Hernan Cortes, a Spanish Conquistador

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David Erdahl
Hispanic Cult. And Comm
R. Lund
Hernan Cortes Outline
Do you remember hearing about the Spanish colonizers that first started Spanish colonization in America? Or the fall of the Aztec Empire way back in your school days? How about King of Castile’s rule over mainland Mexico in the early 16th century? All of these events can be blamed or contributed to Hernan Cortes. Cortes was in the first phase of Spanish colonization of the Spanish colonies in the Americas. A conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire which in part brought large portions of mainland Mexico under King of Castile’s rule.

Cortes was born in Medellin, Spain and chose to pursue a life in the new world. He sailed for Hispaniola in 1504. For five years he established himself in the colony and he led an expedition of the conquest of Hispaniola and Cuba. In 1511 Cortes accompanied an aide of the Governor of Hispaniola, in an expedition to conquer Cuba. The Governor of Cuba was so impress with Cortes that he secured him a high political position. The governor had heard news of a settlement inland where there was a lot of silver and gold. He had appointed Cortes as a Captain-General to travel to inland Mexico and secure it.

The governor of Cuba put him in command of an expedition to explore and secure the interior of Mexico for colonization. At the last minute he revoked his charter but Cortes ignored the orders and went anyway. He took 11 ships, 500 men, 13 horses and a small number of cannons and landed in Mayan territory on the Yucatan Peninsula. He met Geronimo de Aguilar a Spaniard priest who had learned the Maya language and convinced him to join their expedition. He then proceeded to Tabasco and won a battle against the natives. He met a woman who knew both Aztec and Maya language. Through her help Cortes learned for the Tabascans about the wealthy Aztec Empire and its riches. Cortes met some of Moctezuma’s tributaries and asked to arrange a...
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