Hernán Cortés was a Spanish conquistador that explored central America, toppled Montezuma and also his vast Aztec empire and also won Mexico because that the crown of Spain.

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Who was Hernán Cortés?

Born roughly 1485, Hernán Cortés to be a Spanish conquistador and also explorer who defeated the Aztecs and declared Mexico because that Spain. 

He very first set sail come the new World at the period of 19. Cortés later joined an exploration to Cuba. In 1518, he set off to explore Mexico. 

Cortés strategically aligned some native peoples versus others and eventually toppled the large and an effective Aztec empire. Together a reward, King Charles ns appointed him branch of brand-new Spain in 1522. 

Early Life

Cortés, marqués del Valle de Oaxaca, was born around 1485 in Medellín, Spain. He come from a lesser noble family members in Spain. Some reports show that he studied at the university of Salamanca because that a time.


In 1504, Cortés left Spain to look for his happiness in brand-new World. He traveled to the island of Santo Domingo, or Hispaniola. Settling in the new town that Azúa, Cortés served as a notary for number of years. 

He joined an expedition of Cuba led by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar in 1511. There, Cortés worked in the civil government and served as the market of Santiago for a time.


Aztec Empire

In 1518, Cortés to be to command his own expedition to Mexico, yet Velázquez canceled it. In a mutinous action of defiance, Cortés ignored the order, setup sail because that Mexico with more than 500 men and also 11 ships that year. 

In February 1519, the exploration reached the mexico coast. By part accounts, Cortés then had actually all his ships destroyed except one, which that sent back to Spain. This brazen decision removed the opportunity of any kind of retreat.

Cortés became allies with few of the native peoples he encountered, yet with others, he offered deadly pressure to conquer Mexico. He dealt with Tlaxacan and also Cholula warriors and then set his sights on taking over the Aztec empire. 


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Later Years and Death

Despite his decisive victory over the Aztecs, Cortés challenged numerous obstacles to his authority and also position, both native Spain and his rivals in the new World. He travel to Honduras in 1524 to stop a rebellion against him in the area. 

In 1536, Cortés led an exploration to the northwestern part of Mexico, in the process exploring Baja California and also Mexico's Pacific coast. This was to be his last significant expedition.

Back in the capital city, Cortés uncovered himself unceremoniously gotten rid of from power. He traveled to Spain come plead his case to the king, but he was no reappointed come his governorship.

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In 1541, Cortés retirement to Spain. That spent lot of his later years desperately seeking recognition for his accomplishments and assistance from the Spanish imperial court. Wealthy however embittered indigenous his lack of support and acclaim, Cortés died in Spain in 1547.

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