Hernan Cortes

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Hernan Cortes was born in 1485 in a town called Medellin in Extremadura. It talks about little of his child hood and little about his young life except that he studied law at the University of Salamanca. His law school years were cut short in 1501 when he decided to try his luck in the New World. He sailed from Santo Domingo in the Spring of 1504. After he had got there in 1511 he joined he Spanish Soldier and Administrator Diego Velasquez in the conquest of Cuba, and there he became alcalde or mayor of Santiago de Cuba. In 1518 he persuaded Velasquez to give him command to the expedition of Mexico. Juan de Grijalva, nephew of Velasquez, had discovered the mainland the year before by the Spanish soldier and explorer Fernandez de Cobia and.

On February 19, 1519 Cortes set sail west from Cuba even though Velasquez cancelled his pay because of suspicion that Cortes would find himself independent and refuse to take order. Cortes took with him about 600 men, less than 20 horses, and 10 field pieces. Cortes sailed along the east coast of Yucatan and in March 1519 landed in Mexico. Cortes neutralized the town of Tabasco. The artillery, the ships, and especially the horses awed the natives. From these people of Tabasco Cortes learned about the Aztecs and their ruler Montezuma II.

Cortes took lots of captives one of which they baptized and renamed Marina. She became his lover and out of loyalty to him became his interpreter, Translator, Guide, and Counselor. Finding a better harbor a little North of San Juan they established a town called La Villa Rica De La Vera Cruz, which literally translates to The Rich Village Of The Vera Cruz. This was later called just Varacruz. Cortes did what Velasquez that he would do, and abandoned the authority of everybody except the king and queen. Cortes was a strategical thinker and destroyed his group of vessels in order to prevent small forces from opposing him and returning to Cuba to tell Velasquez.

At about this time Cortes...
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