Hernando Cortez

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Hernando Cortez

Was Hernando Cortez a good or evil man? This debate has been argued over the years and still is today. Those who say Cortez is an evil man seem to focus singularly on the actions that the great Spanish conquistador has inflicted upon the Aztecs and the surrounding Indians. Not once do they look at the reasons why he performed the actions that many say were horrible acts of violence and manslaughter. These accusations of greed and murder of the Aztecs, as well as his own against Cortez have been corrupted in order to give a false and savage image of this great Spanish man. Hernando Cortez was, in fact, a great man contrary to what most is taught to believe.

It all started in 1519 when Hernando Cortez became personally responsible for the third expedition to the New World. However, the governor Velasquez, the man who put Cortez in charge of the expedition, had second thoughts about Cortez because of his growing power. Once Cortez learned of this he quickly boarded his ship, and with “508 Spanish soldiers, 109 sailors, 38 crossbows, 13 matchlocks, 14 second-rate cannons, 16 horses, and a handful of camp followers” (), he started off for the New World, ignoring the various orders Velasquez sent in order to relive him of his command, on March 4, 1519.

On March 12, 1519, Cortez and his fleet of 11 ships anchored at the Cape of Palms. Upon landing, Cortez and his men found the area teeming with Indians from the city of Tabasco. After Cortez and his men met with a group of Indians and questioned them, the natives claimed to have lost their honor and have been named cowards after trading with Grijalva, a commander of one of the previous expeditions. Realizing the native Indian’s great numbers and hostility, Cortez was in no way eager to fight. After numerous attempts to gain favor with natives, which included trades as well as even offering to purchase their friendship. Refusing all of these attempts, the Indians drove the Spanish...
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