his mere band of five hundred and fifty men. So to increase the size of his army, Cortes rallied the support of the Totonacs. Over a thousand Totonac soldiers pledged their loyalty to Cortes, and Cortes led his new army towards Tenochitlán. Sp anish Co nquest o f the Azt ec Emp ire § Before reaching Tenochitlán Cortes had to first get past Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl, two giant volcanoes that acted as geographic barriers to those traveling from the eastern coats towards Tenochitlán. In the region near these volcanoes was a small kingdom called Tlaxcala. Cortes and his army quickly destroyed this kingdom, rampaging through villages and defeating any resistance. Many Tlaxcalas agreed to join Cortes, and with an even larger army, Cortes continued towards Tenochitlán. Spa nis h Conquest of th e Az tec Empir e § On the way to Tenochitlán, Cortes and his army destroyed many Aztec cities. A surprise attack on the city of Cholula left thousands dead. Finally, Cortes reached the capital of the Aztec Empire, Tenochitlán. Cortes was greeted with a fanfare by Aztec nobles, who gave Cortes a tour of the city. Cortes then met with Monteczuma II himself. Monteczuma II sought peace, however, Cortes lead his army against Monteczuma II and took him captive. For eight months, Monteczuma remained a prisoner to the Spanish, until more Spanish soldiers arrived from Spain. It was then that the Aztec people rebelled against the Spanish. In an attempt to stop the rebellion, Cortes forced Monteczuma II to stand on the rooftop of the palace at Tenochitlán and speak to the Aztec people, trying to convince them to stop warring against the Spanish. However, this did not help. The Aztec people grew furious and threw stones and arrows at Monteczuma II, killing him. An organized Aztec rebellion against the Spanish, led by Cuitláhuac, forced the Spanish out of Tenochitlán. In what became known as La Triste Noche, or “The Sad Night,” hundreds of Spanish and Aztec soldiers died in a massive battle. Sp anish Co nquest o f the Azt ec Emp ire § The surviving Spaniards and their allies retreated back into Tlaxcalan territory. Devising a new strategy, Cortés built a massive fleet of ships for his next attack. In January 1521 Cortes and his army returned to Tenochitlán. They staged a series of raids and took the Aztec stronghold at Texcoco, from whence they could launch the newly built fleet of warships. In May, Cortés began his final assault on Tenochtitlán, attacking it from every direction, with separate divisions assigned to each of the city's three causeways and the warships moving in by water. Sp anish Co nquest o f the Azt ec Emp ire § The Aztecs fought courageously under leadership of the last Aztec emperor, Cuauhtemoc, whose name translates as "falling eagle" or "setting sun." However, the Spanish were too powerful for them. On August 13, 1521, Cuauhtemoc grasped the dagger in Cortes’ belt and pleaded, “I have done all that I could to defend my people. Do with me now what you will.” Sp anish Co nquest o f the Azt ec Emp ire § With the Aztecs defeated, Cortes and his Spanish army erased the remnants of the Aztec culture as best they could, scorching Tenochtitlán by fire, and leveling its majestic temples. The rubble would make up the foundations of a new world, and mark the beginning of a new empire. Th e Azt ec “ Gre at Te mple ” (Te mp lo Ma yo) Th e Azt ec G re at Te mple The Fl oati ng Ci ty of Ten och tilan, Capi tal of the Az tec Empi re Azt ec Pyr amid Azt ec Wr it ten Language Azt ec City Ru le rs o f the Azt ec Em pire § § § § § § § § § § § Acamapichtli: (1376-1395) Was the first "true" emperor, and descended from the Toltecs. Huitziláihuitl: (1395-1417) Was the son of Acamapichtli. Chimalpopoca: (1417-1427) Believed to had been the grandson of Acamapichtli. Under his leadership, the people serve as mercenaries to Tezozomoc, a ruthless warrior of the Tepanecs. He died in a mysterious fashion, likely by the hands of the Tepanecs. Itzcóatl: (1427-1440) Was related to Acamapichtli. Under his leadership, the Aztecs broke with the Tepanecs. Itzcóatl's advisor was a brillant and powerful man named Tlacaelel. He suggested that all early recorded history be burned, and history be rewritten beginning at that time. Moctezuma I: (1440-1469) Moctezuma was Itzcóal's nephew. During his rule, the Aztec empire was greatly expanded. He built botanical and zoological gardens, where every known plant and animal were collected and studied. It was also during his reign, that a severe drought caused a great famine, that his people had to sell themselves to the people of Veracruz. Human Sacrifice dramattically increased and the "Flowery Wars" provided the necessary sacrificial victims. Axayácatl: (1469-1481) Was Moctezuma's grandson who spent most of his time reconquering lost territories and suppressing rebellions. Tizoc: (1481-1486) Was Moctezuma's grandson and Axayácatl brother. He was a weak and cowardly emperor. Ahuizotl: (1486-1502) Was Moctezuma's grandson and brother of Axayácatl and Tizoc. He was an aggressive military leader who expaned Aztec territory to the Guatemalan border. The main temple at Tenochtitlán was completed during his reign. Moctezuma II: (1502-1520) The son of Axayácatl, great grandson of Moctezuma I. He was a powerful and knowledgable emperor, and a capable but demanding leader. Who was trained to be a emperor since birth. He transformed Tenochtitlán into an awe inspiring cultural metropolis. He was very superstitous and believed in the legend of Quetzalcóatl. He will always be remembered for his surrender of Tenochtitlán to the Spanish. He Died in 1520 in the midst of a bloodly battle against the Spanish. Cuitláhuac: (1520) He was Moctezuma nephew. Cuitláhuac only ruled for four months, died of disease brought by the Spaniards. Cuauhtémoc: (1520-1524) He was the son of Ahuitzáotl, and nephew to Moctezuma and Cuitláhuach. He was the last of the Aztec emperors and the bravest of them all. He fought courageous against the Spaniards in the defense of their great city of Tenochtitlán. He died in 1524, he was hung by the Spaniards. Time lin e o f Azt ec Hist Aztecs left homeland in search of new home. § 1100 A.D. ory 1195 Aztecs arrived in Valley of Mexico. 1250 Aztecs settled near Lake Texcoco. 1325 Tenochtitlan was founded. First temple built by Aztecs. 1350 Causeways built with canals. 1370 Tenoch, Aztec Priest-Ruler, died. Aztecs ruled by Tepanecs. 1375 Acamapichtli becomes first ruler of Aztecs. 1400 Tepanecs were defeated. Aztecs expand and rule whole valley. 1428 Aztecs joined forces with Texcoco & Tlacopan formed Triple Alliance. Atzcapotzalco conquered. 1440 Moctezuma started rule. 1452 Tenochtitlan destroyed by flood. 1452-4 Famine. 1458 Moctezuma sent armies to conquer lands. 1469 Moctezuma I died. 1486 Ahuizotu became ruler. 1487 Great Temple at Tenochtitlan dedicated. Aztecs expanded southward into Mayan territories. 1502 Moctezuma II became ruler. Aztec Empire at height. 1519 Cortez comes to Mexico. Moctezuma II killed. 1520 Cuitlahuac elected ruler. 1521 Tenochtitlan destroyed. 1522 Tenochtitlan rebuilt, named Mexico City. Declared capital of Spanish colony of New Spain. Cortez led a small group of Spanish explorers into the Aztec Empire. By gaining the support of over 100,000 local natives, Cortez was able to defeat the great army of the Aztecs and totally destroy the Aztec Empire. Co rtez Sp anish Co nquest o f the Azt ecs









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