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Defeating the Aztec Empire

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Defeating the Aztec Empire
Hernan Cortes, a fierce Spanish conquistador, landed at San Juan de Ulua, in April 1519. With him, Cortes had 508 soldiers, one hundred sailors, artillery cannons, eleven ships and sixteen horses. Cortes and his small army, marched through Mexico, forming alliances with Aztec rivals, until reaching the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Tenochtitlan was the capital city of the massive Mexican empire known as the Aztecs or Mexica. It had a population of 200,000 people; almost three times that of the largest city of Spain, Seyville (Windschuttle, 43). Within the next two years, Cortes and his men had triumphantly defeated the Aztecs and taken control of Tenochtitlan against all odds. (Daniel, 1992) So how, despite be hopelessly outnumbered, without the possibility of new supplies or reinforcements, fighting other native tribes and Spaniards, and the Aztecs on their own turf, did this tiny Spanish force defeat such a formidable army. Today, there are a number of reasons why the Spanish have believed to been able to overcome such odds. A combination of poor Aztec military tactics against advance Spanish weaponry and strategy, a weak Aztec ruler, the spread of disease, Tenochtitlan’s poor governing over its populace, and the interconnectedness of Aztec military and religion ultimately led to the demise of its empire.
The first phase of the Spanish invasion of Mexico took place in April 1519. In defiance of the Governor of Cuba and his expedition sponsor, Cortes took control over his forces and moved them inland. On the way, Cortes met resistance from other locals, who he eventually conquered and absolved into his army as allies. After reaching Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Capital, the Spaniards were initially greeted as foreign ambassadors. Other claims state that the Aztecs viewed Cortes as the god, Quetzalcoatl (Windschuttle, 50). The Spanish did not return the favor, eventually kidnapping Emperor Montezuma and, using him as a puppet, ran the country. The Governor

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